About the artist
I grew up in Conway, Pennsylvania, a small suburb north of Pittsburgh. After high school I attended Edinboro University. I graduated with an BSA in Art Education and discovered that I had a talent for painting. Three years later I realized I was not meant to be an art teacher so I returned to Edinboro and received a Master's Degree in Art. Not long after graduating, I got my first dog.
I've always loved dogs since I was a lonely only child, but never owned one until my Vizsla, named Sayge. He was my inspiration and muse, so beautiful that I painted him as "The Mona Vizsla", a copy of Da Vinci's famous work but with his face and crossed paws. I began making pastel drawings and paintings of other people's pets but, despite participating in and donating to various fundraisers for local animal shelters, I was not getting as many commissions as I wanted.
Then a friend convinced me to join facebook and I created a page for my work, Ashley Beech Reid's Pet Portraits. I joined multiple animal related pages and groups and posted my website along with my offer to mention an animal shelter, rescue, or cause and I will donate 10% of commission, gift certificate, or painting sale to that particular organization. I finally had the ability to reach thousands upon thousands of animal lovers and the response has been incredible. As of August 2010 I have over 2,000 fans of my Facebook page and I'm about to make my 62nd donation of the year. Since the beginning of January I have booked 110 commissions and donated over $1000.00 to various animal rescues and shelters across the country. Through Facebook I have discovered a world of animal rescue that I never knew existed. I have gotten to know many people who give their time, money, blood, sweat, and tears to help rescue, rehabilitate, and find forever homes for these animals. I applaud and admire their efforts and just want to say, keep up the good work.
I paint in acrylics on 6 different canvas sizes. I work from your photos with a canvas taking anywhere from 2-5 days depending on the size and number of pets portrayed. I can combine pets from different photos on one canvas. I use brightly colored backgrounds or the client's desired color scheme, focusing on the dog's facial expression to capture their unyielding spirits and soulful eyes.
Merging these two elements?my artistic talent and my love of dogs—has been a dream come true. I'm lucky enough to be a stay at home mom and now a full time freelance artist painting subjects I love. Bringing tears to client's eyes when they see their pet's portrait, and being able to give to the tremendous effort being made to save the lives of millions of unwanted, abused, and abandoned animals, is as rewarding as it gets.