Anne Armitage - Bachelor of Fine Arts
Painting commissions is a responsibility I do not take lightly . I am an animal lover, as most animal artists are. We develop a special bond with our pets and therefore understand the bond between our clients and their companions.
I have painted many commissions over the years as you will see when you view some samples in my galleries. What I believe sets me apart is my approach to the project. I not only create a painting of the animal, I create a painting that represents the pet as seen through the owner's eyes.
I can have a series of photos and the photo that might best depict the pet may not in fact represent the owner's
' image ' of the pet. It is no different than seeing a photo of yourself and thinking it doesn't look like you.
When possible I do like to visit with the pet, not just to take my own photos and check colours with my colour swatches, but to spend time with the animal to get an idea of the personality. More importantly I like to see the interaction between owner and pet. If this is not possible, I go through the photos with the client to find which one they feel best depicts their pet and their pets personality.
An animal will usually take me a minimum of 40 hours as I start with the undercoat and build the hair stroke by stroke. You can understand with this time commitment how crucial it is that the end result is the painting you have envisioned of your best furry friend.
In 1974 I graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with a degree in fine arts. During summer breaks I taught art for the recreation department in Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada.
After graduating I participated in several group shows at various art galleries in Halifax.
A move to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1979 took me on a different course and I worked in the jewellery industry becoming a Graduate Jeweller of the Canadian Jewellers Association and a Diamond Graduate accredited by the Gemological Institute of America. I was still painting in my spare time and put my drawing skills to good use designing jewellery.
In 2003 I decided to commit myself to art full time and started my company Picture Perfect Pets. I concentrate on pet commissions but occasionally am asked to do a ' human ' portrait. I also have a selection of bird and wolf prints which have been sold throughout the Ottawa Valley and Canada in galleries and gift shops.
My dog related volunteer work was to foster and help train a German Shepherd for wheel chair assistance with Canine’s With a Cause which has since become part of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB) here in Ottawa. I then became a foster mom for a guide dog puppy for CGDB.
In 2007 I was published by North Light Books in a reference book " Cats & Dogs " featuring step by step painting demonstrations.
In 2011 I had the privilege to illustrate two children's books for author Patricia Morris: " Misha's and Nikki's Adventures: Our First Year Together " and " Misha's and Nikki's Adventures: Here We Go Again ".
I began teaching art to adults in 2008 through the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Continuing Education Department and taught at Algonquin College for their Summer Academy of the Arts in 2010.
I now divide my time between teaching and doing commissions.