By Leisah Woldoff
One year while trying to think of a unique holiday gift for her sister, Scottsdale artist Deena Goldstein took photos of her sister’s dog, transformed them into pop art and compiled them into a book titled Pop Art Pets.
Her sister’s friends saw the book and soon Goldstein started receiving requests for more “Pop Art Pets.”
“People are very connected with their animals,” Goldstein says. “They are part of the family.” So far, she has “popped” dogs, cats, horses and even a hamster. Her work will be on display at the Phoenix Pet Expo, to be held April 14-15 at Westworld of Scottsdale.
To start the process, Goldstein requests a high-quality photograph of the pet. Next, she digitally works with the photo composition, lighting, shadows, tone ratios and color processing. The last step is adding layers of color to the digital image and then she sends the client four versions to choose from.
Custom and standard canvas sizes are available in a range of prices starting at $25. The most popular size is 14×14, which is $100.
Goldstein’s artistic background includes cartooning, children’s book illustrations and when her daughter, now 19, was younger, she even designed a line of children’s clothing. She works in several mediums, including digital, multimedia, acrylic and salvage.
Her studio is in her home, in what used to be a dining room, which allows her to work whenever inspiration strikes.
“I just work when it hits, so that could be at 10 at night when I start something or it could be 7 in the morning,” she says. “It offers me an opportunity to just go in there and do my thing.”
In addition to working full time on her art, she runs Measurabilities Home Safety, a fall prevention company, with her husband, a physical therapist.
She also creates custom artwork for Horses Help, a nonprofit that provides equine-assisted therapeutic and recreational activities to the special needs community. When a donor sponsors a horse, they receive a custom Pop Art Pet artwork of their sponsored horse.
“We wanted to do something special to acknowledge the heartfelt gifts we receive for supporting our amazing therapy horses,” says Gregg Goodman, executive director of Horses Help. “Our sponsors have a special connection with the therapy horse, so receiving a beautiful art piece has always created an emotional reaction.”
This connection to horses is especially meaningful to Goldstein because some of her artwork has a Western theme, inspired by her father’s passion for horses.
“When I can connect with somebody through my art and they are touched, either joyful or in any kind of capacity, it’s the greatest joy for me as an artist.”
For more events around town, visit our events page.