Celebrating illustration and loving pets!
What a week! My daughter tested positive for Covid last week so it's been a long week of isolation and worry. Our cat Misty seemed to be very concerned about my daughter, and on her poorliest day, she literally would not leave her side, even to eat her tea!
At the same time, I had a deadline for a project proposal that involved some research around children's illustration. Looking at the vibrant bold images of children's picture books really cheered me up and I realised that I often suppress my urges to draw things in an illustrative way, dismissing it subconsciously as 'not real art' or childish. After a few hours of really studying the lines, textures and mark-making in the art of illustrators like Quentin Blake, Lauren Child and Beatrix Potter, along with lots of others, I realised how much there was to learn from them and turned my hand to creating some images celebrating some special kitties. Two of the images were based on photos shared on social media by two of my friends. I don't think they'll sue me for copyright for trying to capture the beauty of their gorgeous feline companions...
The first image, made with oil pastel, is of my step-daughter's very aloof but beautiful cat, Fizz. I loved Fizz's pose in the photo she's taken. I know Fizz (and her siblings) have been there for my step-daughter just as much as Misty has been there for us. The gorgeous ginger cat rendered in pencil crayon is the very handsome Iggy and was based on a snap his dad managed to capture of him in a very cute stretch. There is no denying that Iggy will have helped heal the hearts of a few people in his household too. Let's face it, just looking at him is enough to make the world feel like a better place. The final image (also pencil crayon) is our rescue cat Misty who has worked her fluffball magic and got my daughter back on the road to recovery.
How many of my readers have a cat who has helped them through a difficult time? I know if I extended it out to dogs too, there would be a lot of stories! Harder to imagine that a stick insect, a fish or a tortoise could contribute to our emotional wellbeing in the same way but perhaps I am wrong? Feel free to comment if you have a pet who you feel deserves its portrait drawing or painting because of what they have given to you emotionally. It could even be the start my own very first picture book!