We've been taking requests from artists for ages, wanting to paint or otherwise capture the princess pug for a Merryvaluation review. When we decided to field-test this idea, we couldn't think of a better artist to try it with than Kathy Weller, who creates incredible and brilliantly jewel-like watercolors of your pet, working from photos. We were confident she'd put together a portrait of Merry that would thrill us for years to come.
To start the process, I discussed the style I was hoping for with Kathy. I had been thinking a princess-and-the-pea concept, something involving a huge stack of pet beds with the princess perched on top like the princess in the story. I had also been a long-time fan of Margaret Braun's cakes and had hoped to capture the spirit of these cakes in the portrait as well.
Kathy responded enthusiastically to this idea, and we discussed briefly the photos from the Merrylog I'd like used for source material - mainly, the photo of her showing off her pink and white seersucker dress, because it suited the little pug so perfectly.
Before long, Kathy had a pencil sketch to share with me, scanned in and sent via email. It literally took my breath away - so many adorable details I hadn't even imagined! Kathy had thoughtfully included Merry's favorite ball (see 1st photo) and some of the "diva" toys that Merry has reviewed over the years in the corners of the portrait. It was blingy, it was princessy, and I couldn't believe how she managed to translate a rough idea in my head to exactly what I wanted.
At this point, had I wanted to make suggestions, I could have asked for changes, but frankly I was happy with the portrait as is. We discussed color, and I said that I'd mainly hoped for a very pink portrait - if we're going to capture the essence of Princess Meredith, then pink it has to be.
I don't think anything prepared me for the final painting. So much detail! I have no idea how tiny Kathy's brushes are, but I don't think I've ever seen as detailed a watercolor portrait in my life. Her mastery of this medium is unbelievable. And the colors were just perfect, as saturated as I'd hoped they would be.
The finished piece arrived by mail, 9 x 12 (Kathy's largest available standard size, but she carries two other smaller sizes) and even more stunning in person. This is not only the first non-photographic portrait I've had done for Merry, it's the first I've ever had done, period -- and what an incredible experience it was.
Yes, technically, these portraits are incredible, and the colors are amazing, and the detail superb - but for me, the most wonderful part of the process was how Kathy managed to turn my ideas into precisely the portrait I wanted. It looks exactly how I imagined it - better, in fact - and a lot of that is due to the time and care she takes with every customer to ensure that she knows the pet, and what the owner wants from the portrait.
Princess Meredith's portrait is out being framed, and will hang in my office where I can see it every day. A huge thank-you to Kathy for working with us so that we could Merryvaluate this process!
And if you're looking to get your pet's portrait done, I guarantee you'll be delighted with the results from Kathy Weller Pet Portraits. Beyond expectations in every way.
You can find out more about Kathy Weller Pet Portraits from their web site at www.kathyweller.com.