I’ve just completedTiggy, another new cat painting. In December when I was working out how I was going to paint Katniss, the last painting, I sketched out a cat laying on the page. Once I saw the photo of Katniss sitting on the wall, I decided to put the first cat sketch aside and do a new sketch of her sitting. My daughter, who was home for the holidays at the time, suggested I use that first sketch to paint our beloved cat, Tiggy. So, that’s what I’ve done and this painting is for her.
Tiggy and his sister came into our family when they were tiny kittens. We got them from our neighbor for our daughter who was three at the time. They grew up together. Tiggy was a wonderful cat, loving and patient. Through the years he was patient and present with all the kids who came in and out and he loved our daughter. He also loved being outdoors,spending hours outside laying in the front yard. Neighbors walking by would stop to pet him. He was majestic and kind to all, everyone knew him. Here’s a picture of my daughter with Tiggy.
A few years after we lost Tiggy’s sister, we brought home two new tuxedo kittens,Tuxie and Truffle. It took him a month to adjust but he soon became like a father to them; again, he was patient and kind. At thirteen, he became ill and we knew it was near the end, but he still loved laying outside. He died a week after our girl graduated from high school. It was almost as if he waited for that, he actually went up into her bedroom and passed away. I think of Tiggy as such an evolved being and know he’s somewhere up in heaven where all our beloved pets go. That’s why I did the fanciful background as if he is in a heavenly sphere.
Here is my new cat painting, Katniss which I plan to give to my chiropractor. Back in April when I had just started seeing him for my neck issue I brought him a few of my note cards which included some of the cat images. He then told me about their big, beautiful tabby cat, Katniss that he and his wife adore. He saw me once of week for several weeks and generously gave me a price cut. He is a true healer and helped me get through the six months of my slow recovery which I so appreciated. I decided to thank him with a portrait of Katniss.
I tried to capture her look from the photos of her he had emailed me. This image is from their neighbor’s back patio wall. I liked the composition and how it showed her adorable plump look. I’m going to bring the painting with me to my next appointment in in early February. I am hoping that they like the painting of their much loved kitty.
Truffle on the Green Chair is my new painting. The image is from a photo that I texted to my daughter for her kitty fix. I liked the composition and the space around Truffle so I decided to paint it. I am inspired by the British painter, David Hockney. I love his interiors with their vivid colors and how the colors help define the space, so I decided to have some fun painting in a similar style. In this painting were a number of smaller parts within the space that required time and detail. It was a good practice for me.
Truffle is such a cutie-pie, many times he has an uncertain look in his eyes when I take pics. He likes to sit on top of the chair when I’m cooking in the kitchen. We just love him! At Christmas he started limping, his front paw had a spot on it that I thought would heal but then the wound cracked it it bled profusely. The vet checked him out and told us he has an autoimmune disease where his paws get soft; she gave him a steroid shot. I had recently changed his kitty litter to a lightweight corn based brand which I think aggravated his condition. I changed the littler to unscented clay brand and began feeding food containing probiotics. His little paw healed, luckily the condition is not fatal, it’s something he just has to live with. I wonder if that’s why he has been fairly stationary much of his life compared to his rambunctious brother, Tuxie.
Tuxie with Sunflowers is my most recent painting. I had the pitcher of sunflowers on the chest next to the window in my studio that I used to do my last painting, Sunflowers in Mom’s Silver Pitcher. Over the days it took me to do that painting, Tuxie would jump up and lay next to the pitcher. I took several photos with my phone and sent them my daughter. She loves getting texts with photos of her beloved kitties. I took a blend of two of those photos to create this painting.
Tuxie’s face is challenging to paint because of his asymmetric patterns on his symmetric face. I worked at getting his face to work for quite a while. Tuxie and his brother, Truffle keep me company as I paint. Their birthday is coming up in August. They will be 12 years old. We just love them both!
I have note cards and framed prints in a display at the Westside Market in Toco Hills. The cat with still life note cards are big sellers. I think this one will be a nice addition.
Truffle Out on the Porch features our other much loved tuxedo kitty. This painting is a companion piece to last week’s painting of Tuxie. I’m enjoying the challenge of working on the larger paper. This painting had quite a few elements that took a while to bring together and work out.
We built a screened porch just off our dining room after a few years of living here and are glad we did. It’s quite spacious outdoor space with a peaked roof and is much needed with the mosquitoes that thrive here. It’s great for entertaining and just hanging out on mild days. Truffle tends to spend more time there then his brother. Tuxie tends to roam while Truffle is our home boy spending many afternoons out on the porch.
I’m now thinking that I might put both paintings up in the dining room. This one is brighter and there is space for both. When I get them up I will post a photo.
It’s been a busy season, a couple of Sundays ago we had the yearly neighborhood artist holiday open house at my home. I enjoy decorating my home as it gets me into the Christmas spirit. Several artist friends and their lovely art fill the downstairs during the show. It was a sunny mild day with lots of people stopping by; everyone seemed to do well. The following Monday I took time to restock my framed prints over at the Flying Biscuit Cafes.
Now I’m back to painting. I’ve just completed Leo the Lion. I had painted the Lion’s Gatea while back but this time I wanted to paint a large lion as if the solar light was shining on and from him. The sun rules Leo and the Lion is it’s symbol. I have a good friend, a Leo who is having serous health issues. I admire his strength, to me, he seems gallant the way he has handled his degenerative illness and continues to be present and loving with his family.
Many years ago on Christmas, my twin sister and I received the set of books, The Chronicles ofNarnia by C.S. Lewis which we read over the winter break. Both of us loved the series as the writing was imaginative and magical. I especially loved the Aslan, the lion. He was the majestic guide, strong and kind. I pictured him in my mind as he took the children for rides on his back. How safe and secure they felt. In the film that came out a few years back, the lion was much smaller than I imagined. The lion I painted is how I see him.
Siamese Cat in the Garden is new addition to my cat still life series. After viewing the last painting of the black cat next to the fish pitcher my sister told me a funny story about her siamese cat who was lapping water in a an asian ceramic bowl that suddenly noticed the large fish painted inside and jumped back in fright. That got me thinking about adding a new painting with a siamese cat.
I’ve done a number of lotus paintings; I find them beautiful, the colors and they way the blossoms float above large pads. I thought it made sense to add lotuses to a asian garden theme painting with the siamese cat. I also alluded once again to the cat looking at the large container decorated with catfish.
Many years ago when my twin sister and I were in second grade, a little siamese cat appeared in our yard and adopted our family to live with. We named her Thai Pung, she was very sweet and full of fun. She was probably just under a year old and soon we found out she was pregnant. At that time my twin sister and I shared a double bed and one morning we awoke to see Ti Pung with four little kittens that she had given birth to during the night right in between us. As an adult, I’ve wondered why she chose our bed. She didn’t stay with us much longer, my parents must have given her away along with the kittens.
Because of her I’ve always loved Siamese cats, they are smart and vocal. I enjoyed doing the painting, there were several elements that I had to pull together. I’m relatively pleased and I now have six cat and floral images for my note cards.
Sunflower Still Life with Black Cat is a painting that I’ve just completed. I felt like doing a new still life and wanted to use the fish pitcher that my twin sister gave me on our birthday last year. It’s one of her many unique thrift store finds, she’s got a great eye and is always coming home with fun items. She thoughtfully passed it on to me as I like to paint both pitchers and fish. The pitcher usually stays out in the screened in back porch; I brought it in and filled with sunflowers to paint.
I decided to add a black cat to the painting to continue the still lifes with cats series. It’s the fourth one in the series and with the two other cat paintings I now have cat note card six pack for marketing purposes. I’m pleased with the cat, he’s standing for a change which I think works in this painting and it’s also bit humorous that he’s right next to the fish. I had been wanted to paint sunflowers for a while now, as they radiate warmth and happiness. The sunflower papier mache bowls I used to make were always quite popular.
It took a while to balance all the elements but I’m happy with the result. Our daughter is coming home for spring break next week, we’re looking forward to her visit. It’s gotten chilly again today, hopefully it will warm up by next week during her break.
Beloved Sam is a new painting that I just completed for a birthday gift for Lauri Shock. Her husband, Billy Howard contacted me after receiving a note card of mine with the image of Adele’s Cats from a mutual friend. Billy asked if he could buy the original since one of the cats reminded them of their Sam who had recently passed away to give to Laurie on her birthday. Since I didn’t have the original I offered to do a new similar painting for him. He liked that idea and sent me his Medium Post, Sam the Cat, which has some lovely photos of Sam.
It was my first commissioned painting and I was a bit nervous, but Billy said that they liked my style of using bright colors so I went with it. I chose my mom’s stangl pitcher that looked a bit like one in the photos. With Sam, I accented his green eyes and white patch that they loved about him. I put a painting behind the flowers of birds flying as a symbol of Sam’s spirit being freed.
Sam showed up one day and became theirs when he was about a year old and for 15 years his quirky personality brought them joy daily. It was a pleasure painting Sam. I was touched by Billy’s thoughtfulness of wanting to do this for Lauri’s birthday gift. What a wonderful idea in helping them to honor Sam’s memory.
The Jaguar is a new painting for my rainforest series. Jaguars are the largest cats native to the Americas and third largest cats in the world behind lions and tigers. The jaguar once roamed from Argentina all the way up to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Today, jaguars have been almost completely eliminated from the United States. This endangered cat hangs on in remote regions of Central America and South America. My niece spent time in Costa Rica on a college research trip and was fortunate to see a black jaguar in the dead of night.
Jaguar is a Native American word meaning, “he who kills with one blow.” In pre-Columbian America the jaguar was seen as a god in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala. The Mayans saw him as the god of the underworld.
The idea for this painting came to me a couple weeks ago. My daughter is spending a semester abroad in Prague, and has taken advantage of her free time traveling to many exciting places, She’s been to Paris, Rome, Naples and now, Vienna and is having a great time on her adventures. We are excited for her because she’s broadening her horizons by learning about and experiencing other cultures. It’s brought back to mind wonderful memories of my travels. One of those memories was a trip with my husband down to the Oaxaca, Mexico region. In a small arts village, I bought him a bright hand painted and carved, wooden jaguar that he keeps in his office for good luck. This jaguar painting is also for my husband and a reminder of our happy memories of Mexico.