Preserve artist’s paintings have gone to the dogs — and people love it

Artwork tells a story. Maybe it’s an abstract piece that leaves the meaning up to the beholder. Or, it could be a moment — like a child laughing or waves crashing — that’s been captured with the stroke of a brush.

Hoover’s Katie Adams tells her and others’ stories with paint, pencils, textures and an eye for the creative.

Preserve artist Katie Adams displays "Harold," a 36-by-48 oil painting on canvas.

Preserve artist Katie Adams displays “Harold,” a 36-by-48 oil painting on canvas.

Although Adams now sells her artwork through her site,, that’s not the path she originally thought she’d take. She says she always loved drawing as a child, but she fell away from it in high school. Adams didn’t return to the craft until she was a senior at Auburn University majoring in finance.

“After my internship at an insurance company my junior year, I realized I really missed the mark on choosing a major,” Adams says. “I should have chosen something more creative.”

But it wasn’t until she got married and had their first child that Adams took a drawing class at the Birmingham Museum. Her first sketch there was of a Russian man, which was fitting because her art teacher, Svetlana Belotserkovskaya, hailed from the same country.

“She is an awesome teacher, and she still teaches in town,” Adams says. “She showed me I could draw human faces.”

From there, she began creating human portraits, mostly as pencil sketches. She then moved to oil painting and continued to take different art classes.

“Much can be said about the classes offered in town,” says Adams, who lives in the Preserve. “I’ve taken quite a few here and there and have picked up some great tips.”

With some experience under her belt, Adams began creating and selling commissioned pieces. But after a while, she started to change her artwork’s focus.

“Human portraits take a long time to make, require a great deal of focus and patience and, consequently, are expensive,” Adams says.

Instead of recreating human emotions with her pieces, she started to focus on man’s furry friend.

“Dogs are so much more fun to paint,” Adams says. “They don’t take as long and they don’t cost as much as human portraits. Plus, I don’t get tired of looking at them. I would rather paint 10 dogs in the same time it takes to do one human.”

Adams is definitely not the only one who enjoys looking at man’s best friend. “People love their dogs,” she says.

Someone who wants a pet portrait normally sends her several photos of their pet. Then, she works with them to pick a favorite photo, choose a size canvas and discuss any changes that need to be made — such as including their collar, the background color and other details.

From there, she gets to work on the painting. It normally takes her anywhere from two to four days for her to create the artwork. She’ll send a photo of her work to the client, see if they have any adjustments and put the finishing touches on it.

Then comes the best part: Giving the final version to the pet parent.

“They are always so happy when they get their painting,” Adams says. “That makes me happy.”

Seeing people’s reactions to portraits of their four-legged friends is Adams’s favorite part. She ships her paintings anywhere in the country, or people can pick them up in town.

Beyond pet portraits, she’s also started dabbling in abstract art, expanding her creative palette.

“It’s nice to do something loose after I have been so focused on details and proportions in commissioned work,” Adams says.

Residents can see some of her abstract pieces at the Moss Rock Festival at the Preserve Nov. 5-6. She also has some of her pieces at the J.C. Morgan Gallery in Oxford, Ala.

All of her artwork can be seen on her website,, and she can be reached at