I like animals, especially cats. All my cats have been rescues. I found Peabo at about eight weeks old on a busy street in front of my studio in Oakland and Little B and her sister Blue were feral. I found them on my porch in East Oakland when they were around eight to ten weeks old.
Many others were found on my porch. When they came I seduced them with food and when I could catch them, I would take them to the vet and get them fixed and then feed them the rest of their lives. Cats would appear on the porch as if it were the Underground Railroad for cats with feeding stations. I did find homes for some of them.
Some of them I brought home, like Peabo. Bat Girl was a “find” along with her two siblings who were each 3-5 days old. They were all bottle-fed and grew up to be happy healthy kittens. Two of them were given away. Bat Girl, who was the runt and an ugly duckling, grew into a beautiful long haired Maine Coon like cat and she really seems to think I’m her mom.
Years ago, after having a cat get old and accumulate large vet bills, I decided the cats should prepay their vet bills, so, I began using them as models. Now I have a series of fifteen woodcuts and have made the prints into greeting cards. About two years ago one of my watercolor students asked me, “How do you paint fur”? I answered, "I experimented again and again using some of my best models". Of course I expanded until there were more than thirty watercolors of cats. Some are of my cats and some are of other feline friends.
The paintings are done on 140 and 300 lb cold press watercolor paper, Arches or Fabriano. On many of the watercolors I limited myself to the “old master’s palette” Payne’s gray, yellow ochre and burnt sienna. I find that limited palettes are a great way of discovering what color can do. Bat on the StairsBat in a Box 3Little B Eating a PlantMunchkin on the StairsLouieMunchkinetta in a BagBoo Boo Playing the CelloLittle BMacieMioMunchkinetta Yoga