Cats Who Model for Artists
This is Jack. That’s him in watercolor above. He’s not my cat, but we see each other constantly and we’re quite fond of each other. He’s as affectionate as he is mischievous. He’s expert at negative-attention harvesting; swatting at glass vases to munch flowers, grooming himself on the kitchen table, darting between legs to get outside (he’s an indoor cat living in coyote country). He usually makes his escape while you’re carrying armloads of groceries & cat food into the house, etc. He’s either sprawled in your lap, soaking up the love, or sharpening his claws on the leather chairs. And he makes a great model for painting & sketching. I love him.
When to Put the Brushes Down for the Day
As a Card-Carrying Member of the Noodle-the-Details-Artist-Club, I loooooved this 3.5 minute video clip narrated by Erica E. Hirshler Croll, senior curator of paintings, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She’s talking about John Singer Sargent’s painting Daughters of Edward Darley Boit – painted in 1882 – and measuring 87 x 87 inches. (If you’re as math-challenged as I am – that’s a smidge over 7 ft x 7 ft.) This short clip carries a heap of swoon for Sargent’s mastery, and the message applies just as easily to watercolors. Three minutes is crammed with a whole bushel of inspiration to get your edit on: leave out the details. If the video doesn’t show, you can watch it on YouTube here.
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I met this last week a young Mr. Sargent about eighteen years old and one of the most talented fellows I have ever come across; his drawings are like old masters, and his color is equally fine. He was born abroad and has not yet seen his country. He speaks as well in French, German, Italian as he does in English, has a fine ear for music, etc. Such men wake one up, and as his principles are equal to his talents, I hope to have his friendship.
~J. Alden Weir 1874