As artists, we spend hours alone in our studios. Some of us listen to music, others to Podcasts or maybe you’re like Basquiat and play the same song over and over again. I’m picky about the music in the studio.  Actually, I’m picky about all “background” music.  I can’t tune out what I’m hearing; which is why I turn up my music when my neighbor’s gardener is leaf blowing for over an hour.

With music we’re never alone in the studio.

Basquiat also had a cat.

Which brings me to my next subject:  Studio Pets!

There is no better feeling than to sit with your pet surrounded by your paintings.

Staring.  Stroking.  Still.

Lila telling me it’s lunchtime.

Many of the greats immortalized their beloveds in their paintings.  Today we celebrate our critters by sharing our Instagram feed with them.  People take on a different expression when they pose with their pets.  Their faces are relaxed and more often than not smiling.  As if they’re letting their soul speak through the animal.

I started investigating famous artists and their pets.  A pretty even split between cats and dogs, yet for all of them the bond was strong and often excessive.  Why have one when you can have many?

Can you match the artist to their pet?  One dog was immortalized by 3 artists!


Dali, Matisse, Kahlo, Slonem, Picasso, Munch, Hockney, Warhol, O’Keeffe


Chows, Dachshund, Saint Bernard, Ocelot, Monkey, Doves, Parrots

This week I’ve been pulling out the baby gates, washing dog bowls and collecting boxes.  If all goes well, I’ll have a new studio mate myself!  A new puppy!  This will be my 5th Flat Coated Retriever.  He might just show up in some of my paintings and of course, Instagram.



You’ll find most answers in an Architectural Digest article on the Pets of Famous Artists and Architects.  Worth a look just to see the pet and face of Klimt!