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Cat Portraits by Heidi Blakeslee

One day in my Facebook feed, amongst the usual photos of weddings, sonograms, and home before-and-after shots, I noticed something different: sleek, stylized images of cats and dogs, from an old college friend of mine. This friend has always enjoyed creative pursuits, and I had been keeping up with her poetry readings and collage work in that vague way everyone “keeps up” with their friends on Facebook, but these images really caught my eye, so I clicked.

Turns out, my friend – Heidi Blakeslee of Erie, PA – has been painting pet portraits for a while now. Her style is simple, almost primitive – facial contours and fur patterns are rendered as blocky geometric shapes – yet each piece tells its own story. The animals in her portraits are sometimes staid and serious; sometimes pensive; other times goofballs, hamming it up. Her acrylic paintings capture what is so important to us as animal lovers: personality. (Ed. note: I’m resisting with all my might the urge to use the word “cattitude”.) In fact, that’s a big part of what inspires her: “I think cats are hilarious… [Painting them] is a fun way to try and capture their various personalities.”

And oh, what personalities! 

“Oscar” (on a teal background, natch!)


"Cartman" (Heidi's own cat)

Heidi has primarily being working on commission for friends and family, but is open to expanding! Just send a photo of your cat to and she’ll work with you to create a customized portrait within your budget.  

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