As I was nearing the end of painting this pet portrait I contacted my client to see what color they would like the harness on their dog to be. When she replied and asked that I make it orange I was very pleased, because orange really pops off of the aquamarine color I had chosen for the background. Then she requested that I make him with cataracts like in the photo she had given me. I had "corrected" the eyes from the photograph thinking it would better resemble him in his prime. The next words she shared were awesome to me. She said, "I never knew what his eyes looked like without the cataracts so it would feel funny."
As an artist I have a natural almost innate tendency to correct, perfect and polish. In this case, my need to perfect ran into perfection. My client's attitude towards her pet was so awesome and it resonated with me. We always love what is beneath the surface, but are enamored by what is on the surface. I would like to say that I am not surfacy or that I am genuine and real. It's nice to be reminded of what authentic love really looks like. Authentic love doesn't require perfection or polish, just connection and truth. For that reason, this will always be one of my favorite pet portraits.