29 October 2008

Katie and Raffles

After the studio tour, I slipped once again into a season without painting. First came the simultaneous training at two new part time jobs, then an illness, surgery and slow recovery. My dad suggested I paint while convalescing, but I just wasn't up for it. Although not physically demanding, painting takes mental energy, something like a chess game. Watching old movies was more my speed. Finally, in the fall, after a couple of trips away, I was ready for a fresh start.

A co-worker had seen my blog, and asked me to paint her aunt's two cats. This would be my first double portrait. Intended as a gift for Christmas, I had plenty of time to work on it, which was great because my time now had become so limited.

Katie, the tortoise shell, and the "marmalade" Raffles, are not friendly towards each other. Their posing together was not likely to happen, and to complicate it further, Robyn had to slip the reference photos to me without detection from her aunt, this being a surprise gift. It was a new challenge for me to coordinate the scale of the two images, crop and arrange the subjects into a unified piece.

I was struck by how similar these two cats were with our own, Friskey and Orville, shown in the photo.