An archaeological project in Wyoming took me away from the studio for two weeks.Since returning, I've been busy making up for the down time. I've only been back home for four days, but those have proven very productive. Posted below are photos of some of the works in progress. The last two paintings shown (Miss Smith and Harley) were started before the Wyoming trip. All the works are oil on stretched canvas. As with all my works, these are done totally free-hand directly with brush and paint. Be sure to click on the images to see each in a larger format.
This painting is of Wilson. He's an older fellow. I think this is the cat who is missing a front leg (and it looks like possibly some toes too?) but his profile is not posted now (it use to be.) He is what I'd call a long-faced cat -- his nose is noticeably longer than average. In this painting I plan to have him sitting on either a colorful quilt or floral sheet and I will "pose" the fabric on the studio table as a model to work from for the folds and pattern placement. I may or may not paint in anything behind Wilson (perhaps a pillow or two. I want to make this work Wilson's dream image of his "forever home." His markings and color are subtle and very beautiful. I still have more to ad to Wilson's fur pattern and, of course, his whiskers. The painting measures 16 x 18 inches (40.64 x 45.72 cm.)
The next painting is of Whiskers, a 21 year old with a large round head, small intense eyes and LOTS of white whiskers. I decided it would be nice to depict Whiskers in a tulip bed. Over the years I've used tulips symbolically in my art. As always, they allude to spring and the rebirth or continuation of life and, because they are a bulb plant, they also speak to the persistence of life.
The painting of Whiskers is 14 x 11 inches (35.56 x 21.94 cm.)
The next painting is of Miss Smith. This cat's name dictated my attitude and sensibilities while painting the work. The formality of the name comes out in the formality of the painting. The blue background wall will have ginko leaves arranged in a non-distracting design/color/pattern to suggest 1800s wallpaper or 1700s stencil. To me, this painting as it is has a "colonial" feel to it -- perhaps because it is still plain and simple but also because of the conventions of the body and face. Once I add whiskers and a few other details, perhaps that will change the feel of the work. I will place a feather on the red carpet in front of the cat. I think Miss Smith should "marry" Whiskers and then whichever one gets adopted first, the other will tag along. Miss Smith's painting is 24 x 24 inches (60.96 x 60.96 cm.)
The next painting is an older cat named Bonnie. When I started painting Bonnie's portrait, I got the name Emily in my head and by the time I'd gotten the preliminary sketch done, the name Emily had pushed the cat's actual name completely out of my brain. Hence my thoughts wandered to the short story, "A Rose for Emily." And that led to the rose on the carpet and the wall paper (not yet done) which will depict a subtle rose stencil design. I find Bonnie an interesting cat because of her very round head (which makes her eyes seem smallish, minimalist markings and white body with dark tail. Like the painting of Harley, this work seems a little bit darker on the computer screen than it does in reality. Bonnie's portrait painting is 18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm.)