Tara Lou Knutson: Friends of Imaginary Friends (wire sculptures and paintings)

Taralou Knutson loves dogs and other animals, and enjoys both painting and creating her unique wire sculptures. She may be reached through her website at http://www.taralouart.com/

Dog Paintings:

My late-great dog Milo revealed he was my best subject. I had this great black and white photo of him and thought it would be a good exercise to paint him since I wasnt feeling like I knew what to paint, I was still in the mood to paint. That was my first dog painting in 1997 and then I continued to paint Milo and Annie (my parents’ yellow lab) when I was away in New York for Grad school. I was pretty homesick and definintely was jonesing for my furry companeros . So, painting them was paying tribute and also a way to ‘visit’ with them. Then my friend asked me to paint her dog, Vegas, in 1999 and it dawned on me that is what I enjoy.

I paint in acrylic. Using a photo of the dog in mind I make my sketch in chalk pastel and go from there. The photo is either provided by the owner , or I can take pictures of your dog. It’s always great to meet the dog, or find out about the personality of the dog so I can capture some part of that dog’s essence.But, I seem to do okay on just a photo too.

Most of the images you see on this site already have good homes. If you are interested in getting your dog painted, or a loved one’s dog, please contact me and we can discuss what you have in mind. I also enjoy helping out non-profits or fundraisers that help our animal friends by way of donating art to raise money at auctions , raffles, or what have you. My favorite animals to support are elephants, whales , dogs of course, and bears. But , they’re all important.

Wire Sculptures:

I create sculpture from Black Steel annealed (mostly) and copper wire. In 2005 I had the privelage to have a show, ‘Drawing on Wire’ also at the Bolinas Museum. The majority of the wires I make are small, but I do make large fish in copper wire as well when commissioned or just in the mood sto make something big. What I enjoy most about making these is how simple line creates form and expression, much like a pencil drawing, but three-dimensional.
Because the wires look different at every angle, you will see several photos of the same sculpture on this site.


  • BA in art from University of Oregon 1995
  • MPS in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY 2000

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