Sunday, September 23, 2018

This Artist's Work is for the Dogs

by Ed Attanasio (writer), San Frickin' Frisco, Baby!, September 01, 2007


I have always wanted to get a professional portrait of my dogs. But, most of the dog painters I’ve seen out there paint canine portraits that just aren’t appealing to me – they look too much like cartoons or they’re too abstract. I want a dog portrait that actually looks like my dog.

That’s why I was so pleased when I recently ran into Gabriele Bungardt and her web site, Bungardt, who lives and works in Alameda, Calif. is an incredible animal portrait artist. She is well-known throughout northern California as well as throughout the United States and Europe.

Bungardt grew up in Germany in the ‘50s with dogs – lots of them. Her father trained hunting dogs and owned many wirehaired dachshunds and German pointers over the years. Gabriele’s fondest childhood memories include her adventures following dogs into the woods surrounding her home town. Their companionship and protective nature allowed the young girl to roam the forests without worry.

After a very successful career as an Industrial Designer in the Bay Area, Bungardt decided to do something that would allow her to combine her two passions – painting and pets. In just a few years, she was receiving all kinds of kudos for her paintings. The local press has embraced her painting style and the pet community keeps her busy painting pets year-round.

Gabriele moves between larger than life size portrait commissions to more abstract story telling pieces that relate the canine world in a unique and compelling way. She uses a multi-layered application of acrylic paint to achieve depth and three-dimensionality.

Bungardt usually paints her animal portraits from photos, but normally likes to meet the pets first, so that she can get a feel for the animal’s personality.

What attracts Bungardt to pet portraiture? “I love to paint pets, because for one, it’s very relaxing and fulfilling,” she said. “When I am able to capture their expressions and character, I find it so satisfying. I concentrate on the animal’s eyes and if I can get the eyes right, I know I’ve done a good job. I also love the challenge of painting the different breeds.”

Bungardt’s paintings will be featured on Sept 8th though the 29th at the Alameda Women Artists 15th Annual Museum Exhibit at the Alameda Museum in Alameda. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, September 8th from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

About the Writer

Ed Attanasio is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on This Artist's Work is for the Dogs

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By Ariel on September 02, 2007 at 11:42 am
ahah, that's a funny job! :) So did you get your dog a portrait in the end?
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By patricia on January 30, 2009 at 11:23 am

Gabriele has a gift. A true love and respect for our four legged companions.  She brought my four legged "kids" to life on canvas. She was able to capture their gentle kindness, their grace, their soul - all by putting paint to canvas.  She let my dogs eyes tell her what to do. 
I have recommended Gabriele to many of my friends, all of whom are now her biggest fans. She is a magician!

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By mc on February 14, 2009 at 04:55 pm

Contracting with Gabriele to paint a portrait of our six dogs (past & present) was the best

gift my husband and I could have ever given ourselves.   She is highly talented and is

delightful and very accommodating to work with.  Her paintings are as realistic as one

can get!  I know she'll be painting all the pets that have yet to come into our lives.

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