With a compassionate heart, Bonnie Kiefer has made it her purpose to memorialize beloved pets through her beautifully executed sculptures. Her lifelike miniatures are a tribute to those amazing furry friends that fill our lives with unconditional love. Read on to find out what drives this animal inspired pet-portrait artist to create her masterful works of art.
Pets have been my best friends and like family to me my whole life. I enjoy sculpting people’s beloved pets because I know firsthand what they mean in our lives and how truly special each of them are to us.
I work with a non-toxic, extremely durable polymer clay. Most of my sculptures are put on some kind of wooden base or plaque and some sculptures require strong internal structures (armatures). When the sculpting phase is over, the sculpture is bonded to its base and primed for painting. I airbrush most of the sculpture in layers with an acrylic paint to create life-like coloring and then hand paint all of the fine details. When the sculpture is completely dry, I apply a coat of varnish.
My beloved Ariel was a black and white purebred Border Collie I bought as a 6 week old puppy. I did not want a dog at the time, but when I locked eyes with her, I think we both knew we were meant for each other. She was my best friend for 15 years. Words cannot express our bond and dedication to each other and I still sense her by my side to this day. I am an active equestrienne and have shown horses since a youth rider. I have owned several show horses over the years but I would like to mention “Quincy” who to me was the most perfect and special horse. She was an absolutely stunning bay Quarter Horse mare that I raised, trained and successfully showed for many years.
I must have been born with a pencil in my hand! I grew up drawing with just a regular pencil and sometimes I painted. It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s when I started sculpting and around that same time I was given an airbrush kit as a gift and have been airbrushing and
hand painting my sculptures ever since. I think the ability to create art just comes natural for me. I never had any formal training in traditional art (except for a few elective art classes in middle and high school). In 2008 when the economy took a dive, I attended a digital art school and graduated in 2011. I feel fortunate to now have a good balance of traditional and digital art skills.
This is a very tough question, because I become emotionally connected to each piece of art that I create. Sometimes I start a sculpture that does not work out. I used to throw those pieces away but they have become special to me now for some reason. They are awkward and strange looking, but they have their own “souls” and are so unique, so I now keep them and have started a “misfit collection”. There are also personal pieces of artwork I will never part with for any amount of money, such as the pencil drawing I did for my Mother of her favorite picture of my brother in a trench coat, or the pencil drawing I did back in 1980 of Ozzy Osbourne who signed it for me a few years later when I brought it to him at a fan meet. He looked at it and said out loud “THIS IS (BLEEPIN’) GOOD!”
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
I would be a horse…They are so regal, graceful, talented, athletic and versatile. I would just hope that someone would take care of me the way I take care of my own horses, I would be totally pampered and treated like a Queen!
I love Snoopy, plus I love all Disney movies and songs with pets & animals. There will always be a special place in my heart for the song “Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphey.
Mickey Mouse of course. I live next to the Mouse and I LOVE IT. I love the Beast from Beauty & The Beast and also Snoopy.
Trust, honesty and always non conditional love!
I don’t have a (specific) charity or group but I have saved and/or rehabbed many horses and dogs during my life. One day I would like to be a senior dog caretaker to old dogs that people give up once they have aged or become too expensive. I would like to help them with whatever they need for their senior care, keep them happy and comfortable and then be there for them when they pass away.
There are so many pet owners out there who want a way to always keep their pet close to them, whether the pet is alive or has passed on. I am helping so many pet owners by creating replicas of their beloved pet. It warms my heart to see how much it truly means to them.
You can find more of Bonnie's work on her website at:
or on Facebook at:
Cat Enthusiast Christine De Carvalho, also known as Miss Scarlett, is an accomplished illustrator and graphic designer who is also a beautiful hot-pink-haired pin-up model. She has two Etsy shops. Her shop, Darling Lola, focuses on cute anthropomorphic art (animals having human characteristics). These delightful animal portraits are full of unique personalities with bows, funky eye glasses and funny hats. A second shop called Dirty Lola includes dinosaurs, bees and bugs and other edgy art. The two shops show her wide range of talents.
Animals are such an inspiration to me, I love the idea of anthropomorphizing them by dressing them up in cute clothes and giving them style and personality. I studied Fashion Design, so maybe that has something to do with it. Seeing animals wearing clothing always makes me smile!
Mostly Watercolor and Gouache.
I have one old grumpy cat named Hermione, and one sweet rescue kitty named Oliver who is polydactyl and has 8 digits on one paw!
Honestly, as long as I can remember. I was always very artistic and creative as a child. I was always drawing or making something. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the creative field.
I’d be a Giraffe, I love their long necks and their graceful demeanor, plus eyelashes for days! I love Giraffes because they are sociable, peaceful animals who rarely fight.
The Cure’s “Love Cats”, Stray Cats “Stray Cat Strut”, Freddie Mercury/Queen’s “Delilah”.
It speaks volumes that the Earth would die without Animals, yet it can thrive without Humans, that’s how important Animals are to the world and to our planet. Yet many people don’t seem to understand that concept. Personally I prefer the company of animals to people, I just find them so interesting to watch and observe their funny and strange behaviors. For Example my Cats are some of the most hilarious creatures I have ever met!
You can find more of Christine's work on the web at the following places:
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Multi-talented artist, Monica C. Webster, is also a pianist and singer, a gardener, a chef of international cuisine and a writer. By day she is an elementary/ middle school
teacher, by night she creates wonderful works of art. She depicts nature in a wide variety of styles from realism in her pet portraits to black and white graphic imagery. She is madly passionate about her puppies, a lover of animals and The Natural World.
Animals are one of my main sources of creative inspiration. Elegance, power, “etherealism,” majesty, grace, strength, beauty… just a few of the many incredible qualities that are found in the animal kingdom; one of the things that fascinates me is how often qualities which seem to contradict each other exist in the same sphere. The powerful beat of a heron’s wings, for example, juxtaposed against the delicate fragility of each individual feather. This and other marvelous feats of physical and visual engineering in the animal kingdom inspire feelings of awe and wonder which in turn influences my art.
I use a variety of mediums when creating art. Portrait paintings are created in soft pastel, while portrait drawings are created with pencil, charcoal, conte, pastel, ink and sometimes a combination. I also use acrylic paint, watercolours and unconventional mediums such as aluminum foil, tissue paper, printed pages etc.
Our family includes three canine members; two Tibetan Spaniels and a Pyrenean Mastiff. Keani Evening Song is our sable nine-year-old “Tibbie.” He always has a wide-eyed “anxious” expression, is a bit prissy, loves giving hugs and can smother you (literally) with kisses. Khydn Treasured Moments is our parti-coloured (red and white) two-year-old Tibbie. He is precocious, mischievous, and exuberant, and has an effervescently joyful outlook. Both Keani and Khydn have a black mask.
Eoberon Céfiro Enchanting, the Pyrenean Mastiff, is still a puppy, but he’s about 130 lbs. He’s a gray and white gentle giant. He still has that “puppy exuberance” and, of course, has no idea of how large he is.
I have been creating art since toddler-hood. My earliest framed work is a daisy drawn in pen when I was three that has resided in my parents’ main-floor bathroom for years. Throughout the continued development and evolution of my work over the years, one thing has remained constant; animals continue to take centre (center) stage.
Love and Respect.
I am a supporter of The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation
You can find Monica online at:
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I met Jules not long ago at an art show we were both at. We were actually showing my husbands metal work, so I let him man the booth as I walked the show. It was a small one, so it didn't take long, but I was immediately drawn to the fun happy art of Jules. Big paintings filled with swirls and twirls and ice cream colors depicting a few of my favorite things in life - DOGS! I especially love the quirky little sayings that wrap each painting. As the weekend progressed, I kept being drawn to her joyous work and of course, had to ask her for an interview.
The looks and actions that they give.
My art is acrylic, ink & a splash of sequins.
Harper is my rescue dog that I have now. He is about 11 years old. He is a nuzzler not a licker and is a character. He is about 70 pounds and when I rescued him, they of course told me he wasn’t going to be a large dog. He is the strangest walker. He walks a few steps and then stops and doesn’t move—I have to gently tug on the leash and say, “Harper, let’s go” and he continues to stand until he is ready. He also criss-crosses the street and has no fear of cars.
Favorite animal book: When I was young, I loved Dr. Seuss’s book, “Go Dog Go”. I especially loved the last page of the book where they had a party on the treetop. There was so much going on, I could stare at the page for hours.
Favorite animal song: “Bingo” from my childhood . “There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o”
The animated movie: “The Point”—this used to play once a year on television—was a movie that had a moral about a boy and his dog Arrow. The boy was born with a round head and everyone else had a point and so he was banished—or maybe he ran away (it has been awhile since I have seen it ) but he went with his best friend, his dog, “Arrow”. It is a great story with great music—I think Ringo did it and Harry Nilsson.
Arizona Animal Welfare League, Sniff-AZ, Arizona Adopt a Greyhound, Arizona Humane Society, ASPC—about every dog rescue organization, and a women's shelter.
My art is very whimsical—how you can recognize that it is a “Jules” painting—they have pink and yellow eyes, as many curlicues as I can put on it—curlicue nose, eyebrows, background and wherever a curlicue can go. The eyes never look straight ahead—either up, down or sideways. The canvas has a splash of sequins and I do a humorous title up the side and over the top and also use this on my cards, prints & giclées. I do paint commissions . My wish is just to make you smile.
You can find Jules at the following online locations:
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Love colorful funky feline art and pet portraits with lots of personality? Then you are going to love the illustrative, whimsical and sometimes humorous style of artist Padgett Mason. When she is not doing art shows, you can find Padgett painting away in San Diego, California which she calls home.
Animals are so beautiful. I create many animals but cats are my favorite. Their sleek lines and dramatic personalities are a subject I love to capture.
I create nearly every day. My main medium is Acrylic, also do mixed media pieces including watercolor ink and collage.
I grew up in the country with goats, rabbits, horses, chickens, dogs and CATS! I am so thankful to have had my early years in that environment, experience the circle of life. We moved to the city when I was a teenager and have owned cats ever since. Currently I have 3 beautiful brown tabbies, all rescues.
I have been obsessed with drawing and painting since I was little. My Mom has a horse I drew when I was seven, framed in her house to this day. Professionally I have been creating for about 18 years.
I don’t have a favorite that stands out. I usually am in love with my newest pieces, it’s tough sometimes to have a piece sell when it is still a newbie to me, I like to live with them for a bit before they find their home.
I would be a domestic cat. They have a life of luxury and pampering if they are in a good home.
My go to charity is the Feral Cat Coalition. They spay and neuter feral cats to stop population growth and increase their quality of life. There is a colony of feral cats at Spanish Village-Balboa Park, where I display and sell my work in 2 studios. That colony has been fixed and one of the artist feeds them and that group of kitties thrive.
You can find Padgett online at the following locations:
Facebook Artist Padgett Mason
Instagram - #padgettmason
Show your love of cats, dogs, octopus and owls by displaying these cool vinyl stickers on your car. They may be small, but they come with a BIG attitude! Click HERE or on images to purchase.
Nataly Korsakov of Fleur de Lapin, physically lives in Berlin, Germany, but mentally lives in a magical world where cats become dolls who wear fancy clothes. Her fantastical hand-made dolls cover the spectrum of themes from storybook princes and fairies to fictional characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Comic Con themes like Lolita and Steampunk. These wondrous kitties with their huge you-can't-resist-me-eyes, and lavish outfits, will have you purring. The dolls come in a beautiful doll box with a signed certificate of authenticity for a keepsake that will be passed down through generations. Let's find out a little more about Nataly.
You can find Nataly on the web at the following locations:
Bright and happy, fun and quirky are words used by fans of animal artist Consuelo Okdie. It's as though this Florida based artist creates her art through rainbow colored glasses, with colors bouncing around the canvas adding energy and personality to all the creatures she captures in paint. Read on to find out how this animal lover is moved to create art inspired by animals.
There are so many ways animals inspire my artwork – so many different colors, textures of fur, fin & scale. The different ways each one moves, i.e walk, fly, swim; plus the remarkable contrasts between the hardness of a hoof or tooth compared to the softness of fur & feather allows me more inspiration than I would need in a life time.
What inspires me most of all is what comes from within…the personality, heart, kindness & soul that are so unique to each one. I strive to recreate that in my work.
Currently I am working in acrylics & graphite pencil although in the past I’ve worked in polymer clay, oils, pen & ink, colored pencil, batik & stained glass.
I’ve never NOT had pets in my life from dogs & cats, to chickens, sheep, ducks & horses.
Right now I have a Persian cat named Maggie who is pack leader to my two rescue dogs Ruby, a Pomeranian, & Dilly Dali, a mix of terrier & Prairie dog.
I started drawing at age 6 years old, so at 64 now it’s safe to say a really long time! Life without art isn’t life to me.
“Welcome to Florida aka Fred” is my all time favorite piece of art I’ve created. ‘Fred was made using polymer clay sculpted over a gallery wrapped canvas. More bas relief (a kind of sculpture which is carved and the raised area is only slightly higher than the background - low relief) than painting, each component was hand-sculpted using only white clay. After curing, it was hand-painted using custom colors mixed from dry pigments, alcohol ink & custom mixed acrylics. He’s my favorite because it was quite a challenge to execute. He’s also named after my favorite brother, Fred, who owns him.
Donating work to support animal welfare, art & music, education & our military men is definitely my passion & brings me more joy than I can express.
The Kentucky Horse Council
Suncoast Florida Rescue League
SPCA Tampa Bay
Animal Health Services
Friends of the City of Buffalo Shelter
Redlands Rock Pit Abandoned Dog Project
Sarasota FL Youth Opera
Brooksville FL VA Clinic
The memorial portraits I do seems to give grieving pet owners a sense of comfort and peace that I could never give them on my own. Being able to do this for them gives me such a great feeling of joy I can’t even begin to express it.
You can find Consuelo online at:
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This week's featured artist Ellie Szymanska-Saleem of Artwork by Ellie, creates delightful images of pets and animals. Ellie is a proud, "Cat Momma," a children's book illustrator and a pet portrait artist based out of Dubai. Her soft, sweet style makes one feel as though they are actually petting the fur of the animals she is capturing in her work.
I have always been drawn to animals. I've been painting and creating all kinds of critters since I was a child - horses, cats and dogs... snails and spiders. I love them all! My cats and bunny continuously inspire me to create more art.
I mostly do digital art now on my good ol' Wacom tablet ( a Wacom tablet allows an artist to draw with a pen onto a tablet and the drawing is immediately seen on the computer screen). I love how it lets me mimic traditional art. Having many pets and limited space makes it the most convenient medium to use.
I've always had cats growing up, two of which are still alive and well, living with my parents. When I left the family home and got married, I really wanted a cat of my own, but my husband wasn't too convinced. We settled on a rabbit at first and that's how we got our ditzy bunny, Schnuffel. A few months after we got Schnuffel, I saw an ad for the cutest Persian kittens that needed new homes and I started pestering my husband for a cat again. He agreed (albeit reluctantly) and that's how we got Tipper. Tipper is the one who started it all. My husband fell in love with him instantly. Next year we adopted Simon, an adult cat with a foggy eye, from a local animal rescue group called the bin kitty collective. But I somehow knew that it wouldn't just end at two. Fast forward 5 months and I came across an ad through the same rescue group for three kittens that were found abandoned in an apartment. This is how we got our Yuki. During the summer of 2015 we got our youngest two cat-kids, Elsa and Lenny. To me, they’re not just pets but much much more and I wouldn’t be able to picture my life without them.
I’ve been doodling for as long as I can remember. Art is something that I’d always come back to no matter how busy I was in life. It has a soothing effect on me. However, I only started taking it seriously in 2014. I make it a point to draw something everyday.
Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale, The Lion King and 101 Dalmations.
One word: LOVE. I think it all starts with animals. I don’t think one can love humans and hate animals, and vice versa. Our humanity starts with them.
This constantly changes. I sometimes finish a piece and think that it’s one of my best only to start noticing flaws in it a few days later. It can be frustrating at times but I think it’s something most artists can relate to.
You can find Ellie online at:
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This week's featured artist Inga Binyon, lives in Gualala, CA, which is a 100 miles north of San Francisco, right on the coast. Inga embraces her crazy cat lady by crafting fun and funky jewelry for your zippers and calls her creative company, "4MyMeow," which was born in 2015. In a true spirit of giving, a portion of every sale is donated to animal shelters. Here's Inga's story...
We have two little girls that rescued us last year. (Kali and JuJuBee) Shortly after bringing our first girl (Kali) home, I was asked to participate in a street fair that only wanted locally hand crafted items. The gal who asked me to participate worked with glass beads and gave me a catalog. The moment I discovered the Glass Cat Head beads I had a vision. My subsequent search for beads led me to realize my attraction to glass lamp work beads which are all pieces of art themselves. I started putting bead combinations together in my head and I couldn't wait to get my first shipment of beads.
My Kitty Zipper Pulls were originally designed to clip onto the zipper of your jacket, thus allowing the owner to show the world their love of all things kitty. However I have seen them on backpacks and I have several that hang from the zippers on my purse, they can be displayed as sun catchers, rear view mirror charms, or how about some new kitty ornaments for you Christmas tree? You can clip them anywhere you like!
I decided before my first show that I wanted to do a little rescuing back so I have donated 10% of every sale to four different cat shelters in Northern California. Had we not adopted Kali and JuJuBee this business would have never been born. My customers not only get a lovely little piece of cat inspired jewelry they get the satisfaction of knowing that their purchase created a donation to a very deserving cat shelter.
Both of my girls stories have their own page on my website.
My favorite pieces of work are my Graceful Kitty line, which was my first "designer" line of Kitty Zipper Pulls. The bodies of all of these kittys feature Grace Lampwork Heart Beads. I have been told several times that they are true works of art and because Grace Lampwork beads are created one at a time by amazing bead designer Grace Ma in San Francisco, no two Graceful Kittys will ever be exactly alike, making each of them truly one of a kind!
Since creating the Graceful Kitty line, I have also collaborated with a bead artist in Kansas who makes the cat heads one at a time by hand. She designed the Calico, Bengal, and Siamese cat heads just for me and I call this line Kansas Kittys.
We love our girls so very much. Two of the shelters we support with our donations are directly related to our girls adoptions. Purebreds Plus is the shelter that rescued them from the streets and Kitty Hill Foster Care is the woman that fosters hundreds of kitties every year, including both of our girls. Cat House on the Kings I began to follow shortly after bringing Kali home and it is amazing what they do for kitties every year. Last but not least Redwood Coast Humane Society is the shelter here in town and I felt that they too needed any support they could get.
When we adopted our girls we signed agreements that they would be indoor kitties only. The woman who fostered our girls actually runs a luxury kitty boarding facility in Santa Cruz, though more often than not she has more fosters than paying customers. She had these amazing catios, which inspired my husband (who has years of carpentry experience) to build our girls a catio of their own! As you can see Kali and JuJuBee got an amazing Cat Dad in the bargain as well!
To see more of Inga's fun Graceful Kittys, check her out on the web at these locations:
LOTS! At the moment, I have four, with a fifth on on the way! I have two dogs, a corgi named Gravity and a Kai Ken (that is a Japanese breed of dog) named Noodle. I thank them for my inspiration! I also own an amazing cat named Lucas and a ball python named Newton. The fifth animal is coming in September! :) Life can be a bit chaotic with animals but I couldn't imagine life any other way. I love each and every one and I am grateful to have them in my life.
That's easy! I would say a dog. Although people assume all dogs are tail wagging and ready to meet and greet anybody, people forgot that some would rather be left to their own devices and watch from afar. I am that dog. Dogs are good. Dogs are cute! Most importantly, dogs don't judge like people do.
Hachiko, a Japanese dog, was well known for his loyalty waiting every day at the train station for him to come home. After his master died, he continued every day for nine years to wait at the station until he too passed on to hopefully meet up with his master once again.
Discover more of Naomi's work online at:
If you're in Los Angeles, be sure to check out Gallery Nucleus! They usually have my plush toys in stock.