A monthly column that keeps its finger on the pulse of Forsyth’s artists and their inspiring stories
This month’s featured creator, Emma Kaye, is a young artist based in Winston-Salem with a passion and talent for creating vivid works of art of the animal sidekicks that capture our hearts. Through her ability to replicate a pet’s unique personality and disposition on canvas, Emma’s work is truly treasured by its recipient.
Emma Kaye | Pet Portrait Artist
How would you describe your work?
I enjoy creating a variety of artistic pieces and enjoy experimenting with new mediums, but my true love is painting. The majority of my paintings capture realistic landscapes and dogs, with a love for people’s pets. My preferred medium is oil paints but I enjoy trying different things from time to time.
What influences your art?
For as long as I can remember I have been influenced by stories of how pets impact the lives of their families. My dog growing up, a goldendoodle named Lily, was one of those dogs. We nicknamed her “Mom Dog” because when my sister or I yelled for my mom, Lily would come running and if we were fighting she would sit on one of us to break the tension. She has had a lasting impact on our family and I want to help other families remember their important family members through my art.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist?
I have experimented with a variety of styles and mediums, some in classes and some independently. I chose to attend Reynolds High School as an art magnet student and continued taking classes at App State. Finding my personal style has taken some time, and I’m sure it will continue to evolve. Through the exploration of different mediums and styles I have developed confidence in my ability as an artist.
How do you carve out time to be creative?
As a college student it can be difficult to find time to paint, but I make a point to try to do something creative everyday and plan additional time on the weekends. I spent my summer creating my online presence and working to promote my art.
Do you have a favorite story behind one of your paintings and why?
One of the first pet paintings I created was of Kringle, a dog that I follow on Instagram that was badly burned. He is a really sweet dog that had some terrible experiences, but is making his family and his followers happy everyday. I sent the painting to his family, who loved it and shared it to his Instagram page.
What are you working on that excites you right now?
I am currently working on a set of portraits for a family who will be welcoming their first baby soon, and wanted portraits of her fur brother as part of their nursery decoration. I love that my paintings will be a part of her room and hope they help foster a great relationship between the two. I am also building my art business and being able to use my talent to make others happy is what is exciting for me right now.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists, especially those at the start of their careers?
Don’t get discouraged by criticism, just keep working and creating, to find who you are as an artist.
If you are interested in learning more about this month’s artist, Emma Kaye, you can find her work online at emmakayeart.com as well as follow her on Instagram @ekayeart.