Missoula's Painting with a Twist makes pets into stars - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula's Painting with a Twist makes pets into stars

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Painting with a Twist offers art classes. (MTN News photo) Painting with a Twist offers art classes. (MTN News photo)

Creating a work of art based on your furry companion can be difficult without the right tools; however, with guidance from a local art studio, many walk away with the Mona Lisa of pet paintings.

Girl with a Pearl Earring has nothing on Truman with the Brown Collar. Pet owners mused over their furry friends as they captured their likeness on canvas Sunday at Painting with a Twist. 

Truman, an energetic mix; Bonnie, a golden retriever with some fashion sense; Whiskey, a frisky feline -- they were just a few of the pets painted by their owners. 

Painting with a Twist brought animal lovers together to sip wine, practice their brush strokes, and celebrate their favorite furry friend.

"Bonnie was a soft and sweet dog. She didn't have a mean bone in her. She just loved everybody...she was easy to have," painter Colleen Wilson said.

Many of the painting pet owners have a common caretaker -- Patti Prato a local veterinarian. She has been caring for animals for 26 years, along with finding homes for rescued pets.

"I have always been devoted to my pets and other people's pets because many, many, many people like me … these pets are like their children. They are very important in their lives so the people that I am here with are all former clients and we still do a lot of things together," Prato said. "We share that same passion for wanting to memorialize our pets."

Along with giving locals a place to express their creativity, the owner of Painting with a Twist, Cathy Lower, is a pet owner herself. She says the bond with her rescue dog has been life changing.

"I think, you know, he just brought out a part of me. He brought out something in me that my other pets didn't. My pets from now on will be rescues because I feel like you do something good for the world -- and for them," Lower said.

Whether painting a cat or a dog or even an iguana, Lower says she enjoys watching the artist live in the moment. Painting with a Twist offers a variety of different painting classes.

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