Ivins artist offers five portraits that will last forever – St George News

IVINS —When a graphic designer decided to pursue her love for art and pets, she created a business hand-painting pet portraits, and dog-gone it – they’re good.

Darlene Dubé sits next to her custom hand-painted pet portraits, Ivins, Utah, July 13, 2022 |  Photo by Jessi Bang, St.  George News
Darlene Dubé sits next to her custom hand-painted pet portraits, Ivins, Utah, July 13, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Originally from New York, Darlene Dubé said she went to art school in downtown Manhattan where she majored in children’s book illustrations. After art school, she worked as a graphic designer for General Mills as one of the only females on staff. She moved on to a graphic design studio in California for three years, then ended her California career as department lead at an advertising agency, where she remained for 13 years.

When she made the move to Kennewick, Washington, Dubé said she worked in the production department at Nordstrom, where she created newspapers, catalogs and other marketing materials. During her time there, she began to computerize her artwork. She then found a pet shop in Bellevue, Washington, that advertised her pet portraits and even shipped her products to customers.

“I love animals,” she said. “I’ve always had animals in my life when I was growing up. So I made the transfer, and hence today.”

From Washington State to Washington County, Dubé said she was drawn in by the hiking opportunities. She has been doing five portraits since 2006 and has lived in Ivins for three months now.

A pet portrait created by Darlene Dubé is shown, location and date unspecified |  Photo courtesy of Darlene Dubé, St.  George News
A pet portrait created by Darlene Dubé is shown, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Darlene Dubé, St. George News

“I love to sit down with the animals and their owners. It allows me to get the personality of the dog and share their story through art,” Dubé said

Over the years, Dubé said she has done many unique pet portraits, such as a dog and Main Coon cat together. Once, there was a cat in her neighborhood that was left behind after a move. As she went door-to-door in order to figure out what house the cat came from, she knocked on one door and was met by their dog, Bear.

“We looked at each other like we knew each other and I was so taken by him that 10 minutes later, I went back over and said I just had to paint their dog,” Dubé said.

Another neat experience happened when she ran into a woman at one of the local printers in town while she was printing her art. Dubé said the woman raved about how amazing the portraits were and began to tell her about her difficult living situation and how she was about to get kicked out of her apartment due to unemployment.

A portrait of Dubé's neighbor's dog, Bear, is shown, Ivins, Utah, July 13, 2022 |  Photo by Jessi Bang, St.  George News
A portrait of Dubé’s neighbor’s dog, Bear, is shown, Ivins, Utah, July 13, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

They exchanged numbers and about a month later, she called her up and told her she wanted to paint her dog for free.

“I could be busy like every day of the week, I just have a feeling, because my heart is in the right place. When I meet people, they can see that,” Dubé said.

With a turnaround time of about two weeks, Dubé said her pet portrait rates range around $175 for any size – from poster stamp size to a full 12-by-18. She also offers larger sizes and canvas at an additional cost. The portraits are hand-painted on a tablet screen with a brush, then printed on UV-protected paper.

For more information and to commission a pet portrait, email Darlene Dubé or call her at 206-571-9379.

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