Pets by hART

Custom oil paintings by Jane Hart

Navigation Menu

When Easier Portraits Are Better

(I Think)

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Animal Reflections, Family Portraits, Pet Portraits, Portrait Inspiration | 0 comments

Portrait of Buster, a long haired dachshund

Buster, a long haired dachshund

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether the effort I put into portraits is helping…or a sign that I should simply start over.


I just finished a portrait commission. It was a very cute, long-haired dachshund named Buster, the grand-dog of friends with an intimidating array of art credentials: both have doctorates in art history; she taught on a graduate level, wrote important books on art and sold paintings of her own; he managed a major New York City gallery.

Perhaps that was why I kept tweaking and re-painting Buster…until the original, winsome dog in the painting had been covered by another…and another, and I knew that I was overthinking this poor pup.

Feeling very stuck, I started over with a different reference photo…and I could tell right away that this time, Buster was talking and I was listening, and the painting virtually painted itself.

I decided to give this dog’s “grandparents” the opportunity to decide which one they wanted, and – no big surprise – they preferred the second one.

Portrait of Buster, a long haired dachshund

Buster, a long haired dachshund

The lesson I learned: the quality of a portrait may actually be in inverse proportion to the effort expended. Perhaps, like a winning tennis stroke, a good painting has to feel informed, connected, and ultimately effortless.

But I have to admit, the process is still a mystery…

Read More

My Mentor, My Friend, My Art

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Gallery Shows, Portrait Inspiration, The Artist | 0 comments

The woman in the middle of this image is Leah Lopez, one of my very favorite living artists and dear friend.

My Mentor, My Friend, My Art

Moulin Leah

Leah is also my mentor. I’ve been studying with Leah for several years, both at the New York Academy of Art and at her own New York City studio. She is a very gifted teacher, and always inspiring; hence, the subject of this blog post – My Mentor, My Friend, My Art.

I created this little painting after a magical painting adventure in Provence, France. Along on this wonderful trip were several others, including my husband, Stan, and our granddaughter, Amanda.

Read More

This Weekend I visited Norwich

This Weekend I visited Norwich

Posted by on Sep 29, 2013 in Pet Portraits, The Artist | 0 comments

To be precise, my husband and I visited an adorable Norwich Terrier named Toby, as well as our dear friends, Carey and John, Toby’s owners.

The portrait I painted of Toby, a Norwich Terrier, as a surprise for Carey last year is displayed in their home. It was commissioned by Carey’s husband, John, as a Christmas gift – and Carey indeed wondered why John was suddenly so busy photographing Toby. We were the fortunate and happy weekend guests of this crowd…great fun!

Toby and Carey...and Toby!

Toby and Carey…and Toby!

I met Carey in 7th grade. She and John are wonderful people and dear friends. Toby is a very endearing two year old who likes to lick people’s legs.

Read More

One Day The Painter – And One Day The Canvas!

One Day The Painter – And One Day The Canvas!

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013 in Portrait Inspiration, The Artist | 0 comments

Today I had a make up lesson at the Bobbi Brown counter at Bloomingdale’s.

Jane and Her MakeupArtist

Jane and Her “Artist” Knox

My friend is an executive at Bobbi Brown, my very favorite cosmetics company, and she set up the appointment for me. An adorable makeup artist named Knox taught me patiently and with humor, as he applied about 20 products, with results that delighted me.  He was also fun to chat with, and as it turned out, his brother went to the prep school where my son teaches in New England! It’s a small world after all.

I’ll try to keep Knox’s delicacy and assurance in mind from now on as I paint.

Please visit my web site, Pets By hArt, for examples of my work.

Thank you for your continued support,
Jane

Read More

The Casual Portrait – A Gallery Show In Progess

The Casual Portrait – A Gallery Show In Progess

Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in Gallery Shows, Pet Portraits | 0 comments

There’s a lot of interest in what goes into preparing for a gallery show. As I get closer to my show’s opening, I’m happy to share the experience with other fellow artists. I’m continuing to develop the content and presentation of the artwork for my upcoming show, The Casual Portrait.

Whether you have an agent or are representing yourself, it is helpful to know that show requirements can vary from gallery to gallery. The average show consists of 8 to 10 of your very best works. I  usually paint between 12 and 15 works, that cover several different subjects. For this show, my subjects are People, Animals, and Etc.

Since still life paintings of flowers or fruit don’t generally fit into the category of “portrait”, I opted to use the broad term “Etc.” in my promotional materials for this gallery show – a bit of trivia for those who asked

I’ve learned not to overwhelm the collectors and visitors to a show with too many selections. Artistic overload, if you will, can cause analysis paralysis; if overwhelmed by too many styles and categories, a purchase decision may become a challenge.

Read More