Saturday, March 28, 2015

Garden Purrennials on parade

Garden Purrennials  © 2015 Karen Mathison Schmidt
9 x 12 inches • oil on cradled GessobordTM
commission • Shreveport, Louisiana

(these will also be available in 9 x 12 and 15 x 20 on my website beginning Monday)

Here they are! The Garden Purrennials, aka Archie, Horatio and Mrs. Bush.

Their “mom,” Lisa, who commissioned this painting, told me that one very hot summer day over two years ago they just showed up on the doorstep. After not being able to find their owners, the family decided they would adopt him into their family, and as at the time they had been watching the “Horatio Hornblower” miniseries (a family favorite video), they named the kitties after their favorite characters: Horatio, of course (in the middle), Archie (on the left), and Mr. Bush, the gray and white. After their first trip to the vet it was discovered that Mr. Bush’s name would have to be changed to Mrs. Bush.

Here’s the original photo taken when they first showed up:

I suggested that we could put them in a garden setting, and Lisa said she would like that, so I put on a search in my photo files for just the right reference photos. I needed to find one looking down at a similar angle as the kitty pic. I found this one I took a few years ago of the flower garden in front of my parents’ house ...

… perfect! Now I need a rock for the little gray and white kitty to be standing on.

Here we go! This is a photo I took a couple of years ago at Norton Art Gallery gardens.

And look …

 … this rock is slanted down at just the right angle -- looks like we have a winner! I used it for positioning, but the top of the rock at the extreme lower right in that first photo above had a more interesting look … 

… so I combined the two to use as the rock in my reference photo.

So here’s my final composition for my reference:

As the painting progressed, I dropped a few details out of the garden to keep the background from getting too fussy and pulling focus from those adorable kitty faces.


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

They are just purrr-fect :)

Annika Feiteira said...

Wow, there was a lot involved just in getting the reference photo. I am amazed that you have the patience for all the details. Very nice work.