|Miko, acrylic, 12" x 12"|
As I have dedicated the month of June to animals in art, I would like to tell you something about the 12” x 12” portrait of our cat Miko.
As many of you know, I love to paint animals and have painted some farm animals and many portraits of our family dogs. All of our dogs were medium sized dogs, at least from the perspective of an adult. Our first dog, Jessie, was a Golden Retriever who was about 1 ½ years old when Dominic was born. The two of them bonded immediately and were very close for all of Jessie’s life. There were times, when we found Dominic getting up at night to sleep with Jessie on the doggie bed. To this day, Dominic is a dog person. When Jessie died in 2005, Dominic was sad but Christine who was only four years old only wondered what had happened to the dog but never missed her. She had accepted the dog as part of our family but she was not close to her. When we adopted our next dog, the Golden Retriever Candy in January 2006, Christine was not too keen on the dog which tried to snap at her feet all the time. Even though it took us only a couple of days to make sure that Candy would stop this behaviour, Christine did not really care for our new pet, nor for the cute Beagle puppy or the Australian Shepherd puppy we fostered. She accepted that we adopted the Australian Shepherd because he was a great dog but she still did not get attached to any of the dogs.
Then in 2010, we adopted a one year old orange shorthair cat to help us to resolve the problem we had with mice in the basement. I have a severe panic of mice and was desperately looking for a solution not involving poison when my husband mentioned that a cat might help us to keep the mice away.
For Christine, this new “baby” was the love of her life. She was excited that she could carry the cat around and could cuddle with this little furball. Miko loved the attention from this little person. Christine, being careful, was allowed to handle Miko in ways he did not take from any of the rest of the family. He started to get quite smitten with his cuddle friend.
Whenever Christine gets sick, he is always by her side “protecting” her. When Christine got a prolonged illness in Grade 6 and had to stay home for many weeks, the two of them got even closer, and I am convinced that his presence helped in her recovery.
Therefore, it was not surprise that Christine was upset by the fact that I had painted portraits of all of our dogs and even of the two foster kittens that lived with us for a short time but not of her beloved Miko. Finally, last year I painted the life-size portrait of our cute Miko. Christine loves the portrait which hangs in a row with all our pet portraits, and I have promised her that I will create another portrait of Miko that will be hers to keep.
You might be wondering if Miko was able to resolve the mice problem. Well, not really. While he has chased a couple of mice, it is mostly his presence that seems to keep most of the mice away and that’s good enough for me.
Are you a cat or a dog person? Or maybe your favourite animal is a completely different animal. I would love to hear your story if you would like to share it in the comments. If you have a favourite pet and are thinking about having his/her portrait painted, feel free to contact me at email@example.com and we can talk about my approach. I would love to create a beautiful portrait of your furry friend that gives you pleasure every single day.