Max and Sully: gentle companions on wood slices.


Two companions, Max and Sully, are painted on approximately 3” Canadian birch slices sourced from a Northern Ontario supplier. The wood is kiln dried and sanded on one side.

FAQ about wood slices:

  1. Do you prepare the slices in some way before painting?
  2. I use clear gesso and give the wood slice two coats with sanding in between each coat. The paint adheres better, I find, with the gesso as a first step.


  1. Why do you use artist quality paint on wood?
  2. When I am painting for someone else, I always use the best paint. Golden and Liquitex acrylics are highly pigmented and I know the vibrant colours will stay true to the original out of the tube colour.


  1. How long does it take to paint a pet on a wood slice?
  2. That varies. In some cases, the pet just seems to paint itself, and I can get it finished in a couple of hours. However, I often have to modify something…the eyes might be too close, the snout too long or too short. I am also helped by the pet’s owner who will tell me if the fur is the correct colour because photographs aren’t always accurate. Certainly, some pets can take much longer than 2 hours and there is no way of knowing how long it might take until I have started!


Max and Sully on wood slices by Ottawa artist, Louise Primeau
Max and Sully on wood slices.


For example, Max came about quite easily, but Sully presented a greater challenge. The fur was different colours in various photos and so I struggled a bit with that aspect. The client helped. She took more photos of shy Sully closer to a window where there would be better lighting.

The owner writes about her pets.


Max reference photo
Max reference photo. Used with permission.

Max was in a kill shelter in Southern VA as a 5 month old pup. My daughter found him there while helping to rescue dogs and transport them to safe shelters.

After we lost our beloved Golden Retriever to cancer, we wanted to adopt another Retriever. We saw an adorable picture of young Max with one foot in a water bowl looking up with a sweet, loving expression. We adopted Max and another 5 month old Golden Retriever, Lacey, at the same time.

They grew up together and are inseparable -both loving pets.

Max had been abused when we got him but he’s come a long way since then. He’s a loyal, loving member of our family who follows me everywhere I go. Max is the most affectionate dog I have ever had! So thankful we found him..


Sully reference photo
Sully reference photo. Used with permission.

We were on vacation at our cabin in Sullivan County, PA.  I joined my husband on the deck and started talking. We heard the meowing of a small kitten from the woods. I investigated and saw a tiny kitten keeping her distance.

It took me a few days to lure her in closer. feed her and finally pick her up.

Sully joined our family of Lacey and Max, our pups.  She was a feral kitten alone in the woods- no mom in sight.  We thought she was about two months, but the vet said she was five months old and starving!!

She’s always very affectionate and loving and lucky for her- very vocal ! We named her Sully for Sullivan County where we found her.

How to reach me -

I would love to answer any questions you might have!  Drop me a line here.

In case you missed them, here are a few more pets painted on wood.




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