I just received an interesting portrait commission that I am very eager to begin. A lovely customer from my Etsy shop Curious Portraits, contacted me about painting a portrait for her nephew of his beloved sock monkey but in full victorian dress! She loved my original sock monkey portrait whose model was my dear friend Keith's vintage childhood toy. She also loved my Cat Dandy portrait and wants me to take my inspiration from the two paintings. I love doing portraits that will be given as gifts because I always feel so much love behind them. It will be a surprise Christmas gift so I have plenty of time to finish it!
I just received photos from a beautiful, vintage themed wedding in which I participated in a very small way! Nearly a year ago I was commissioned by the bride to paint a female version of my Victorian Cat Portrait that she wanted to feature in her up-coming California wedding. It was a very fun project and she was so delightful to work with. As you can see the wedding is absolutely gorgeous. So much care and thought went into every detail of creating this vintage, country atmosphere which of course is right up my alley. Here are a few samples of the beautiful photographs that were taken by Matthew Morgan Photography.
They even used the Victorian Cat Brooch as part of the Groom's boutonnière!
I love how all the delicate colors work together from the dessert table above to the Bridesmaid's dresses and the bouquet below...
The vintage furniture and cameras and chalkboard are such a perfect contrast to the Instagram Photobooth!
My friends are beginning to wonder about my self professed allegiance to the canine community because I seem to be painting so many cats these days. It all began about a year ago when I painted my first victorian cat dandy. Cats are such an interesting subject. Unlike dogs, they resemble each other and it is pretty easy to imagine a generic cat image. Dog breeds on the other hand are so distinctive and you really have to decide upon a particular one when faced with a portrait. Even the typical mutt varies so much in color and size. There is also something so sublime about the expression on a cat's face. They can say so much with so little and there always seems to be a hint of irony in their eyes. This new portrait was motivated by a request from an Etsy customer who wanted to feature the cat portrait in her engagement photos for her up-coming wedding and asked if I had a female version of Cat Dandy. I had been wondering myself why I always seem to paint my animals as males and I think it is less a matter of reverse chauvinism than that of plain old wardrobe preferences. I am so drawn to the simplicity and symmetry of a suit and tie and adore the fancy bows and lapels of victorian times, not to mention the hats. However I thought this request was an opportunity for me to challenge myself and this Lady Cat is the result. I realized that her clothes need not be frilly and dainty, she could, for instance, be on her way to a hunt and so be wearing her best riding attire. I like to imagine her independent and free spirited, not a slave to the wardrobe conventions of her time. In any event my Etsy customer was very pleased and I will share her engagement photos as soon as I receive them.
This cat portrait was inspired by a tiny statue I spotted in Lambertville a few years back. If I remember correctly it was originally a cat inside of a bird house but I imagined it in a more Sylvester/Tweety type of situation. Naturally I had to put the cat in a suit and tie and I also had to be sure that the bird won out in the end. I couldn't bear to think otherwise being such a bird lover myself.
Now what can this dapper cat be up to? He is certainly a gentleman and seems to befriend mice. He must be a cat that marches to the beat of his own drum. I was so happy with my Headless Skeleton portrait done in sepia tones that I decided to go the same route with this portrait. I believe it gives the impression of being a vintage photograph for those who appreciate a good old fashioned cat portrait from yesteryear. Prints of him are available in my Etsy shop Curious Portraits.