Quirky Cats (still life with style)

"The Unfortunate Fish" 12 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Paper

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This is one of several works completed in the last few days...

I have a bad habit of collecting knick-knacks to paint. I try to keep most of them put away for just that purpose, so my house doesn't become a minefield of breakable items. These two cats however are regulars in my kitchen-- the smaller one is my grandmother's old salt shaker, and the larger is a wooden figurine from Thailand. The fish, sadly for him, is a cloth cat toy.

I set these three up late at night on the kitchen table (using the bottom of a small fountain as a base). The paper is Strathmore "Ridges" series paper, and I haven't had much luck with it in the past. I love its texture though, and have vowed to keep trying it out until I find success. Each time I use it the experience gets a little better, and this time I enjoyed working with the vertical lines and dark color of the paper to add to the quirkiness of the piece.

Two things it's important to remember for this particular paper (in this dark blue color): smearing doesn't look good, and light colors show up wonderfully. Sticking to these two basics helped me use the paper to its advantage this time. I also finished up the details with harder pastels, making lest dust to stick to the paper (it's difficult to get that dust off once it attaches to this specific surface!)

I wasn't sure if I should include this piece with my work, as it doesn't completely fit in. This may be a corner I'm turning in my art though, and I decided to go ahead and post it. I'll know in a few weeks if my work is changing styles or I was just in a quirky mood.


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