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10 SoCal Pet Artists


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Art Spotting

Artists who capture the essence of dogs, cats and other pets confirm that our cherished animals inspire creativity on all levels, from paintings and photography to fashions and jewelry—even wood burning art! In Southern California, you’ll find an impressive array of artists interpreting canines, felines, and other pets with a masterful touch. Let’s have a look at ten.


Every year since 2012, these award-winning pet photographers have been named Best Pet Photographer on the Orange County Hot List. Their motto was inspired by their family’s shepherd Chihuahua mix rescue, Roxy—“Where unconditional love becomes art.” Transitioning from a traditional family to a dog-centric studio 9 years ago, photographers Sylvaine and David Capron explain that because they create a relaxed, carefree environment for shooting, “we are able to capture a dog’s personality as easily as that of a child.” dogmapetportraits.com


Karen and Tony Barone, two artists with a longtime crush on canines and cats, are recognized for their colorful indoor and outdoor “larger than life” metallic sculptures. These vibrant sculptures dot the Coachella Valley landscape, from a noble bulldog named Sherbert to their “R. Hero” sculptures honoring firefighters and first responders. This creative couple has raised awareness for public and commissioned art, with their pieces exhibited and collected around the world. You’ll find one of their proud dogs welcoming visitors to the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage and another, a Dalmatian, near a historical fire station in Palm Desert. baroneart.com


Kool-Kat images tweak the imagination, “depicting the life and adventures of a very Kool Kat” who surfs, rides a motorcycle, and leads a mariachi band, among many other escapades. Artist Don Roth spent a career in the aircraft industry and is now flying high with his artistry. Often taking several months to complete, his detailed, nostalgic paintings require “painstaking execution and extremely precise technique” that makes these acrylic paintings resemble actual photographs. Feline fans have a trio of options: a customized print on stretched canvas, a commissioned pet portrait, or a complete original composition. Just browsing the Kool-Kat Kollection is a visual travel adventure! Limited edition prints are also available direct from the artist’s web site, www.kool-kats.com.


Sasha Middleton’s animal portraits, known as her “Furry Friends” collection, reveal the uniqueness of each pet she photographs. “I love animals, and I would have a house full of pets if I could,” says Middleton. Between volunteering as a shelter photographer and fostering cats and dogs in her home, she works toward one overriding goal: “For at least one photo to capture someone’s attention and inspire them to adopt.” Her portraits reveal each subject’s distinctive pet persona, from a serious schnauzer to a princess kitten to a charming Chihuahua ballerina. sashamiddleton.com


This unconventional line of jewelry designed by Gina Murphy captures the memory of your pet (or any loved one) in a most innovative style. The artist describes her Close by me jewelry as “subtle cremation jewelry offering a unique remembrance.” Each custom piece uses a patented process to turn a tiny bit of cremated remains—ashes—into a glasslike stone. From there, Murphy fashions delicate necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, and men’s jewelry set in sterling silver and 14K gold to create an elegant keepsake. Unlike traditional cremation jewelry, close by me jewelry “allows for the ashes and jewelry to become one beautiful piece anyone would love to wear.” closebymejewelry.com


The irresistible designs from the palette of Debbie Carman reflect “characters and art with heart, because everybody smiles in the same language.” Her lighthearted gifts for pet lovers range from tote bags to teapots to ceramics. Well known for her whimsical and wacky custom dog and cat paintings, the Laguna Beach-based artist and author reveals a cascade of color in all she creates. This is illustrated, too, in her book covers, from Bowzers and Meowzers to Chewdalootie, Doing my Duty. Debbie Carman has put Laguna Beach in the “pet spotlight” and smiles on the faces of pet parents. fauxpaw.com


At Greyboy Pet Prints, photographer and artist Mandi Pratt offers two ways to capture a moment in time with your fur baby. She’ll come to your SoCal location to shoot colorful portraits in your own backyard or your favorite local spot. Or she’ll meticulously etch the image of your pet using “sunshine, metal, ink, and my Grammy’s printing press,” says artist Pratt. It was her beloved cat Jake—her Greyboy—that inspired her, along with her grandmother, from whom she learned her etching techniques. She explains, “I combine my love for pets, my own story and my experience as a graphic designer and photographer to craft a handmade keepsake.” greyboypetprints.com


Wood burning isn’t often used to create portraits, but it’s the perfect medium for the pet-inspired artwork of Kim Kasner. In her Burnin Love: Wood-Burned Pet Portraits collection, cats, dogs, and birds come to life with her delicately etched portraits. She began as an oil painter but has also worked in wood and fiber arts—today, she works primarily in pyrography. The artist says it best: “These are moments of love between pets and their people, in a rustic, modern format. And let’s face it, this wood burning business is cool.” It doesn’t get any cooler than having your pet’s charm perfectly captured and masterfully burned into rich-grained, solid wood. kimkasner.com


Carrie Cramer’s jewelry designs encompass a variety of dog breeds, from Bubbles the Pomeranian to Sunshine the golden retriever, as well as cats, unicorns and lively shapes of all kinds. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Customize it! You can choose from various dog breeds to order bracelets, earrings, necklaces and dog tags—or you can provide any unique shape (or breed) to make your jewelry your own. Master jewelers craft all the pieces, which were inspired by Cramer’s bond with her dog Atticus. She says, “Dogs have that power to make everyone around them radiate, and that’s exactly what I hope my debut line of necklaces will do—make women shine.” carriecramer.com


Spoiled Dog Designs caters to spoiled dogs everywhere by designing and handcrafting dog harnesses, clothing, and carriers. Styles range from functional harnesses to the latest fashions with harnesses built right in, so you can simply attach the leash and go! Creating its designs locally, one item at a time, the company offers both regular and custom sizing for dogs who are “between sizes” or just unique. If you need something out of the ordinary, order a custom outfit made specifically for your pooch. In addition to their own designs, they offer carefully curated products from small boutique companies and trusted name brands that include toys, treats, airline carriers, strollers, pet supplies, and more. spoileddogdesigns.com


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