Saturday, June 19, 2004


I consider this my first actual break-through painting in this process.
This is from a series of blue shirt images I took with my cat Nikki.
For those of you who don’t know him. Nikki has been one of my service animals for the last 11 years. I speak on this later of course because I know that many are curious about cats as service animals.

Although the painting is sloppy in places there are some distinct family attributes in the face and body attitude although it doesn’t quite look like me yet. It is also very close to what I am trying to achieve.

I had to laugh when I first looked at this as poor Nikki’s facial features are quite crooked. It reminds me of about 20 years ago when I first started to paint red foxes. I was horrified when I discovered the one that I sold first has eyes of two different sizes and levels on the poor foxes face. Thankfully I have done so many paintings that Nikki is a willing subject for my experimenting with him.

I also was strangely reminded of my cousin Betty Collier when I first stood back and looked at this painting. It was something about the way she would hang on and never give up fighting to live. That attitude is in there in the eyes and the way the bangs fall, the way the mouth puckers in defiance against unseen threats. Betty was never that fat, nor did she ever have hair as long as mine. I don’t think my aunt would have ever allowd her to have anything but a dog.. but that was a long time ago. Betty always impressed me. So even though this painting isn’t really of her.. I dedicate it to her memory.
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