So last January I made a simple resolution to start painting again. After 9 months of saying it, I have actually got off my butt and started doing it. Ah, procrastination, how I love thee.
My first painting in over 2 years is of my favourite grumpy guy, Stanley. This feline friend isn’t your regular prissy kitty, he is hard core. I adopted Stan way back in 2002 from the Humane Society. I was there looking for an orange tabby kitten when I came across him. He was over a year old and sitting at the back of his cage; I had to duck down to see if there was a cat in there. Then I saw him and he gave me the largest, innocent eyes you have ever seen. (See: Puss in Boots from Shrek. Yes, that exact look.)
Stan had been in that cage for 6 or 7 weeks and the outlook was grim. I just couldn’t leave him, he was too sweet! So out went the “get a cute kitten” idea and in came the “I must save this poor soul” decision. I picked him up and he collapsed into me, purring like a fool. Yes, this was my cat.
I quickly got in line and started the adoption process all the while he continued to purr and look at me with those eyes. I asked the lady, “Where did you find him?” thinking “Who would ever get rid of this cat?” She replied “Looks like he was found in a trailer park.” “Whaaat?! Poor thing, how did he survive?” I thought. No matter, he would have a good home now.
On the drive home he sat still on my lap and purred. I believe my sister and friend Jen replied that he was well behaved. “Of course! He’s an angel! I lucked out!” They dropped me off and I took him inside. I probably said something cheesy like “welcome to your new home, you will see, it will be the best!” I’m sure it was something stupid like that. So Stan proceeded to investigate his new home while I just watched and patted myself on the back for rescuing the best. cat. ever!
Cut to an hour later…. OUCH! Stan took a swipe at me. “Oh, he’s just nervous, new surroundings and all. haha.” Another hour later…. “Stan! Stop biting and attacking Sophie” (my other cat). A week later… “Kirsten, he just took off half your nose.” says my mother.
Hmm, the whole trailer park thing was making sense now. Funny how he would come running in the room if he heard sirens on TV. (Completely true! He did that for the first two years.) He must have been a huge bad ass in that park.
Stanley didn’t stay that crazy for too long. I probably teased him so incessantly that, over time, he gave up on being a big meanie. And now, he’s just the most unique character in the house. He comes when you call him, he answers every question posed to him with a scratchy *Mawr!*, he still collapses into you when you give him a scratch, and he always wants to sit with people and socialize (he has no time for other animals – they are beneath him).
But, yank his tail or grasp his tummy, LOOK OUT! Sorry, I cannot save you.
When I went to paint Stan, I wanted to use a picture that completely captured him. Here is the final painting from the original photo (above) and some “in process” images.
This painting is currently leaning up against a wall in the basement and both Chuck and I have said it seems like he is staring at us and sitting in judgement. Yep, pretty sure I nailed it!
If you have a great photo of a beloved pet that you want in watercolour, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout. I would love to talk to you about painting your crazy pet. After all, aren’t all our pets a little crazy?