Local Artist Devotes Talent To Animal Kingdom
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Brienna (Call her Brie) Haley has no pets of her own. She is happiest though, when she is capturing yours!
To do this, she employs neither a cage nor a camera, but rather a rainbow of Prismacolor colored pencils and combines it with 4-5 supplied photos in order to develop her unique perspective on your family pet.
“I’ll take the photos, sometime a video, and concentrate on the animal’s eyes,” Brie says, “observing them from various perspectives to get a feel for the personality.” This takes time. “But it always starts with the eyes. Once I have them, I have an idea where I am going with this portrait.” She said. A Saratoga native who has been drawing since she was two, she recently decided to pursue art full-time.
The result is a spanking new business she calls Dreaded Universe Custom Pet Portraits (links are at end), but there is nothing to dread at all – the name comes from the dreadlock tresses that Brie always wears. A typical portrait might take a week to produce, and Brie estimates that the time involved is about 27-32 hours for a one-of-a-kind piece – often expended in bursts in inspiration, frequently during the wee hours of the morning before sunrise…
But it was a bright sunny, albeit chilly afternoon that I met Brie at her studio to watch and photograph the creative process, which – given the fact that I couldn’t make a decent stick-figure at gunpoint, always has fascinated me – the artist at work.
On this day, Brie was working on completing a marketing piece for herself – this kitty’s mouth will eventually be her business card holder. Today’s mission was to finish up one side of the cat’s whiskers and jowls. The entire head had been lightly sketched out in pencil to make an overall roadmap for where the piece was to go. Now it was time to add layers, nuance and texture…
The darkening of the lines enhanced the subject’s unique fur grain. During this time, we conversed about different subjects, which Brie was able to do without breaking concentration. The only time she stopped was when i asked her to pause, so the camera could capture her hands making the magic…
Gradations of light shadow, and various shades from white to gray to black – and our feline friend will soon be ready to meet you and offer you a card at an art show booth or some such.
Like good art, life itself it full of twists and nuances, and excitement – in the sense that you never quite know how things are going to turn out. But one thing is very clear about Ms. Brie: Her vision and talent levels should assure she gets an excellent shot at making a success at her craft. And she’s an easy person to root for as well.
Dreaded Universe’s Facebook Page
April 4, 2018