HI, I'M BELINDA
I grew up benefiting from the support and encouragement of two artistic parents and I suppose a bit of inherited natural talent.
In primary school, I was voted most likely to be an artist when I grew up.
It took me a while to get round to it though. I tried a number of other creative pursuits. I studied industrial design, had a go at floristry, became a commercial cook, dabbled in interior design and worked in architecture. I brought my artistic and creative mind and skills to each of my ventures, learned new things and honed my abilities, however, through each occupation, my interest was in creating a connection. It was about making a positive impact on peoples lives, giving them something that they would enjoy, benefit from and would have meaning to them, while at the same time doing something that I was good at and enjoyed.
I am now able to achieve this through my art.
THE HOUND AND THE HAND
My partner and I share our lives with a handsome fawn brindle whippet named Sprite. He is seven years old. Nine years before he arrived my parents gave me Pixie, my first whippet. Until recently, we had the honour of sharing our hearts and home with Pixie for just over 15 years.
My dogs have brought so much joy to my life, I can't imagine what it would have been without them. Unless people have dogs, sleeping in their beds, snuggling with them on the couch, going on trips and walks and outings with them and generally spending the best parts of life together, I don't think they can understand how much impact they have on our lives.
Dogs show us so much love and affection without saying a word, cheer us up when we’re down. We are able to see many expressions in their faces and body language, as they can in ours (actually they are much better at it than us). They have adapted to communicate and exist with us and we can read each other like no other two species can.
When Pixie came to the end of her long, full life in early 2019, I was heartbroken. Sprite was still here to comfort me, but once the initial grieving subsided, I felt I still needed to do something to honour her.
I was taking a short Natural History Illustration course to inspire a return to drawing and a creative outlet that I hadn't been getting at work.
I decided for the final submission, I would do a drawing of Pixie.
I found it helped me to begin dealing with her loss.
I have lots of photos of her, but sometimes a drawing or a painting manages to capture more, by bringing parts into focus that express the powerful affection we feel.
I now have something extra special that celebrates her beautiful spirit.
SHARING THE LOVE
The drawing I did of Pixie resonated with so many other people I wanted to try creating portraits for others.
I've since created drawings and paintings of a variety of breeds of dogs of all ages, for all sorts of people. Each time, the sense of accomplishment is priceless, when those commisioning the portrait and others who view it have said they are amazed at how I’ve captured the unique nature of their loved one.
She has captured the most remarkable details and individual characteristics of each of them... we will treasure this picture.
Memorial portraits are hard, while working on these faces, I begin to feel I get to know them and I have had to keep a box of tissues nearby while I work so I don't get drips on the paper.
It's a really strange feeling though, when you know you’ve done a good job because you’ve made someone cry.
She did an amazing job and brought us to tears. Couldn't be happier with the portrait!
A DIFFERENT FACE
For some time I had avoided human portraits. It's been scientifically shown that we are very sensitive to peoples faces and their differences, especially ones we know well.
I wasn't sure I could handle the responsibility. Many other pet portrait artists I talk to seem to have a similar reluctance to extend into the human realm.
However, I have recently taken the leap and tentatively shared some drawings and paintings I have made of human subjects. I have been happy with the results and had such positive feedback on them that I am happy to now also offer commissions of your human family and friends.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
I love trying new things and have a variety of artistic outlets, so between commissions I produce works from my own references, experiment with new media and generally dabble in whatever takes my interest. Some of these are offered for sale, and if there is something you see that you like the look of, but it isn’t covered in my standard commission offering, get in touch and I’d be happy to talk to you about a custom piece.