Between 2009 and 2010, early in the economic crash, I found myself suddenly day-job-less, and collectors were few and far between in those scary times. (Not that I am confident scary times have passed, but, for better and worse, I have since begun to day-job again.*) Some friends approached me about doing a portrait of their cat; she is the kind of totem-cat, wise-woman, mother/sister/friend that my old sweetheart, Mamán, had been to me. My first experiments in painting had actually been of her, but I hadn’t tried any animals since then. So I experimented with a variety of approaches…which led me to and through collage. Which led to other commissions to do collage pet portraits. Which I eventually adapted to combine with painting. They are some of the most insane, finger-hurting, time-ineffective things I’ve ever done (when razor-cutting minute details, smaller is not better), but, as ever, they taught me. And, as with people portraits, the time with the subjects is sweet.
Since then, animal portraits have quietly developed into the little jewels that drop into my path from time to time. Everyone who loves animals knows their stories, and as with people portraits, it is an honor to get to hear them and make them into art.
*(and, for better and worse, left day-jobbing, again.)