was her own dog, Tippie, a Shih Tzu mix, that inspired her first "Pet
really didn't feel like (painting landscapes) was my niche," Zeigler
said. "This is what I really love."
now spends about two to three hours a day in her studio, a converted
upstairs bedroom in her home.
couple's beloved Tippie died seven years ago at age 16, and they haven't
been quite ready for another animal yet. But they get plenty of face
time with other people's pets, taking pictures for Tri-Valley Animal
Rescue and other dogs they meet on the streets.
Zeigler's goal is
to do a painting of every type of breed to show potential customers
examples of her work. Many of her commissioned portraits are for people
wanting to memorialize their pets.
has shown her work and done live demonstrations at the Alameda County
Fair, the San Ramon Art Walk and First Wednesday Street Parties in
"It's fun to talk with people and see how enthusiastic they are about
their animals," she said.
Zeigler has her fans, but her husband is her biggest. He has encouraged
her to decorate their home with her artwork, which hangs over the
fireplace, along the stairway and in the halls.
work is beautiful and it speaks for itself," Gary Zeigler said. "I'm
very happy that she has this outlet."
addition to dogs, Zeigler paints the occasional cat and currently is
working on a horse painting. She also does portraits of people.
the past she used to paint on rocks, personalized greeting cards and
other objects, but now she sticks to pets and pastels.
Prices run anywhere from $95 to several hundred dollars, depending on
the size of the painting and if there is more than one subject. Her
artwork is guaranteed, meaning she will refund the money if a buyer
doesn't like the painting and returns it. But that hasn't happened yet.
"I've never had someone not be happy about a portrait," Zeigler said.
Zeigler's hope to adopt another dog when the time is right, but until
then her artwork keeps her busy.
"It's very relaxing," she said. "Plus, I feel like I'm creating
something someone's going to enjoy."
more information on Pet Art by Jan Zeigler, visit