Monday, February 11, 2013

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Once upon a time a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, (Chicago, Illinois). Okay maybe not that long ago and perhaps not that far away, just seems that way some days. There have been two constants in my life, my love of art and my love of animals. I always pictured myself as I aged to end up being known as a "crazy cat lady". Although I was fascinated by cats at a young age, they "followed" me home a lot, I didn't get my first cat until I was 17. My High School art teacher gave me a Siamese cat for graduation. Being a gift from my teacher made him acceptable to my mother and Bootsie became my soul companion. Over the years I have had many cats, all individuals, all beautiful, each one special, and all remembered with love. There are days when I probably couldn't tell you what I had for breakfast the day before, but I could tell you the name of every cat I have ever been owned by. At one point there were 63 cats and kittens in my care. Not to worry, I hadn't lost my mind, I had a Cattery. I bred and showed Himalayan cats, today they are known as color point Persians. I was honored to have bred and raised the top seal point male in the Midwest, Tmu-Ra's Nonesuch. Now you are probably wondering where am I going with this story, well, during this same time I also owned and operated "The Cat House Boutique". It was a traveling boutique, going to cat shows and selling different cat items including hand painted cat items, jewelry, wall hangings, jackets etc. I really loved painting all the different breeds of cats.  Time marched on and some things became less relevant, the Boutique being one. Not my cats, never the cats, always at least one graced my life.

Now to the point of this whole story, Albert has sort of demanded that I paint him. Of course who could say no to a face like that, not me, he knows where I sleep. I enjoy painting him so much that I started painting another cat, then another, and now have at least a dozen little cat portraits, from finished oil paintings to the pencil drawing on canvas.

Kalico Kitty
All of the paintings are on 6" x 6" x 1.5" stretched canvas. I really like painting on the thicker canvases, I do continue the painting down the sides of the canvas so they don't have to be framed. The thicker canvases can stand alone on a shelf without an easel or hung on the wall.I find that cat's eyes are wonderful windows into their personality, so I tend to make them a little larger than they are in reality. It is fun to place them at different angles and falling off the canvas, it makes the negative space much more interesting. So you can't really call them exact portraits, more so personality portraits. Well whatever you want to call them, I am having a ball painting my little four footed friends!!