Park city winter 2013 arts pug shot jean glaser irxry9

If having a soul means having the capacity to express love, then our pets’ souls are often more evident than our own. Capturing that spirit on canvas is the mark of a true artist, and local Jean Glaser is a master of pet portraiture.

A Park City resident for 30 years, Glaser has adopted numerous pets, always sharing her home and studio with at least four animals. “My pets aren’t my whole life,” says Glaser, “but they definitely make my life whole.” She volunteered with a local animal therapy group and grew to believe in the astounding emotional and spiritual power that animals possess. A few years ago, she was inspired to paint a portrait of her cat and was thrilled by how much she enjoyed the process. “Animals use the language of their eyes to communicate with us. We come to know who they are and what they’re thinking by returning a stare or following their gaze,” Glaser explains.

“That’s when I know I’ve hit my mark,” says Glaser. “When pet owners feel the love their animal brings to them by gazing into the portrait’s eyes.” —Annette VelardeWord of Glaser’s distinctive gift for portraying the heart of a pet in her work soon spread beyond friends and family. Animal lovers from individual families to veterinarians to animal shelter staffs to a worldwide following on her website request that she paint lasting memories of their four-legged (or in one case, four-finned!) animal companions. Glaser says the most common reaction for pet owners upon seeing one of her completed paintings is for tears to well, but many also gasp in amazement, feeling that the true personality of their pets has been captured.

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