Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cats Meow

I've been playing with cats lately.  Yeah, I know I'm allergic to them... but these cats are painted, no sneezing involved.  Perfect.

I was inspired by a photograph I took of a cat sitting inside a niche, in an old wall that lined a street, in Toledo. Spain. My husband and I took a belated 25th wedding anniversary trip to Spain, in October of last year. We spent most of our time in Barcelona and Madrid, but we took an overnight trip to Toledo following the advice of travel guru, Rick Steve.  As we walked around the city, I spotted this cat, sitting in the wall. It was too cool to pass by without snapping a few shots for reference later. Out of the three photos I took (my husband basically keeps walking. He's a walker and I have to snap and run. He doesn't slow down for much. LOL) I managed to get two good shots and one blurry one.  Fortunately, all were viable for reference photos.

"Cat in the Wall", oil, 11" x 14", Lois Primeau, artist, ©2012

The first painting I did was of the grey tabby - the actual cat that was in the wall.






















"Cat in the Wall, Too", oil, 11" x 14", Lois Primeau, artist, ©2012
Then I decided I wanted to do another cat, an orange tabby.  But this time I had to make up a cat because I didn't have a photo to work from. Relying on my cat anatomy "knowledge", I embarked on another painting of a cat in the wall. The first attempt turned into a situation where I was fighting more with what I had done incorrectly, i.e. trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.  I figured it would just be simpler to start over.  I grabbed another canvas and started the orange tabby again.  I changed the position slightly and created a new set of problems.  I painted it and thought I had it completed. In the light of day the next morning I thought to myself, "What the hell? This cat's face is TOTALLY wrong. If it were to lower it's head it would look ridiculous and the eyes are really a mess!" I started to carefully rethink the cat's face, pulling out of my pea brain what a cat's face should really look like, instead of being caught up in the moment of the entire painting.  It took a couple of revisions, mostly to the fur ruff around the neck to get to a "happy place" with the painting.


"Mew...", oil, 11" x 14", Lois Primeau, artist, ©2012
The night I was finishing up the orange tabby, the image for the next one came to me.  I wanted to do a black kitten tucked back inside the niche, where all one could initially see were it's eyes.  As I worked on the kitten, I decided I wanted to have little white toes, as well, which lead to the little white bib and tip of the tail.
She is my favorite way to paint - pulling an image out of the dark. I like working with subtle differences in the "black", which really isn't black.

I'm planning to do a calico cat next and also a tuxedo cat.  I'm having too much fun playing with cats to quit!

1 comment:

Crack You Whip said...

You are extremely talented!