Welcome. I'm an artist and an animal-lover. Through my work I strive to capture the personality of our pets and the love we share with them, as well as the character and nobility of the wildlife with which we share this planet.
Using photos as reference, I create beautiful, original works of art: Commissioned portraits and slice-of-life scenes - colorful impressionist paintings, and elegant charcoal and graphite drawings.
The Pet Impressionist
I’m a creative person. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been creating ideas, pictures, stories, places and experiences—all with the hope of making people smile, laugh, cheer, or even shed a tear.
I received a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree from Drake University, where I discovered the field of “Advertising". I went on to spend 34 years in the marketing agency business in Chicago, and ultimately became a senior executive and the leader of a national agency creative department. My clients included a great many world reknowned brands.
I also graduated from Chicago's Second City Players’ Workshop, writing and performing improv comedy. I did a couple of improv revues in Chicago, and later studied with The Theater of Western Springs.
In search of a 2nd career, I shifted my creative energy to house-flipping. The only house I did was like "flipping a brontosaurus". I purchased and directed the re-design and re-construction of a 150 year-old farm house in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale. When I finished, I had a gorgeous 4BR, 2+ Bath home with all the modern designer finishes and amenities, and the charming vintage look of the original home and its mature landscaping. I sold it 18 months after purchase, and earned a wealth of education and some great stories.
I eventually decided to pursue becoming a real "artist". I had a true talent for drawing along with a love for impressionist painting, and I felt that if I didn't at least try, I would regret it forever. I initially chose to focus on pets because I thought the popular subject would help me attract an audience more quickly - which it has - but I've also discovered the magical effect pets have on us as people and a society. Our pets not only provide that unconditional love we need, but they also can reveal to others that we can be caring, loving and vulnerable human beings - not to be feared.
Now as an artist, who's still learning and hopefully always will be, I watch my artistic gifts bring smiles and tears of joy to those who love animals and their pets, just as I have.
It's a wonderful feeling.
RIP Skithers 2008 - 2017
I love you and miss you.