Rebekah Church Reveals Her Love for Pet Portraits and Her Love for Animals
By Bridney C.
Rebekah Church, 27, a Norwich, Connecticut based artist, is chasing her lifelong passion for working with animals and creating artworks for pet owners. Church specializes in illustrating and painting pet portraits and is on the path to follow her lifelong passion for establishing herself as an artist in Southeastern Connecticut.
Church has had quite a busy summer, such as working on her own pet portrait business, Reeb’s Illustrations where people commission her to illustrate or paint their pets. Her pet portraits accurately depict the cats and dogs, their faces and size, as well as the texture of their fur to make it life-like.
“My favorite animals to draw are domestic cats and dogs. Normally, for most people anyway, domestic pets were the only animals I grew up around and have had the most interaction with,” Church says.
She is also working on digitally coloring her comic pages in Photoshop to not only gain community support but exposure for her artistic talent. She has previous experience illustrating various comic books and was involved in the creative process for coming up with the concepts and storylines.
“Without the support of family, friends, and art teachers who believed in me, I may never have thought to choose a career in the art field for myself. I’m the first to try and pursue an art career in the illustration department,” Church says.
Church prefers to create mixed media art but says she also excels at pen-and-inks and acrylic paint. In her free time, Church is also a volunteer at the Newington Adoption Center, painting portraits of pets in need of a forever home to attract potential adopters.
She has found animal figures easier to draw, paint, and sculpt than human figures. Her reason behind having pets as the subjects in her portraits is because her heart goes out to animals in shelters “awaiting a forever home.”
Church has created art since she was a child. During her early years, she found animals to be the main, go-to subjects in her art.
Church states that art has always been a part of her heart and soul and represents who she is as a creative. What completes an artwork, according to Church, is when she understands the composition as a whole based on the figures and scenes that are being depicted.
“I strongly feel if I stopped my creative flow that I’d feel incomplete as a person. Also, I would never have met the important people that matter in my life to this very day,” Church says.
Citing her family as being talented, Church grew up in an artistic household on both sides of her family and says there is a history of talent. Her family members created things from hand such as hyper-realistic portraits of people and landscapes of mountains and forests, stitched bridal dresses, and ballet.
Church remembers the first piece of artwork she ever saw, which was an otter diving underwater. “The way the otter’s body curved while swimming underneath the surface was my first understanding of how the body bends and moves in different action poses or scenes,” Church says.
As a young girl, she admired, and respected Walt Disney, a cartoonist, animator, and founder of the Walt Disney Company. She loved the fact Disney animated animal expressions that could easily translate to the audience of how the character in the movie was feeling.
“Examples range from Bambi’s silent sadness toward his realization that his mother could no longer be with him, and to Dumbo’s uplifted spirit and confidence when he discovers he can use his oversized ears to fly,” Church says.
The art pieces she is most proud of creating are two paintings she felt free to explore and experiment with. The first painting, The Winding Souls of the Wolves explores how both the North American wilderness and its wildlife can live in mutual harmony as the wolves sing to the rising sun.
The second painting, Around the Mountain Top, demonstrates Church’s perspective and understanding of the wilderness. It ranges from winding mountain trails to clouds that seem to shrink the more they go off into the distance.
Another one of her pieces, an acrylic painting named Kirin: Madam Springs, was exhibited at her college, Three Rivers Community College’s “TRCC Student Art Show 2018-2019” and won the award for “First Place for Advanced Painting.”
This past May, Church graduated from Three Rivers Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Connecticut. In the future, Church hopes to become a self-published children’s book, and a comic book artist and publisher.
“Art is very important to me to express myself and what current emotions or feelings that may be expressed at the time. But most importantly, art is a part of my soul and a healing process as I navigate through the world,” Church says.
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We asked Rebekah Church this Sweet Scoop Fun Fact Question:
If you were a Disney character, who would you be and why?