I’ve always had a dog but I never considered myself a “dog person.” That is, until I met Walter. He’s 12 pounds of Chihuahua/Cairn Terrier mish mash that gives new meaning to the phrase “ugly cute.” I love him more than a person probably should love a dog. But there’s something about that tiny smirk and warm, fuzzy body that he curves into a comma against my side while I write, that makes me feel loved in a way that I’ve never experienced before or since.
Walter adopted me 4 years ago. So it wasn’t until very recently that I ever seriously considered the whole pet portrait thing. I liked the idea of it. But it also sort of freaked me out. Was I really “that girl”? Apparently, yes.
A friend posted a painting that Denise Kemp from Iridescent Moon Gallery had done of this handsome German Wire Haired Pointer and I was hooked. I commissioned two pieces, one watercolor and one acrylic. I love them both but the watercolor in particular really captures the spirit of my little man.
Maybe it’s the eyes or his quiet smile. Or the way she captured his disobedient fur, whose true nature is almost hidden by his haircut. Maybe it’s the way he’s laying down in the piece, face flat to the floor, like always. There’s something about Kemp’s eye for detail and the tenderness with which she guides her brush. I don’t know what the magic is. But I know she worked it on Walter.
The piece inspired my girlfriend so much that she commissioned one of her late and long-adored cat, Coco, and of her mother’s beloved puppies, Jackson and Pearle, who passed this year as well. The likenesses Kemp created are uncanny both in appearance and spirit.
I suppose there’s no fighting it now. I’m officially a dog person.
You can find Denise and her work at: