Friday, April 16, 2010
Barn Cat - Early Oil Painting
Barn Cat, 9 x 12, Oil on Canvas
© 2004 Cindy Revell
This year has been one of much introspection with regards to my art and the hows and whys of life in general. Yesterday I was thinking of serendipity and how the smallest of events can have a huge impact on your life. In 1989 I took a job as a graphic designer/illustrator and stuck around for about 8 years after which I freelanced as an illustrator. Gina, the woman who hired me back then, and I become friends and kept in touch. One day she told me about her oil painting classes and I shared my own first less that stellar attempt at oils which were done to invigorate my illustration by trying a new medium. Gina suggested I try her oil painting class. I did so in May 2002 but I was very busy and stressed with the demands of illustration and a husband with cancer and didn't love the classes right away. They were simply a way for me to learn what was then a rather vexatious medium. I hung in and a year later I was completely hooked and knew that something very special had taken over my life.
So how does the Barn Cat fit in with all of this? When I was working as a designer/illustrator I was sent out on a field trip with some kids to take some pictures for an annual report. I spied this lovely Buddha like cat who was serenely lording it over the chicken coop, I snapped his picture thinking that I'd do a watercolor of him sometime. The photo hung in my office for years and I took it with me when I left, Gina loved that picture. As I was learning the oils it struck me that the time had come to finally paint that cat. At the time it was all I could do to manipulate the paint and the composition suffered from a too literal reliance on the photo. I changed a few things but missed a few critical ones which as an illustrator I should have spotted right off the bat. In spite of it's imperfections Gina fell in love with the painting and became one of my first collectors.
Art had always been a fairly major force in my life and while illustration is still a big part of my days my obsession with oil painting fills nearly every other available moment. How I oil paint has changed hugely but looking back I'm amazed at how it all started.
All because someone needed a graphic designer way back in 1989.
at 7:02 AM