This painting I did on request – that is, by commission. Like many of my commissions, “Asha” depicts a cherished pet. I have also on commission painted individuals (from newborns to seasoned adults) and even particular landscapes. An advantage of imaginative realism is that I can combine reality with an imagined (even fantastical) costume, setting, or other desired circumstance.
Asha’s owners wanted her displayed in a uniform; they had seen a photoshopped image showing a Hollywood star that way. Asha, a rescue dog (described by her owners as “97% Australian Blue Heeler and 3% crazy”), is loving, spontaneous, occasionally rambunctious. For the outfit, I worked from a picture of a military uniform dating back to Russia long before the Bolshevik Revolution. The military uniform provided an abundance of vivid colors in an arrangement as elaborate as Asha’s ears are different and whimsical.
Another advantage of using imaginative realism in commissioned work: conceptualizing the combination of real and imagined part of the creative process, and I can share that process with the person who has commissioned the artwork.