Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Fresh Start

Morning Becomes Annie ©2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 • acrylic on Gessobord

SOLD • private collection, Poway, California

(scroll down to the bottom of this post to see brushwork details)

Here’s Annie, in her favorite spot to relax after an early morning breakfast. The way she was backlit by the summer morning sun streaming through the window, she seemed to be absolutely glowing. Our Annie has only had one eye since kittenhood when we found her as a stray, but I give her two eyes when I paint her. She’s usually pretty elusive, having a tendency to flee the immediate vicinity whenever I approach carrying a strangely shaped object (like my camera), but she must have been feeling especially mellow this morning because she let me snap a few photos (from the doorway, with the zoom lens of course) before I tiptoed on my way and left her to her morning meditations. As you can see in this previous painting of Annie, she crosses her front legs the same way whenever she’s kicking back and chilling out. So cute.

I had a hard time with this painting at first. I finished one and was thoroughly unhappy with the way it turned out. It was way too stiff and stilted. Plus, because her little face and her eyes are so round compared to most cats I’ve seen, it was really hard not to make her look like a person made up to look like a cat. Which she totally did in the first painting.

So I called do-overs, took a few minutes to freshen my palette and to pray sincerely for inspiration, and started again. This second painting captures the light much better. And she looks like a cat, too, not a little girl wearing cat make-up (whew!)

Just for fun, here are a few more rare photos of Annie:

Um ... were you planning on serving us our dinner anytime soon?

Here she is on the stairs ...

... making sure that no danger lurks above before she heads up to her favorite spot ...

And here are some close-up details:

1 comment:

Helen Read said...

Great work, Karen! I love how you've shown Annie!