Pet Memorial Art with Ashes: Bringing Pets we Love Home

Mix pet ashes into oil paint

Pet Memorial Art with Ashes

I’m often asked about pet memorials. For me and the people I work with, pets are family. We need closure when they go on without us.

However, as a pet portrait artist, I get to talk with some of the best pet owners! And (if I’m lucky) meet their amazing pets (digitally or in person). So I know that when you have a companion who’s spent their whole life with you, bringing in new curiosity, attention and joy every day, it’s only natural to want to celebrate them with some sort of memorial.

As a result, I’ve done pet memorial rocks, memorial portrait paintings for cats, dogs and horses, memorial stickers, and have even painted pets’ ashes into the final piece. People need a way to honour their pets.

Pet Memorials on Canvas

pet portrait artist Zann Hemphill

I’m always amazed and grateful to see how people support one another through the loss of a pet.

For example, requests come in from people looking for their own pet memorials, but also from amazing friends. People who want to give a pet memorial gift to a grieving friend or family member.

With pet memorial pieces, I like to take longer than with other pet portraits. It means my clients can have more time to reflect on what they want to feature most. I’ve posted a breakdown on the process here.

Paintings can be a great gift, because you can get a great image without having to have taken the perfect photo. For example, sometimes the loss of a pet is completely out of the blue. Then, it’s too late to get the perfect portrait on camera. Or sometimes, you have a favourite photo, but someone’s thumb is in it.

With paintings, that’s OK. I often work from a bunch of different images to get the final painting just right.

Painting Pet Memorials with Ashes

Lets take a look at some examples with ashes! To start, this pet memorial for Smokie the Dachshund was painted using his ashes, which his owners mailed to me at my studio.

Pet Portrait with Ashes

By mixing ashes into the paint and onto the canvas, the painting became a physical representation as well as a visual one. Now, his owners can keep Smokie present in their lives. He’s home.

Pet memorial painting with ash
Memorial Portrait of "Tiger", painted with his Ashes

Adding ashes to a painting is a way to make a pet memorial more personal. It also helps keep memories of the four-legged friends who have touched our lives present in the home.

If you have a pet you’d like to commemorate, get in touch!
I can be reached by email at

Pet Memorial Gallery

Thanks for stopping by,


Picture of Zann Hemphill

Zann Hemphill

Zann Hemphill is a practising pet portrait artist, writer, and video producer.

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