She Paints The Pooch

Evelyn McCorristin Peters was recently featured in the East County Observer. The article focused on her pet portraits and how she helps pups in need of a helping paw. 

The Last Dessert by Evelyn McCorristin Peters

The Last Dessert by Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Myakka City’s Evelyn McCorristin Peters always has been an artist, but she never thought she would be a dog lover.

Then she met Frank.

Frank, a boxer, belonged to her husband, Philip Peters, when they were married 14 years ago.

“I completely fell in love with that dog,” Evelyn Peters said. “But it was like a good girl and a bad man type of thing — Frank was a horrible dog, but I just loved him so much.”

When Frank died in 2007, Peters was devastated.

She missed Frank so much that she contacted the Florida Boxer Rescue about getting another dog a week after he died. During an interview at her home, a rescue employee saw her portrait of Frank in the living room.

“They asked me to donate a painting to raise money for the rescue,” Peters said. “That is how my business was born.”

Evelyn and Abby.jpg

About Evelyn Peters

  • She joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus when she was 19 and sold cotton candy.
  • She met her husband, Philip Peters, while working in the circus. He is the owner of Haai Inc., which runs a traveling shark show.
  • She prefers to listen to podcasts while she paints. When she is listening to music, she tends to dance, which “is not good when you're painting,” Peters said.
  • Her art studio is located in a recreational vehicle in her back yard.

So Peters started her business, Barking Dog Creations Studio.

It wasn’t long until other organizations began noticing her work. Now, she is donating gift certificates for paintings to dog shelters across the country. She recently did a painting for a greyhound rescue in England.

She works from photographs, although she paints her own dogs through “mental images.”

Peters, 53, said some dogs are harder to paint than others.

“There was a woman a few years ago, and I painted her dog, Floyd,” Peters said. “The whole white dog thing is hard — people with white dogs are hard to please.”

Apparently, Peters is a lot better at the “white dog thing” than she thought. The same woman hired her again to paint her new dog, Stanley, who also is white.

Painting dogs for 10 years, she still isn't bored. When her customers comment on how much their dog portrait means to them, it still gives her goosebumps.

And she noted that people are more difficult to paint than dogs. “I normally don’t do people,” Peters said. “Dogs never tell you their nose looks too big in a painting. So I try to stick with dogs.”

Ted by Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Ted by Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Two years ago, Peters did a portrait of Ted, a small, white cocker spaniel with a “weird hairdo going on.”

“I finished the painting and I sent it to (the owners, a husband and wife),” Peters said. “Not only did the wife send me an email about how much the portrait meant to her, I got a separate email from her husband. It was clear in the email how much this man loved his funny looking cocker spaniel. It was so sweet, I cried.”

While Peters paints dogs of all ages, shapes and breeds, her heart lies with older dogs.

“Seniors really pull at my heart,” Peters said. “They are so wise, and you know that the time you have with them is short. Dogs are here much shorter because they have it all figured out. They already know how to love and just enjoy where they are right then — a good lesson for all of us.”

 

 

Besides painting dogs, Peters has adopted older rescue dogs.

“When you get involved in rescue, and you see what some of these dogs have been through, they start to mean more to you,” Peters said. “There is something in them. They teach you how to be in the moment and give you unconditional love.”

Her customers often comment on the dog’s eyes in portraits.

“I think you probably see that unconditional love and ability to live in the moment in the dog's eyes,” Peters said.

Opening Reception Old Dogs & New Tricks

Old Dogs & New Tricks

Evelyn in the Marvelous Mystery Mutt Tour Bus

Evelyn in the Marvelous Mystery Mutt Tour Bus

What a fantastic time at the opening of my solo show Old Dogs & New Tricks! Thank you to everyone from the gallery who helped out! A special shout out to Kate Johnson from Boxer Rescue Angels of Florida for taking photos at the Marvelous Mystery Mutt Tour Bus, we raised $35 for the rescue! And also to my friend Jean Blackburn who manned the dessert table! 

I had a terrific time and was so surprised by the people who showed up. I saw fellow artist Michelle whom I met at last summer's Creative Capitol workshop and a old co-worker of mine and his wife from my days at Hagenbeck Wallace, the prop shop for Ringling Brother Circus. 

Lynette and Dawn of Boxer Rescue Angels of Florida with the artist.

Australian Ridgeback

Future Barking Dog Creations Studio Top Model!

visiting pups

The Last Dessert

The Last Dessert

and dessert buffet!

Paintings in the show

Marvelous Mystery Mutt Tour 

Look for my upcoming solo show at the Bird Key Yacht Club this September!

Old Dogs & New Tricks

Old Dogs & New Tricks - Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Saturday, March 25 - Friday, April 28, 2017
Opening Reception: First Friday, April 7, 6–9 p.m.

old dogs & new tricks.jpg

For my solo exhibition Old Dogs & New Tricks my goal is to express joy and fun. An opportunity to escape from our  tumultuous present and live in the moment through the eyes of a wise dog, or to celebrate the joy and comfort of food, in particular dessert!

Summer Sycamore no 5 Wins Second Place!

Very proud to have one of my recent landscape paintings in the Open Juried Landscape Show at Art Uptown Gallery in Sarasota! The piece won second place and will be in the Main Street window for the next two weeks. 

The show runs April 30 through May 27th and the opening receptions is Friday May 6th from 6 - 9PM. I am heading out of town so I will not be able to attend but it's First Friday in downtown Sarasota so it is a great time to see some art!

Summer Sycamore no 5, oil on gallery wrapped canvas, 24X24"

Summer Sycamore no 5, oil on gallery wrapped canvas, 24X24"

Southeastern Guide Dogs Superheroes on Parade

Southeastern Guide Dogs Superheroes on Parade 2nd Unveiling

Artist Evelyn McCorristin Peters and her Superhero Dog sponsored by Publix.

Artist Evelyn McCorristin Peters and her Superhero Dog sponsored by Publix.

A new round of Superhero Dogs for the Southeastern Guide Dogs new campaign were unveiled on Tuesday. And my pup was among them. It was a great time at the State of the Arts Gallery.

Here are a couple views of my pup. My dog is living at the Publix at the Broadway Promenade on Tamiami Trail, down near the Van Wezel. Beginning in May "Visions" will have his own web page where you can vote for him as a favorite!

Here are some photographs of the dogs that have been unveiled so far!

Stay tuned for the next round! When you spot a Superhero on the street post it to Instagram with hashtag #SuperheroesOnTheStreet 

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