December 8, 2023

Cvb Dienste

Never Knowingly Pets

Torrington’s Karen Bowman paints portraits of beloved animals, noting ‘the eyes talk to me’

TORRINGTON — Karen Bowman is aware when a portray is finished. The subject’s eyes explain to her so.

In Bowman’s case, people subjects are beloved pets she’s commissioned to portray on canvas: pet dogs, cats, a horse and even an iguana.

“The eyes converse to me and then I know the painting is accomplished,” reported Bowman, who retired from a profession as a dental assistant various yrs in the past, to focus complete time on her when-pastime-turned-job.

“One time, I painted a pet dog that experienced eyes that adopted me all over the space. I had to toss a masking more than the panting right until I brought it to the proprietor,” she mentioned.

Bowman, a Torrington resident, reported she has been inspired by artwork considering that she was a smaller little one.

“My brother taught me how to attract cartoons when I was small and that is how it all begun,” she stated. “That’s why my paintings of animals have a sure whimsical appear to them. I like to hold them enjoyment.”

Her topics, painted in acrylic on canvas, are portrayed in smooth mild, with flowing edges, delicate coloring and usually “happy” faces that imbue her perform with a calm high-quality.

Bowman dreamed of a career in the arts expanding up, and hoped to place her abilities into vogue style. She modeled as a younger woman and observed making use of her self-taught inventive means as a signifies to segue into that planet. But that did not come about.

“I required to get formal schooling as an artist, but my father considered that you really should only acquire valuable lessons in university,” Bowman explained. “He said that ladies should really take household economics, not art classes. I did wind up going to school for company administration (which was deemed a more valuable career).”

She appreciated a extensive job in the dental care field, but ongoing to paint and good-tune her expertise.

“I was performing my paintings though I was functioning as a dental assistant and determined to do this complete time in 2017,” the artist explained. “That is when I launched my organization, Karen Bowman Pet Portraits. I was portray for customers at a continuous clip right until the pandemic last year, which put a dent in issues. But commissions picked up and I had requests for 30 portraits last Christmas season on your own.”

Her organization took off just after accomplishing a portrait for Anne Marie Fador, a salon and beauty products enterprise proprietor in Torrington.

“She has a ton of hairdressers as clientele and she showed my operate to them,” Bowman stated. “They all preferred to get portraits accomplished of their animals and matters took off from there.”

She received the phrase out on Facebook and has proven her get the job done in a number of neighborhood galleries, at outside popup markets. Through word of mouth, a lot more clients questioned for portraits of their treasured puppies and cats.

Bowman makes her portraits using photographs of animals her clientele deliver.

“Sometimes if it is a lot more than one particular pet in a portrait, I could have to reduce the pets out separately from various photographs and paste them into just one setting,” she reported. “I often believe that the much better the photo, the better the painting will be, for the reason that I have the potential to see all the facts in the animal.”

Bowman views her subjects in a spiritual way, she reported, searching for the persona of every single.

“They all have souls and they show thoughts that I try out to capture. I try to bring across the essence of the animal,” she stated, incorporating that several are memorials to customers’ deceased pet or pets.

“It’s worthwhile to see the expressions on people’s faces when I show them the finished do the job,” she said. “Often they have tears in their eyes mainly because I’ve provided them something valuable, a reminder of a pet they loved and cared for deeply.”

She thinks her work is a calling of sorts. “I sense blessed to be undertaking this, form of like it is my life’s function now. There is a price for other individuals in what I do, and it presents me a sense of accomplishment that I have performed some thing worthwhile for the person who is my consumer.”

The rate Bowman costs for her pet portraits is modest — normally about $100. She has accomplished some however lifetime perform and once in a while paints portraits of men and women when requested to do so, normally as a remembrance of a liked 1.

“I charge $200 for a man or woman and $100 for just about every added human being in the portray,” she mentioned. “I did a single portray of a younger person (who) died from an accidental overdose, and the dad and mom had been so thrilled with what I was able to develop. It was quite unfortunate for them, but they had been grateful to have something wonderful with which they could don’t forget their son.”

“People say I could charge more,” she explained. “I know some qualified artists would cost $800 or a lot more for a very similar portray. But I want my perform to be inexpensive for all people today.”

She paints portraits in two sizes only, 16-by-20-inches and 12-by-12 inches. It usually takes her about a week to end a portray, occasionally considerably less.

“I can change just one around in 3 days and actually I can end a portray in two several hours if I want, but I prefer to get my time,” Bowman mentioned.

Now in her 60s, Bowman says she has uncovered her market, a relaxed spot in which she feels a feeling of delight about what she does, bringing pleasure, and a couple tears, to other individuals. It is not home economics — but her father would surely have to say his daughter is becoming “useful” these days.

See her operate on Facebook @ Karen Bowman or make contact with her at 860-307-8356 and