Monday, November 24, 2008

AEDM 24 - Cats and Sunshine

Well, Dearest and oldest left for church, and I started to paint. I meant to photograph this in stages as I went, but the next thing I knew they were home, I was done, I had been standing there for three and a half hours, I couldn't recall if any music had been playing on my headphones, and I was so sore I could hardly move. I haven't gotten that completely lost in something in a long time. Hooray for the right brain!

My Windows Media Player is stopped on One Summer's Day, and oddly, as I write this, oldest is working on his sculpey Christmas presents at his workbench behind me and the reprise of that same song is playing now. I'm being followed. It's a signal my inner artist can read, and it means another painting from that place... Probably the 18x24 this time, since the other 19x19 sheet is set aside for Glee 1.

Anyway - I'm pleased with this cat painting - It was a challenge to catch the light - it's all watercolor, 19 x 19, and the family agrees it captured our two cats. Here's the original photo, in case you want to compare and see what I decided to edit out of it. I may add more to this later today, but this is my contribution for AEDM 24. By now you've all noticed I post artwork one day off?

PS - OK, I'm having way too much fun today. I decided to finish the game with the lion. I got out my trusty acrylic squirt bottles and used the piece itself for the pallette. Basically it commits the paint, and the mixing becomes part of the piece. I wanted to bring out his long, noble face, so I wanted to contrast him against some blue. Then I knew I wanted to finish the mane to the right.

While opening the new orange I had to chuckle at the unfortunate rendering of the German in English. Below is the final lion. I added more green back and some aqua, after I had pushed the other colors around.

16 comments:

DebD said...

I love both paintings but especially the lion. He looks like he's flying.

DCup said...

Both paintings really are wonderful. What a well spent three hours!

The two cats painting is so restful. It is quite possibly my favorite of all the works you've done so far.

linda said...

Wow, staring at my comment screen, you have a "D" word following-#4 in the alphabet ... hmmmm

the cats are wonderfully captured and the light is amazing...what a little planning will do! you must be a cat person as they seem to have personality-well... I am fairly CERTAIN you are a cat person :)

the lion- I thought he would have more color in his mane but his face is so beautiful... especially his eye...I would love to see more color in that flowing huge mane flying behind him!! Some of the cad hell color :) ?

Alex said...

breathtaking. The painting of the cats surpasses the photo in so many ways. You've caught the emotion of the setting and added an ethereal quality that seems to speak directly to the light. It really is all about the sunshine, with cats as a medium.

Jul said...

I love the cat painting. It so beautifully captures the cats without being cutesy. And the light is captured wonderfully!

Carol Cooper said...

Awesome paintings Steve! It's amazing how cats always seem to mold themselves into whatever they are sleeping on.

Steve Emery said...

Thanks, all - this was an unusually productive and satisfying few hours of art, for me.

DebD - I'm glad he had that motion for you - I definitely wanted him to be moving forward. Flying is great.

DCup - Thanks! The cats painting is probably my most challenging attempt so far - a measure of what I've learned about the water colors, about drawing, about getting out of my own way.

Linda - Yup, I'm a cat person. I also love sight hounds (greyhounds, borzoi...) and some other dog breeds, but I'm partial to cats. And I seriously thought about more color in that lion, but I love his cotton-wool brightness against the dark background, and so I held back on the color - just hints of the Kad-rot hell in the mane.

Alex - Thanks very much! Yes, it was all about the light - that's what I worked hard to capture. And cats seem to soak it up AND communicate their love of light - so they are an ideal medium, in several ways. And the fact that they're gingers (ORANGE!) helps me a lot.

Jul - Thanks! I was definitely trying to avoid cutesy - even with Miss Lina all curled up on the book. Concentrating on just the shapes and the LIGHT seemed to do the trick, making it not a cute painting of cats...

Carol - Thanks!! Cats are my favorite liquid mammals - taking the form of their container... This is particularly true of our queen (Mistress Santolina), who is SO soft and flexible she's like a well stuffed silken rag doll. Ferrets are good at this, too. I think you could tie a ferret in a knot in it's sleep, and it would just quietly untie itself when it woke.

tammy vitale said...

well, wow. You did the kitties in 3 hours? absolutely fantastic. The light is just amazing. There should be a better word for it: magnificent. And the lion - the finished piece is so different than in process - I would love to watch you work sometime just to see what you're doing. Not enough superlatives (I'd add some more but I'm getting repetitive here...)(it's a matter of degrees of superlatives)(not enough)

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin said...

I love the light in the cat painting and the lion looks so at peace with the world. I like seeing all the under parts of the painting and then the finished product. As a "non-painter" it's great to see the process and all the hard work that goes into each painting.

Vicki Holdwick said...

I'm blown away by the cat painting.

I really like how you show your progress.

I love the spontaneity of the lion painting. So daring to use the painting as the palette!!

Pagan Sphinx said...

Oh, my. That is one of the loveliest cat paintings I've ever seen. Sigh.

Steve Emery said...

Tammy - Thanks! Your comment made me think about having someone watch me work... I wonder how many of us could do that (have someone watch) and still be in our groove? I don't think I could do it...

Wendy - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll bet the process you use to create your metal pieces would be fascinating, and would reveal things to those of us who don't think in 3-D...

Vicki - Thanks! It did feel playful and cheeky to squirt the paint right on the painting.

Pagan - please see today's post.

Leah said...

you are so talented, steve! i absolutely love the cat painting and the lion's face is so proud. :-) i showed my husband your work the other day and he too loved it, especially the cat pieces. we are primarily cat people (even though we love all animals, we have four kitties at home.) :-)

Steve Emery said...

Leah - Thanks very much to you and your husband. I recall you talking about your big ginger tom and the three others in another comment. I guess I've almost always had cats around me, and a lot of them have been tabbies.

Rowena said...

These are wonderful. I love the results of the cat painting. And I love the lion, who appeared magically out of the page.

Thanks for sharing your process. I haven't taken much art since HS, where it was my major, and sometimes I think I missed something by not going to Art School.

Steve Emery said...

Rowena - Thanks! I believe you missed both good and bad by not going to art school. It teaches a lot of good technique, and sometimes some life/art lessons that might be harder to learn without a teacher. But I had to undo an awful lot of damage, and some of that took twenty years for me. I guess I'm not a poster child for art school...