Before the pandemic, Paige Gresell put down her paintbrush to pursue a passion in skin care. After majoring in painting and drawing at LSU, she wanted a break from art. The 29-year-old became a skin care advisor at Sephora, where she educated customers on new products, trends and techniques.
Once COVID-19 reached Louisiana, her skin care career came to a halt. People were spending more time at home and less on makeup and beauty products.
With her new down time, the Baton Rouge creative started making art again. Back in December 2019, Gresell made mini pet portraits of a friend’s two dogs as Christmas gifts. Initially she didn’t think much of it—until she was asked to make more. During the stay-at-home order, people started requesting pet portraits again, and her art business was up and running.
Gresell began PMG Paint in 2020. Today, pet portraits are her most requested artwork, but she also creates custom home portraits and abstract paintings. Her pet portraits are painted on pocket-sized mini canvases and standard 5-by-7-inch canvases. During the holidays, she paints festive, mini pet portraits on wooden ornaments. All of her work is made with acrylics, in bold, realistic colors that bring the animals to life.
No portrait is the same. Each pet painting is eye-catching, animated and has its own special character. Gresell paints the animals with special backgrounds depending on the customer’s request or the theme of the painting. In one of her creations, she depicted a brown and white striped cat with a jungle background. The cat wears a leopard-print outfit while surrounded by dangling plants. In another portrait, she painted a dog in a New Orleans Saints jersey in front of a gold background with black stars and white polka dots.
Her favorite part of her business is hearing the stories of her customers and their four-legged friends.
“People light up when they talk about their pets,” Gresell says.
She doesn’t just love painting animals, she also loves supporting them, and most importantly, giving them a home. Every month, she donates a portion of her shop proceeds to a local animal shelter. In 2021, she also started fostering homeless dogs. This year, she plans to start partnering with more animal shelters to volunteer and donate funds.
Customers shop Gresell’s art primarily online through Local Pop-Up’s website and on Etsy. She plans to launch her own website, where customers can order unique portraits and other art in one place.