About the Artist

I am so thrilled that everyone who receives a custom pet portrait knows they are getting an authentic Poppyfish Studio painting and a celebration of the love and special joy furry family members bring.

  • Natasha Papousek, Artist

Hello! My name is Natasha and I believe that animals teach us about love and joy, and art reminds us of those lessons.

A few years ago, one of my dear friends lost her beloved dog. She was so sad about the loss of her sweet Pepper and it broke my heart to see her grieve.

I was moved to paint a portrait of Pepper, but since I had no formal art training, I was worried that it would look stupid and she would hate it and be even more sad. But then I came to the conclusion that I had to share the painting with her because it might help her with her grief the way the beautiful photo of my mother taken by a professional photographer helps me with mine.

Although I had been dabbling in mixed media for a few years, I had difficulty making the vision in my head a reality on canvas. I went through several drafts.  I struggled with capturing the highlights on her fur and the expression in her eyes.  But finally I created a painting that I felt good about giving. 

There were tears and hugs and happy memories; it was a celebration the love she shared with her dog.  I knew then that painting pet portraits was a gift I needed to share with others. It is deeply satisfying to bring joy and delight to pet lovers all over the world with my art.

My first pet portrait of my neighbor’s dog, Pepper.

What's in a name?

What is a poppyfish? I get that question a lot.

The state flower of California is the California poppy and the state fish is the garibaldi.  When we first moved to San Diego, we went snorkelling in La Jolla Cove. I put my face in the water and saw a dozen round orange fish.  They looked like poppies!  I called them poppyfish, and later learned they were garibaldi. Many years later when I was searching for a unique name for my business, I remembered my nickname for the state fish… and voila! Poppyfish Studio.