By Nealie E. Sanchez | editor@texasdogmagazine.com

AmyAmy Harper is a 48-year-old artist living in the Texas Hill Country. While she has always been an artist, she wasn’t a dog-lover until she rescued her first dogs Ginger the brindle Border Collie and Chelsea the Border Collie-Lab Mix.

“I didn’t grow up with dogs and never knew what an amazing impact they could have on your life until about 9 years ago,” Harper said. “They are a huge part of my life now. Before I had them I had a friend who I thought of as a ‘crazy dog lady,’ but now I understand.”

Harper accidentally became interested in portraiture for humans, but eventually found another passion in creating detailed dog portraits. Today, Harper has been creating dog portraits for nearly 20 years.

Texas Dog Magazine caught up with Harper for a Q&A about her work:

When did you first become interested in art?

I’ve been drawing and creating since I can remember. Both of my parents were artistic, and I’m happy (and lucky) that they passed down that trait to me.

Are you classically trained or self-taught?

I am mostly self-taught when it comes to drawing, but have taken several art classes where I was able to improve my skills.

How did you get into creating dog portraits?

It started with doing people portraits back in college. I was at my part-time job one day and didn’t have anything to do at that moment. I wanted to look busy to my boss so I pulled out a photo of my baby nephew, a piece of paper and a pencil, and started sketching it. About 4 hours later, I had a pretty good drawing and surprised myself! A few years later, a friend saw that drawing and commissioned me to do one of his 2 kids and their puppy. This was my first time to draw an animal! Since then, I’ve drawn many more pets than I have humans. But that special bond — it’s priceless.

Who do you create them for?

Most of the portraits I do are commissioned as gifts by friends, or friends of friends. Many are keepsakes of dogs who have passed away.

Mocha drawingWhich dog portrait has been your favorite piece and why?

This is a tough one! I have enjoyed so many! But if I have to choose, I would say that “Mocha” the Bernese Mountain Dog is my favorite.

I met her and her parents in 2011 at a dog-friendly winery in Woodinville, Washington. This was the first time I had ever seen this breed. She was so big, and beautiful, and one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. Her parents commissioned me and sent me a really great photo of her. It’s been in my top 3 ever since.

How much do dog portraits go for?

My most popular size is an 8×10, single subject portraits will range between $275-$375 depending on detail involved. I draw from photos, and can quote a price after I see the photo.

To have your own Amy Harper dog portrait contact her via email at amyharperdesigns@gmail.com, or visit her Facebook Page, Amy’s Portraits.

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