This is Stella. She's a long haired dachshund and lives with a neurological condition that can make her quite wobbly. Some days her hind legs do not work properly and she gets around in a wheelchair. Her person adopted her immediately when she heard about the puppy who was partially paralyzed.
Her human wanted to commission a portrait of Stella from her canine perspective. I asked Stella if she was interested.
"I don't know," she hesitated. "I'm not creative. I don't want to disappoint her."
I didn't coax her. I explained her person's interest and communicated that there was no pressure. If she didn't want to do a portrait together, I could recommend an artist that would do a lovely traditional portrait of her from a photograph. I told her that if she wasn't really excited about it, she could tell me and I'd find a way to break it to her person.
Her human and I chatted as Stella considered her decision. She's quite deliberate and thoughtful.
The portrait above is how Stella wanted her person to see her. It's not fancy or loud. It's modest and calm. It's quietly intense. Stella most loves looking up at her person, and that's what she wanted to give her human.
Art isn't about wild creativity. It's not about technique or trailblazing.
Art exists to connect us. We create art to express ourselves and perhaps move someone else.
According to her human, that is precisely what Stella did with her piece. She knew what would resonate with her person, and she knew what feelings she wanted to evoke.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.