Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Not your average cat

My daughter, who is 15 years old, is an artist too. Unlike me, she uses programs like Illustrator and Photoshop to create her masterpieces and is happy to follow her own individual artistic path. That's the way it should be. The child began drawing at age three and she has become really adept at caricaturing animals and she excels at creating fantastic mythical creations that don't really exist.

About a year ago she asked me when I was going to paint a picture of her cat. What she meant was: when was I going to turn her cat into a huge 24" x 18" wall painting, as I had done with the other two cats who live with us. I kept putting her off because her cat is not the most attractive animal in the world. I know it is to HER, but to me, it is a bit strange and I didn't really want to paint her. You see, Mooki is missing an eye. The poor cat had an ignominious beginning, as her mother abandoned her in our garage and she crawled up under our lawn tractor. For days we heard crying that would stop as soon as we opened the garage door and begin again when we closed it. We trapped the kitten with a bowl of milk and placed her in a dog cage until I was able to tame her by feeding her cat food on a fork. Eventually she was eating from my hand and not threatening to claw me.

My daughter grew very attached to this small gray cat and although it has never been particularly cuddly, it does enjoy human companionship and listens better than the other cats. When she was nine months old, Mooki's eye began swelling and the vet told us it was glaucoma. We had a few choices: we could put her down, we could pay a few thousand dollars and see if the eye could be saved or we could have it removed for $400. We had the eye removed and the cat has been fine ever since. Surprisingly enough, I've had a few people tell me they wouldn't have done it. "It's just a cat. You can always get another one," they say. How cold and heartless, and I would bet these are the same people who do not spay and neuter their animals, which is why we end up with homeless kittens living under our mower deck int he first place.

I am wondering a bit from my story. I promised Katie that I would do my large version of her one-eyed cat if she would create one of her caricatures featuring all six of our animals. Well, she fulfilled her part of the bargain and her creation was wonderful. I printed it and have it hanging in my living room. She captured the personality of each animal so well! I was amazed.

My turn! I finished her supersized cat over the weekend and I did struggle with how to present the one-eyed cat and make her beautiful. Ultimately, it was just a matter of being true to Mooki and emphasizing what is wonderful about her.
Digital Art

Mooki 18" x 24"
A Cat with Cattitude


jimmie white said...

Great job on the digital rendering Katie.....You must love your kitten since it's the cutest one in your digital image group.......Nora, your oil is OK too

Nora Sallows said...

Thanks, Jim. Katie does great work, especially when you consider her age! Too bad the cat is not as cute and cuddly in real life as it is in the picture.

madisonbrock said...

The pics are so cute. Really beautiful pics.I like it.
custom oil painting