Mary Pralinsky

Referred By: Just Surfed In
City/Country: Orange, Massachusetts

Ellen is AMAZING. I would like to share this story with everyone to let you know what an incredible artist AND person that Ellen is.

A couple of months ago we lost our home to a fire. Due to our rural location the fire was not found until it had been going for hours. Tragically our 2 dogs, Cassidy and Sega, and 2 cats, Oreo and Matty, were lost in the fire.

Cassidy and Sega were like our children. Cassidy was a 7 year old Husky/Border Collie mix that I had rescued from the pound when she was 4 months old. Sega was a 14 year old Rottweiller that my boyfriend brought home as a puppy.

When I met my boyfriend 3 years ago Sega was not doing very well. His arthritis was setting is and it was all he could to get up. We would have to make him get up to go outside. When Sega was introduced to Cassidy he somehow found his reason to get up in the morning. Cassidy was so full of vim and vigor - it was all Sega could do to get up and chase her around. Slowly but surely Sega got up on his own every day and became more and more active. At the end of a 3 month period Sega was moving better than he had in years.

The bond the 2 of the developed was a sight to be seen. People used to laugh when we would make the statement that they were like a couple until they saw it for themselves. Sega would "grunt" and Cassidy would come running to his side. They would sit next to one another and lick each others faces over and over and over again.... to the point we would tell them to stop and get a room!! Sega always knew where Cassidy was - he never let her out of his site - his way of protecting her.

After the fire I wanted to find a way that we could have something that would remind us of all the wonderful memories we had with our 2 best friends. I though a painting would be the best way to do this and I desperately wanted to have this done for my boyfriends upcoming birthday. I began searching the web for artists that specialized in portraits of animals. One of my biggest concerns was the limitation the pictures I had presented. We had lost all of our photographs in the fire and I only had one of Sega on a computer at work and 2 of Cassidy. The pictures were dark and I was afraid it would be difficult for an artist to see the expressions and personality that I so wanted to capture.

When I emailed Ellen the response was phenomenal. After explaining to her the lack of photos I was able to provide she stated she could work with what she had and began immediately working on the painting. She displayed no hesitation when I let her know the time frame in which I was looking to have this done - I had little control over the timing of the fire. and period of time until his birthday.

After some correspondence via email Ellen began the portrait. A day later she sent me a photo of her rough sketch on the canvas. I was floored. Those were my babies and there was no doubt it was them. You could see them beginning to take form. I was so anxious to see the finished painting... it could only get better from here.

The day came when I opened the package that had arrived which contained the completed framed painting. I literally shook with excitement as I carefully opened the box. All I can say is the painting is the MOST INCREDIBLE thing I have ever seen. I could never have imagined that someone could capture every little piece of Cassidy and Sega - especially if they never saw the dogs themselves. Right down to the little scar on Sega's nose - to the ice blue color of Cassidy's eye. You can feel the bond between them just by looking at it.... Absolutely amazing.

I could never have asked for a more precious memory of Cassidy and Sega. Every time I look at it I see the light in their eyes and I remember how special they were to us and to each other. This painting will be the first piece that is placed into our new home after the construction is complete. It will be placed were both my boyfriend and I , our family and friends can enjoy it. I can only count the days now until his birthday so I can see his expression when he sees it for the first time.

I would like to thank Ellen with all my heart for giving this memory to us. She went out of her way for us - I truly believe she connected with both of them while she was creating this painting. There is no other way she could have captured their spirit like she did. Ellen - I can never thank you enough.

Your BIGGEST fan,
Mary Pralinsky


Ellen Silverberg  3880 NE 15th Ave., Oakland Park, FL 33334
Tel. 1 954 908-1261  
  Cell 1 516 381-7943    


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