While I’m parading pet portraits, here’s one more I did as a Christmas commission. In this pastel, I put two friends together from separate photos, two beloved pets who passed away recently. I was touched to hear on Christmas day that the gift was treasured, thoughtfully given and happily received!
Archives For cat
Staring seems to accompany boredom.
We have a very wee little house, and I’ve been in it with three kids for quite a few days in a row. They play, we have “dance parties,” they go in the back yard, the front yard, we chill, we eat, we draw…but like I said, it’s a small space for busy little people.
The cat and I find ourselves gazing out the window. We see the busy, worm-searching birds, the neighborhood cats languidly crossing the road; we see our neighbors take their dogs for walks, people coming and going, weeding gardens, washing cars. We look at the blue hydrangeas drooping in the heat, and I go out to water them.
I read an article the other day, while lounging in my window-side leather chair, as the baby napped and the kids played. It was about being privately vs. publicly alone…interesting little snippet. It says “To be privately alone can be difficult, because wherever we go, there we are, yammering away at ourselves,” i.e. driving ourselves crazy. Moping, getting grumpy, worrying, thinking about problems and to-do lists. (Also, being jealous and missing your husband while he’s on an exotic trip.)
The author recommends “mindfulness, a practice that sounds esoteric but simply means focusing on what’s around you instead of the chatter in your head.”
So I decided to stop wallowing, and soak in my surroundings: my sweet kids, even when they’re squabbling; the sound of “Mama” coming from my baby’s room as she wakes; the beauty of the tree in my yard, the quiet sounds drifting through my screen door.
Life is very good. And Daddy is on his way home.
I’m sitting on my art room floor, folded in an adolescent position (for which later my joints paid dearly), bent over an 8×10 sepia colored piece of pastel card. My pastels lay to my left, my reference in front propped against a child’s white & marker-scribbled chair. The sun is shining in, the Lumineers sing to me as Pandora plays my choice of music.
The metaphorical bell sounds; that hollow metallic announcement that the fight begins.
In one corner, there is me, bent and ready for the battle. My opponent in the other, a photo of a large silver Maine Coon, waiting to be drawn.
The match begins with ease. I sketch that cat and win round 1.
I tackle the image with my initial layers of pastels, and reduce my opponent to art reminiscent of the “paint-by-numbers” of my childhood.
When it’s time for the unifying layers, where it is expected that I will triumph, the cat fights back. It’s lunchtime and I’m growing weak. My frustrations mount as we’re locked in a fierce battle. I attack with my pastels to no avail.
I return to my corner. My eyes are numb to the big picture and I need a rest. Details are blurred and frustrated, and my animosity towards the cat has escalated to muttered swearing. I eat. I rest. I separate from the cat. Continue Reading…
Tonight we lost our 11-year old cat George. He was our first pet, discovered as a tiny kitten in a bush in Piedmont, Alabama the February before my husband and I were married. He leaves behind his best friend Sam, and his human family. I drew this pastel of him as a kitten several years ago, and thought it was a fitting piece to share. We will miss our sweet George!