Welcome to my animal art website!
Why I paint...
Equally interesting are some of the behaviors and traits we observe in our domestic animals, especially dogs and horses who have been selectively bred to have certain physical characteristics and to behave in ways that we value. Some Border Collies are so compelled to "herd" that they must be given that opportunity or be directed to some other job that allows them to use their skills, intelligence and energy. I've watched Newfoundlands straining to go to the water to rescue a swimmer they believe to be in distress. There are hounds who are so directed by their incredible sense of smell, that they are driven to follow a scent that is totally undetected by the human nose. Maybe even more important is the ability of these animals to live our daily lives with us. Indeed they offer a companionship that is difficult to describe to the uninitiated.
Often in my paintings, I want give the viewer a glimpse into the life of my subjects. Even the smallest or most commonplace moment can elicit an emotional response in someone who knows and loves animals. I hope you will recognize an expression or posture that brings to your mind a moment you've shared with a pet or witnessed in nature. These little nuggets are the experiences I hope to share with you.
In my artwork, I strive to show the spirit, motivation, mood and beauty of my animal subjects. I am continually impressed by the extraordinary adaptations that I see in nature: a Brown Pelican dives headfirst from on high into the ocean and comes up with a meal, totally unaffected by the immense forces of hitting the water's surface; a newborn otter pup bobs in the eelgrass because its natal fur makes it impossible for it to sink below the surface, while it waits for Mom to return from a feeding break; a Western Grebe, awkward, almost unable to move on land, is superbly designed to live its life entirely on and under the water, its movements fluid and efficient; or the Elegant Tern parents showing up here in the Monterey Bay area in the summer, with their youngsters. They are here to feed their young and teach them the skills they need to dive into the water from above to catch their own food.
All images © 2019 K. Paivinen