Carl. 2013. Acrylic on Canvass 8×11
Carl is my friend’s cat. I was snowed in one afternoon and my friend asked me to paint “an old timey portrait” of his cat to hang in his basement bar. Being the smart-ass I can be when missing a weekend in the mountains, I asked him “oh, with a top hat and monocle?” and he said “yes, the cheesier the better”. I was snowed in my home. I couldn’t make it to the mountains to snowboard, so what else was I going to do other than paint a old-timey cat? So I poured myself a cup of coffee (or two), put on Glee (guilty pleasure don’t judge me), and sat down in front of a blank canvass.
I love this painting for a number of reasons. 1. It is simply ridiculous. 2. it’s black and white (my favorite way to paint) and 3. I’ve come to consciously realize that I love to paint the folds and shadows of clothing. The reason I love painting the folds in clothing so much is because it’s essentially painting abstractly to create a realistic object. It’s highlights and lowlights working together to create shape and movement from a flat empty canvass. I focus solely on how it looks rather than what it is supposed to be. It’s black and white and shades of gray, not a sleeve or a button.
I’ve gotten a lot of really great positive feedback from this painting and it has spurred a number of ideas for a new collection. “Carl” was a really fun piece to do and I’d definitely be willing to paint more commissioned pieces of people’s cats.