Artist Marko Mavrovich admits the emotions his military-themed paintings evoke makes it difficult to complete the works.
“When I paint these paintings of soldiers with dogs I can’t start and finish them,” Mavrovich says. “I start tearing up and have to put them aside and I’ll go paint something else.”
As a result, Mavrovich only creates three or four of these special military canine paintings a year, and often reserves them for charitable causes close to his heart. Most recently, he donated two of these works to the SEAL Legacy Foundation.
The paintings, titled “Waiting for a Brother to Come Home” and “He Leads Me by Still Waters,” show the importance of military dogs in the armed forces. The former depicts the silhouette of a military dog waiting for its master to come home, while the second shows a canine leading a soldier though a dark swamp.
When Mavrovich showed these paintings to his collectors, one man immediately connected with them. The collector informed Mavrovich that he works with the SEAL Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the families of wounded and fallen U.S. Navy SEALs.
Inspired by the story, Mavrovich decided to donate the works to the foundation. They will be included in fundraising auctions during the foundation’s Gold Jacket Salute to the SEALs event on September 11.
As a former member of the military, Mavrovich strives to assist causes like the SEAL Legacy Foundation. The artist served in the Navy while living in Yugoslavia. As a cadet training on cargo ships, he sketched in his downtime, and was surprised by how fascinated his shipmates were with his craft.
“I remember at night guys would gather in my cabin…and everybody calmed down and watched me draw,” Mavrovich says. “It’s a healing thing.”
The artist is a dog lover as well, often adopting dogs with health issues to ensure they lead good lives. As a result, Mavrovich works with multiple organizations and charities that support veterans and animals alike, including the Kentucky Pro Bass Warriors, the Hero Dog Awards, and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
“It’s a constant mission for me to raise as much money as I can with my art,” Mavrovich says.
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