Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Studio Cat

Geechi Portrait, 9"x12", charcoal on paper, in sketchbook
©2007 Barbara Sistak Baur

Hello Everyone -- I have cat who basically lives in my studio. Her name is Geechi (first syllable rhymes with “glee”; second syllable rhymes with “me”).

My studio cat sits in a chair next to my easel. I trip over it sometimes but she likes to be by me and I like to reach down and pet her. From time to time, a cat hair will get into a painting. I also have a chair for her next to my office chair. She follows me to my desk there. We also have a special place in front of the studio tv. I have a small sofa and a cozy blanket. Both of us often snug up there for some late night relaxation.

Because she is a studio cat, she is often my unwitting model for warm-up sketches that I do before I begin work. Of course, the problem with animals is that they don’t like to stay still. So it is very difficult to get a long sketch – with them awake, that is. I can get a longer pose if the cat is not aware of my presence or is ignoring me. Here is a portrait I did of her in charcoal. She was very tired so I was able to get a longer pose – but not so long that I could actually get her body.

I know I am writing in the present tense but the very sad news is that recently I lost my studio cat. She just got old and sick. She was 13.

So I went through my old sketchbooks and found several “attempts” of sketching her. I enjoy looking at them and so have posted them online. Some are line drawings with pen and ink and others are charcoal. It is an interesting collection of parts and pieces of cats in a variety of media. To see them, click the Studio Cat topic.

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