This is Milo. He has been living with me ever since my granddaughter brought him home about three years ago. He is one of five cats living with me. I have the Diva aka Isis The White Goddess, Blue the Fearless Scientist who is also King of his domain, a timid little bit of fluff called Grace who modeled for my gigantic portrait of her (Nap, Interrupted), and the Elder Stateman called Freckles, now 13 years old. Milo has lately inspired more paintings that the rest of them altogether.
The first painting of Milo shows him with his pal Blue the Explorer, in a piece I call “Partners in Crime”. Blue is on top; Milo, on bottom.
The next Milo picture is this full head shot, which I later had transferred by Fine Art America to a pillow for said Granddaughter, who left it behind when she moved out. Granddaughters of a certain age care only about their social network and their appearance.
Milo picture no. 3 is the regal pose I opened with. Milo is a cool cat, alert but relaxed. He is always looking at me, checking out my reaction, hoping for a lap to snuggle in. When he finds such a lap, he purrs and becomes very hard to dislodge. Milo does have a flaw, however. He likes to chase the girls (Diva and Grace) and make them cry. Well, Isis caterwauls and Grace hides.
Finally, I made up a series featuring Milo. The idea (not mine actually but my teacher Peter Dixon’s) was to use the same reference photo for 3 to 5 different paintings, forcing myself to employ different techniques for each one. All were to be Oil paintings sized 9×12, but the treatments were to be unusual, new and untried by me. The first three are complete:
I started two more, but I’m not ready to let you judge them.
Thinking outside the box when you don’t have a clue what exists outside that box — is hard! The last one, the abstract one, was fun to do, but I had no idea whether it was going to be good once it was finished. Turns out–I like it a lot. But I don’t know that I can ever do it again. I will try. Is this how the great abstract artists of the mid 20th century started out? Almost all of them first learned how to draw and paint realistically, traditionally. Probably most tried to jump on the abstraction wagon but many just couldn’t stomach it. The latter are the artists who kept traditional, realistic painting respectable for folks like me.