Rosie Vassallo’s Passion for Painting Pets

When Rosie Vassallo isn’t working with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce, she’s working on her passion, painting.

Since she was in the 4th grade, Vassallo has enjoyed painting and began to refine her craft as a student at TCU. However, it wasn’t until she met her husband, Steve, that she found her niche and began painting their golden retriever, Ginger. Now after living in seven different states, Rosie’s Pet Portrait Business has clients all over the country. Vassallo sees that same love that others have for their own pets and wants to capture it in her paintings.

“[Steve and I] have had nine dogs since we’ve been married and each has been very special,” Vassallo said. “[The clients] love their pets just as a family member, as we do, and it makes me feel honored to be asked to paint their precious loved ones.”

When Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff Vitter lost his ‘precious loved ones,’ Mario and Luigi, in August, 2016, Vassallo was quick to fill the void with her talent. 

Vitter was the featured speaker of the “First to Know” breakfast sponsored by the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce only a few days after losing his furry family members. Vassallo, then, gifted him with a portrait of his two dogs the morning he was to give his speech. 

Vitter took to Twitter and said, “Capstone to my talk was this gift painting of Mario and Luigi.” 

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Chancellor Vitter’s two dogs, Mario and Luigi.

Vassallo knows that the key to any painting she does has to capture the personality of the subject, and she always starts with the same feature.

“I love painting them and capturing their personality. I always start by painting their eyes first, because if they don’t look real, I’ve lost the whole composition. I love to make those who have commissioned me to feel like they can quickly say ‘that’s it, you’ve got it!’”

Each painter has their own techniques and style; Vassallo uses a mix of several types of paint, and an unusual position to get the most detail into her paintings. Vassallo works from photos of the pets sent in by those who commission her to paint, and she continues to see satisfied customers.

“I work with water colors, acrylic and oil mediums. I paint upside down so that I can add more detail to my paintings,” Vassallo said. “Almost without exception, the people who commission me to paint their pet are very excited with the final product and request no changes to be done. The best results come from a good high-resolution photo.”

To inquire about creating a custom painting of your pet email rosiev1027@gmail.com


Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com

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