For many Islanders, pets are considered part of the family, and they cherish each special moment with them.
Adriana Eftimie, a local artist who loves dogs and all sorts of pets, started painting pictures of people’s fuzzy companions about a year and a half ago, and she hasn’t slowed down since.
“The dog and pet portraits are really popular — I’ve been doing a lot of them lately,” Eftimie said.
In 2016, Eftimie first picked up a paintbrush, and discovered a talent she never knew she had. At first it came as a surprise to her, as she had never felt such strong artistic inclinations before (apart from a partial passion for drawing). But immediately after Eftimie began painting, she knew the arts were her calling.
“I was never seriously into art before that. But since that first moment, I knew what my future would look like, even though it would take a lot of learning and time,” Eftimie said.
Before she arrived on the Island in 2016, Eftimie was going to school in Romania, where she grew up.
She earned a degree in management and was intent on following that path, but when she found painting, it changed her life forever. “I had been reading a lot of painting books, and I finally got here,” Eftimie said. “I fell in love with the Island right away, and I knew this was the place where I could learn more about art from some of the many amazing artists who live here.”
Although oil-based paint is her preferred medium, Eftimie also enjoys using acrylic and watercolor paints, and does some ink-and-pencil drawing from time to time.
She recently illustrated a children’s book titled “Men of Snow,” written by Michael D. Grant, which will soon be published, and her work has been featured in galleries around the Island.
Eftimie began commissioning pet paintings when her friend asked if she could paint a picture of her dog. She was happy to paint a pet portrait for her friend, and when the final product was unveiled, the response had a big impact on Eftimie. “When I saw my friend’s reaction, my heart just melted, and I knew what I had to do. Now, each time I do a commission, the person’s face when they first see the painting is the greatest gift I could ever receive,” Eftimie said.
When she was growing up, Eftimie’s parents had cats, dogs, and all kinds of other animals in the house, so she feels deeply connected to the pet portraits she produces.“I feel like even though I don’t have an animal in my own house now, every time I paint one I feel like I have my own dog,” Eftimie said.
Her family also always cherished creativity, with her mother being a dressmaker and her grandfather a tailor.
Even as early as high school, Eftimie had been looking to make the world a better place with her creativity and her art — she hasn’t lost that as her main objective. “It’s about giving people something that they will really love and cherish, whether it’s a painting of a dog or a beautiful landscape, it means something to someone,” she said.
In order to commission a painting from Eftimie, folks can reach out to her via her Instagram page, bit.ly/dogsadriana, with a picture of whatever it is they want the subject to be. She may reach out to discuss the subject matter, size, timeline, and cost.
Once the image references have been decided, Eftimie requests an up-front deposit of 50 percent of the overall cost. Upon request, she can send periodic updates of her progress with pictures included. Each painting can take anywhere from three weeks to three months to complete, depending on its size and complexity. Paintings can be delivered in person on Martha’s Vineyard, or shipped nationally or internationally.
Going forward, Eftimie will continue doing oil portraits, and wants to use her background in event planning and management to organize events for Island artists that will strengthen existing connections and build new ones within the arts community.
Visit adrianaeftimie.com for more information, to see some examples of Eftimie’s creations, or to contact her about commissioning a painting. People can also reach out to her on her Instagram page.