Simon has kept residence at the Church of the Advent since July of 2012, and a parishioner, Julianne Ture, documents his antics on Facebook and Instagram. He is the latest in a long succession of church cats at the church.
He takes his job very seriously, as you can see in the slideshow photos below.
Painting Simon’s portrait was a bit of a challenge for me. I wanted to capture his personality, as well as express something about the spiritual environment that is his domain.
It is a study in contrasts. His countenance is a mixture of mischief and pride, both stately and comical at the same time. His domain, on the other hand, is very regal with beautiful woodwork and ceremonial furnishings. Behind the scenes, Simon keeps the office in working order, and he manages the church’s recycling program.
no images were found
You can see that Simon is a very busy cat. He is very friendly as well, and he is very observant of the job description that was developed for his predecessor Jeoffry. I wonder…are there lint rollers hidden in the sacristy to keep the vestments and pillows free of Simon fluff?
Cat portraits are always fun for me to paint, but Simon’s was an extra special treat. I hope someday to meet this amazing beast. Thank you, Julianne, for sharing Simon’s antics in cyberspace, and thanks for the opportunity to paint his portrait!
“REALLY? You’re talking about the holidays NOW? Already???”
Yeah, I am.
There’s no better gift than the gift of art, and a portrait of a beloved pet can make your loved one’s holiday very special. Custom art takes time to complete, though, so you need to get your order in early.
To ensure that your custom pet portrait gifts are completed and shipped in time for Hanukkah and Christmas, you must order before October 15, 2016. After that, I cannot promise to get your artwork completed and shipped on time.
Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings are deluxe artistic interpretations of your pet that are painted in a colorful and highly customized style. These paintings reflect the unique characteristics of your pet in a semi-abstract style. They take many hours to complete due to my technique of layering various colors and attention to detail.
Contemporary Folk Art Portrait Paintings are artistic interpretations of your pet that are painted in a fun, contemporary folk art style. These paintings reflect the characteristics of your pet in loose and whimsical fashion. Although less customized that the Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings, Folk Art style portraits capture the essence of your pet in a colorful and cheerful work of art.
Contemporary Pet Portrait Drawings are artistic interpretations of your pet that are created in a contemporary style. These drawings reflect the characteristics of your pet in loose and whimsical fashion. Portrait drawings are created with Prismacolor Pencils on colored papers or white Bristol Board with inked in backgrounds.
Contemporary Digital Pet Portraits are artistic interpretations of your pet that are created from your photos in a contemporary digital style. Using a variety of digital apps and filters, I digitally manipulate your photo into a unique, one of a kind artwork. Choose to get the image printed on paper or receive a jpg image that you can print on your own.
I look forward to creating a special gift for your loved ones for the upcoming holiday season!
One hundred and sixteen days might might seem like a long ways off. It isn’t so long, though, if you are planning to make someone’s holiday very special this year with the gift of art.
When it comes to custom artwork to be given as holiday gifts, I like to remind people to order early. In order to have your custom pet portrait gifts completed and shipped in time for Hanukkah and Christmas, you must order before October 1, 2016. After that, I cannot promise to get it completed and shipped on time.
Customized pet portraits make wonderful gifts for people who love their animals as family. I have 4 portrait styles that fit with different budgets, including:
As a teaching artist, I visit a number of preschool classes every week. One of the many learning objectives layered into my art lessons is helping students identify patterns. Each child’s moment of recognition of a pattern is often filled with excitement. Discovery of patterns is thrilling when it is a new concept.
We still have strong emotional responses as our minds grow and become more adept at identifying patterns. The response is deep. Sometimes it is relaxing and sometimes it is exhilarating depending on the design, textures and color intensity.
Patterns can spark a range of emotional reactions while also enhancing intellectual capacities.
I enjoy adding patterns to my compositions when I paint portraits of pets. Many pets have intriguing patterns in their coats, and combining those with patterned backgrounds can be a great visual challenge. Often, when I see a patterned rug or cloth of some sort in the photos submitted for a portrait, I find a way to include it in the composition.
In the above portrait of Tommy and Ollie (Thomas and Oliver if we want to be formal), I included the patterns from an authentic Persian rug on which these two felines loved to lounge. Their tabby cat stripes are offset by the rich designs and colors in the rug. I believe that this makes the portrait a more dynamic artwork than if I had focused simply on capturing the cats’ likenesses.
A portrait calls for more than making images that look like the subjects. A portrait calls for an interesting design and composition that inspires emotion on many levels. The emotion is not sentimentality, although some sentiment is acknowledged. The color and patterns take the painting to a different level, making it an artwork that can be appreciated even if you have no actual connection to the subjects.
In this portrait of Claude, I could not resist including the intricately patterned blanket on which this beautiful cat reclined in the submitted photos. Including the pattern made the portrait much more difficult and added considerable time to the process, but I think it was worth it.
The patterns in Francie’s portrait to the right led to a more abstract design for the the overall composition. I was intrigued with the cool colors of her coat contrasting with the warmer colors in the background. I also enjoyed playing with the haphazard quality of the patterns in her fur and the energetic quality of the background designs.
I do not include patterns in all of my custom pet portraits. Sometimes a simple background makes a strong composition, and sometimes I include scenery or other background choices. I find that the ones with patterns are often my favorites, however. I look forward to creating more of them in the future.
The important takeaway here is that painting a pet’s portrait, for me, is more than painting what the animal looks like. I am challenged to create an experience for the viewer that excels in the visual elements as well as meets a patron’s desire for art resembling his or her pet. Achieving an accurate likeness of the pet is important. The relationship between human and beast is best expressed, though, when the rigors of color, texture and design are applied to the painting. My hope is that I meet that challenge each time that I combine patterns, pets and portraits.
“We are all creatures of one family.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
Did you know that today is World Animal Day? What a wonderful day to celebrate the richness that animals bring to our lives!
As much as I love and advocate for animals, I did not know that there was a designated day to celebrate them. In fact, World Animal Day began in 1931. October 4 was chosen as the day to celebrate it because it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi who was the patron saint of animals.
To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives
To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives
I find this mission to be very compelling. I could easily adopt their mission and proclaim it my own, as each tenet speaks to what my animal artwork is all about.
My art not only depicts animals, it celebrates them. Not only does my art celebrate animals, it celebrates the relationships that we form with them. My art acknowledges and expresses the diversity of our connection to animals, and it celebrates our wonder and fascination with the joy that they bring to our lives. And my art is created out of an awareness and appreciation of the enrichment that animals bring to our lives.
I remember as a child that my church had a special “blessing of the Animals” service every year, and it was always my favorite spiritual celebration. My family never relented in my desire to take my cat Pyewacket to the service (he was probably grateful that I didn’t take him), but I was always thrilled to see the animals of others who did bring their pets.
Today, I will give some extra hugs to my own cats, and I will be especially mindful of the world’s tradition of remembering all animals on this date as I work on a couple of pet portraits. When people entrust me to paint a portrait of their pet, they are allowing me into their world of love, wonder and appreciation of their cherished pet. It is an honor, and a very special opportunity for me.
Hattie and Bubba are two amazing cats. They are Savannah Cats, a breed that is a cross between a domestic cat and the serval, a wild African cat. I have never met these two felines, but I have followed their antics through their human caregivers’ Facebook pages with great joy. They are young cats, I am thinking younger than 2 years, and they are full of energy.
Bubba (right) was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor a few months ago, and he has been receiving rigorous treatment. I was thrilled to learn that, on the day I completed his and Hattie’s portrait, Bubba had gone to the vet, and he was given a clean bill of health. His tumor was all gone!
Hattie and Bubba inhabit the home of Scott, Jill and Addison – three very committed cat lovers. It has been my pleasure to paint a full collection of portraits for this family, totaling 6 portraits of 7 cats! First there was Murphy. Then there was Sasha, and then Cleo. Sebastian came next, then Powder, and then finally, Hattie and Bubba.
You can see all of there portraits in this slide show.
Invalid Displayed Gallery
Sadly, some of these felines are now at the Rainbow Bridge and no longer a part of this life. That is what is so special about a portrait. It keeps the positive memories alive.
As a special gift, I also created a portrait for Scott and Jill when they adopted their young daughter, Addison at the end of 2012. Again, though I have never met them in real life, I feel as though I know the whole family, human and feline, connected as we are through social media and artistic expression. I rarely give an artwork to a customer as a gift, but I decided to do so with this one for such loyal customers and for such a blessed event.
So what will come next in the collection? Well, I hear that Scott is wanting to add a dog into this joyful menagerie. I can only imagine the possibilities!
Welcome to the new and improved website for BZTAT Studios! It has taken a lot of work, but the website has been entirely rebuilt from scratch. Some things are reminiscent of the old site, but it is all restructured and redesigned with the goal of making it easy and pleasurable to navigate.
The emphasis of the new site reflects my renewed focus on creating custom pet themed artworks for contemporary minded pet lovers. Although my other areas of artwork (public art, non-customized paintings and drawings, and cards and other print materials, etc.) are still available, they are less emphasized on this site.
My custom work is where I do my best art, I think, and I enjoy making it. It has the most appeal to my collectors, also, so it makes sense to refocus the majority of my energy in that direction.
I have added new custom artwork options as well! I now have 4 different types of custom pet portraits:
Contemporary Folk Art Portrait Paintings reflect the characteristics of your pet in a fun, loose and whimsical fashion. Although less customized that the Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings, Folk Art style portraits capture the essence of your pet in a colorful and cheerful work of art.
Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Drawings are new for 2014! I have done these on occasion for special requests, but I have not promoted them a as standard option before now. If a painting is a stretch for your budget, or space on your walls is sparse, a drawing may be a more affordable option for you to celebrate the love you have for your pet.
Contemporary Custom Digital Pet Portraits are also new for 2014. Again, I have done these before on request, but I have not promoted them as a standard option before now. Contemporary Digital Pet Portraits are created from your photos in a contemporary digital style. Using a variety of digital apps and filters, I digitally manipulate your photo into a unique, one of a kind artwork.
I have 3 different styles of digital portraits. Check out the different options here.
With this new site, there is less clutter and softer colors in the background, all intended to make the customer experience more enjoyable. I hope you like it and will visit often!
If you followed the old blog posts, you will need to sign up for the new RSS feed or email delivery in the widgets on the left. Please contact me if you have any problems. All of the blog posts from the old blog have been migrated into this site, so you can still peruse old posts at your leisure.
Enjoy the new adventures. The best is yet to come! Thanks for following along!
Today is Cyber Monday, so I have a special offer – 15% 0ff my Custom Pet Portraits! If you order your portrait by 12am 12/3/13, you will get 15% off the regular price. Simply contact me and we will set it all up!
Custom Pet Portraits make wonderful gifts for people who love their pets as family members. Often family members and employee groups pool their money to buy a parent or a boss a portrait. Maybe you’d like to do the same?
I look forward to hearing from you!
NOTE: Portraits cannot be completed by Christmas at this late date, but a gift certificate for a portrait can be sent to be given as a holiday gift.