January 19, 2014

Palette Scrapings and a Calico Cat

After finishing my series of messages in imaginary bottles and other vessels, I packed up my acrylic paints to get my studio table set for oils. As usual, there was unused acrylic paint left on the palette. What to do with it? Often I use the extra paint as a ground color on a sized piece of canvas or paper. But this palette had some nice expensive colors on it. Too nice to be an undercoat I thought. Besides, after going through my collection of recycled frames I had come across one last tiny scrap of a homemade frame. The molding was only about a quarter of an inch wide and looked like it would be more suitable for a dollhouse than a gallery wall. Perhaps it did have a dollhouse painting in it at one time. I wouldn’t know. I had acquired it as a gratuitous gift from the Portfolio Gallery in Columbia.

I cut a piece of painted matt board to fit the odd size of this frame. Then I found a stencil of a cat that I had previously used for my illustrated book of cats. It was the stencil for Magic Cat. He performed one more feat of artistic magic for me before I disposed of his shape. I put the stencil of Magic Cat over the exuberantly painted matt board. I smeared the colors from my palette over the stencil, let them dry, then peeled off the cat. An instant painting emerged. Of course, after touching it up for a few hours it became not so instant after all. And as is often the case, the intense colors of the painting were too heavy for the frame. So now the painting is being equipped with a much more substantial frame - rather undermining my original purpose but at least the painting will fit the frame. I still have the thin frame. I may have to discard it lest I be inspired to paint something else for it that probably won’t suit.

This small painting is a veritable smorgasbord of colors, textures and patterns. I’m calling it “Calico Cat” and including it in my exhibition as one of my many light-hearted interludes among the denser paintings.

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