Majestic, 14x24, Oil on linen, Framed: $2700, 1st Place, Portrait Society of America - Animals as the subject 2021

This recent change of subject matter comes from my deep love for animals. I admire their ability to hold no prejudices. They don’t care about race, appearance or how much money we make. Animals are unbelievably attuned to our emotions and share many of the same feelings as humans. We can learn countless things from them such as unconditional love and loyalty. I am forever grateful for a few special animals who helped me through some of my hardest times.

Majestic was created after a recent visit to the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. The lion gracefully placed himself in front of me as if to say, “Go ahead, here’s my best side, now just make me look good.” With my camera in hand, I captured him comfortably basking in the warm sun. I found it a challenge creating a painting of such a strong and courageous animal while still making him approachable. I did this by including delicate and subtle details, emphasizing his amiable character. Over the years, I spent many hours observing animals in the wild, at zoos and at home. I marvel at their various ways of communication. It’s my dream to give one of these creatures a big hug someday.