There’s a hole in my heart where my dog used to be.

Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

Lily Lemon Carney, beloved furry daughter, protector, snuggler extraordinaire.

We had to tearfully say goodbye to a member of our family recently. Lily was our 12 year-old pit bull mix. She was the most empathetic, nurturing and beautiful creature I had the privilege of knowing.

We called her “Nurse Lily” because she could sense when you were sick or sad, and would curl up next to you, or if there was no room for curling up, put her head in your lap. As a puppy, she stayed in bed with me (except for potty breaks) when I got a bad case of food poisoning. When a migraine would hit, she would be curled into my side in the darkest room of the house. When my husband had shingles, she stayed on the floor by the couch, as he was in too much pain to snuggle. (She knew.) And when I was pregnant, she was my protector. If any person or dog was too exuberant, she strategically placed herself between them and me. When we brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital, Lily moved wherever the basinet was, so she could lay at the base of it, and “protect” Rosalee. Bandit was “her” puppy…she picked him out at the doggy adoption day. She cleaned his face and put up with his silliness. Lily let him get away with all sorts of nonsense. Now Bandit is five and misses his adopted mother.

We all miss her so much. She has, of course, popped up in my work over the years, my first furry muse. I found that I needed to draw her again. I hope it does her justice.

Lily Lemon Carney, beloved dog, Nancy Lemon ©2016

Pet portraiture and Happy New Year (finally!)

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

Hello Friends.  Happy New Year.  I’ve been a bit busy, and have neglected blogging.

Here are some of the pet portraits I created for people who needed gifts this past holiday season.  I create these (and other custom work) all year, so if you need a Valentines gift…or Presidents Day gift (?) or an anytime gift, let me know!  You can even order online.

I’ve revamped my website, if you have time, take a gander.  Any feedback is appreciated, if you feel so inclined.

I am excited for 2016…it has started off on a pretty great note, with lots of possibilities! I hope you are having a great one so far, too.

Literary Soccer Cats by Nancy Lemon

Pet Portraits


literary cats, orange cat, tuxedo cat, siamese, gray, fluffy

Click the image for a closer look

A friend and colleague commissioned me to create a painting of their four cats for his wife’s birthday, which I thought was a very nice gift.  (Although I may be a bit biased…)  Their names are Faulkner, Whitman, Beckford (aka Baby Monkey), and Titus Bramble.  Two literary, two soccer (or football) players.  His and hers, if you will.  If you like this, feel free to check out my Etsy shop for more animal watercolor paintings and you can also request custom pieces there. Or check out the INPRNT store I have set up for prints.  As always, thank you for following along on my illustrated journey!  Have a marvelous weekend.

And now for something completely different…

Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

I give you…Coco the Pomeranian.  Quite the photogenic critter; I hope I’ve captured all of this character’s charm.  Thanks to BJ for hiring me to paint this for an anniversary gift!


As you can see, I also dabble in pet portraiture.  You can find my pricing here or just email me any questions you have.  The holiday season doth approach!  (Hint, hint)

Bandito with Stogie


Click image to enlarge


Click image to enlarge







Here is a portrait of one of my own.  He actually posed like this after I handed him a biscuit one day…it was such a great picture that I decided to paint him.  As usual, I tried to stay simple and get the “essence of Bandito” rather than dwelling too much on details. This is a mixed media piece on wood.

A friend told me all Bandito needed was a fedora to complete his 1920s gangster style.  “M’yeh, see?”  (I bet dog gangsters make toilet bowl gin rather than the bathtub variety…)

Dogs I have loved

Le Grand Portefeuille

Click the image to Enlarge

I was going through an old folder of drawings last night and found this, which I’d never finished.  It still had some inking that needed doing, and no color.  So, I got out the gouache and watercolors and went to town.  That’s right–a little departure from Photoshop.  There is definitely the “mark of the hand” in this one.

Growing up we had a lot of dogs, and then I put in a few that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  There are several new ones since I started this drawing, so maybe a second page needs to be created.

Cats don’t always land on their feet, it seems…

HaHa, Le Grand Portefeuille

Click on the image to enlarge.

This is available in my SHOPPE.  More fun with drawing by hand, coloring with Photoshop, and texturing (also with incredible Photoshop!)

Please feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a comment!