‘For the artist a cat is a still life in motion’
Just off the easel
Another painting just finished. Everything about this has been a huge challenge since it’s the first time I’ve painted birds, water and a stormy sky. Surrealist paintings have always fascinated me, the real in an unreal setting, so this work has been influenced by some of the wonderful art that has so left an impression on my imagination. I like art to fire my imagination so I hope this painting will fire yours.
20% of the sale of prints of my original painting Scottish Wildcat ‘Last of the Highland Tigers’ will be donated to the Scottish Wildcat Haven project.
The Scottish Wildcat captivated me when I first read about them and that their numbers are possibly less than 100 true wildcats left in a small pocket of the Scottish Highlands. It saddens me to think of the enormity of the loss to the natural world losing these stunningly beautiful, untamed and truly wild animals would be. It motivated me to want to paint him as I perceive him, a supreme hunter, secretive and wary of humans. Facing almost certain extinction without urgent intervention a group was formed called the Scottish Wildcat Haven Project to raise funds and awareness for this critically endangered cat.
‘I love cats because I enjoy my home, and little by little they become its visible ‘soul’ Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) French poet, novelist, playwright and filmmaker
‘Animals were very much a part of life where I grew up on a sheep and wheat farm in the dry west of New South Wales in Australia. From my earliest memories there was always a cat in the house, so it hardly seems worth mentioning that I couldn’t imagine my life without a cat in it. Bunty, a fearless tortishell was my mother’s cat. She challenged any brown snake near the house, and in her short life left many bloodied remains for us at the back door. There has always been cats in my life, most of them strays and others fostered, but my art is tribute to every one of them. As an artist passionate about the natural world I paint cats because they are fascinating and beautiful. ’ ……. Cynthia
This painting was a welcome change from cats. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of the details in this work, the significant technical aspects of it, painting objects I’ve never painted before as well as unfamiliar colours. Pushing beyond the comfort zone is what makes an artist grow and in the process I hope I’ve succeeded in creating a light hearted painting to make you feel good when you look at it.
Astrology and Your Cat
ARIES (Mar 20 – Apr 19) “ IF IT MOVES IT´S ASKING TO BE CHASED ”
Quick-witted, fast as a bolt of lightning and outrageously impetuous, these adorable devils will always find a way to get out of the house. The good news is that they return more often than not with a household offering in tow! Neighborhood birds beware! Aries kitties show affection to their human companions by helping out with dinner!
TAURUS (Apr 20 – May 20) “ BODY CONTACT PLEASE ”
If you find yourself tripping over your cat half the time, then there’s a good chance you’ve been blessed with a physically expressive Taurean. Physical contact with loved ones is everything to these characters, and they’ll take any opportunity to rub up against you.
GEMINI (May 21 – Jun 20) “ TALK TO ME ”
Clever Gemini, perched on the windowsill, loves to watch the world go by. A bit of a gossip, these mercurial felines will keep those they love abreast of local news with ceaseless meowing that could easily get on your nerves! They’re merely waiting for you to respond. Your Gemini friends will initiate playtime by dropping their favorite toy at your feet.
CANCER (Jun 21 – Jul 22) “ DON’T LEAVE ME “
From the living room to the kitchen and back again, you’re being shadowed by one of the most attentive cats you’ve ever encountered. Your Cancerian companion is loath to leave you alone for more than a second. Not only are you a meal-ticket, you’re a life-partner! In your Moon-ruled friend’s eyes, you’re married – until death do you part!
LEO (Jul 23 – Aug 22) “ LOOK AT ME “
Whether it’s a tummy display or an elegantly swishing tail, your Leo cats are focus-pulling experts who know how to exploit their innate acting abilities. Nevertheless, your gorgeous, sunny friend is not just another flirt: Leos never waste their talents on those they sense are less than deserving! Ooh and awe to your heart’s content and you’ll be rewarded with a throaty purr!
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22) “ I’M OKAY YOU’RE OKAY ”
If your four-legged companion insists on living on your lap, there’s a good chance you have a Virgo in the house. Finicky about tastes and smells, the highest compliment they can pay you is to tell you that they consider you an extension of themselves.
LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22) “ DO YOU COME HERE OFTEN ”
Self-composed Librans do the feline world proud. These sophisticated flirts will gladly greet visitors at the door and escort them into the house. But, you will be the sole target of their deepest feelings: furry Venusians will never hesitate to send kitty kisses your way. Return the compliment!
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) “ WHAT ARE THE NEIGHBORS REALLY UP TO ”
Sultry, attentive and territorial, the Scorpio cat is affectionate, emotionally expressive and highly protective of loved-ones. Suspicious by nature, these police officers of the feline world feel compelled to keep their environment under control, especially if sharing the house with other animal companions. Don’t freak out if you wake in the night and realize that the weight on your chest is your very own bodyguard, watching you sleep.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 20) “ HOW DO YOU SAY THAT IN HUMAN ”
Super intelligent and gregarious, but given to fits of melancholia, your Jupiter-ruled kitty is a bundle of contradictions. Sagittarian cats will listen attentively to those they love and respect, adding their own two cents´worth in any way they can: they will purr in agreement, meow when unconvinced, and scratch the nearest surface when venting complete disapproval. At times, you’ll swear that they can actually speak human!
CAPRICORN (Dec 21- Jan 19) “ WE DON’T HAVE ALL DAY ”
Capricorn is the zodiac’s organizer par excellence, a born administrator who hates wasting time. The Capricorn cat will wake you shortly before the alarm goes off and will bother you until you’ve made it out the door on time. Upon your return, your most faithful of pals will be at the door waiting for you. If they don’t like your friends or current romantic interest, pay attention: they will know the score before you do!
AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18) “ I COULD DO THAT “
Whether you’re baking cookies or brushing your teeth, your Aquarius cat will observe you with almost clinical fascination. You’ll be subconsciously compelled to impress these independent, clever creatures by being on your best behavior At times, you’ll wonder whether they’re keeping score of your failures and successes: they actually are doing so, because they care!
PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 19) “ WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN ”
This exotic, glamorous beauty is the envy of the cat world, seemingly blessed with every advantage. Beneath this gorgeous surface, however, beats a complicated heart. Fear of abandonment could lead to periodic neurotic outbursts. (Biting the letter carrier? Hiding in the washing machine?) Nevertheless, this devoted companion will genuinely miss you whenever you’re away, refusing to stir until you’ve arrived home safe and sound.