A Portrait Lasts More Than a Lifetime
By Tamara Sevigny
“Everyone has a certain idea of what they see in their animals, I want to portray that uniqueness,” says Noreen Mola, a local pet portraitist of Redding, CT. Noreen has been capturing the personalities of pets in portraits since 1989. Her skill and love for animals are apparent in the detail of each piece.
Noreen’s love for animals was always evident as she worked as an illustrator early in her career at Animal’s Agenda, a magazine for animal rights while volunteering for local animal shelters and rescue leagues. She even went on as director to an animal rescue league but is now focused mainly on her portraits while still volunteering at local shelters.
Noreen works from mixed media to create the portraits. Mainly she uses studio pencils. “I use them because I get very fine detail, good coat and texture, and accurate color. I also do portraits in oils, but the style is looser, [there is] less detail,” she says. She occasionally also offers charcoal sketches.
The process of commissioning a painting is very simple. Noreen meets your pet and shoots a roll of film. Once the photos are developed another meeting takes place to discuss which expression best portrays the animal. Some animals can be camera shy. “Sometimes when people commission me they are concerned that their animals won’t respond to me, but I put their fears at rest; with my experience with animals, it makes a difference. Sometimes I am called the dog whisperer or cat whisperer,” Noreen says. Noreen will also reduce stress by using a long camera lens so that she doesn’t have to get in the animal’s face, but can still get a close shot. Once a photo is chosen, the rest of the process takes about 3 or 4 weeks.
Just by looking at her past work, you can see that Noreen truly captures each animal’s individualism with fine detail. Her work speaks for itself as most of her commissions come from word of mouth. She accepts commissions from all over the country; photographs can be mailed to her to work from.
People love their pets and to have a portrait done is a great way to celebrate that. A portrait can make a truly unique gift. They are very personal and can be very special to someone who loves their pet very much.
If you or someone you know may be interested, more information and Noreen’s portfolio can be found online at www.molaportraits.com or contact Noreen directly at 203-544-8612.