Pet Portraits By Tamara Burnett

Biography of Tamara Burnett

I come from a family that has exhibited great artistic ability in the past.  My great-great uncle on my father’s side was John Francois Millett- a famous eighteenth century landscape artist. On my mother’s side there is George Moore who had the honor of developing the original silver plates used to create some of our U.S. currency.  So my parents where very pleased yet not surprised when I started to exhibit strong artistic abilities at a very young age!

According to my mother- I created a series of surprisingly realistic flower pictures with pastels and crayons at age four.  As I grew older, it became very apparent that I had the artistic fire and drive to create. I spent most of my free time sketching away creating dogs, cats, and wild creatures of various types. If I wasn’t sketching- I endeavored to hike  around and explore the foothills near my home in Saratoga, California.

I was very fortunate to grow up with Helen Marks as my next door neighbor. Helen, a breeder of fine West Highland White Terriers, greatly encouraged me to create dog paintings. She commissioned me to create portraits of many of her dogs, a logo for her business, and she introduced me to most of her contacts in the dog show world. As a result of her guidance and support- I started what would later become a very successful and rewarding business painting portraits of dogs and other animals as well.

When I entered college- I was encouraged by some very influential people in my life to abandon my art and pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. I attended the University of Colorado at Denver where my major was Biology with a minor in Chemistry. While I loved my college experience- the more I worked in the field of Veterinary Medicine as a technician- the more deeply I felt that I should change the path of my career. Being rather sensitive in nature, I found the harsher aspects of this field very difficult to cope with on a day-to-day basis. Having met the criteria to attend Veterinary School-  I made the bold and unthinkable decision to leave the field of Veterinary Medicine and Colorado forever and return to California to resume my art.

I had to start my business in portraiture from scratch. I spent many long and exhausting hours developing and refining my  highly realistic technique in watercolors and acrylics. I was extremely fortunate to attend a demonstration given by wildlife artist, Carl Brenders and to take a workshop from the very gifted floral painter- Arleta Pech.  Particularly Arleta was very helpful and encouraging. I soon had the privilege of creating a portrait of an English Shepherd for a wonderful lady- Donna D’ Amico. Donna was very supportive of my dog art and took it upon herself to help promote me to her many friends and contacts in  the world of dog agility.  With her assistance- my portraiture business was soon thriving again!

I am very fortunate to have had my work represented by Wild Wings of Lake City Minnesota, the Hang It Up Gallery in El Dorado Hills California, the Duck Stamp in Fair Oaks, California, and Artistry and Framing in Rancho Cordova, California. I have had the privilege of creating cover art for the “Clean Run” agility magazine, I am an artist registered with American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, and most recently, my prints are being marketed through Fine Art Dog Prints. The Danbury Mint is currently considering my work seriously for future dog designs. I  feel so privileged to have my original portraits and fine art giclee prints in collections throughout the U.S.A.

I currently reside in rural Placerville, California with my husband Robert, my 13-year-old daughter Robyn, and my very busy little two-year-old son- Trevor. We have three dogs- Maggie (a Belgian Malinois), Angel (a Phalene Papillon), and Winston ( a very old yet lovable Australian Shepherd). We also have our cat- Sassy and our parakeet- Buddy. In addition to painting- I enjoy agility, hiking and nature, sailing, gardening, and mall shopping with my daughter, Robyn.


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Copyright © Tamara Burnett
Last updated: June, 2002