Thursday, July 24, 2008

Animal crackers

True my animals have been a bit crackers today -- but the real
reason for the title is that I'm painting animals again. You
might think that's simpler than painting people -- but isn't.
Getting the same verve, personality and joyous painting
feeling is just as demanding with animals as with people.

Susan and Simone
acrylic on canvas
12" x 12"

That made me think of this little painting I started last
fall, and didn't finish. The subject -- my cat
Simone wrapped around my friend Susan's neck, was
a good one. I loved Simone, but she died after surgery
last fall, and for a long time I didn't have the heart to
look at the painting.

Susan loved the photograph this painting was inspired
by. Simone loved Susan, who really doesn't like cats.
She especially loved Susan in a certain velvet collared
jacket Susan arrived in one day after work. Simone was
a shoulder sitter. Our cat Fiona isn't. Sometimes I
still get a clutch in my heart thinking about Simone,
but Fiona is an excellent distraction.

Simone the cat
Photo by Caitlin Grandison

I need to work on the painting a bit to finesse Susan's
face and hair, and to get Simone's beautiful eyes just
right. Oh and her ears need work. In fact the whole thing
is in a very rough state.

I like both the total awkwardness and humour
that's already there in the rough version of Susan's face.
Susan loves Cape Breton, that's why there's
just a hint of Big Smokey in the background.
I was working on my Shorelines series, and planned
to have a whole wall of people in favorite landscapes
painted on 12 " square canvasses and bolted together
to make a big canvas. I will do this one day!!!

Have a crazy like a fox day.

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Portrait Artist

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!