Our Pets In Art

By Steven Hicks and Lynne Brezina (of the Brevard Cultural Alliance)

We elevate our pets to family status, take them on vacations, buy them Puppuccinos at Starbucks (at the drive through, of course), and even maintain wardrobes for them, so when we talk about our animals as subjects of artists, this should be no surprise. The surprise is, however, the way in which these artists capture the “pet-ness” of our animals. These are not just renderings that look like our pets; they truly capture the innate lovability and personality that causes us to cherish them. SpaceCoast Living looked to the Brevard Cultural Alliance for examples of local artists who choose animals as their subjects and Art Services Manager Lynne Brezina signed on to make this article possible. The examples she’s included here are just a small sampling of what is being
done creatively.


Vanessa Bates started her career as a graphic designer and illustrator, but gravitated towards fine art as her experimentation in color drifted outside the gamut of traditional printing techniques. Early illustration lessons still influence Bates’ art as each work has a simple focus and careful use of color and light to further direct attention to the subject of the piece. Working almost exclusively in acrylic, Bates believes the canvas is where the true color mixing begins. The colors on her palette are therefore loosely folded together before being applied. The subject matter itself is often chosen for humor, expressed either as visual irony or lighthearted observation. Contact Vanessa Bates at www.StudioInBlue.com, or vb@studioinblue.com.


Tricia Eisen tells us, “As a child, I dreamed of being an artist. I would sketch my own hands sometimes, just to see how close I could get to making them look real.” During her high school years, she painted a little and fell in love with the idea of becoming an artist. But soon after graduation, she met and married her husband Chris Eisen. “I stopped painting for many years to raise our two beautiful and amazing sons, Steve and Chris, who are the light of my life. They support my art and encourage me daily.”

Her preferred medium is oils, and her subjects are many. Eisen adds, “I love all of nature, and I strive to make my subjects as real-looking as I can get them. God has blessed me in so many ways, of which I am very thankful. I only hope the people who see my work will love it as much as I have enjoyed creating it for them.” See more of Eisen’s work on her website,

Gretchen Ten Eyck Hunt

Gretchen Ten Eyck Hunt tells us, “Art is the sheer joy of creating with no intent or purpose beyond the act of creating. Good art communicates to the viewer and touches the senses. It can trigger a memory or stimulate the imagination.” She loves to explore all possibilities within a concept, and will do several works within that concept to develop an identifiable look to that series. Visit her webpage for more examples of her work at www.ten-eyck-hunt.artistswebsites.com.