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December 08, 2016
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Sharon Molloy: dog whisperer

Pet artist Sharon Molloy and Dharma admire the Wonder Dog’s portrait.
Photo by Jonathan Fox

If the eyes of the animal are not clearly visible in a photograph, Molloy is stymied. When working with clients, she will discard dozens of images until the right one speaks to her. Working from digital images also helps Molloy, who can then call upon her training as a visual artist, combining technology with her classical painting technique. “Working with digital images, I’m able to paint for clients all over the world,” she says. “Anyone can send me the picture of their precious pet and my subject is holding still in front of me for as long as I need them to.” With an eye for realism that hearkens back to the trompe l’oeil, Molloy can utilize the tools of photo programs and processes the pictures in extreme close-up, allowing her to hone in on a single hair, or glint in the eye—any minute detail that might otherwise escape her attention. “I feel genuine emotion when I gaze at these images,” she says. “Where there is non-resistance, everything becomes transparent, and I can connect to the animal in a transformational way that lifts me up and speaks to the human spiritually attached to that beautiful creature. You know what they say: God is dog spelled backwards.”

While many of Molloy’s clients are hoping to immortalize an animal that has passed away, she is seeing a trend emerge where folks want one of her paintings of their living companions to hang over the mantle with the rest of the family. “We are all here temporarily,” she muses. “If I can help people by immortalizing their loved ones, it helps me as much as them.” When asked what the next step is on her path, Molloy became quiet. “I still haven’t figured this out,” she says. “That’s the beauty of a personal journey; if we’re doing it right, the path is endless. We’re all part of a universal consciousness, and being able to participate brings me joy. It brings me closer to all beings, not just the animals. Painting these gorgeous cats, dogs, horses and the like is in a way, a service to others, but sometimes I feel selfish, because it gives me a sense of purpose and fills me with love. Sometimes I think that it can’t be that simple, but it is.”

Sharon Molloy might just be man’s best friend after all.

[For more information on immortalizing the animal in your life through custom painted portraits, contact Sharon Molloy at or via email at]