Jake 5x7 Memorial. Watercolor on paper. ©Shelly Burden

Jake aka King of the Photo Bomb. A gentle, patient boy who loved peanut butter.
Paul, Anne & Connie 9x12" Graphite portrait ©Shelly Burden

Multiple photos of Anne & her siblings were used to create this keepsake, a 50th Wedding Anniversary gift for their parents.
Anne wrote: "The portrait is amazing! Your ability to "blend" photos is truly a gift." 
Thank you Anne!
Mickey. Memorial. Hand painted watercolor ornament ©Shelly Burden

From her cabin in Arkansas, Diane was still able to give her Texas friend a special gift. All with the click of a mouse...a photo was emailed, the birthday girls address given & when I finished painting this gorgeous ginger I shared the outcome with an image of all packaged to mail. With my own click of a mouse. Now that's my kind of cat and mouse game!
Abbi. Memorial. Hand painted keepsake @Shelly Burden

"Our precious Abbi brightened our lives for more than four years. She was a tremendous blessing who taught us much about unconditional love."
Miss C. 5x7 @Shelly Burden
 Portrait of a youngsters sweet & sassy stage. And something else...a bit of spunk, or mischief perhaps?

Lucy 5x7 Graphite. @Shelly Burden
Little Lucy: showing her expressive dark eyes and soft wavy fur in the timeless quality only a black and white format can achieve.
Jake ornament. @Shelly Burden
 A keepsake showing Jake's friendly, approachable nature.
 When it comes to animals Michelle's known to have a heart as big as Texas...and this little one wrapped it around his paw in no time at all! But look at those eyes, how could she resist?
 
Toby. Watercolor ornament ©Shelly Burden. Commission for Michelle. Smile
(Get it or Gift it...contact me for either. Inquiries always welcomed)
 
 "In August we lost our beloved Miniature Aussie, Dylan. We were left with a hole in our hearts and sadness in our home. So, in late Oct we went to NC to see Dylan’s breeder.  We brought home Toby. Doesn’t he look so sweet in the ornament portrait Shelly did for us? Well looks can be deceiving. For about 2 months I was convinced I brought home the “Tasmanian Devil”!  Toby's now going on 9 months old. He really has turned out to be even sweeter than he looks in the portrait. He loves everyone & everything. He loves to play with & chew on his toys. We feel so very fortunate to have him. Dylan will always hold a special place in our hearts but Toby has claimed his own place. He's once again filled our hearts with love & our home with happiness. I can’t wait until he gets all of his “big boy hair” so I can have Shelly do a portrait of him.
Thanks, Shelly. We love the ornament. It captures perfectly what Toby looked like when he was a little pup. We love it
!" Michelle


Sam. Watercolor ornament ©Shelly Burden. Commission for Mary for her family. Thank you Mary!
"Sam was about a year old when I met him for the first time at a FW shelter. He was mangy and hadn't been cared for but he had the sweetest disposition, as if he had no hard feelings about how he had been treated thus far. He took to our young children right away and was the perfect piece to complete our family. We named him Sambuca but we called him Sam mostly. He loved to chase the polaris around our pool and the airplanes that flew overhead from nearby DFW airport. We used to get such a kick out of him barking & running around the yard, tail wagging as a plane flew overhead...every single time, as if it were the first time. He had one floppy ear that was his most distinguishing characteristic. He really was the sweetest dog and was loved by all. As he got older he loved to lay on your lap and at night he would sometimes sleep with the kids which they loved. He completed our family and will be missed but we feel blessed to have had him for so many years"  Mary
Mary's comment about Sam's ornament: "Omg that looks fantastic!


Cody, Wylie & Brandy 11x14" Watercolor ©Shelly Burden. Susan's gift to her sister Sharon.
(Get it or Gift it...Contact me for either. Inquiries always welcomed)
" Cody's the most amazing & loyal dog, named after a dog (Dakota) from a book called "The Angel By My Side", Cody is my Angel every single day.
We corresponded with Cody's breeder & got 1st pick of the new litter and got Baby Brandy!  She was named after the song "Brandy" ("what a good wife you would be" from 1972).
We thought she'd be a good sister for Cody as we had lost other dogs in between them. Cody actually picked her out, when we went to look at the litter, and she's been a fabulous little sister.
Wylie came when I realized all our animals (plus 2 cats) were aging. I looked and found little Wylie, then drove to Arkansas (with Cody) to pick the little guy up. He'll be a year old on May 24th of this year. Yeah...Happy birthday Wylie!
Wylie has total fun with his sister Brandy, they jump on each other all the time. I think he makes her younger." Sharon
Capturing memories with painted keepsakes. Provide visual reminders of what's special in our lives. It's what I do. Enjoy the outcome!
 Jackson 8x10 Watercolor ©Shelly Burden. Commission from Sarah for her Mom. Thank you Sarah!
 "Jack chose his family one cold night when we walked up to the area where he was, and he was the only pug to run over and make my Mom pick him up. Mom told Dad " Pay up, I'm not leaving without this puppy". He's the sweetest pug in the world. He has a strong personality, loves to be pet and be the center of attention. Loves to go on walks & expects to go out front and get the mail everyday. He also loves to go out back and fall asleep sunbathing. Very spoiled. He's a trooper though, with his one eye. He had to have the other removed due to cataracts, even though he can't see very well and limps around he still expects to be treated the same if not better." Sarah

Dark fur, especially dark faces, can be challenging to photograph. But Ruth Ann & Les knew how to handle that - take the pup into natural light and snap away! (Preferably slightly overcast to avoid a squint hiding your pets mesmerizing eyes)
Add a click of the tongue, some treats and a helper to capture a camera shy pooches attention & you'll get some great images!

Another challenge? Painting dark furry faces, giving texture and form to those gorgeous deep tones. But one I gladly accept!
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Gracie. Hand painted watercolor ornament ©Shelly Burden
"Cute, energetic & fiercely family loyal you can’t walk by our house without setting her off, she's a great watch dog. She loves her walks, though now as she ages those walks are blocks and not miles. She's content to be in whatever room we are in. Gracie always enjoys toys and we like to serve up a variety. If she isn’t getting attention, she has a way to let us know, though she seems to understand when we need space, too. Now at 13 and slowing with more trips to the vet than we would prefer, we are feeling that bittersweet tug.
So are delighted that we have an image far better than the photographs in terms of capturing our life with Amazing Grace. That is a very big thank you" Les & Ruth Ann