Why do I paint and draw?
“Ask the artist” time – a chance to get your questions answered
This is a question that gets asked in many different versions.
- Why do you paint and draw?
- How did you become an artist?
- What drives you to create art?
- Why do you specialize in animals?
They all boil down to the same thing though, what is the big WHY? The answer is pretty easy and complex at the same time. Animals make my world go round. I grew up around animals at home in Germany. Cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, cockatiel, budgies, sheep, pigs, hens and even a pony called Pedro. If you could own it, we probably had it, at some stage or the other. Growing up in the countryside made it possible. I started taking lessons in a riding school when I was 12 and was hooked from the very first moment.
I know, lots of people own pets and don’t become artists. But to me, it was never about owning the pets. It was a friendship with them. I wanted to understand them, look after them, help them and be with them. And this has never changed. This need for a deep connection with my furry friends.
Being an artist
But when you surround your life with pets and animals in general, the unavoidable happens too. You lose them. Sickness, accidents, old age, it takes on many forms but it always happens eventually. And I found this hard. I still do and I don’t think it will ever change. But I have to say, being an artist and painting pet portraits has given me a form of peace. Feel free to pop over to the portrait painting of Junior, my Labrador. He was painted for this very reason. And not only can I use my art to get this feeling for myself, but I can help others find it for themselves too. A painting or drawing will always capture something that a photo cant.
A photo is just that, a photo. But a piece of art has so much more. The focus is solely on the pet or animal. You don’t have the cluttered background (even if it is another pet photobombing lol) and you can even bring the focus to the part of the pet you want to highlight most. Those clear brown eyes? The fluffy fur? Or those alert ears? All of it? Would you rather your pet’s portrait to match the decor of your living room? No problem! The background color can be color coordinated. The choice is endless and all yours. Getting a pet portrait painted gives you all the choices. And I love being an artist because I can deliver a portrait you will love and be proud to display. THIS is my why. The need to make pet owner happy, to fill a void, to serve a purpose.
A pet portrait artist in County Cork
How I can help
“Featured Pet” blog post
A memorial portrait of a girl called Boo
In 2008 I had the pleasure to draw this girl the first time around. I had only started my artistic journey at the time. Her owner had won an online auction for a portrait drawing, with the money going to a well deserving animal rescue in Cashel. Boo belongs to Aisling and was adopted by her from a rescue. The 2 were a match made in heaven and I was always looking forward to hearing and reading about their adventures together. Boo had a fabulous life, not wanting for nothing. She shared her owner with a Sheepdog girl called Amber. Amber is another one of my models and you will find her portrait by clicking HERE
In August 2013 this gorgeous girl passed away and her owner was deeply saddened by her loss.
Tracey Barlow, who owns Petography, is a mutual friend. She asked me to draw Boo again, a memorial portrait as a gift it to her owner, with the wish to ease her pain a little.
This was the message I received from Aisling, the owner of Boo
Kathrin, Boo’s portrait arrived from Tracey last week. I could trace every familiar line of her beautiful face and re-imagine her soft velvety ears and what it was like to kiss her nose. It brought her to life for me in a way that the original photo never could. I will treasure it always. You’re a wonderful artist. xxx
Reading her message still brings tears to my eyes. The gift to touch people keeps giving me so much joy in return.
“Featured pet” – blog post
A kitty cat drawing of a girl called Puss
Come and meet Puss. Isn’t she just gorgeous, sunning herself on the windowsill? I think so anyway. And her owners definitely thought so too. Puss was diagnosed with Lymphoma and passed away while I worked on her drawing. I had been going through a tough time myself around that time and Puss’ portrait seemed to take forever to complete. Thankfully Leanne and her husband understood and were incredibly patient. Maybe this drawing brought healing to not only them but me as well. Who knows.
The reference photo for this cat drawing was taken with a mobile phone. But thankfully mobiles have improved so much since back in the day. There was a time when I had to refuse photos from mobiles because the image was way too small for me to see what I needed to draw or paint. Puss’ photo was lovely. I could see her character in it already and I knew I could enhance this even further with my art.
This was the response I got from Leanne
Oh Kathrin that’s just amazing! Don’t change a thing, it’s perfect. It looks more like her than the picture I sent you, I don’t know how you did it and the sun on her face is beautiful, that’s how we want to remember her. Thank you so much!
What more could an artist ask for. Puss’ portrait was sprayed with fixative (like I do with all my graphite drawings to prevent smudging) and send to a happy Leanne.
A cat drawing is always special because cats eyes are just mesmerizing. And graphite is such a great medium for fine detail work. I loved every second of it. And if you would like to get your very own cat drawing, just contact me and we can get you your very own portrait.