Del Mar artist Jill Williams casts a wider web of pet portraits to include exotic animals.
DEL MAR, California — Move over dogs and cats, a Del Mar artist wants to paint pet portraits of all animals. In this Zevely Zone I have revisited a stroke of genius.
I never thought I’d say this, but apparently there’s a limit to how many cute puppy portraits one person can draw. Del Mar artist Jill Williams now throws a wider net and paints exotics.
Lorenzo Navarrette, the owner of Cali King’s reptiles showed us his animals. “I have a whole little zoo for you guys. I brought a little bit of everything,” said Lorenzo. “This is a corn snake. This is Chino, this is a crested gecko. That’s a western Pacific rattlesnake.”
There’s a reason Lorenzo has a special fondness for reptiles. “These guys just changed my life. What started the collection was my mother. She died of cancer about two years ago and I was lost. I didn’t know what to do,” said Lorenzo. “These guys certainly saved my life. You have given me a passion, something to look forward to.”
Lorenzo brought his valuable collection to Jill Williams, a well-known animal portrait artist. Jill showed us some of her artwork. “It’s a Bengal cat. That’s a pug and I make a lot of pugs. This is a lab. That’s another retriever,” Jill said.
Jill has a process. You email her a picture. she paints it Jill drew my dog Raleigh when he was a pup and now she’s branching out into exotics. “A lemur, look at the diaper on him,” laughed Jill. She also paints sugar gliders. “I’ve already done fifty of these, fifty paintings,” said Jill, who has painted 1,500 animal portraits. “My favorite pet to draw in is my own, my own fat cat,” said Jill.
That’s exactly how Lorenzo thinks about his pets. “They are pets but they are family, they are family for sure,” said Lorenzo. “They are almost like my children. When I get home, they’re the first thing I talk to. I make sure they are okay. I make sure everything is perfect with them.” So he hopes Jill can work her magic and weave her web twice more.
“It’s a female Mexican fireleg. This one is called Fire Crotch,” said Lorenzo while showing me his tarantula and gecko. “This is Hell Boy. He’s a gargoyle gecko,” Lorenzo said.
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It was time for the big reveal. “Open your eyes,” said Jill, holding the paintings. “Wow. It’s a spitting image,” said Lorenzo. Now Fire Crotch can hang on a wall forever.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” said Lorenzo. “Oh my god, she really does look like that. That’s fabulous,” said Jill.
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“I’m overwhelmed by it,” said Lorenzo. Both Jill and Lorenzo want to share their passion with you.
You can contact Lorenzo on his Instagram page _calikings_reptiles_ .
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