Life is never boring with cats in the studio…
Drusilla is a very paws on cat in the studio. She likes to be involved in my creative process every step of the way.
It’s not all mischief and mayhem though, there’s plenty of quiet moments too. This may look like adoration, but she could easily be taking a moment to ponder her next move.
What should I do next?
Hunter is more reserved, a silent stalker type. Thus, there’s less photographic evidence… But he’s here. Watching. Waiting. Always.
Take a look at the first installment of Cats in the Studio.
I’ve lived with a cat in my art studio since 2006 when Shadow was still shy of a year old and we lived near the Dorset coast in England. Initially, I tried to keep her out of the studio, but her cries were relentless. Over the years I’ve come to learn some valuable lessons and hard truths.
1. Cats love to be involved in the creative process.
Yessss, these are the colors.
2. If you can’t find that certain pad of paper chances are, they are sitting on it.
I haven’t seen your watercolor paper.
3. Never leave works in progress unattended. Remember, they like to be involved.
It needs my special touch.
4. Learn to incorporate cat hair into your paintings. Chances are there are more than a few strands of fur in this painting. It is what it is.
Sticking with the theme…
5. Cats will attempt to sway your creative decisions.
Are you sure you want to draw that?
6. Everything is for climbing. Everything.
Mom, look what I can do!
7. A warm lap must be made available at all times, no matter what you’re doing.
Oh, you’re painting?
8. They are never too young to begin
disrupting learning what you do.
I want to try!
9. You may feel like working through lunch, but they won’t. Ever.
Are you done working yet?
10. All of the above rules apply both inside and outside the studio.
I’m going to sit on your art till you pay attention to me.
Life in the Makepeace clan is better than where it was a month ago, but not where I’d like it yet. This means I’m still following Hunter to the litter box room, just not quite as often, to ensure things are going smoothly (<- worse pun ever). It also means life is slowly returning to normal. Hunter has begun playing with Drusilla. He hasn’t felt like playing for over a month. Our frisky, lovable boy is making a comeback.
This is when reality taps me on the shoulder. It’s November. Two months have passed since Dragon Con. On the outside, I’m pushing forward, getting things done. On the inside, I’m slightly panicked and a little weary. What have been doing all this time besides caring for Hunter?
- Working on a big commission (it’s in the final stages)
- I put together a GoFundMe campaign to help with Hunter’s Vet bills.
- I’ve been sketching pets as part of the GoFundMe campaign.
- Helped my daughter put together a portfolio and helped her prepare for an interview for the Governor’s Honors Program.
- I helped reseed our backyard and then managed the daily watering of baby grass.
- I blogged for Tessera weekly.
- I blogged twice weekly here.
- I tried to blog weekly here.
- I blogged monthly here.
- Posting daily here.
- I create the exhibit banners each month here.
- Shipping orders from my Etsy shop.
- Photographing my framed originals from Dragon Con.
- Planning next year’s conventions. I’m going to be the Jordan Con Art Show!
- Planning my next painting projects.
- Revamping my website because it wouldn’t behave.
- Catching up on every episode of One Fantastic Week.
- I escaped from a room with a zombie. Seriously.
Should I go on? I could probably add more to this list… You get the idea. Some of these things are stress relievers and others are a bit draining. One turned out to be just what I needed. My creative friend Jane Gould was one of the generous contributors to my GoFundMe Campaign. Jane doesn’t have a pet, so she let me have free reign. However, she did plant a seed–dragon eye.
Thanks for lifting my spirits, Jane! The little things are often the best remedy.
The last week and a half has been exhausting. I feel like I’ve traveled through the Hell Mouth and back. After four days of trying to avoid a serious situation, things were pushed to the brink. I rushed my cat Hunter to the Vet at 11 p.m last Thursday night. I have the best Vet in world, one of those exceptionally caring individuals. He gave me is cell phone number and said call at any hour. When I called he was in bed, but got up, dressed and met us at his practice. Hunter came home on Monday night and he’s doing better, not 100% but getting there. I’m nowhere near 100% but I keep pushing ahead nonetheless, except when it came to this blog post. I had planned to put together a post on books with monsters, something fun for October, but I just stared at the screen. Not this week. Maybe next week, or the week after, but I can’t do it now. Instead, you get this random post about whatnot.
used to not give the names of everything
Put your pot, the corpse and whatnot in the back of the car.
The example! I won’t be sharing anything about corpses in my whatnot post. The best I can do is share this photo I took of the cemetery in my front yard. 😀
What else? I’m reading a digital ARC of a new (new to the US) book by Sergei Lukyanenko (author of the Night Watch series), originally titled Геном. His characters are always wonderfully complicated on the outside, but down-to-earth on the inside. I’m over 50% of the way through the book but I’ve been too tired to read the last two nights. 🙁
Cats make superb pirates. All Hunter needs is a pirate hat and a hook.
I have two Etsy coupon codes running till November 1st. Trick or Treat, you choose.
Oh, and I did this… You can too. Just click on the link in the lower right of the image.
These week I hired a new studio assistant. She knows nothing about brushes, paints or Photoshop but I’m sure she’ll be a quick study. Drusilla is eager and full of creative drive. I met her at the dog groomers over the weekend and I knew then she’d make a perfect edition to the creative family. She’s already begun learning about colored pencils and of course, brushes. I’m going to have to watch her with those–she keeps trying to munch on them.
Did I fool you?! Probably not. If you follow me on the web anywhere I’ve been posting photos of this little angel almost non-stop. She’s just too precious!
And, she looks just like Shadow. It was a little surreal when I walked into the dog groomers Saturday morning and saw her sitting near the door. My heart clenched and I tried not to look at her. It must have been fate. She’d been found inside a car engine and she has the scars on her nose to prove it. The small, very friendly kitten, was also severely underweight. I brought her home and within days she was gaining weight and running around the studio.
Up until yesterday, we were not positive on whether she was actually a she and that was partly due to her weight and overall scruffiness. The Veterinarian confirmed yesterday we indeed have a little girl and except for some tummy bugs, she was in good health.
I can’t take credit for the name, but I also didn’t need any convincing. Drusilla was my mother’s suggestions. And yes, she is named after that Drusilla. 😀
Drusilla played by Juliet Landau
Spike and Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Drusilla is already taking after Shadow. She likes to sleep right up near my face and she lunged and hissed at the dog yesterday. She’s a fighter and a survivor, but also incredibly loving. I still miss Shadow terribly but this little look-a-like warms my heart. Before long she’ll be sitting in my lap, snoozing as I paint.
For fellow Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fans, you may be interested in my videos from Dragon*Con 2012. I have two videos from a panel with actors Juliet Landau (Drusilla) and Spike (James Marsters). Here’s Part 1, check my profile for Part 2.