Tabernash artist offers unique pet portraits |

Tabernash artist offers unique pet portraits

Hank Shell
Courtesy photos
Staff Photo |

If you’re a pet owner, there are quite a few ways to immortalize the visage of your furry friend.

Options range from doggy photo shoots, a popular choice these days, to more obscure, macabre and downright creepy offerings like pet taxidermy.

For those seeking something both unique and presentable, a Tabernash-based artist offers eye-catching, one-of-a-kind pet portraits.

Robin Arthur recently moved to Tabernash from her native Texas to spend the winter painting, and her style reflects the eclectic mélange of cultures that defines the Southwest.

When you spy one of Arthur’s portraits, the first thing that strikes you is the color.

Each painting is kaleidoscopic in its range of vibrant colors, and paired with bold lines, carries a likeness to the work of neo-pop artists like Romero Britto.

Arthur’s interpretation of lines and color was born out of her exposure to Tex Mex and other artistic styles, she said.

“It really just came from a love of Texas and the people and the warm colors and bright happy kind of folk art style that you’re surrounded by when you’re there,” Arthur said.

The psychedelic effect lends itself well to the recurrent themes in Arthur’s portraits. Arthur incorporates Mexican imagery like crystal skulls, the ornate skulls created for the Day of the Dead, and imagery borrowed from illuminated manuscripts into her paintings.

Add in some recurring elements like flower-eyes, tiny spiders (all Arthur’s paintings have them, she says) and star-strewn skies, and the effect is a vivid, unique and often surreal vision of the painting’s four-legged subject.

Still, Arthur’s psychedelic folk-art style doesn’t obscure the animal underneath.

“People have told me over and over again they don’t know how I captured their dog’s personality without meeting them in person,” Arthur said.

A painter for 15 years, Arthur has been painting professionally for 3.5 years, she said.

She earned her degree in drawing and painting from the University of North Texas in Denton.

Since she began painting full time, Arthur said she’s enjoyed a steady growth in her fan base, painting for customers as far abroad as Germany and Norway.

Arthur will paint just about any pet, from hedgehogs to horses, and she also paints landscapes.

Though admittedly more of a cat person, Arthur’s allergic to felines, she said.

Instead, her muse is a 15-year old Chihuahua and German Shepherd mix named Frank.

There’s currently a 14-person waitlist for one of her portraits.

Paintings can take anywhere from days to weeks to complete, Arthur said.

All of Arthur’s paintings are acrylic on gessobord.

Because of the waitlist and the time period required to complete a painting, it typically takes a few months to receive a painting after it’s been ordered, Arthur said.

Arthur can be reached through her website at

Her mother used to call her “the Great Robini,” she said.

Arthur also be reached through her Instagram profile,, where her art is also featured.

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