Last summer we lost our big old cat Indy, who had been with us for 14 years. He was our first fur baby as a couple, adopted from the shelter when he was a wee kitten. John was very attached to Indy boy. They had a special bond, in part because he was the only other male in a household of females (one human, two dogs and another cat). We both missed Indy very much, but it was really hard on John.
I happened upon a blog shortly before Christmas; 'Penelope, The Cat From Hell'. Written by Penelope herself, who is proud to be the cat from Hell, this blog is always witty and entertaining. I confess I am now a Penelope groupie. Through her wonderful blog posts I learned that Penelope's mom is a very talented artist living in Canada. Her name is Barb Kowalik and you can see her work on her web page and her ArtFire shop . She does amazing "totem" paintings but also does animal portraits. I was so impressed with her work that I commissioned a painting of Indy to give to John for Christmas. I sent her the picture of Indy that I wanted done, and also sent a face shot so she could get a better idea of his eye color. I was thrilled when I received my Indy portrait. Not only did she do the original pose that I requested, but since it ended up being too large for the mats she had, she did a second portrait of Indy's face in a lovely double mat. Both paintings are beautiful, as you can see here!
When John opened his gift on Christmas morning he was completely surprised and at a loss for words, and if you know John, you know that never happens. He loves these portraits as much as I do!
If you would like to know more about Barb and her work I encourage you to visit her web pages or become a friend on her Facebook page. Penelope, the cat from Hell, has a Facebook page as well.