This holiday season I was honored to get to commemorate a whole bunch of animal lovers posed with some of their favorite companions. I can’t tell you how much I love to get to do this kind of work. Of course I couldn’t post these projects until after December 25th because they were all presents! But now I get to!

I call them “Animal Love Paintings” because they’re based on capturing a moment between a person and their pet(s) that is always steeped in warm fuzzy feel-good feelings. There’s a little humor thrown in because this is HappyArt and I don’t know how to paint without it, lol.

I thought you all might like to see how the photos folks sent me turned into their respective paintings!

Shelby and Papagallo


My Horse Trainer on her beloved Andalusian Stallion – commissioned by a mutual friend


Nicole and her Four Favorite Pals

Nicole with her wonderful equine pal and three comical pugs


Princess the Rescued Draft Horse

Her story:

This big beautiful Belgian mare was purchased at the last minute at an eastern horse slaughter auction. Here in the states when people no longer want their horse they often send them to auction. Often they don’t realize the $200 they’ve been given was the wholesale meat price for their old friend.

Such was the case with this horse. She had been a work horse for some local Amish until her arthritis became so bad she could no longer pull. A small group of compassionate horse lovers bought her and found her a retirement home with an open hearted couple. The man, a non horsey sort became enamored with this gentle soul. The sixth months she was with them were probably the loveliest of her entire life.

The wife contacted me to commemorate this relationship as a gift to him this Christmas. Just this past week they helped her cross into the next existence through humane euthanasia. Her pains had made life unbearable and they couldn’t stand by and allow her to suffer.

Unbeknownst to me this was happening the very afternoon I began this painting. My work is upbeat and joyful and always about wonderful moments but many if these are deeply and poignantly rooted in real feelings. I consider it my great honor to do what I do. And sometimes there are tears involved.

Princess nibbles some specially chosen alfalfa

The originals


Lisa and her Three Pals

Lisa and her wonderful three pets


James and his Wonderful Friend Lego

James had this funny chubby rottie for over 14 years. This past fall the time had come to say goodbye. His wife had me do this painting so James could remember some of the fun he had with his dear ol’ pal, Lego. I forgot to ask if they both enjoyed a good pint every now and again. I already know James does, haha.

James has an awesome sense of humor

The originals


Fenwick and Cookie

My friend Danielle is an animal lover. She rescued Fenwick the CoonHound and he has proven to be extremely ungrateful in his devotion to chewing up just about everything she and her family owns. Nothing is sacred. You can keep up with his bad self on his Facebook page. Cookie is a perfect angel in comparison.

The ever-naughty Fenwick


I can’t tell if he likes it or not, lol



One of my All-time Favorite Equine Rescuers and all her Best Pals

Diana is deeply involved with Horse Rescue United. She is as compassionate animal appreciator as walks the globe. She’s also an author and has an wonderful array of published works. Her brand new husband (see behind the tree) had me do this for her. What a fun piece indeed!

One of my all-time favorite equine rescuers!

The originals


A Big Hearted Vet Tech and her Three Equines

Another contact deep into equine rescue asked me to make a piece for a friend of hers. I pulled the images from her Facebook feed so don’t have them to show you here – but by now you probably get the gist of how this works. 🙂

….and another of a vet tech and her three equines.


Sabrina, Bluebelle and Blue

Another insanely compassionate animal lover; we call her Sabrina Sparklepants. A mutual friend asked me to do one for her on her behalf. She texted me the pix I needed and viola!

I lost the better photos I had of these guys….


No, No – Thank You!

I love being allowed to create a fun heirloom piece for people. It is among the highest honors an artist can aspire to in my opinion. Thanks to everyone who asked me to do a piece. I got amazing feedback all Christmas day; Facebook is a wonderful tool for instant gratification that way.

A couple instant feedbacks:

Best Christmas present ever thank you to my ladies and of course to the amazing artist!!!! —

Awesome gifts! Included amazing painting by Marti McGinnis that Phill worked with her on…of all my pets! ♥

…and there were more fantastically uplifting reviews too. I am truly humbled and so dang appreciative!!