This started as a demonstration during my October open studio. I pretty much finished it during the studio tour, but it turns out that I really do need most of my focus on a painting while I’m working on it! Lol. Anyway, after a few touch ups, it turned out OK. I even quite like some aspects of it.
Tom wrote a delightfully imaginative poem for these kitties from which I took the painting title.
What do these green eyes contemplate
beyond mere human ken?
Pupils shrink then dilate
to see from here to then…
far into worlds beyond the known
they stare at random points:
the tip of light’s unruly cone
where time is all disjoint.
For cats can look beyond this Earth
and into other realms.
They dream of forests where our worth
is measured by the elms
while other foliage stands by
to weigh its judgment in
and owls swoop past with silent cries
to greet their feline kin.
Even though I put the dimensions on the images of the paintings, it is hard to tell on the screen the impact the size has on the art. This one is a bit larger than I have been working recently and so the cat is larger than life-sized. Feeling bold, I used my largest brushes and painted it alla prima in one 3 hour session. The cat is loosely painted but definitely a portrait of a specific cat and the background – an abstraction of the view out the window beyond – has a pleasing Klimt-esque quality. Sometimes, while painting there’s a feeling of ease and “rightness” – this one had that for me.
Another charming poem from Tom for this piece!
A cat upon the windowsill
all done with years of wandering,
at last a place to warmly chill
while contemplating, pondering
the biggest question of her day:
is it best to sit or lay
oneself upon a a window ledge,
or prowl around and haunt the edge
of every room where there might be
a scrap of kibble, or a slice
of bacon dropped by raiding mice
no cat seems ever quite to see?
The choice is hard, but now it’s made
and in the sunshine she is laid!
Well, this sprang in part from the freedom and joy I felt painting the last botanical abstract and in part I dreamed her. It happens sometimes. I am often reminded of the Picasso quotation “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” – definitely if I hadn’t painted that day, the image in my head would have floated away. The painting is strange and weird and I kind of love it.
Tom’s wonderful poem reads almost like a riddle.
She’s always there, within the lurking trees
about to surface, coming into light
where the forest stirs in absent breeze
and the darkness sparkles in the night.
Perhaps you’ll catch her passing swift behind
a walking shadow, dancing with an elf,
or vanishing before your very mind,
until you wonder, “Is that… or myself?”
Her eyes are watching all and seeing naught
but beauty where there’s nothing else to see:
she’s always there, but never seen nor caught
by merely mortal eyes within the trees.
She moves the world, although she does not move,
she is the First, by which all things are proved.
Ranunculus are such beautiful flowers, delightfully lush! It was a joyful process to express them in paint. The title came from the idea that there was some feeling of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in the swirls of flowers.
Tom’s poem celebrates that visual relationship.
Constellation shining bright
within the endless field of stars
nine swirling talismans of night
like fireflies trapped in the jars
of collectors curious
seeking out mysterious
patterns in those turning forms
that bend slow time beyond the norms
of space or distance: pure duration
can’t contain this moment’s past
nor will flowers live and last
beyond the season’s termination.
In the sky the flowers glow
While only wonder dwells below.