Ten of the Best - Sally Muir
One of our 'Ten of the Best', celebrating brilliant brands and people doing amazing things for the love of dog. We catch up with our absolute favourite artist when it comes to portraits of dogs, Sally Muir...
"Muir’s mastery of the expressive capacity of the canine eye in particular makes these paintings live and pant." Claudia Massie, Spectator
Why we love her: Sally's paintings, drawings and prints are simply sublime. Art is a very personal thing and Sally is our absolute favourite canine artist. We first found out about Sally when she was painting "A Dog A Day" and were lucky enough to place the winning bid in a charity auction for a print of the 365 paintings that she painted as part of the project - we love it!
Over to Sally ...
When did you start your dog paintings and drawings?
I went to art school later, as a mature student and started doing portraits of children. Occasionally a dog would accompany the child in the portrait and after a while I started to get more and more requests from families asking me to paint their dogs instead of children. I found painting dogs more enjoyable, so I guess I just fell into pets by accident.
I then decided to paint a dog a day for a year, posting my work to Facebook and this really cemented my future in dogs. It also got me into using all kinds of media for my work. The process culminated in me being commissioned to do a book – ‘A Dog A Day’.
What is your signature style? Why do you think customers love it so much?
I would describe my style as loose, unsentimental and not too detailed. I usually incorporate some bright colour into the painting or drawing but I keep the detail fairly economical and simple, so a dog’s fur is never heavily detailed and I don't feature twee touches like large, over-exaggerated eyes. I really truly love dogs and I think I’m well-tuned into them. I believe my customers recognise my affection and affinity towards dogs.
Can you tell us about a stand out moment or achievement?
Being picked up by the clothing and lifestyle store Anthropologie! They saw my work at an exhibition and then approached me to create a line for their stores, which saw my work incorporated onto a range of home accessories including plates, mugs, glasses, tea towels, cushions and even wallpaper. This collaboration was launched and sold in their stores across the UK, US and Europe, with an exhibition at their store on London’s King’s Road.
What can pet owners expect from you in the future?
I actually have a new book coming out next year called ‘Old Dogs’, which will feature a mix of owned and rescue dogs. I have two Whippets – Peggy who’s 7 and Lily, who is twice her age at 14, so she’s given me plenty of experience tuning into four-legged seniors.