Wow, 2020 was a heck of a year! I definitely won’t repeat what many others have already said about this year, so instead I will discuss how my own year has been. It has certainly been a year of superlatives for me for my art! I had created 29 paintings this year, 26 of which were commissioned pet portraits. That number is more then twice the number of pet portraits I painted last year (2019), which was 11 portraits! This is equivalent to about one painting every 2 weeks. Which is amazing considering that 6 of these paintings were multi-pet, and also very large in size.
I also had a wonderful surprise with my painting of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades being selected by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) to be featured on the cover of their December 1st 2020 issue! This was not expected, and I was very happy that they contacted me. This is the first time I have had my artwork published in any magazine, book, or journal (at least that I am aware of!)
New Adventures in Pet Portraits
This year I painted the largest pet portrait painting I have created so far (24″ x 36″) which also happens to be the painting with the most animals in it (5 dogs). This is the one above, of Caliber, Jerry, Chips, Ammo and Lexi. As mentioned before, I also have done many multi-pet portraits. I only created one last year, and this year I have created so many more. They are certainly more challenging, but are also kind of fun as I try to create a nice composition.
I have also created portraits animals which I have never painted before: hamster, sheep, and bearded dragon. I really would love the opportunity to create more paintings of pets besides dogs and cats.
Updating My Style
Also this year I have become more bold with my colors. My older style was a bit more conservative, but this year I have been pushing my style and adding in many more colors to my paintings, which not only makes it more interesting and unique, but adds depth as well. This is both in the background and the portrait itself. I also created a few paintings that have a more natural color scheme, which was a nice change of pace. So now I have a variety of backgrounds and styles that my customers can choose from, which is highlighted in this article here.
Since I have been very busy with pet portraits, I have not created as many original paintings this year. My definition of “original” painting is one that I did for myself, without anyone commissioning it. I do this mainly to sell as prints and products in my online stores; the goal is not necessarily to sell the original painting. I have three of these, and that is the Pomeranian, sloth, and pangolin. For my original paintings, I want to maintain that true psychedelic style. I have plans to create many more paintings when I have free time.
I have several series that I wish to do. One series is to add more dog breeds that I have not painted before. Even though I have painted so many dogs, I am always looking to add more to my online stores, so I will have a more complete offering of dog breeds for sale as prints and products. I also want to add more cat paintings to my portfolio, either as originals or commissioned paintings.
I had started two series in the previous year, wild felines and wild canines, that I wish to continue. For the wild felines, I have a good start but want to continue adding more paintings, both of commonly known species like lions, tigers and cougars, as well as species that are more uncommon and unknown, like the margay and Pallas cat. There are about 41 species in the family Felidae, and I want to try to capture as many as I can. For the foxes and wild dogs, I have fewer paintings, but want to continue that as well, finishing as many of the 34 species of wild dogs as I can. This includes adding a coyote, African Wild Dog, jackals, raccoon dog, maned wolf, and the various fox species, and lesser known species such as the bush dog and dhole.
I would also like to paint other wildlife, such as elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, deer, antelopes, bighorn sheep, bison, zebra, and moose. Other carnivores such as bears, raccoons, hyenas, pandas, otters, badgers, skunks, and weasels are also on my list. Then there are miscellaneous wildlife species such as armadillos, hedgehogs, capybaras, rabbits, bats, squirrels, gorillas, monkeys, kangaroos, platypus, alligators, turtles, and so many more. There are so many bird species that I want to paint as well. In addition, a farm animal and pocket pet series, including horses, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, and various fish, is also on my list. I also want to paint more dragons, but those are very time consuming so I need to make sure I have enough time to complete it. I have years and years worth of painting ideas to create. I will try to find time to get to these ideas in between commissions in the upcoming years.
On my top priority of originals to create are the following animals: raven, black leopard, elephant, rooster, rhino, capybara, panda, African Wild Dog, and rooster. I will see how many I can get done in 2021.
Online Stores New Additions
I have many new additions to my online stores this year. I have added plush fleece blankets, coffee mugs, canvas prints, and magnets to my Etsy store. I plan on adding ornaments, tapestries, and more mugs in the upcoming year. Face masks and jigsaw puzzles were welcome additions to both my FineArtAmerica and RedBubble stores. I also saw the addition of aprons to my RedBubble and Zazzle stores. I look forward to seeing what new products my online stores will be adding in the upcoming year!
I look forward to creating even more unique and colorful art in 2021!