Brothers by the Window is my new painting. A few months ago, I rearranged the furniture in our living room placing a side table in front of the big window and it soon became a favorite hang out for our kitties. I placed a pillow there which Truffle enjoys. Tuxie will sometimes join him by sitting on the edge but he tends to look a bit irritated at Truffle having more space. It also makes Truffle a bit nervous but he holds his ground. I tried to show this dynamic in the painting.
I took a picture with the boys together and sent it to my daughter who loves to get daily updates on the cats. We both noticed how striking it was with the light outside and the dark interior and I thought to myself, here’s the subject for a new painting. Mom’s birthday was last week; I generally do a still life painting around this time of year in her honor, and so I began the new still life with the cats.
It was a fun and challenging painting to do. I wanted the interior to be dark but also light enough to show off the beautiful antique table. I included the houseplants on either side of the cats to show the warm tropical greenery in contrast to the cold winter day outside. I’m getting better at depicting Tuxie who has interesting asymmetric markings on his face making it challenging to get his looks down. I’m glad to be back to painting and have started a new one that I’m working on this weekend.
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.
I’ve just completed Mom’s Majolica Pitcher with Tuxie in honor of Mom’s birthday which is today. For years now I’ve been painting a yearly still life for Mom. This one features her lovely majolica pitcher. Mom collected all kinds of antiques and she had a beautiful collection of majolica earthenware pottery which she kept on shelves in her kitchen. They were colorful and distinctively decorated with natural motifs. I think it was the natural motifs that attracted Mom to the pieces as she loved the natural world herself.
When I set the pitcher up in my studio to begin the painting, Tuxie, our cat, jumped up on the table and made himself at home around the pitcher. This tickled me so I called my daughter, a good photographer, over and she quickly took some photos which I used to sketch him in. Tuxie is not the most handsome of cats but he has a wonderfully quirky personality and we love him dearly. I tried to capture his funny look.
I wanted this year’s painting to be a happy one full of color and chose a cobalt blue table cover to include Mom’s favorite color. If Mom were here, I think she would be pleased because all of her daughters and their families are in happy, contented places now. This makes me very happy also. I hope everyone is having a great start to this year!
Yesterday was my wonderful next door neighbor Beverly’s 90th birthday. She has ten children and all of her children and their children and great grandchildren are in to town to celebrate this big occasion with her. Today there is a birthday luncheon in honor of Beverly at a country club. They were sweet to invite me and I’m looking forward to seeing all of her extended family. Beverly is still going strong and lives with her daughter Adele. Through the years we have lived here they both have been so sweet and supportive of us and especially of my daughter. This has meant a lot to me since we don’t have family here and my parents passed away before my girl could get to know them.
I wanted to do something special for Beverly for her birthday so when I found out her favorite flower is the purple iris, I decided to do a still life and also include their two cats, Zig and Zag. The colorful wall hanging behind Zag is one of Adele’s quilts. She and her mom share a love of sewing; their downstairs room filled with sewing machines and they have various creative projects going on all the time.
They have also supported me by buying prints of my art over the years. I wanted them to have an original painting just for them. Happy Birthday Beverly!