ancestors and hands

You may recognize this as the first bison painting In Honor of the Ancestors. I wanted to do a hand painting and this is the result. The smaller hands are my grandsons. We had fun doing this. [the 3 year old giggled the whole time, said my drawing around his hands tickled him which got me thinking…….]

The colors are ones that the ancestors used.[red and yellow ochre, black and white]. I did not blow charcoal  onto them. I’ve tried that before and it does work but kinda gritty in the mouth. Anyway, I used the different techniques, positive/negative images. etc. The fascinating thing about the hands is that they are found all over the world. For more info  Link

Personal digression

                                 Buffy on left                                                 Hope on right,

Cats are important to me. As a child I had two at different times. They were never let into the house. My mother didn’t want the mess.[ except for cat hair there is no mess]  Vincent was all white and Velvet was a tuxedo. I developed a strong allergic reaction to cats when I got older and could not be around them at all. [my son suffers this same fate] But then came Zyrtec and Flonase.   Fast forward, after I move back to New Orleans 3years after Katrina there were numerous cats in the area. People had left their cats thinking they would be back in a couple of days. Not to be. Cats being cats adapted, went feral and multiplied. I met a compassionate woman who along with others trapped, spayed/neutered and returned the cats to their outdoor habitat to live out their days. Its call TNR. I encourage you to go to the Alley Cat Allies website for more info. It is a long term solution but imo, the most humane one. Anyway, I wound up with 3 cats. They became indoor/ out door cats. Buffy was the first, then Hope, then Minnie. Buffy was NOT happy with the other two but they, being torties, bonded and mostly ignored her. But then Hope was killed by a car one night , Minnie looked to Buffy for companionship but that was not to be. They fought. Buffy ran away. I found her hanging out in an abandoned house around the corner from me. I brought her home 3 times; she ran away each time. I consulted with my friend and with my vet. They said the same thing, leave her be.  It was heartbreaking to leave her but she was in a colony that had a caretaker. So I moved away with just Minnie. I hope Buff is ok but when I left the neighborhood there was a lot of new construction. I am still upset about it. I have Minnie and she is fine. I’d like to get another cat but given the history I haven’t. She has adapted well up here. She stays mostly in the house. I let her outside in the back yard and she likes to sit in the sun by the roses.[this is going to be a small cat painting, a study of sorts] I’ve tried putting a leash on her but that was a disaster! And now you know my “cat story” for those who care.

I did a lot of reading on cats and found that cats seem to have domesticated themselves. As neolithic humans settled and grew grain, cats came around as there was a ready food source because mice and rats ate the stored grains. And humans let them be for they served a good purpose, vermin control!

And then there are the Egyptians and their worship of cats but that is a whole other story.

I encourage all to read more about cats. There are the smaller cats: pallas‘ cat, sand cat, swamp cat and others. The extinct big cats like the Smiladon are fascinating.

I am a big advocate for conserving ALL wildlife but especially cats. I encourage all to find their passion to help save animals whether it be whales, elephants or cats.

minnie in the roses

                                                                         Minnie in the Roses

Spirit Cat

Spirit Cat

Aside from the fact that they are beaucoup images, videos and memes of cats on the internet, they are actually portrayed in prehistoric art. The most famous is the Chauvet cats called The Panel of the Cave Lions. It was because of these cats that I started looking for other images. Aside from this I could only find engravings or line drawings of them. There are some sculptures of them, the most famous is the Lion Man, although, I’ve read where some think it is a bear and some think it is a woman. Whatever, it is old! [ see below]

As I said before I’ve not done animals so it is a bit of a challenge as I can only rely on stock images. I do have a cat but she is not interested in posing for me. I’ve been using photos of her instead. I wanted to use a more limited palette so I started with white, burnt umber and yellow. Wasn’t too pleased with it so I added purple. Not crazy about that either. But I went for it anyway seeing what would come of it. Its ok for my first attempt. The canvas is smaller 30″ x 24″, one that was hanging around the studio.

*for those of you that are interested here is some info on prehistoric cats i found. The info is from wikipedia*

Löwenmensch, or Lion Man, dated between 40,000 and 35,000 years old, an ivory sculpture that is both the oldest known animal-shaped sculpture in the world and the oldest known uncontested example of figurative art.[1] The sculpture is now housed in the Ulm Museum in Ulm, Germany.

  Les Combarelles (France) – two galleries showcase more than 600 engravings. The more-than-11,000-year-old artwork portrays such subjects as reindeer drinking water from the river that flows through the cave, cave bears, cave lions, mammoths, and various symbols.[16]
One of the most famous figures of the Grotte des Combarelles: the lioness. Astonishingly realistic, the lioness, in profile, seems frozen, ready to pounce on her prey. Head of felin – Combarelles Felin engraving – Combarelles ” Wikipedia list of prehistoric art article

It was hard finding images of the engravings. Please let me know if you find any good images of other prehistoric cats. thanks.

3 small pathways and palette

I thought it would be fun to include the palette. It is almost a painting in itself. Pathways are 7″ x 5″ or 12.7cm x 17.78cm

I’m working on my next group of paintings. In keeping with a prehistoric inspiration, I am looking at the different animals depicted on cave walls.

Bison Spirit Earth

bison spirit earth

This is the last of the bison, I think, for awhile. I went back to the colors I used initially for these. I think it worked out well. Not sure where I go next. Painting these got me thinking of my earlier figure work and my angels. Maybe  smaller versions of them, not sure. Right now I am painting some small pathways. Color makes me happy.   30″  or 75 cm square.

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