Sunday, January 27, 2013

So where are the portraits of my own critters???

Much like the cobbler's children or the hairdresser's own hair, my fur-face family members have been neglected on the portrait front!

It's time to fix that starting with the eldest, Lucy Cat.  Our dogs, Cocoa and Buck, wear the name McArthur, but it seems to me that cats are just too independent to take another's name, so Lucy and Ellie have retained their own surname, Cat.

Lucy came to us from a rescue home almost 18 years ago.  She was a tiny kitten with ring worm when we got her.  Even then she was very spirited, and my husband named her for the Charlie Brown character - fittingly.  Our old dog Mousse was still alive, and not yet old, when we got Lucy, he being a good sized chocolate Lab.  Tiny Lucy took one look at him and decided that he would not be in charge, she would.  Before long their favored sleeping position was with Mousse curled up in what had become known as "Mousse's chair" and Lucy asleep on his back.  That became the basis for one of my earliest hand-drawn Christmas cards.

Lucy developed a reputation among friends and family as a bit of a challenge.  She'd sit on a chair back and hiss at any one who walked too close.  She chose her spot on the furniture and he or she who dared to sit there would simply have a lap full of cat in short order - but dare not presume to pet!  Our old pet sitter used to tell me that Lucy would be friendly for a bit, then would simply chase her out of the room.  (OK, really? Who runs from a cat?)  For some reason she especially didn't like small dogs and they simply weren't to be tolerated near her.

We've always had a bond, Lucy and me.  If I'm sick, she will lie on my chest and purr, even pat my face with one little paw.  She's never bitten or scratched me, but she's given me many warnings!  And, over the years she has mellowed.  It's been a long time since I've had to wrap her in a towel and trim her nails one paw at a time.  Even the vet now refers to her as sweet.  But, watch out.  The younger Lucy lurks just beneath the surface of her fluffy fur; irritate her at your own risk.  I say she still runs the house with an iron paw.

So, choosing a Lucy pose to paint was easy - it had to capture her intensity.  And, choosing a portrait size - well the 24 x 24 inch - so she will be large and in charge on the wall.

This is almost right.  It just needs a slightly exaggerated sense of intensity, and I can supply that when I paint!

Lucy tends to pull one eyebrow down when she's giving the stink eye, and her stare is strangely human.  

Easy color choice on the background to bring out those eyes!

Yep, that's Lucy!

The last couple of years have been difficult for my girl.  She who never, ever got sick has had a couple of bladder infections and is on what will be life-long treatment for a thyroid disorder, pretty common in older cats.  She gets a joint supplement that keeps her able to jump up on the bed.  Right now, as I type she is lying at the foot of the bed where she can keep a close eye on the two big dogs asleep on their beds.  

I need to get to work on a commission of a beautiful boxer.  Then if I can find time, I'll squeeze in our Cocoa, next in line by age.  Keep watching. 

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