This New Member print is a signed digital print of “Their Faces to the Sun”, ink and watercolor made in archival inks on Epson textured watercolor paper. This print is 5″ x 7″ and double matted to fit an 8″ x 10″ frame with black core mats.
Mimi and Mewsette settled in the sun from the window on the landing, both of them enjoying the wash of the warm light on their faces as the shadows crept up over their backs.
Often, big soft Mewsette settles somewhere and soon I see little Mimi tucked up against her, two girls enjoying some girl time. So they are, here.
And I changed the title from the original which was “Their Faces in the Sun” to “Their Faces to the Sun” because of the context of the saying, either “Keep your face always toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you” or “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and you will not see the shadows”, variously attributed to both Walt Whitman and Helen Keller, both authors and people whose works I have read and admire them both, but this quote nor any variation has not been found in any of eithers’ works. Nonetheless I love the sentiment, especially when applied to rescued cats.
Here is what I had to say about the artwork when I painted this little sketch.
I wanted to exploit the variations in their coat colors and just play with shadows and highlights here. Mimi is quite the cocoa kitty, while Mewsette is a much cooler black, tending toward blue. In this brilliant yellow sunlight, the deepest shadows were a complementary purple, secondary shadows behind them were not necessarily green but that little experiment worked anyway, and the minor shadows where the yellow tones down and begins to shade to orange were just areas where I felt orange was needed.
Ink lines went in last, unlike the usual technique of drawing the cats then painting in. I sketched them, literally, with a broad brush and let the colors flow together. There is one area I am unhappy with, and I need to manage the flow on the paper a little better, on Mewsette down near the floor, that floating edge has no context and should be softer. I didn’t realize how dry the paper was already. I’ll need to be more careful. If I hadn’t said anything probably most people would not have noticed it, but for the sake of the artists who follow me—be more aware than me!
I still love this little painting, and I remember the days when I aspired to sketch like this in ink, and apply and blend watercolors so freely. A few years ago I would have either produced a rather insecure much more detailed sketch with more realistic colors, or total mud. Practice makes perfect, even if perfection is loosening up rather than tightening details. I’m so happy with my daily sketch practice; even when I don’t post a new one, as today, I am still working on other artwork, so in a way I’m still practicing!
The original painting is still available as well as prints of various sizes on paper and canvas, and this is also available as a greeting card. Please visit the listing for “Their Faces to the Sun” to see all the possibilities.