What a beautiful cat, so sweet so cute,
Sitting there on the counter top.
Let me just get my camera?
Where is it, oh over there..
Just a sec, gotta get the settings right,
It’s dark in here so,
400 iso I think…..
Better get the focus right.
Ok, almost ready,
Ah you are a cute cat,
Head rubs and purrs,
Now for the photo. .
This was a painting I must have done in the summer of 1983 or 1984, soon after I finished college I think.
My friend had lots of cats so I did a portrait of her with them.
I wanted to do the painting but didn’t have any stretched canvases to hand so I got some linen canvas and stretched it over a horseshoe shaped chair back with an extra peice of wood nailed in place at the bottom.
The painting was in oils This was before I started using acrylics. After it was finished I gave it to my friend.
A year or two ago it turned up. It had moved house with my friend and she had got it propped up in the kitchen when I visited one day. It was starting to deteriorate because it wasn’t proper canvas and had a couple of holes in it. Bearing in mind it had been painted about 34 years before I guess it has done well. I took photos of it and left.
Sadly the painting got damaged beyond repair when they moved again. But at least I have this photo and I did a small copy which another friend purchased.
It feels like I am letting children go when they go to new homes .You never know if they will survive. At least I know this one’s history.
Cats must have done Yoga in one of their 9 lives! How else could they bend and twist like they do?
Well actually its because they have extremely flexible spines and can move fluidly and easily.
Imagine a cat was a slice of toast, it would always land butter side up. There was a joke once about tying a slice of buttered toast to the back of a cat. Because toast is meant to always land buttered side down the result would be a perpetually rotating cat!
Anyway I would never do that to any animal, let alone a kitty.
But joking apart cats can bend their spines so that if they are dropped from an upside down position they can generally turn right way up before they hit the ground. (don’t do this at home). Cats also cushion the fall by landing on their toes. Their legs and rest if their skeletons act like shock absorbers.
So Cats are pretty awesome, flexible, and good to draw!
Sleep is fine for the cat,
Sixteen hours a day, rain or shine.
A wash behind the ears as he awakes,
A sniff of his paw, then cleans his face.
Time for breakfast/lunch/dinner
And cold, fresh, water.
Then off outside to peruse the birds.
See what’s on his territory.
Ginger from next door??
A swipe and it runs away…
Later as the sun sets,
Paw over nose
Cat again in a doze.
I posted a couple of photos of this painting a few days ago but I wasn’t happy with it. I was going to change it but didn’t know what was going to happen to it. I had ideas but as I worked on it I couldn’t figure out whether they would work or not. One side was complicated, the other to simple. How to balance the sides but not paint over the whole thing?
The solution was to paint over a lot of it, but allow the background to show through. I tried to go for an exploded boxes side on the left of the picture and a more curved pattern on the right. Also I added more green and blue to the right. Finally I added some metallic paint on the left to tone down the black I had used to paint the box shapes just on one side of each box/object. Anyway the cat seems to like it!
These are works in progress, a Ginger autumn cat and a Catfish, I’m doing quite flat designs on black canvases. The catfish painting looks better in the second photo but I think the Ginger autumn cat isn’t quite right yet.
Yesterday I bought metallic colours that really glint in the light, I think my problem is photographing them as they are a bit over exposed in places. I may add additional colours as the Orange is not as subtle as I would like.
Talking about cats and painting, keeping my cats from drinking my paint water is a challenge. I will try and remember to empty it tonight!
Anyway these are going into my exhibition / art sale at the weekend, so I had better get on with them.
Late at night, my cat suddenly stares into the other room, somehow aware of something in there. I look but there is nothing but darkness, no sound, no movement, no figure, nothing except an old armchair.
It doesn’t happen often, but I feel sure my cat is seeing something in another realm that we cannot see. Cats eyes are so accurate, catch every ray of light, every glimmer or speck of movement. Reflecting them back in the dark as shining pools of mother of pearl, glimmering, unblinking.
What does he see? A previous presence? A future me? A distant spectre made visible by random fluctuations in the aether?
Nothing happens, he continues to stare for a few moments more then relaxes and commences washing his paws.