Creating to a theme… A cat’s life

Cat Takes Herself for a Walk, 18 x 24″, acrylic on board, Karen Gillis Taylor, 2012

A few weeks ago a friend and I agreed to paint our cats. I decided to depict my cat Mimi trotting down the street in the spring landscape. It’s a fictitious scene, since our cat is  by necessity an indoor cat, with all the coyotes living in the neighborhood.

Besides agreements between friends, entering themed art shows is also a fun experience. Like the fun of seeing students’ interpretations in a class setting, a themed exhibit is something worth seeing, or participating in. It never fails, there are always completely unique and different works coming out of one suggested idea. When a painter chooses to interpret someone else’s subject/theme, it provides a challenge often outside of one’s comfort zone. We should always be ready to stretch and grow in our work, don’t you think? Have you painted for an exhibit or a class that was outside of your chosen themes? How did you do?

Mimi detail

Painting a pet is nearly as hard for me as painting children. I attempted to capture her personality. Mimi is typically independent and curious as cats go, but she’s a little demanding, and by placing her in this pretty scene, I feel like I’ve found a way to tame her insistence on being in the spotlight with her family members!

Initial rough painting session for painting

This was my underlying rough painting after the first session. I made some drawings of cats before putting Mimi in the scene. This painting is still unfinished. I have found it’s best to stop and let a painting sit for a good two or three weeks if I can, and then go back and tweak. Fresh eyes seem to see what a painting is missing for the final touches.

Feel free to send me your cat jpeg images by email. I’d love to see them!

The content of this post is copyrighted © 2012, by Karen Gillis Taylor. Please ask if you wish to reblog.


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