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Commissions

THE PETS AND PLACES WE LOVE.

Whether working with watercolor or pen and ink, I love capturing the essence of a beloved pet or a special place. Our most valuable possessions are our memories and relationships, and I love knowing that my artwork helps people celebrate both! Custom artwork makes a great gift for so many events — a new home, a birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, retirement, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day — the possibilities are endless. I offer a variety of sizes and styles and send progress photos throughout the creative process to involve the customer. I also provide a free high-resolution jpeg file of the finished artwork so that customers can purchase their own prints and merchandise! Below you'll see a summary of the process plus examples of the many unique portraits I've created. Click on the button above or message me under the "Contact Us" tab so we can discuss a project close to your heart; I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. Or if you're ready to schedule a phone call with me, just click on this calendar for available dates and times!

EVA

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 8". Eva is a sweet German-Shepherd mix who came from an animal rescue in Texas all the way to Pennsylvania for an adoption event. My nephew Brian and his wife Rachel agreed to adopt her sight unseen, and she is the most loving dog in the world. Eva claims all pillows and blankets as her own to make little beds for herself… she knows she’s loved and her home is her safe haven! I surprised them with this portrait as a wedding gift and their happy, emotional reactions were priceless! This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab.

"Receiving our dog’s portrait was the perfect gift! I would definitely recommend commissioning one for the pet lovers in your life. Valerie did a great job capturing our dog’s sweet temperament."
 ~ Rachel L.

"You nailed it. You really captured her expression. Bravo! Thank you
so much for doing that. We were both thrilled and neither of us expected it! Made sure to put it somewhere I’d see it every day and it makes me happy every time I do!"
~ Brian L.

FINN

Watercolor on Aquabord, 6" x 6". Finn is a sweet lab mix who was adopted at two years old… Katherine and her husband Peyton fell in love with his cute eyebrows, and the rest is history! Meeting new people and playing hide-and-seek are two of his favorite pastimes. This portrait was a birthday gift for Peyton, and at first Katherine chose a sweet head-on view of Finn for the painting. Then she found this photo that shows his goofy personality and had to use it. I love capturing those candid moments forever in watercolor! This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab. 

"I pursued this painting as a gift for my husband - he is best friends with our dog! I had a great experience with Valerie discussing every detail of the painting to make sure it was just right. My husband was thrilled and so surprised when he got the painting. He has it in his office to look at every day. It's even better in person than we could have imagined! I highly recommend Valerie for a portrait of your pup!"
~ Katherine W.

PAPA AND FARAH

Watercolor on Aquabord, 24" x 18". Lisa and her husband got Farah (red Golden Retriever) from a farm in eastern Colorado and a few years later decided to adopt Farah’s father (white Golden Retriever). They called him Papa, for two reasons: he was Farah’s father, but also he had reminded them of Ernest Hemingway who people also called Papa. These two were playful and nurturing; Farah and Papa took to each other on day one. They loved to romp in the meadows of Crested Butte, Colorado, so I put together a layout that shows them in their happy place! This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab.

"Valerie is an amazing artist! She puts extraordinary care into each painting. Her attention to detail, color, lighting and composition is stellar! This is my second portrait and we are so thrilled how both paintings captured the essence and expressions of our dogs. Valerie’s process of sending updates and feedback is so fun. You get to see the painting transform. She’s a delight to work with."

~ Lisa S.  


REEKO

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 10". Small but mighty... Reeko was a Yorkie with a big personality and a devilish grin!  He was also a wonderful, loving ball of fluff and very protective companion for his small size. As soon as Donna got him at a year old, it was "Reeko's world" from that day on! This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab. 

"Valerie Larson is not only my fellow high school alum and friend, but above all, an extremely talented artist. I commissioned Valerie to do a portrait of my fur nephew, Veeno, as a present for my brother’s birthday with future plans to commission a portrait of Veeno and my furbaby, Reeko, together. However, time waits for no one. Valerie did a memorial portrait of Reeko, and I am overjoyed with the finished product. His personality and his very essence is captured in each brush stroke! I highly recommend Valerie for your artistic needs. She is an artist G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)!"
~ Donna W.

CAL

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 8". Cal was an Australian shepherd-mix rescue, a fun-loving boy with doting parents. He had just passed, and Kate commissioned this portrait for his family as a sweet reminder of their happy years together. This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab.

"Valerie was great to work with. She was extremely communicative and compassionate, and made sure to update at every stage for realistic approvals of the "subject". This was commissioned as a gift for a dear friend who had lost her pup. Valerie worked with me to compile the ideal setting and representation of Cal and made suggestions along the way when I was unsure. When this was gifted to the recipient there were tears of joy at how beautiful and real the memory of Cal had been captured."
~ Kate L.  


KENZIE

Watercolor on Aquabord, 16" x 20". This sweet brown-eyed girl was rescued
as a puppy from under a trailer of a backyard hunting dog breeder. She's a talkative and loyal Walker hound mix, saving her family from the dangers of delivery trucks and people daily! This painting is available for prints and
merchandise under the "Animals" tab.

"We were so pleased to be able to commission a custom pet portrait of Kenzie. Valerie was very helpful and patient when assisting us in choosing a photo (or combination) that would yield the desired result. Her questions helped me clarify what we wanted and pictures of each stage were so beneficial to help me confidently proceed and choose details like her collar/tag and the background. The pictures helped and were well taken, yet they didn't show the beauty of the actual portrait! Valerie even asked for a picture of our walls to guide her in choosing the preferred blue to include in the shaded background. It looks so great in our front hallway and I smile each time I see it."    
~ Kathleen S.


ARCHIE

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 10". An anniversary gift for the customer's husband. This happy Corgi cannot take a bad photo... in every single reference photo Kayla shared with me he's wearing a big, beautiful smile! Despite the Texas heat, Archie loves to go hiking with his family. This lake, surrounded by beautiful cacti and succulents, is a favorite spot, so it was important to
include it in the portrait. This painting is available for prints and
merchandise under the "Animals" tab. 

"Mrs. Larson is ALWAYS a joy to talk to! She was extremely understanding of what I wanted done and managed to do even better than I imagined! I really appreciated the progress photos, she captured the famous Corgi smile perfectly. I will definitely be reaching out to her for future pet portraits!"
~ Kayla S.


MADISON

Watercolor on Aquabord, 5" x 7". This sweet girl recently passed and is the
bestieof Will, the beagle directly below her on this page. Deby loved the painting of Will that she commissioned as a gift so she decided to have me paint her own dogs, past and present! I enjoyed painting Madison's soulful eyes and her bright-blue, "noodly" chenille scarf, a special gift from Deby's mom that needed to be included. It complements Madison's orange coat beautifully! This painting is available for prints and
merchandise under the "Animals" tab.

"Valerie Larson is such a beautiful gift. I originally commissioned her to make a painting for my friend who lost her beagle, Will, last year. Val did such a wonderful job on the piece that I asked her to make a painting of my beloved Madison, who I also lost shortly before Will went to the Rainbow Bridge. She would do a small portion of the picture and check in with me to see if she was headed in the right direction. I could make any changes as she was going along. Just such a pleasant experience working with Val. So much so that I am having her paint my previous two dogs as well. Her artwork is so lifelike it is uncanny. Such detail is taken in every aspect of the process.
I can’t wait to work with her again soon!!"    
~ Deby B.

WILL

Watercolor on Aquabord, 5" x 7". A gift for the customer's dear friend who had recently lost her beloved beagle. Will lit up the room with his smiles and was a neighborhood favorite, loved by all he met; he was a snappy dresser, too! This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab. 

"I commissioned Valerie to make a special piece of art for my bestie, Mona, of her beloved beagle, Will. What a delight it was to work with Valerie. She captured Will so PAWfectly. Valerie would send me an email as each phase was completed. I would approve or ask to tweak something as the progress of the painting went along. Always giving great suggestions as to how to make this a PAWsome gift for my friend, Mona, and her husband, Marty. To say they were delighted is an understatement. Mona and Marty told me it was the BEST PRESENT they have ever received. Thank you, Val, for making ME look good.  Can’t wait for you to do MY FURbabies next. Five stars and MORE!! If you want a Beautiful PAWtrait of your FUR baby…
Valerie is the ONE to call!!"
~ Deby B.


"This was a complete surprise as Deby and I both lost our babies,
Madison and Will; both of us were heartbroken. As a surprise for me and my husband, Deby commissioned Valerie, who created a masterpiece of my sweet Will and truly captured our boy!"
~ Mona P.

VIRGINIA ELEGANCE

Watercolor on Aquabord, 10" x 7". A Christmas gift for the customer's son and his family. We waited for some landscaping to be fixed so that I could see the sunroom on the right and get the photos I needed... sometimes it takes time and patience to get the best view possible!

"We recently tasked Valerie with doing a custom portrait of our son’s home as a present.  She subsequently asked for several photos of it from which to work.  The experience exceeded our expectations and she repeatedly contacted us as the painting progressed for feedback to ensure she was producing exactly what we desired, down to the tiniest details. She did this despite the fact that we had total confidence in her ability to produce a painting which reflected their new home. We were not disappointed, and they love the painting as much as we do. It totally reflects all aspects of the home we wanted captured.  Thank you, Val!"    

~ Gary & Missy O.

DUNCAN

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 8". A gift for the customer's dear friend who had lost her beloved dog and had just gotten Duncan, a sweet yorkie-poo puppy who lights up her life. This little guy is a bundle of energy, so it was difficult to find a photo where he was sitting still... I was afraid I'd end up with a very impressionistic, blurry painting! This painting is available for prints and
merchandise under the "Animals" tab. 

"Valerie was absolutely awesome throughout the process of painting Duncan. She sent us progress pictures for approval along the way and she captured Duncan's essence totally. Highly recommend Valerie for animal portraits.
They make great gifts! Our portrait turned out excellent.
Prices are also very reasonable."

~ Gabi Q.


Mike and Luke

Watercolor on Aquabord, 11" x 14". A Christmas gift for the customer's husband. Mike (lying down) passed a few years ago, and she wanted a portrait that would illustrate how inseparable Mike and Luke were. Mike was the leader, so I came up with a layout from several different photos that would convey his quiet, strong presence. Two sweet, gentle giants with a beautiful bond! This painting is available for prints and merchandise under the "Animals" tab.

"Working with Valerie was a pleasure from start to finish. I loved being
part of the entire process and seeing the painting come to life in stages.
Not only is Valerie an incredibly talented, gifted artist, she is a wonderful person. Every time I look at 'Mike and Luke' I see our sweet boys and am reminded of a wonderful experience."

~ Shelly R.

LUNa

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 8". This sweet, shy girl is a rescue and is learning to love and trust again... her eyes say it all. The portrait was a Christmas gift for the customer's husband, and he was over the moon about it! They believe Luna is a corgi/Shepherd mix, hence the large ears. They always call her
"bat dog" when they see the shadow of her ears, so I thought the shadow would be a fun detail to include in the portrait!

"Working with Valerie has been such a pleasure. She is "spot on" with
her instincts when it comes to capturing my dog's looks and personality. Valerie has amazing talent and awesome customer service skills. She was very responsive when I made suggestions and recommendations. Her progress photos were a great way for me to see how the picture was evolving. It was very exciting for me to receive a message saying there was another photo
to view. I enjoyed the anticipation and the end product proved to be just
what I wanted. She is a credit to her craft! I will happily recommend her
to my friends and family. "
~ Karen T.

OLIVE

Watercolor on Aquabord, 8" x 8". A Christmas gift for the customer's niece and
husband. Except for her gold tag and brown eyes, it's a study in black and white and all of the nuances to be found in between. The photo chosen for
the portrait captures her personality to a tee!

"Valerie, I had so much fun learning about the process involved in the pet portrait of Olive! The painting was a very special Christmas/housewarming gift for my niece and her husband. Olive is their pride and joy. From start to finish, the whole project was fascinating and fun. I really appreciated the time you took to know Olive's personality at the start of the project. The most careful attention to every detail down to her tiniest little whisker came out perfectly.     My niece and her husband love it and they are now part of your growing number of fans! You brought them so much happiness. They are both so impressed with your work, Valerie. The painting is so full of love, artistic detail and incredible talent! I also love that your business supports charities that help pets find loving homes. I'm a fan of the arts and I enjoy supporting local small businesses. Thanks so much! I'm already looking forward to the next
pet portrait of Olive's BFF, Edgar."
~ Lora O.

"We recently received a watercolor painting of our dog as a gift and it’s stunning! It’s incredible how much it looks like our pup, it couldn’t be any other dog! Valerie did a phenomenal job learning each aspect of our dog
and we’ll cherish this painting forever!"
~ Lexie B.

Paco and bella

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord, 8" x 8". These adorable chihuahuas
are father and daughter and inseparable in life. Personal details include their colorful collars and favorite treats on the blanket! This commission was a Christmas gift for the customer's husband, and the leather sofa in the painting makes a stylish backdrop for hanging in his office! 

"I so much enjoyed working with Valerie as she created the perfect painting of our Paco and Bella. She kept in touch and provided progress photos along the way, asking for feedback, and this was a fun way to be involved in the process. I highly recommend Valerie to anyone wanting a painting of their pet."
~ Sherry S.


MICHIGAN LAKEHOUSE


Watercolor on Aquabord, 11" x 14". A birthday commission for the customer's husband, this cozy Michigan lakehouse has been in her husband's family for generations and holds many special vacation memories. The home is captured at dusk, reminding the owners of the many wonderful dinners they've enjoyed on the deck over the years with family and friends!


"Working with Valerie on this special project was terrific. This was a birthday surprise for my husband so it required top-secret communications and stealth! Valerie’s attention to detail, desire to capture my vision and tremendous artistic skill have resulted in a cherished keepsake for my family. Valerie can be trusted with the images that mean the most to you."
~ Chris B.


Teddy

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord, 8" x 10". Teddy had just passed away, and the
portrait was a happy reminder for the customer and her family of all the love and smiles they shared with him. I combined four different photographs to create a scene showing Teddy's idyllic life, riding in a car on a snowy day and feeling the snowflakes on his nose. 

"It was such a great experience from start to finish. Valerie helped me figure out my vision for Teddy's memorial portrait and kept me informed and a part of the decision process the entire time. A few progress photos, texts, emails, laughs, and tears later, she produced this wonderful lifelike portrait of my sweet boy. She captured his soulful eyes and beautiful smile in his dream situation, a car ride in the snow. If you are looking for a great artist to work with to make your vision a reality, look no further. Thank you, Valerie!"
~ Michelle J.


VEENO

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord, 8" x 10". Veeno has a golden coat and a
heart to match... that eager smile says it all! This was a special birthday commission for the customer's brother, and he was totally
surprised and thrilled!

"What can I say except that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pet portrait of my fur nephew Veeno that I commissioned as a present for my brother's birthday.
Val captured Veeno to a "tee", his personality displayed on canvas! Everyone that sees the portrait raves about the portrait and requests information about the artist. The commissioning process with Valerie Larson Art & Design is very smooth. Valerie is very communicative throughout the entire process.
Viewing the process photos increased my anticipation of the final product.
The look on my brother's face when he opened his present was EPIC!
Valerie Larson Art & Design is the BEST!"
~ Donna W.

MR. RHETT

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord, 8" x 8". Sweet, lovable Mr. Rhett had just passed and the customer wanted to honor her friend's dog in a lasting way; he was a joy to the customer and her kids, too. Mr. Rhett adored playing with his pink spikey ball and had a snazzy polka-dot collar, so it was important to include these personal details in the portrait!

"Valerie did such a lovely job on the portrait of our dear friend Mr. Rhett!
It was a very emotional moment when we presented it to his family. Valerie made the process easy to understand with pictures of different options and pricing before the project started. I felt very included in every detail with the various progress photos along the way. She even took the extra time to paint a tissue paper overlay so I could visually decide between 2 different backgrounds. Overall, Valerie was amazing to work with! She put so much love and care into this artwork and finished our project in great timing! We are so very pleased with the finished product and so is the family that we gifted it to. Thank you so much, Valerie!"
~ Blakely S.



DIXIE

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord, 11" x 14". Dixie is a beloved Schnoodle
who had just passed away when I started working with her family on this commission. Michele chose this photo of Dixie because it was her favorite place in the whole world: sitting in their yard and enjoying the
ever-present breezes that would come her way.

"In June, we lost our beloved Schnoodle, Dixie. She was with us for
16-1/2 years. Losing her was devastating as any animal lover knows. I knew Valerie and watched her post on social sites and loved what I saw. I knew she would do an exceptional job, but we were blown away by the final product. Valerie worked with me throughout the process and if I questioned her color, she immediately revised it. Valerie captured our sweet Dixie’s eyes and color.
Dixie has a special spot on the wall, so we see her little self, every day.”
~ Michele M.

kNOXVILLE MEMORIES

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Our daughter lived with this generous family when she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and couldn't find a rental for a few months. She commissioned a portrait of their home for them, and I can't think of a more thoughtful thank-you gift for their love and support!

"Receiving a portrait watercolor of our current house was such a precious gift. Over the years, I have had watercolors done of our previous homes by a family member that hang in our entryway. Valerie was able to complete our most recent home and adhere to the style, color and framing to match my other portraits. A unique feature of my particular piece is that it includes updates to the front of the home that have yet to be completed! I planned for a green front door and just had a retaining wall built. I had a small sketch with the shrubs and plants that have yet to be planted, and Valerie was able to take that and include all of it beautifully! This is a testament to how much time and thoughtfulness goes into each piece Valerie creates. The detailed card showing the process of creating my artwork was fascinating! I taped it to the back of the frame, in order to share the story of the art process
making this particular artwork priceless!"     
 ~ Pamela C.

biscuit

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Biscuit the puggle is so cool that she was wearing sunglasses as she posed on the chaise... I had to remove them for the portrait! I was lucky enough to meet Biscuit right before she passed away. When I started talking to Kim about her portrait I said we could wait if it was too hard for her, but she said it was actually comforting to talk on the phone with me about everything she loves and misses about Biscuit.

"Working with Valerie at a very sensitive time was a delight! I looked forward
to seeing the artwork each day! Valerie did not disappoint! I knew before Biscuit passed away that I would have this artwork completed and the whole process was very cathartic for me. I feel at peace when I look at it! Thank you, Valerie!  I love it! I feel like I should be able to pet her and get some kisses! I have enjoyed “working” on this with you. I put that in quotes because I didn’t do much but give you praise. I feel like Biscuit is here beside me! All the personal touches are wonderful. I love the note and everything down to making the bow on the paper! I’ve missed looking for a late-night email! ”
~ Kim D.


JACK

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Jack is a lovable labradoodle who
can't hold his licker! This portrait was a graduation gift for the customer’s fiancé. At first she didn’t want to show Jack’s tongue hanging out, but it became apparent that it’s a typical look for him and painting him
any other way just wouldn’t be natural!

"I cannot say enough great things about this experience. The ease of
the process greatly exceeded my expectations. Valerie is so passionate
about making sure that her work reflects your vision and subject perfectly. Receiving process pictures was such a wonderful surprise each time
and created such great anticipation for the final product. "     
 ~ Maeci U.



SIRO

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. My friend told me Siro doesn't sit well
for portraits, but he stole my heart with his soulful eyes in this snapshot.
Even though there's some distortion in this view, she picked it for its fun, quirky perspective; she knew it would be her husband's favorite. He loved his birthday gift and is hanging the portrait in his office so he'll always
have his beloved boy with him!

"I commissioned a painting of our dog Siro as a birthday gift for my husband.  We were both blown away by the amazing capture of his face. The attention to detail and of light and shadow really brought our Siro to life. Working with Valerie was a fun and enjoyable process. In fact, we plan to commission another. Valerie is an incredible artist!”
~ Lisa S.


ZEUS

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. This sweet little guy is a rescue, and the owner contacted me about doing a portrait because she could never find renderings that look exactly like him. Zeus loves hanging out in the back yard, and he definitely has a regal air about him as he surveys his domain!

"Working with Valerie to create a portrait of Zeus was a pleasure from start to finish. She was thorough in getting all the details before she started, and her attention to all the nuances of Zeus' character -- which she captured beautifully -- showed her care for her subjects and dedication to her art.  I loved the experience of seeing the progress, and I appreciated all the touches -- such as the cute design on the craft paper wrapping and the card that accompanied the final artwork that showed the stages of the portrait as it evolved. Valerie gave us a wonderful gift to cherish."     
 ~ Pearson B.

BANDON

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Bandon’s happy place is basking in the sun on the stone patio outside his owner's home office. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture the silky sheen of his black fur in the bright sunlight, especially on his smiley face. The white vinca flowers weren’t blooming in the reference photo, so the customer asked if we could add some in. Sure - I love artistic license! She had been wanting a portrait done of her beloved cocker spaniel for a long time but didn’t know if it was affordable. I showed her
that it was because I offer a variety of sizes and styles to work with
all types of budgets!

"Valerie takes her work seriously and checks in with her clients throughout
the process to ensure they are happy with the progress. Her communication is outstanding. The painting of my dog came out beautiful!”
~ Jane C.

DAISY

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. The customer had this portrait created as a special birthday surprise for a dear family member. Daisy is her owner's beloved sidekick and accompanies her everywhere; this is a typical look and pose as she sits perched on her owner's lap!

"It was a pleasure working with Val. Her communication was wonderful
and the progress photos were so helpful. She really captures your pet; she does a beautiful job. I am very happy and excited with the outcome — it met my expectations. I loved working on this project with her and being able to give my input with the progress photos; I felt like I was painting it, too. She is very easy to work with. She works with you on colors. She is in constant communication with you to see how she is doing and wants your input. She is very talented and gives your project devotion and love. I was so excited for my cousin's mother to receive her gift. Val’s artwork is very reasonably priced. Thank you so much, Val, I am so happy to see the finished project, but
I was also sad it was coming to an end."
~ Suzy R.

CARLY CARMEL

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. A commission for a special high-school friend. Carly is two years old now, but this photo of her as a puppy is a favorite. I love the caramel-colored drippings on her fur from head to toe. Carly's sweet, loving eyes match her personality, and I can't wait to paint her
again in her "teen-age" years!

“Exceeded expectations! I have admired Valerie's work from afar for many years. I had no idea how to commission a piece. I wasn't sure I could afford it.  Finally, I just broke down and asked! Valerie was happy to answer all of my many questions with patience and professionalism. She offered many options based on my feedback. The project was a combination of my vision and her years of experience and talent. She involved me in the process every step of the way. Carly Carmel is a very special pet. The depiction of her is spot on. I have enjoyed the process so much that I am considering commissioning a series throughout her life! I recommend making this as a gift to yourself or to anyone you love. The process is exciting and fun. The result is
personal 
and will be treasured for a lifetime! ”

~ Eileen S.

HENRY

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Oh Henry! You are sweeter than any
candy bar and oh-so dapper in your striped tie!  A dear high-school friend  commissioned this painting as a Christmas gift for her brother and his wife. They recently had a baby and she was concerned that Henry is feeling second-best these days. What better way to confirm his status in the family than with a special portrait? Something tells me Henry is feeling very loved… he even has his own Instagram account!

"This artwork was a commissioned gift that was an exceptional likeness
to our dog. He was beautifully portrayed, and the painting has taken a very prominent place in our home. We would not hesitate to commission additional art from Valerie in the future."

~ Demetrios O.

MARTY

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Love those eyes… those light-green, piercing, mood-ring eyes! Marty loves lounging on the sunny window sill with his owner’s favorite books. I had the pleasure of doing this commission for a close friend of our son’s as a Christmas gift for her fiancé... I love surprises!

“I have known Ms. Val for a long time, and during that time she has proved to be a wonderful mom, an absolute joy of a person, and an extraordinarily gifted artist. Marty has an undeniably distinct personality that shines through his sweet face and bright eyes. Val captured him perfectly. And I mean *perfectly.* (Dare I say... purr-fectly?!) She listened to every comment and inquired about my preferences at every stage of the process. And thanks to her diligence, the piece was a huge hit. My partner absolutely loved it—so much so that he teared up upon opening it Christmas morning. A huge thank you to the inimitable Ms. Val for making it possible. There's no one I'd rather entrust with capturing our dearly beloved Marty.”

~ Hayley L.

FIONA

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Portrait of a sweet puppy
who only knew life chained in a yard. She found her forever family, and
I love her spunk an
d zest for life... her smile says it all!

" We like to walk her in the woods behind our house, so I asked Valerie to paint Fiona in her favorite spot, on the top of a log surveying her new domain, being happy and free.  Valerie did a wonderful job - she went out of her way to ask about Fiona beforehand and what we wanted to show in the painting.  She had me send her many photos and created a painting that combined some of the best ones to give a true sense of Fiona's personality.  She sent me progress reports along the way and asked my preferences for little details that I wouldn't have thought of myself, such as setting, background colors, exactly how/where Fiona has patches of white, positioning, etc.  Thanks again to Valerie for creating a piece of artwork we will treasure forever! "

~ Shana G.


monty

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Portrait of my niece's spunky,
energetic Yorkshire terrier. I loved trying to capture his expression and studying his coat of many colors. If you've ever been around Yorkies
you know how lively and loving they can be!

“I asked Valerie to paint a portrait of our Yorkie, Monty, as a Christmas surprise for my husband. She worked off of a favorite photo we have of Monty that I provided. We are thrilled with the final product! She captured Monty’s sweet expression perfectly and I love how detailed the many textures and colors of his fur are. Valerie worked with me every step of the way, providing several progress photos and getting my feedback to ensure I loved the painting as it was created. It was fun to be a part of the creative process and we know the portrait will hold a special place in our home for years to come!”

~ Meredith V.

 

Nilla

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Portrait of a sweet rescue dog
from Puerto Rico, named for her Nilla Wafer markings! I love her soulful eyes, and I'm so glad she found her happy home. She had a rough life in Puerto Rico, and the owner wanted all of her personality reflected in the painting, including the nick in her left ear. It’s those little details that make our
beloved pets perfect in our eyes!

"It has everything I envisioned and more — captured her true eyes in the optimal light not reflected in the photo, captured one of her "Nilla" markings and perfectly reflected her ear and her personality — all with detail I never knew could exist in watercolor. When I look at her portrait, it's my favorite image ever captured of her (and I'm fairly certain I have over 1,000). I appreciate your guiding me through this so you were picking up on details that I'd like. You captured all of them and more. Thanks a million!"

~ Travis E.

happy home

Watercolor on canvas. Portrait of a couple's lovely
Florida home, protected by a beautiful old tree that I'd love to hug!

“I love all of the time Valerie took to truly hear what I felt about my home. Through her creative eye she shared her thoughts regarding best time of day photos and views of the home. Your gift, Valerie, of seeing the world and all of the beauty is shared with your customers. I also love that you show the customer the work in progress. Your work brings me so much happiness!
You brought our home to life. Thank you.”

~ Megan M.

"I do believe a home has a soul and it looks like she captured it."

~ Jen B.

 

Buddy and Abbott

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Pet portrait to honor a dear friend's
sweet dogs, past and present. I loved trying to capture their 
gentle souls in my artwork. 

“I absolutely adore the book you sent me with the illustrations of your pup, and the beautiful watercolor portrait you did of our pups! Your watercolors have a beautiful ethereal quality to them, and they are comforting."
~ Jen and Ramin F.



college memories


Gouache on canvas. A memorable campus location for a couple
who  attended the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
A surprise Christmas gift from a husband to his wife.


happy days

Watercolor on paper. Portrait of my in-laws' charming home in
Vienna, Virginia. This view brings back wonderful memories of family visits, grandchildren playing in the front yard, and watching
the next generation grow up.

Home, Sweet
San Francisco Home

Pen and ink on paper. Drawing of a couple's beautiful home
nestled in the hills of Mill Valley, given as a Christmas gift
by a wife to her husband.



Levi

Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. Levi is a good-looking cat with class... 
he likes to lounge in front of the family's priceless Bill Blass
fashion sketches! A surprise birthday gift from a husband to his wife.

  "This is my Levi, the best, most loving cat we’ve ever had. I sought out
a black cat to rescue as they are often overlooked. He is amazing
and Valerie has captured his beauty! Thank you, Valerie, for
giving us a gift that will last forever!"
~ Louise T.




Lacey on the Lake

Watercolor on Aquabord. A beloved dog chillin' at her family's
lake house in Wisconsin. A special retreat for a large extended family,
it's a reminder of happy times spanning three generations.

    

Modern Maryland Home

Pen and ink on paper. Portrait of a beautiful modern home
in Potomac, Maryland, commissioned by the owners. The lush
greenery creates a wonderful dappled-light effect on the mid-century architecture. I enjoy the challenge of creating depth with
different densities and types of pen strokes.

      

         

CATHY'S BOYS


Watercolor pencils on Aquabord. I was working from about 15
reference photos since the cats were not in any photos together, and I had to place them realistically in the owner’s sunroom where they like to hang out. I got to meet two of the cats (one was too shy)... Buster, Buddy, and Blacky
will always have a special place in my heart!

         

EARVIN


Pen and ink with watercolor overlay on paper. Portrait of a
family's cat, named after Earvin "Magic" Johnson (the cat was a gift for
a 32nd birthday, and Magic's jersey number was 32). I enjoyed
creating the patterns on the sofa; the busy background was a
nice contrast to Earvin's solid fur coat.

                          

         

FAMILY memories


Watercolor on paper. A portrait for my in-laws of one of the first
homes they lived in after moving from California to Virginia in the 1970s.
This is where their kids spent their formative years... lots of good
memories wrapped up in this home.


Spike


Oil pastel on canvas board. Our own beloved bichon-poodle mix
who is still going strong at 16 years old. I'm not sure what we'd do without his young attitude and unconditional love!


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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!

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