Doing Something Foreign

I got this commission once to do some portraits of three cats. I don’t do cats but the client said he really liked my style so I said ok. It turned out to be a very fun project for me. I don’t even know any cats that I like so it was pretty funny trying to paint a kitty soul. And a kitty personality just by looking at a snapshot.

I had to make something up about the cat that could or may not have been true. I had to relate to them. After I finished the paintings I sent off the images and the client loved them. He said it felt just like the cats were. He wondered how I got so much info from a little snapshot. I didn’t. He found what he was looking for because he was projecting what he knew on what he saw. He made it be true.

We do that to everything all day long. That is why when we get to a foreign country we will see people that look just like people we know from home. they really don’t but we make it so in our minds for comfort. A painter will look for something to relate to all day long in the studio. That is why it makes us feel sort of sick when we can’t find it. Once we do find that look we can feel better and relieved. When somebody buys a work of art they are remembering something that makes them feel good and they are compelled to buy it. A certain style of work may be more accessible to that feeling than another.  That is why we do everything. It makes us feel better.  I think this applies straight across the board.

kitty photo by this guy

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