I love portraits of people and have learned a great deal from studying their history in many cultures. Unfortunately, as a former art historian, I know too much about the potential strains that can develop between patron and artist to attempt portrait commissions of fellow humans myself.
I do, however, accept and enjoy commissions for animal portraits. Since most animals are unlikely to hold still long enough for me to paint their likenesses in watercolor or acrylic, it's best that I work from photographs of the intended model. If you live within New York City, I can come to your home to shoot my own source photos; otherwise, I prefer to have several views of the model, so that I can get a better idea of his or her structure, coloring and characteristic ways of moving
Hank in Sepia: Behind the Scenes of a Pet Portrait
This testimonial is from Fred Lanzetta, who commissioned a portrait of his delightful bulldog Armando as a surprise present. The original commission was for the front view, but I was so entranced by the rear view of the model -- what a neighbor described as his "Louis XIV derriere" -- that I did that as well.
— Annie Shaver-Crandell
Testimonial from Fred Lanzetta:
I have no words to express my gratitude for my family's Armando portraits. This is no small feat coming from a writer.
You have captured his true essence and personality. In water colors no less! Quite mind boggling.
Now my family can treasure our dear member for generations. Hope to work with you again soon. It was a pleasure.