Cats In Art
Welcome to the "Cats In Art" page. I have always loved both cats and art, so it seems quite natural for me to enjoy them together.
I want to start with one of my favorite cats-in-art paintings that I think is perfect for this site. Why? One, it is done in the style of "American Folk Art Painting" which appeals to me. Two, it captures the personality of a Tuxedo cat as well as I've ever seen. I studied Art History in University, and even tried to survive as a potter for years, but it wasn't until I discovered American Folk Art Paintings that the light went on in my heart for paintings. Different styles of painting have different purposes. To me, the great contribution of American Folk Art Painting is that touches you emotionally in a joyful way. Well, cats have that effect on me as well, so I can't think of a better painting to start with. And with a Tuxedo cat too!
"Girl In White With Black & White Cat" by Diane Ulmer Pedersen. Click here to go to Diane Ulmer Pedersen's web page with the painting.
The next painting is also from Diane Ulmer Pedersen. If you haven't already figured it out, I really love her work. This one is called "Cat and Bird / Lead Us Not Into Temptation". The cat in this one reminds me of my great friend Cornelius, who's pictures are all over this web site.
"Cat and Bird / Lead Us Not Into Temptation" by Diane Ulmer Pedersen. Click here to go to Diane Ulmer Pedersen's web page with the painting.
The next painting is called "Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton" attributed to John de Critz. This painting was made in 1603. The cat in the painting is named Trixie. There is quite an involved story to this painting - far beyond the scope of this site - but the fully boiled down version is that Henry Wriothesley was imprisoned in the Tower of London by Queen Elizabeth for his involvment in the Essex Rebellion. The story is, that Trixie would regularly find his way into the Tower to be with his friend Henry Wriothesley. There are many stories that go with this, but upon his release in 1603, Henry Wriothesley commissioned this painting of himself and Trixie with the Tower of London visible through the window (upper right corner of painting), partly to honour Trixie, and partly to show the world he survived what was first a death sentense, then reduced to life in jail, then released just a couple of years after he was imprisoned. The writing right below the Tower of London is in Latin, and reads: In vinculis invictus ("in chains unconquered"). Take note that one of the key symbols is the defiance of authority in the eyes of both Henry & Trixie. Henry was renowned to be strong willed. Even having a cat as a favorite pet was unusual in this time, and would have been seen as contrary to the norms in a time where nobility such as himself had dogs as pets.
"Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton" attributed to John de Critz. Tuxedo cat is Trixie.
In August of 2018, my friend Leon passed away (See picture directly below this paragraph). The painting below that by Diane Ulmer Pedersen is called "Girl With Orange Cat". This painting captures Leon's personality very well even though he is not the cat in the painting. I have heard many times that cats are difficult to paint, so to be able to capture the personality of a cat shows a real talent and an understanding of cats.
My friend Leon.
"Girl With Orange Cat" by Diane Ulmer Pedersen. Click here to go to Diane Ulmer Pedersen's web page with the painting.
The painting below captures the spirit of cats - both visually & in words (read the border). The style reminds me of Henri Rousseau's works, especially the trees and plants. However, Henri Rousseau never managed to capture the personality of cats in his painting in a way that would make me think he understood them. The painting below does. Henri Rousseau I think saw the cats in his paintings as animals, but looking at the painting below, you can see Diane understands cats very well as individual beings, each with a distinct soul.
"Four Cats" by Diane Ulmer Pedersen. Click here to go to Diane Ulmer Pedersen's web page with the painting.
There is an artist who lives in my area whose works I have loved since I first saw them years ago. Her name is Lucy Ogletree. Her style of work is "Canadian Folk Art". She describes her work as, "Whimsical Expressions from the Heart". That really nails it as far as I'm concerned. There is a sweet, dream-like feel to the works she creates. I remember when I first saw her work, I was taken out of the world into a place we all want to live in, but rarely get a glimpse of. Also, she captures the fun side of cats that appeals to me deeply. Many of her works are night time scenes with full moons giving a friendly, magical feel. Not all of her works are about cats, but even many that aren't have cats in them. One more aspect that seems to run through all her art: there is a fun, joyful sense of humour that either makes you laugh or at the very least smile.
The first painting I want to show by her is called "Time Out". This painting reminds me of my cat Cornelius, who was a big Tuxedo cat. Cornelius loved going for car rides. Because he was such a big cat, we would use a small dog cage to take him in the car. We would put the cage on a box in the middle of the back seat so he could see out in all directions. He loved this. All you would have to do when it was time to go for a drive was put the dog cage out, open it, and Cornelius would run inside and wait happily to be put in the car and have the cage strapped into place.
"Time Out" by Lucy Ogletree. Click here to go to Lucy Ogletree's web page with the painting.
Cornelius in the dog cage waiting for me to put him and the cage in the car, and go for a drive.
The next one is called "Dance By The Light Of The Moon" by Lucy Ogletree. I want to pack up my stuff and move into this painting. I just love the world that is created here. The cats living here are certainly enjoying it.
"Dance By The Light Of The Moon" by Lucy Ogletree. Click here to go to Lucy Ogletree's web page with the painting.
This next one is by Paris Bottman. Her ability to draw cats in a way that is both highly realistic and captures the personality of the cat combined with fun, whimsical settings and situations is really quite amazing. The fact that they are dressed in finely detailed and real-life clothes is fun & sweet, but also powerful in drawing you into the personality of the cat, not just seeing a "cat".
All I can say about the one below is that I love it, and have from the moment I first saw it.
"Sledding Cat" by Paris Bottman. Click here to go to Paris Bottman's page with her work on Greeting Card Universe.
I'm always looking for paintings of cats - especially Tuxedo cats. I recently came upon this next one. I just love it. This oil pastel painting beautifully captures the mischievous look that cats can get in their eyes. The painting has life in it. The artist is Tanya Bond. You can see this work (and more of her work) on Tanya's charming critters page. She also has an etsy page here with her work, and her REDBUBBLE page here.
"Tuxedo Cat" by Tanya Bond. Click here to go to see this on Tanya's charming critters page.
Below are more cat related paintings from Tanya Bond. Her work is beautiful. Though this site is about cats, I would suggest you take the time and look over all her work if you love art. I also want to point out, that if you are interestested in the Tarot like I am, you should search out "Queen of Swords by Tanya Bond". Never have I seen the essense of that card captured so perfectly & magically. It is stunning. Also, search out for "The High Priestess by Tanya Bond" - very beautiful magical realism art. All of the images below (and many, many more) can be found here on her REDBUBBLE page.
"Opal" by Tanya Bond. Click here to see this on Tanya's REDBUBBLE page.