Melinda Copper (1952-present, American)

Melinda Copper (1952-present, American) graduated from Florida State University with a degree in biology. She soon, however, discovered that her true love was for painting and, thus, began her career as a pet portrait artist.

Copper’s technique is one of underpainting used by the Old Masters. The technique gives her pet portraits depth and dimension. Unlike the prolific cat artist Susan Herbert’s paintings, most of Copper’s paintings are anthropomorphic cats inserted in masterpieces by artists such as Titian, Van Dyck, Rubens, Raphael, Ingres, Holbein, Carravaggio, Botticelli and even Grant Wood. The cats in these paintings are all her own and Copper says, “Those paintings are like my pet morgue, because most of those animals have passed. It’s been very comforting, weirdly, because I get to keep ’em.”  Copper thought, “Oh, I can kill two birds with one stone. I can have these paintings that I really like, and I can have my cat in that painting.” Copper has completed more than 100 pet portraits many of her own as well as commissions.

In addition, Copper is also an illustrator for such books as Snow White and Simon & Willie. Marilyn Taniguchi, writing in School Library Journal, praised Copper’s art, stating that her “…lush paintings, with their deep, rich colors … set against velvety dark backgrounds, achieve a dramatic tone due to the illustrator’s use of historic costume and period details rather than the cuteness common to many children’s books.”

Her work is now commissioned, and a 16-by-20 painting starts at $1,200 and can rise to $2,500 depending on the amount of detail required. Many pet portraits she has done for others are of pets who have crossed the rainbow bridge. “They’re usually pretty happy. A lot of people cry. I love that.” she says.

You can view a selection of Melinda Copper’s Old Master Pet Portraits at her website, melindacopper.net. The site highlighting the couple’s business, Copper Moon Studio, is coppermoonstudio.weebly.com.

 

Melinda Copper, 1

 

 

Melinda Copper, 2

 

 

Melinda Copper, 3 Cat Ingres

 

 

Melinda Copper, 4

 

 

 

 

Melinda Copper, 6

 

 

Melinda Copper, 7

 

 

Melinda Copper, 9 Claude Vignon The Young Singer

 

 

Melinda Copper, 10 Kittens in the Clouds

 

 

Melinda Copper, 11 Gizmo Angel

 

 

Melinda Copper, 12 from original painting, Lady Mary Guildford by Hans Holbein the Younger

 

 

Melinda Copper, 13

 

 

Melinda Copper, 14

 

 

Melinda Copper, 15

 

 

Melina Copper, 15

 

 

Melinda Copper, 16

 

 

 

Melinda Copper, 18

 

 

Melinda Copper, 19

 

 

Two Cherubs Reading, Detail from Madonna and Child with Saints (Rosso Fiorentino) par Melinda Copper, 20

 

 

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Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats

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