Hello, thank you for visiting Purr & Wag It,

purveyor of fine felted pet portraits hand made by Heather Fiona Martin.

Choose felt for your original work of art because ... 

felt, through its tactile qualities instantaneously triggers and connects to the act or memory of stroking your beloved pet.  If photographs capture a moment in time and paintings depict more of a story, felt provides a tangible memory.

For me it’s this sensory response that makes felt absolutely perfect for pet portraits.  

Perhaps more so where, similar to the Victorians who kept lockets of hair to secure the memory of a loved one, groomings from your pet are incorporated into the felt.  Though this isn't compulsory!

A selection of my felted portraits and landscapes.

 

click to enlarge image

 

 
 

"Just to say we absolutely LOVE our beautiful felt of Max, it looks amazing and is so obviously Max, even down to the smudge on his white nose.  Thank you so much, we know how much care and effort went into this and it's the perfect keepsake for when the old boy is no longer with us (he's 12 so getting on a bit)."

— Lynda and Buzz B, Scunthorpe

 

"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for my Catty felt, I love him!  It looks just like him, I almost cried!  His little paws are the cutest thing - honestly, just the same as his actual paws were.  Really appreciate all the effort put into it, just the best."

— Anna E, London

 

"Everything I wanted and more!"

"This is absolutely amazing, his face and expression are just perfect, exactly like him.  Two of my kids (well, they’re 22 and 18) are here and they really love it too.   The background colours are lovely by the way, I’m very glad I left that to you.  It's like having two Eddie's in the house!  I can't believe how realistic his fur is.  Thank you so much."

— Jane L, Rutland.

 

“I wasn't sure what I expected would happen to Monty's groomed fur when I gave it to Heather.  I'm so delighted she decided to incorporate it into my portrait of him for me.  It's the best ever gift and has been really helpful to me as Monty is sadly no longer with us.”

— Angus C, Lincoln

 

"I'm so thrilled with my portrait.  It absolutely captures Winnie's beautiful eyes and the silvery sheen of her coat.  In fact the detail is amazing right down to the little scar on her nose.  Really pleased I decided on felt as the medium.  It's purrrfect for immortalising any pet who holds a special place in your heart. Thank you!  Thoroughly recommend. "

Kenneth M, London

 

"We wanted a picture of some sort of our wedding venue to hang in our home.  We wanted something that would provide a beautiful memory for us but wouldn't shriek "wedding".  Our felted landscape completely fits the bill.  We're absolutely delighted with it."

— Claire and Josh C, Plymouth

 

"We commissioned the landscape from Heather not long before the wedding date.  We're thrilled she went to such an effort to complete it in time and can't recommend her more highly.  Thank you."

Alison C, Pilgrims Hatch

 

As a practicality I work from photographs.

 

I aim for the pets in my finished works to be both photo-realistic - clear interpretations of the photographs used but also something softer capturing more than a moment in time.  The slightly fuzzy nature of finished felt means my portraits, whilst in focus, have an impressionistic appearance in style. 

For me this almost indistinguishable blurring stands in as a metaphor for memory.  I like that my “paintings” made from wool might lead owners to sit back, relax and indulge in reverie … woolgathering of good times spent with their pets. 

 

from as long ago as the Romans

 

There is nothing new about pets being immortalised in portraits, the Egyptians and the Romans are known for picturing their companion animals. Throughout art history there are a profusion of pets in paintings and sculpture..  In earlier paintings such as the Arnolfini Portrait the dog is likely to be a symbol for fidelity.  However, Goya, Titian, Gainsborough, Stubbs, Gauguin, Munch, Picasso, Bacon, Kahlo, Freud and Hockney to name but a few, have all revered their pets in paintings.