BY ELISABETH ANDREWS
Do you think of your pet as a princess? Or perhaps a joker, crooner, or czar? These or any other personalities can be captured in artist Lindsay Hine Schroeder’s pet portraits, painted on commission in rich, colorful oils.
“The options are infinite—any time period, any person,” she says. “If you like a certain celebrity, I can paint your pet as him or her.”
Schroeder has been painting since childhood, and had her first show when she was only 17. She is also a lifelong animal lover.
Her first pet portrait was of her cat, Momo, whom she portrayed wearing a puffy dress and holding a ribbon attached to a fish that swam beside her in a fishbowl.
“I was inspired by folk art paintings from the 1700s and 1800s of children with their pets,” she says.
Other portraits soon followed, like a bulldog in a top hat and monocle, an orange Persian cat in a bat costume, and “Samlet,” (pictured left), who wears an Elizabethan collar and holds a cat skull, in imitation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the skull of Yorrick.
Schroeder describes her style as “whimsical surrealism.”
“I think of it as adding something fun to life,” she says. “Reality can be kind of boring, so I take fantastical kinds of ideas and bring them cohesively into something dreamlike and whimsical.”
Although cats and dogs have dominated her portraits thus far, she is happy to work with other members of the animal kingdom. “I’d love to do birds, or guinea pigs having a tea party, or maybe a bunny ballerina,” she says.
The portraits cost $350 for a 16-by-20 inch painting and $500 for the 18-by-24 inch size. Additional animals can be included for an extra fee. It takes Schroeder one to three months to complete a portrait. All paintings come framed and ready to hang.
Schroeder works primarily from photographs, but is happy to meet her subjects in order to get a sense of their personalities before she begins work.
The artist can be reached at [email protected].