Yes, it’s my little butterfly Mariposa giving me that “I’ve so got you wrapped around my fluffy tail” expression as she pauses in her toilette to pose for yet another photo.
I’ve been planning to paint her as she is, not as I imagine or would like to pose her. I’ve been just waiting to get to know her a little better by constantly studying her—oh, please, twist my arm, make me stalk one of my cats and take endless photos. They enjoy all the attention and praise for permitting me to get a good photo. The continued study is to find the habits, postures and expressions that really belong to Mariposa. And also to see her in the places she likes best, and she loves the bed.
I took these photos last spring, knowing I’d love to paint this, but she was still maturing into her favorite places and habits around the house. I love cats taking baths, and cats on quilts, especially this colorful vintage postage stamp quilt, and the lifted paw with the toe beans really got me. But it was also the golden evening sunlight as the sun approached the horizon flowing fully in the window at just the right angle to illuminate Mariposa’s most notable qualities: her white mittens, her tipped ear with deluxe earhair, her exceptional eyes and her magnificent whiskers. Almost a year has gone by and several gigabytes of Mariposa pictures, but this one still has all the features I wanted.
As much as I loved the quilt, though, after I had painted in all those little patterned and color squares I kind of lost Mariposa! The painting was just as pretty as I had imagined, but Mariposa is the main point, and she needed to stand out. So I softened and blurred out all the little patterns and kept her in sharp focus, and I darkened some of the areas behind her a little more than they had been. It was exactly the best way to feature Mariposa.
It’s for paintings like this one, and the one of Sienna, with all those patterns and shapes and details that I love to do the watercolor underpainting. I enlarge the photo to the size I want to paint it, print it out, and put it on my light table with a piece of my watercolor paper that also works for pastels. I sometimes make outlines in pencil, but for these two I actually laid down colors with no shading so I had an indication of where things were when I started with my pastels. I work with my big soft pastels to start with, then work down to my pastel pencils. Whiskers, however, are always done with a well-sharpened white charcoal pencil reserved for that honor—because all of Patricia Fry’s book covers have white whiskers too.
What did Mariposa think of it all? Here was her reaction.
Is that another cat?
She looks familiar. But she doesn’t smell like anything.
She looks a lot like me…
It is me!!!
Mariposa is so fun. I still can’t believe she was a year old from a feral colony and she so easily adapted to living indoors, almost as if she wanted it. I’m so glad we “test” as many ferals as we can, and since her colony had to be moved, then all needed to be fostered until I could take them out there in two or three shifts. There was something about her the next morning when I saw her in the trap.
One of my goals for this year was more new artwork, and I’m happy to have two cat paintings done. And here is another cats on a decorative pattern, one of those themes I’ve been wanting to pursue for years but never really had the time for all the detail. Now I have a nature painting to do as well, no cats, but another that’s been waiting for a while. And now that I’ve started this I kind of feel like I might do a sketch now and then.
Where to find this artwork
A New Member Thank You
Register for an account on Portraits of Animals and get a free matted print of “Bath, Interrupted” or choose from several other sketches, paintings or photos of cats and other subjects.
The New Member print is a signed digital print of my pastel “Bath, Interrupted”. This print is 8″ x 10″ and is matted to fit an 11 x 14 frame.
This print is only available as a new member gift during this month while it’s the featured artwork and desktop calendar, so make sure you sign up before the end of the month!
Or purchase another size print or greeting card
The original painting is available, framed.
Or choose another style or size of print of “Bath, Interrupted” on the product listing. I offer prints as:
- digital prints on matte-finish art paper
- giclees on art paper
- on canvas in standard sizes
- as framed prints, as shown, and custom framing is available
You may soon find this image on several gift items
You can find this art and more on Portraits of Animals. Search “Bath, Interrupted” to find what’s currently available.
This month’s desktop calendar
I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month.
If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.
How to download and use your desktop calendar
- Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
- For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
- For mobile devices, download the image to your gallery then choose it as your wallpaper—this is slightly different on all devices.
Horizontal and HD monitors and screens
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Square monitors and screens
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Small Mobile Devices and Tablets
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Cell Phones and Smartphones
Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.
Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.
click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat
or visit Feline Artwork on my main website.
If you are interested in a print of this image, check Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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© 2021 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!