Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Catwalk", 8x10, oil on board, Vincent Van Gogh, Sunsets, cats, nasty cats, Cedar Key, plein air

"Catwalk", 8x10, oil on board

What do you do when a cat struts into your plein air sunset painting?

You paint him, of course!  (Or her.)

In this case it was a "her" and what a character she turned out to be.

We rented a home on Cedar Key for a few days recently, just to get away from it all. Cedar Key is an Old Florida- type town that hasn't changed a whole lot in a hundred years.

There are gorgeous sunsets and sunrises each day, mud flats and oyster beds galore, and plenty of decent fresh seafood to boast of on Cedar Key. On one particular gorgeous Florida evening, we brought home a take-out of fresh oysters, clams and blue crabs from a local restaurant. That's when we met "Jill", the ugly and nasty cat that lived next door to our rental.

Sadly, I confess that I am to blame for the fact that we could not get rid of her after that night, because I was the one that could not resist that miserable face and so I fed her some seafood.

Jill then attached herself to me like a parasite, and after that, I literally could not paint or enjoy the sunset on the deck without Jill by my side. One particular night I decided to paint the sunset. The gnats were really annoying, and so I determined to do a quick little piece that would give me notes for a larger work in the studio.

My efforts, however, were interrupted continuously by Jill, who definitely wanted a piece of the action.

Jill made her way up the deck as though she owned it, like a model on a catwalk, showing off the latest Ralph Lauren masterpiece. Without warning, Jill suddenly dove onto my wet palette, and  with an equal lack of warning I unceremoniously dumped Jill off the deck and onto the mudflats directly below.  Lucky for her it was  low tide.

Jill was not to be deterred, however. She cleaned herself off, and made her way back to me, not to be put off by a little oil paint, mud, and rude human treatment. Eventually after being ignored, she settled down and made herself comfortable in a chair by my side, but not before I finally gave in and stuck her into my sunset painting.

The painting is rather Van-Gogh-esque, probably because the contretemps between myself and Jill was enough to make me want to cut off her tail and my own ear. The latter of which was a direct result of the meowing that occurred each night when I shut her out of our vacation rental without nary another piece of crabmeat to speak of.

I hope if you ever visit Cedar Key, you will enjoy its beauty, minus the benefit of a diabolical cat named Jill.

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