As a professional portrait artist I continue to explore the visual language of painting and drawing so as to create portraits that may move beyond the literal image. I aim through the portraits I paint and draw to evoke in the viewer to think empathetically about the real animal that is represented in the portrait. My interest is founded on my Honours exegesis ‘Holding to Form: A painterly investigation of animals and empathetic sensation’ and the question “Can a painting of an animal engage the viewer emotionally and elicit a sensation of empathy for the real animal?”
The portraits that I have undertaken in the last thirty years have prompted me to ask many questions on the role of animal portraiture. This has extended my research interest to determine the psychological value of dog portraiture within the context of human/animal bond and specifically human/dog relationships in the 21st Century.