Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A New Painting and Barn Fairies

I started a brand new painting yesterday. It’s my first since last winter, and I’m quite excited about it. In keeping with my resolve to paint only images which excite me and aren’t too challenging for the time being, I chose to do a little painting of one of our cats when she was a kitten. She was four months old when we rescued her from going to animal control where her chances of being adopted were not good. So, she was pretty much out of the really cute kitten stage but grown up enough to tell that she was going to be a beautiful cat.

Annie came to us round about from a neglectful home. In a word when we got her, she stunk! She had feces caked to her behind and other parts, so as soon as I got her home from the initial vet check the next day, she got a bath. As with so many things, she took this scary adventure in stride and bounced back with kitten-like vigor.

Annie was loaded with personality and energy and curious about everything. She was often naughty but so full of personality that she wiggled her way into our hearts. She grew into a beautiful, long haired cat but suffered from some sort of intestinal malfunction for most of her life. Just before Christmas two years ago, we had her put to sleep because she had declined so much.

I still miss her terribly.

At any rate, this little painting is an oil on 6x6 inch gallery wrapped canvas. I started by toning the canvas with a mixture of yellow ochre and naples yellow and then drew the main features directly on the canvas with burnt umber. That’s the first stage you see here. The main thing was to get everything in proper proportion.

I continued by laying on the first few layers of paint, starting with her eyes and making adjustments as I went. The yellow ochre/naples yellow mixture was painted in as the base for her coat. The darker areas are a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt umber. When I had the main features fleshed (or furred) out, I quit for the day to let the painting dry before continuing.

What has me particularly enthused about THIS painting is figuring out that I can draw directly on the canvas without a preliminary drawing on paper and have it come out well. I’ve only done one other cat painting in my life, and that was a commission years ago in pastel. This painting has really boosted my confidence, and I should have no problem finishing it in record time.

Last night, I had a really good ride on The Great Pumpkin as Scottie is known in the fall. He was moving out better and managed ground poles with no problem. Since Ann and I were the only ones to ride, we played barn fairies afterward while the horses dried off. She swept the barn aisle while I mucked out Elle’s stall. Or, should I say Miss Piggy’s stall?

This morning I got a call from the vet letting me know that Scottie’s selenium level is very low; just as I suspected. If we up his supplement a little, maybe he won’t be so stiff and muscle sore as he has been for so long.

I’m crossing my fingers!


Judith A. Johnson said...

Weird, I just started a cat painting today, too! but mine will be watercolor. And I just started, not much to show yet, still working on the proportions.
Very glad to see some new work, I hope it feels good.

Karen Thumm said...

Thanks, Judy. It feels fabulous!