Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Esmeralda and Mae Ling

Two more cat paintings today! The first one, painted in oils on canvas paper, is Mae Ling, a mostly white intensely green-eyed beauty. As with the black cat named Asia (see previous day's blog post), Mae Ling's name suggested the other elements in the painting -- in this case, mystery and travel by moonlit sea. A Chinese coin hangs from the red ribbon about Mae Ling's neck

Although this oil painting may have a bit to go yet before I'll feel it is finished, I also feel that it is very close and the eyes are, in fact, finished. It's possible that I may look this painting fresh in the studio tomorrow and decide that all it needs is my signature. The canvas paper yielded an interesting texture when I layered and wiped the paint, then layered again. This painting measures about 12 x 8 inches (I will post the actual size tomorrow - if I remember to measure it!)

My favorite part of each of the cat portrait paintings I've done so far are the eyes and this is especially true of the Mae Ling portrait:

The second painting today is oil on stretched canvas and measures 18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm.) This work is in-progress and seems to be stylistically very different from the Mae Ling work. It's an intentional shift, as I was inspired by the wildly mottled coloration of the cat named Esmeralda. I'm especially drawn to the color divide down the cat's nose; it brought to my mind Henri Matisse's painting, "The Green Stripe," which was of his wife. This painting has quite a bit to go yet. I plan to push the paint and colors around a bit and generally experiment to see where it leads.

At this stage in Esmeralda's portrait, my initial brush drawing is visible throughout the cat and is especially noticed in the extended front legs where I've adjusted the initial drawing a couple times over. To a lesser extent it is also visible in the cat's head.

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