~ PET PORTRAIT PAINTER ERIC STEWART ~
My studio is located just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. I specialize in dog portraits and cat portraits, but I also paint landscapes inspired by the Pacific Northwest - like the large oil of Mt. Hood shown below. I was taught the fine points of drawing and painting as a child by my mother, who recognized that her young son had artistic talent. I enrolled in several art classes later on, but I must say in retrospect that the credit for my ability goes to God who created it and my mother who tutored me. My eternal gratitude goes to both.
Mt. Hood From the North
I don't enter my pet portraits in juried art shows, but a client of mine from southern California entered one of my portraits that I had painted for her in 1995 of her Basset hound, Dillon, into "The Artful Dog" exhibition of 2003, held in the gallery of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. My portrait "Dillon" was judged among 149 other dog-related artworks, including several painted by artists of past centuries, and it was awarded First Place by the judges.
The soul of my portraits
I paint pet portraits with a heartfelt appreciation of the love and affection that a quality portrait represents. Artists have often placed a strong emphasis on meaning in their work, and there is no work of art that is more meaningful to its owner than their portrait painting of their best friend. This is why I love painting pet portraits.
I devote great care to bringing the images "to life." My dog Lily has growled at my portraits a few times, and my cat Gracie once hissed and arched her back when she saw one of my portraits that happened to be sitting against a wall at her eye-level. I know it sounds incredible but it's true. This behavior astonished me when I first saw it. I took it as a compliment. A client of mine told me that it had happened with her dog, also.
We are pet lovers too
My kids and I love and enjoy our too many pets - our black-and-white Shih-Tzu dog named Lily, our Schnauzer, Miles, our "Shi-Chi" named Gretchen, and our patient cat, Gracie.
I enjoy hearing about the personalities and talents of my clients' pets. There are some amazing dogs and cats out there.