Pets by hART

Custom oil paintings by Jane Hart

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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…

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My Upcoming Show “The Casual Portrait”

My Upcoming Show “The Casual Portrait”

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Animal Reflections, Animal Rescue, Family Portraits, Portrait Inspiration | 0 comments

I’m very excited about my upcoming show, The Casual Portrait, at Temple Beth El in New Rochelle, NY from November 23rd to December 29th, 2013. It’s called The Casual Portrait because I’m including various styles of work – animals, people, and still life.

Setting up an art exhibition can be a creative, exciting adventure. However, it does have its challenges, and good planning is just as important as beautiful artwork to to be successful.

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons

Deciding on a theme was one of the first steps. It’s not enough to simply have a lot of artwork to exhibit; in order to tie each piece together, I had to develop a theme. I wanted to draw people who are specifically interested in the concepts being exhibited. For this reason, I also titled my latest blog post with the three types of portraits I’ll be displaying at my show.

 

 

Mother Retriever and Puppy

Mother Retriever and Puppy

Choosing the location was also important. My exhibit will be at Temple Beth El because of the warm, inviting, family atmosphere. Given that my portraits appeal to that type of audience, I knew it would be a good fit for my art and attendees. The folks there are very friendly and supportive, and staying near my community is important.

 

It’s been very exciting to select the pieces that will appear  in my show. The opening reception will be on Sunday, from 2:00-4:30 PM, and will feature coffee, tea, cookies and rugalla. If you’re not familiar with rugalla, a delicious pastry filled with raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, chocolate, marzipan, poppy seed, or fruit preserves, you’re in for a treat!

Pink Vase

Pink Vase on Table

I would also encourage my blog readers to visit my web site, Pets By hArt, to see more examples of my work. My love for animals, and the families they are part of, is what inspires me to continue to create. Thank you, and I hope to see you at the show!

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The Inspiration To Create

The Inspiration To Create

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Animal Reflections, Family Portraits, Portrait Inspiration | 0 comments

How do artists visualize their ideas? Where does the inspiration come from? Why am I creating this particular portrait?

I’m often asked how I create my portraits of people, animals or both. Part of the process is that I truly love what I do, and when I see a subject, either in person or in a photograph, I “feel” his or her story.

Andrew With Granny Smith

Andrew With Granny Smith

This feeling comes from years of observation, of deep affection and understanding of my own pets, family, and friends, and from watching the loving interaction of others. The inspiration comes naturally, you might say.

Owen

Owen

It is such a pleasure when I immerse myself in his or her story. I know that I want to create a vision of the subject that will not only satisfy my artistic needs, but also provide a unique gift and memory. When I’m calmly at one with the materials, and my thoughts, a painting virtually paints itself and I’m just along for the ride. Of course, my purpose is also to oversee, and ensure, accuracy and harmony.

Creating a portrait is a deeply personal experience. A portrait doesn’t have to be formal, as long as it captures the person. As an artist, I know my portraits will be part of a family’s history. I want them to feel the joy that I felt when I captured the spirit of their family member – animal or human.

Please visit my web site, Pets by hArt, to see how a portrait of your loving pet will enhance your home and memory.

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