Yes. No. Well both.
I would like to say I could draw anything. I would like to say it but it simply isn’t true. You simply cannot draw something you can’t in some way see.
This is an early portrait of Mehitable Le Plume. Hittie was a ferocious black long hair, who looked Persian and wasn’t. She had no interest in mice, bugs, birds. She preferred larger game. She took out rude boyfriends, policemen, home invaders and dobermans. She weighed 5 pounds dripping wet and God help you if you were the person who got her dripping wet. She defended me all the days of her life.
Well yes. Somehow I could quilt her.
When I was in California, I had the pleasure of several stays with Tina and Andy Rathbone. Tina is very active in her quilt guild, and a fine artist on her own. They had, at the time, a timid and sweet Siamese named Laptop. She asked me to embroider Laptop. It was seriously outside my comfort zone, but that didn’t matter. They were gracious hosts, so I tried.
I don’t have pictures of that piece. But I tried fur cats after that. This is Ivy in the Ivy. It was interesting. But I knew it wasn’t electric. It simply wasn’t the way I saw her. I could have gone back over and over again, doing cats until I GOT THEM RIGHT, but the passion just wasn’t there. You see, I see them as bugs.
This is the portait of Khyam, a lovely tiger boy who I had briefly. Khyam had FIP, which manifested after he had surgery for eating thread. There was nothing to do but say goodbye. I saw him as a cricket jumping to the sun. It’s simply how I am.
Every so often, I make myself try to be real. When I did Tigrey Leads the Parade, I embroidered both cats and dogs. Like all stretching exercises it was very hard and very good for me. This cat is escaping from a large parade of dogs and humans tramping past her door. If I didn’t get her form exactly, I think I did capture her mood.
So that is why I don’t do cats. I do. You just may not recognize them as such.
I hope you paint what you see, with passion and purpose. I hope you choose what you have to produce and leave what people tell you to do behind. Because the most important part of your art is your vision. No one will ever see what you see, exactly. That is the most amazing gift we have.
You’ll find Tina’s delightful blog on Artelicious. She’s an amazingly gifted soul. And a lot of fun.
You’ll find more of Gaham Wilson’s art on his web site at http://www.gahanwilson.com/
You’ll find Tigrey Leads the Parade on my site at www.ellenanneeddy.com