My goodness time has flown by. I’ve never had a pet for this long. And it has been amazing. Cici is such a good girl.
A very cute message from Dogbook for Cici today…
Am also very thankful to Gillian for giving Cici this wonderful gift for her birthday this year. (More about Gillian below the portrait of Cici she painted). What do you think ???
If YOU would like to WIN a FREE/complimentary portrait of YOUR pet from Gillian, we are having a CONTEST… This rafflecopter will go live after Tuesday, August 5, all you have to do is click the link and enter the contest !!!
My interview with Gillian:
how long does it usually/generally take you to do a pet portrait?
A portrait takes about a week but turn around is about 3 weeks usually due to other business. I can do a rush if necessary.
your favorite dog? do you still have the bullldog or have any other cats or dogs of your own? if so, names, ages
My favorite dog is HENRY!!! He is still around and the best ever! I had a cat Zebedee who is sadly no longer with us. Henry is 7 now and super healthy and happy. Henry and Zebedee were not friends! Henry used to chase her but she was much faster and could gain the higher ground.
what do you like about painting pets?
I absolutely love animals and how they change our world. I really think they are the best and they make us so happy! Painting them is always a challenge because you want to capture their essence and their personality. Anyway – I always start off thinking it is impossible – so when I am able to get it it’s exciting. Also I get SUCH positive feedback from the owners that it is very rewarding. People often get very emotional when they see their pet in a painting.
how do you access the personality of the pet in order to paint it?
A lot of time it is the eyes that are the most important aspect. They do say eyes are the window to the soul and I have found this to be very true. One thing I’ve learned is that a really good photograph is important to my result. I also ask for additional photos to get a sense of the pet’s personality.
is it easier to paint cats or dogs or same difference?
I think cats are often a little trickier to photograph. They can be more elusive.
do you prefer cats or dogs as pets? (there are benefits for each, I love both)
I too love both! I have never had a dog before Henry – and I am completely smitten with him. I have had cats my whole life and they are wonderful. But as you say – there are benefits to both and personally I think no home is complete without pets. Dogs hang on your every move whereas cats tend to be more independent. I love them all though!!!
what do you like most about cats? dogs?
Cats are so beautiful and graceful. I love just to watch them. And you always feel favored when they give you their attention! My cat Zebedee used to sleep on my head. It was slightly annoying but funny too. Dogs are awesome! I love their different personalities and how they find out how to communicate their desires with you. My dog Henry hates it when my husband and I are in different rooms so he always tries to herd us into the same room! It’s really funny.
any funny or heartwarming stories about painting dogs or cats?
Well probably the funniest was trying to paint Henry. I hadn’t painted an animal before but I always paint from life. He often sits in the same position but dogs aren’t really models! You can’t get them to sit still for several hours! I eventually realized I needed a photograph to achieve success.
what is the most unusual portraIts you have done of pets and painted any famous dogs or cats?
As to unusual or celebrity she has painted Stephen King’s (the writer) girlfriend’s hairless cats.
what is the type of paint you use?
work with oils.
do people usually have their pets painted before or after they’ve passed on or both?
I have mostly done pets that are still around but a few in memoriam. People sometimes give them as gifts when a pet is getting older. I actually did a painting for my father who has two Siamese who would always sleep hugging each other. Sadly the older one passed away recently but I know he treasures the painting and the memories of always seeing them in the same chair hugging each other.
I guess I just feel lucky to be doing this. Pets enhance our lives in so many ways and really when you can have a relationship with an animal it is something so special. I’m glad to be able to add to a pet owners pleasure in that experience.
Gillian Wainwright was born in London and lived in Italy and Belgium before moving to the United States. She became interested in painting in her teen-age years and went on to go to undergraduate school at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Later Gillian got her Masters degree in painting at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and since then has exhibited in numerous shows in New York City. Having had cats all her life Gillian got her first dog, Henry, a French Bulldog with adorable green eyes (very rare),with her husband David. As a Christmas present to David she painted a portrait of Henry for him, which he treasures. The portrait holds a prominent place in their living room. This became the very first NYC PetPortrait! Since then, Gillian has created many more pet portraits to the delight of pet owners around the world. Gillian has a unique ability to capture the most beautiful moments for pet owners everywhere. To view a few other examples of Gillian’s paintings go to www.nycpetportraits.com.