Welcome to my adventures in cat portraiture, including art for sale. I have two new pet portraits of very special cats to share. These kitties are close to my heart, but for very different reasons. Let me introduce Oliver and Caspar. I haven’t met either of these cats in person, but have seen so many photos on the internet, be it on a fan-base level or from a friend I just don’t live that close to anymore. Oliver, hence forward known as Oliver the Sniffy Norwegian Orange Tabby, belongs to Lexidh Solstad of G+ (and much earlier, DeviantArt) fame. Lexidh is an animal lover and floods the net with wonderful pictures of her cats and dogs. She is a fantastic photographer in her own right, and was thankfully agreeable to letting me use her picture of Oliver as a model. How could anyone pass up such a pose? He’s one curious cat.
If it’s a pose you cannot pass up, check out my RedBubble shop for items sporting this pic. You can find a whole collection of pet portraits there I had a wonderful time drawing this picture, mainly because of the quality of light. This is something Lexidh nails every time! It makes me want to visit Norway and see if everything is really as vivid and bright.
The next cat is Caspar, known here as Caspar with the Lion Cut, on his Doggie Blanket. I’ve never met Caspar, but his “mom” is a dear friend, Sharon Ganzhorn, who excels at helping out animals in need. One time when we were together, she found a stray mama cat on the side of the road and took her in without a second thought. She is also active in feral trap, spay/neuter and release in her area. Lastly, she started an animal charity called SCAT, Inc. that has regular auctions on Facebook, along with other successful fundraising efforts through out the year. The proceeds go directly to animal rescues and shelters of her choosing, with everything from cats to elephants benefitting. o goes to SCAT, Inc. It’s great to have a trusted charity, where I know for certain that the funds are actually going where they are reported to go. Please check out SCAT’s Facebook page and join in the fun! Now as far as Caspar goes, I do know this: He’s spoiled rotten! Never seen a cat with a lion cut? It keeps his belly cool in the sweltering Virginia Summer.
This year served up a big challenge for me. I had to make peace with pink. Time to get rosy, blushed, and even a little hot. Mela’s thinking pink.
Ahhhhh, pink. A pleasant surprise from nature. A staple color in 1980’s preppie style. A color identified traditionally with the feminine, but which, thankfully, has been less and less pigeonholed with time. The color of love. A godsend to folks like me with really pale complexions. A great accent color in its hotter versions. A positive color.
As much as pink has going for it, it’s not been one found overly often in my repertoire. It’s definitely a personal thing. Maybe 80’s prep is to blame (It was combined with pastel green, of course – No sweaters around the shoulders for this anti-gal!). Maybe it was having a pink little girl’s room a tad too long (and sheeeez, what a mind-bogglingly unsettling hue!). Maybe it was an irrational fear that it would make me look soft and delicate (which is not a fault, of course, but not the image an on-and-off-again goth-waver desires to instill – modern pastel goths are lucky in that aspect – would’ve suited me better!). And maybe, but really truly, one too many comparisons to Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink” (which I now see were probably not meant thaaaaat badly). Who knows. I avoided the color.
Then at some point I really started liking hot pink. Pastel was still a huge stretch, but I discovered the fun of the shocking hot color, often times even more potent than red. I was seeing interiors with key hot pink accents. Flamingos are always beautiful (*a* hot pink of hot pinks). Siouxsie Sioux had rocked some great hot pink lipstick at times. Nina Hagen visuals through the years also made a “hey, pink can be different” impression….. And so it began. Maybe they would even get the spirit behind the abstract art above.
I went with it, and made pink-based artwork by and by. I’ve assembled it into two collections in my art merch shops on Society6 and RedBubble (for art prints, home decor, t-shirts and fashion, bags, tech and student gear). These are highlighted below. Grouped in time for (shhhhhh!) Valentine’s Day.
Then the unthinkable happened….. Word got out that I’m felting again, and I got a big order for vases in prep for Valentine’s Day….. in pink. The challenge was on. No more occasional ventures into the direction of pink. I had to face it head on!
So I got my nerve up and collected together all that pink roving I had stashed, thinking in terms of accents. Time to get busy!
The order was to cover collectible mason jars, from jelly jar and beverage size to very big in their scheme of things. I had such fun seeing the jars, their stamps, and thinking about what might’ve been in them, and days where they were standard on store shelves. There was quite a collection of names and stamped designs: Ball, Kerr, Atlas, and my favorite (of course!) Magic.
I felted…. and felted…. and felted, until I had all this,
my first Valentine’s Day vase collection:
A big thanks to the folks at Florist and Artisan Gift Shop Thomas Yard for peddling my wares! Be sure to get in touch if you’re interested in getting one of these for yourself. CLICK THIS for a handy way to get in touch with me regarding any of the vases. I’ve included close-up shots of my favorites out of the collection below. Read on to the end.
All that pink is making me think of love, and thinking of love makes me think of real life. I’ve never been one for romantic comedies, soaps, or love stories (except for the Princess Bride, and Wings Over Berlin! – Everyone has a weak spot!). Love can be an overwhelming emotion, something trying to fight through in an unhappy world. This is a throwback painting I did the background of which I made right before I met my husband. I learned of true love, but the world (at least from what the news and media shows) remained pretty icky and loveless on so many levels. I reached for things to build me up; my husband, my dog, my friends, music, art…. and one song was in heavy rotation, “Only Love” after which I finished this painting, including the song title.
Then I made something directly Valentine’s Day inspired. I wanted something fluffy, something soft and floaty. My other thinking pink designs of the season were fairly direct and abstract artsy. It was time to go ahead and use the heart motif. It’s pretty challenging, because it’s been made into such a stereotype. I thought of paper valentines I made growing up. I *loved* stacking and layering the hearts. I also was often provided with a doily to use as background. Going from this idea, I came up with a hearty, but not *so* traditional rendering. I even used my wool from above to help in a way that’s my secret! 😉
Ultimate Pink Pattern
And finally, the last thinking pink design for now, harder edged,
more abstract, but in a pattern.
That’s it for merch from my shops on RedBubble and Society6. Now, as promised, close-ups of my favorite vases from the Valentine’s Day collection. There were just too many to show, I was so busy thinking pink!
My Faves from the Valentine’s Day Vase Collection
The Swirls of Pink Vase
The All About Love Vase
and The So, So Fine Vase
The Two Hearts Vase
The Artsy Ripples Vase
I am tickled pink to have introduced my foray into the world of rosa, rosado, rose, roze. I’ve come to think it’s okay in any language! Be sure to share with your peeps of pink.
Until next time, thanks for coming along on my journey of thinking pink. Check the category column to subscribe, or follow social media for up-to-the-minute updates. Be kind to one another and keep appreciating art. Best!