Meredith Reynells can turn your favorite photo of your dog into a beautiful pet portrait! When I met Meredith, I was immediately struck not only by the colorfulness of her paintings, but that she truly captures the individual personality of the dogs and other animals that she paints. Recently I sat down with her to learn more about Pet Paintings by Meredith Reynells and the cherished keepsakes that she creates.
LWAG: Please tell us about yourself and what inspired you to begin painting pet portraits?
Meredith: I found my love for oil painting in high school and decided to pursue it as a focus throughout my college years. My subjects ranged from large abstract to still lifes and landscapes in the early years. Around 2006 I was encouraged to paint a portrait of my senior Black Lab. Although reluctant at the time I actually did complete his painting. A couple years after my Lab passed away. I found that having a portrait of him really helped in the grieving and healing process for me. Today I consider my paintings to have a purpose, it is an honor and a pleasure to be able to provide people with a lasting keepsake of their beloved pets.
LWAG: That is wonderful that you want to share your talent with other pet owners by creating a cherished work of art of their forever friends. Could you explain your painting process?
Meredith: I love to paint with oil paint due to the fact that it allows me to be expressive with my brush strokes and color choices. I use a bright under-painting with each portrait that I feel brings another dimension to it. I feel it helps bring it to life when you can see little hints of the opposite color behind the pet. The painting usually takes 3-4 stages of building up color and texture. Putting the highlights on the eyes and nose is one of the most important parts of the painting. It is always so exciting for me to see them all come alive on my canvas.
LWAG: The bright colors of your paintings is what caught my eye, but what drew me in was how you captured the twinkle in their eyes and the expression on their faces. How can our readers contact you to order one of their pet?
Meredith: I love to hear from fellow pet lovers! My website, MeredithReynells.com, is a gallery of samples where people can view my style of art and they can also place their order online too. Most people will email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or find me on Facebook at Pet Paintings by Meredith Reynells. I am always available to respond.
LWAG: I met you at the Another Chance Animal Rescue Pet Expo. Then a month ago Chuck Billy and Asa admired your work at the Cocheco Valley Humane Society’s Tails to Trail fundraiser. Do you have any other events scheduled where our readers can view your art?
Meredith: About three years ago I started taking my pet painting service to the people, and it has been amazing for me as a working artist! I usually do a series of craft shows and pet related events throughout the year and I always post them on my Facebook page as well as on my website. My next scheduled event is at the beautiful Planet Dog Company Store in Portland, Maine. They invited me to their Yappy Hour on August 28th.
My work is also on permanent display ay two pet stores in southern Maine. You can view my paintings at Ann-imals Pet Supply in York, Maine and at Super Dogs and Cats in Biddeford, Maine. I regularly switch out the display of paintings to keep it fresh and engaging for their customers.
LWAG: In addition to pet portraits, you also sell Honey Bee notecards to support sustainable pollination research. What is the inspiration for this fundraiser?
Meredith: The Honey Bee painting notecards were inspired by a book I am reading called The Bees by Laline Paull. The main character’s name is Flora, so I named the honey bee Flora in my painting of her. The cards can be purchased on my website or from my Esty site. As an avid gardener and concerned being I decided to donate 100% of the profits from the sales of the cards back to pollination research. I feel as an artist this is my way of using my visual voice to get people talking and thinking about the importance of this issue. Your readers can get more information by visiting my blog.
LWAG: I noticed on your website and Etsy site that you also sell paintings of other subjects?
Meredith: I love to explore subjects that have meaning for me. Usually things that inspire me such as nature, animals, or still lifes, Each painting has a story and a personal connection. It has to have meaning or I won’t paint it.
LWAG: Your Black Lab, Clinton, was the inspiration for your first pet portrait. Do you have any other pets?
Meredith: I have a rescue dog named Molly. She is a Border Collie / Chow mix. I adopted her 8 years ago. She is a very sweet, intelligent and beautiful dog. Molly is my co-pilot for running errands around town and she is always up for a run on the beach here in York. I love to take Molly to the Ogunquit Dog Park. Mount Agamenticus is another place we go hiking. One of Molly’s favorite things is whipped cream, and she loves meeting other dogs.
Thank you Meredith for taking the time with Living with a Golden to tell us about your beautiful pet portraits, and for your dedication to sharing your talent with other pet owners. To view Meredith’s paintings and to learn more, please visit Pet Paintings by Meredith Reynells.