Things are looking up this week, with the Biden/Harris inauguration on Wednesday and the new administration’s vow to get the pandemic under control its top priority. Few humans alive today have been through anything like 2020: a year when pain and suffering were at their worst, yet we couldn’t gather physically with friends and family without risking a potentially fatal infection. If there’s a definition of hell on earth, that may be it.
And so, as the weeks and months wore on–delivering loss, sadness, and anxiety at every juncture–people took comfort in both new and familiar pets, who provided unconditional love, snuggles, and support at times when most other companions were available only via phone, text, or Zoom. I’ve always loved having animals in the family, but since last March, I’ve felt a more intense appreciation for our dog and cats, and have snapped more photos of them than ever before. So I wasn’t surprised to learn that professional and artistic pet portraits are currently enjoying newfound popularity.
Humans love decorating their homes and offices with pictures of loved ones, so why shouldn’t images of beloved pets be displayed too? Hence, when I discovered a company called West & Willow–which makes custom pet portraits–I was intrigued. I scrolled through the website and was quite impressed with both the ease of ordering, and the quality of the pictures. Instructions and specifics–as well as tips and answers to most questions you may have are here–but the bottom line is that if you send W&W a digital picture of your pet (or pets), the digital artists at the company will follow your instructions and create an adorable, framed picture for you.
Below are the snapshots of our pets I sent to West & Willow…
…and here’s the framed, customized, 12″x16″ portrait I received last week. The light at the top is the flash from my camera, and I chose not to have the animal names included in the portrait. The background color is dusty pink, and the frame is walnut. What’s your opinion? I like it a lot.
Now, if you’re seeking something more “fine art” in nature, you may want to consider commissioning a painter, sculptor, or other artist to create an original piece for you. My friend Kabir Shah is a painter who enjoys making different types of art, including animal portraits. I’ve been fortunate to get to know Kabir because he’s designed three gorgeous book covers for me, and I’ve become a huge fan of his work.
Here are a few examples of Kabir’s fine art animal portraits. All of these have either been commissioned or were done as gifts for family and friends.
If you’d like to check out more of Kabir’s animal portraits and his other work, there’s a great selection here on his website. And if you’re interested in talking to him about commissions, he can be contacted here.
Finally, both Kabir and West & Willow also do memorial portraits of cherished animals who’ve passed away.
Do you have dear pets who’ve helped you get through the pandemic? If so, please tell me about them in the comment section and/or post a photo.
Thanks so much for reading, and stay safe. I hope we can all get vaccinated soon, and return to something like normal existence in 2021.