4 New Paintings - Let's Talk Pet Portraits

copyright Mia laing 2014 'Ruby'
oil on canvas
October 2014 - Gift
Lets talk 'Pet Portraits'. I did a few during my lazy 'sabbatical' from my blog. They are well received, are generally smaller and quicker than people portraits (and therefore cheaper to buy) and make great gifts for family and friends who have a beloved fur child they want a forever reminder of. There is something just so special about capturing a much-loved animal in oil on canvas…forget photographs, they just don't cut it for an heirloom piece. I did the above painting of 'Ruby' for my daughters art teacher, a thank you for guiding Bel through her last two years of school art studies. There was nothing we could have bought from a shop that would have given the 'thanks' that this painting did. Put it this way…it was a complete surprise for the teacher, we got the photo by stealth and the unwrapping of this beautiful painting created tears. Lots.
copyright Mia Laing 2014 'Tessa'
oil on canvas - November 2014
Next I painted 'Tessa'…one of our family cats. Our local vet has expressed an interest in hanging some of my pet portraits in his waiting room. I haven't pursued this contact yet…I am a little nervous of things spiralling out of control whilst I am meant to be painting toward my own exhibition in April of next year. 2016. I know, over a year away, but it's amazing how a year can fly and just how few paintings can actually be produced in a year. Whilst I am pondering the dilemma of advertising as a pet portrait artist or not, I have painted a few pieces…just in case! This is our beloved, Rani, my beautiful Golden Retriever. In November she had a cancer diagnosis. Devastating.
copyright Mia Laing 2015 'Rani'
oil on canvas - January 2015
Rani has been my constant studio companion for the last 11 years and the muse of many, many paintings. She has her photography poses down pat! Thank goodness I have captured her so many times in photos and paint, I will have a constant reminder of her friendship forever. As is the amazing nature of social media, when I posted WIP shots of these paintings, I got a fair bit of interest from followers wanting their pets painted.
'Mackie and Bluey' oil on canvas - 2015 Private Commission 'Mackie and Bluey'
oil on canvas - 2015
Private Commission
'Mackie and Bluey' were a result of the power of media. Aren't they gorgeous? Mackie is a Maine Coon…Gosh they are stunning felines. Go take a look at Google to see the full coats of these cats. I want one!! Though I really enjoy pet portraits, I think my true leaning is toward 'fur child and friends' paintings…pets and their people. I absolutely love the depth of joy a pet can bring to our lives, especially dogs, who possess such a commitment to their humans. This painting is an example of Pets and their people…a commission I did last year.
A Man and His Friends oil on canvas 2014  30x30inch  - 62x62cm private commission A Man and His Friends
oil on canvas 2014
30x30inch - 62x62cm
private commission
This is the letter I received in thanks for this painting... "As the recipient of this gift, I was totally without words. For someone who wants nothing and needs nothing, this was just something I now know I could not have gone without. Mia, very hard to explain in words what your art brings. It is definitely pleasing to the eye, you captured everything in this great shot, I guess the biggest impact is the emotion it stirs up every time I look at it. I am grateful to my family and friends for this gift and am honoured to have you create it." Wowsers. I need to print this letter and hang it in my studio to help me through the hard times of producing art! Commissions are so, so hard but words such as these make them worth while. I am totally drawn to narrative art that expresses emotion and interaction. One of my most favourite places on earth is the dog beach. Such fun…doggy lovers of every shape and size, dogs of every shape and size, dogs loving other dogs of completely different shape and size to their own! Makes for a great comedy at times. I have many photos I plan to paint eventually from the dog beach…but where to start? I've painted two other paintings recently with fur kids and real kids in them…I will unveil these in the next few weeks as I bring this blog up to date. Mia x
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