Newborns, Children, Family Portraits, Maternity & Pet Photography - Boise, Idaho
Kelly Zimmerman
Cat painting in fall

Fine Art Heirloom Painted Portrait - The Story of Cormac the Cat

Fine Art Heirloom Paintings from old digital photos are a great way to commemorate the life of a loved one... even a beloved furry family member.

Every year Cherished Images donates photography services to the Idaho Humane Society.  They auction off custom photography sessions to be turned into calendar pages, as an annual fundraiser for the charity.

We had an opportunity to work with a very special request this year.

Here's the story behind the art...Before and After Digital Painting of Cat

The Story...

We first met the Studebaker family when they purchased the most coveted calendar page- the cover of the 2023 Idaho Humane Society calendar.

During the consultation, as we were discussing what they would like their custom cover photoshoot to look like, we heard the most amazing story.  A story, that absolutely melted my heart!

The family has several pets, including a couple of GORGEOUS and exotic designer animals, that would have been super fun to photograph!

However, they felt strongly that one pet, in particular, would be the most appropriate to be featured in the IHS calendar...

Cormac- a cat that was adopted from the Idaho Humane Society.

The Challenge...

The only problem with photographing Cormac is that he's up playing with the giant ball of yarn in the sky.

Cormac had recently passed away.

You see, they adopted Cormac as an act of mercy, as he was already well advanced in age when they brought him home.

Typically, most people would go to the shelter to pick out the most cuddly adorable kitten available.

I mean who doesn't want to bring home a tiny little snuggle bug to love on?!

But the truest form of selflessness is adopting an animal that might otherwise have been put down.

They rescued a pet that had been deemed  'well past his prime,' a pet that they knew they would have limited time with.

Cormac received the gift of a second chance, and the family received a gift of their own... an addition to the family.

With his sweet nature and the most adorable freckle on his nose, he quickly became part of the family.

Cormac even has his own Instagram that their son set up in his honor.  This cat was very LOVED!

The Art...

The family had taken some very nice iPhone photos of Cormac through the short years he spent with them.

Upon discussing options, we arrived at the idea of commissioning a painting to be crafted from one of the snapshots.

What a great way to remember his legacy, and have something stunning for the cover of the calendar and their wall!

We ultimately decided that an environmental style painted portrait would suit their tastes.  I went to work digitally compositing, and then painting each and every pixel by hand.

Blending an inside cell phone snapshot with an outside scenic image was no easy task!

Hours and hours (maybe even days) went into this painting commission.  We came right down to the wire of the submission deadline, but we did it!

The Finished Products...

I am anxiously waiting to see the formatted and printed calendar!

What a fun surprise it will be when production is complete and the calendars are ready for sale!

But my very favorite... the finished wall portrait...  It's incredible!!

The fall colors blended with the sky, the handprinted flowers, and oh... those whiskers!!  Cormac had the most amazing whiskers!

Thanks to the Studebaker family and the Idaho Humane Society for extending me both the honor and privilege to custom create this artwork.  Starting from next to nothing, and envisioning what the finished product "could" look like, takes a leap of faith.

I'm grateful that all the hard work paid off, and am very proud of the finished painting.  The wall art will live on as a true... Cherished Image.

- Kelly

Want to leave a legacy or commemorate a loved one? Can a Fine Art Heirloom Portrait be right for your family?  Contact Cherished Images for a complimentary consultation.


Kelly Zimmerman

There's no time like the present! Don't miss anymore opportunities! To begin documenting YOUR personal story through art and let us know how we can serve you best, call us at 208.331.2288