My first black cat painting of Venus was done many years ago, when I was in High School.
I kindly refer to the finished oil as Outsider Art. I was learning.
Felicity, now a mature women, posed for me when she was young and spunky. Her coat is short, with only a few undertones of brown. I kept the background simple and colorful to put the emphasis on the lines of her body.
The day I met Nikolas, he tolerated a few photos and then allowed me to follow him outside. It was there that I saw the beautiful copper shimmering through his thick black coat and noticed that his alert yellow eyes were flecked with violet.
Nikolas is in his senior years, but as he wandered in his garden, I sensed the intensity of a younger, adventuresome cat.
His owner described him as an "Alaskan Shed Cat." Like a few fortunate, feral felines, he won the "little kitty lottery." On a cold day in Wrangell, Alaska, the five week old kitten found his way onto the boat and into the hearts of a couple passing through who were searchng for a cat to adopt.
"We worried that he wouldn't be tame enough, that he'd jump off the boat," Sue, his owner said. "But once inside, he curled up and went to sleep." Nick became a "boat cat" traveling well beyond his humble origins.
I imagined that my third black cat, now a grand gentleman, would enjoy being captured in a wilder setting - a place where the sun catches the splendor of his fur and in surroundings that reflect his ongoing explorations.