Artist Kate Sellars-Jones knows how much people love their pets – she sees it on a daily basis. A talented painter who specialises in pet portraits, it’s quite literally her job to capture this special companionship, and see these beloved animals through the eyes of their owner. Painting from a series of reference pictures, Kate will often place her subjects in a recognisable location – a favourite beach, park or home setting that holds meaning. The incredible level of detail in her oil paintings ensure that these custom pieces are destined to be keepsakes for generations to come.
In honour of all the household pets out there who’ve been keeping us company during a crazy year – we’re offering one lucky pet-lover the chance to WIN a bespoke pet portrait by Kate!
Read on for our chat with the artist about her VERY unique job.
Hey Kate! Painting pet portraits is a pretty cool job to have. How did you get into it?
I’d become completely taken by the world of Dog Shows, the dedication, obsession and fierce competition of the exhibitors is intriguing. ‘Best in Show’ the movie is no exaggeration! I still love observing that world and have become more and more interested in painting dogs and their owners…. (sadly there are no shows happening this year).
Because of these early show dog paintings, a friend asked me to paint a dog as a wedding gift. There was a lovely story behind it, how a dog and an ailing bird brought the couple together. The painting is still a favourite of mine. I felt like it was an opportunity, a legitimate and worthy pursuit, in painting people’s pets, the importance of the relationship is undeniable and precious.
What do you love about it?
It’s infectious, the love and loyalty between pet and owner. Everyone’s dog is ‘the best dog ever!’ The detail and passion with which people talk about their pets is fantastic, and I get it, our family dog is completely doted on.
In the end it’s the reaction when the owner sees the finished work, which is so satisfying. Luckily enough it has all been positive, which is certainly affirming and heart warming, there’s been tears!
What has been your most memorable moment in the studio so far?
A couple came to the studio to collect their painting. The dog had recently passed away, so this was an important moment. I had the painting hanging on the wall. The wife had her back to me and was looking at the portrait, but she wasn’t saying anything. I started to worry, then I realised she was crying. I think I can safely assume they were tears of gratitude and remembrance because the husband thrust an extra $100 into my hands as he left the studio.
More recently there was a buzz at the studio because the American comedian Marc Maron posted on Instagram the painting I did of him and his recently departed, and beloved, cat of 16 years. The enthusiastic response was exciting from an international audience.
Please note this competition is now closed. The winner was drawn and announced on Tuesday, 17th November 2020. See here for details.