This was an unsolicited commission. I suppose that isn’t quite right. Squeak had recently passed away, preceded by Bennie several years earlier. The human with whom they lived asked me to do a pastel and watercolor of Squeak, and one of the photos she gave me for reference was this one. My art friend suggested I should do a watercolor of Squeak from this as it was a nice clear snapshot, prompting me to ask, “You don’t live with a cat, do you?” She never had, so was surprised when I told her, “Squeak is very annoyed in this photo.” That is a face that says, “You’re pushing your luck, bucko; just try poking me again!” I thought it was very funny and would make a good ink. So it was not really commissioned, but it sold anyway.
Their human told me that Bennie was fluffy but lightweight and Squeak was built densely, so Bennie would boss and boss Squeak, but when she had had enough she would sit on him.
This is a water-soluble graphite sketch of Squeak. So it’s like sketching with regular pencils, but with these special ones (from Derwent), somehow the graphite will move around with water. This is the first sort of finished sketch I’ve done with these, so I’m not sure of the technique. I did discover that I could use one of them as sort of an ink stick, dabbing it with my wet brush and then painting with it. I used “charcoal white” for the whiskers and eye spot.
It has been a while since I’ve done anything art-related, but I offered some prints for sale to benefit Animal Rights Rochester at the Alternative Fair yesterday. Here are some of the framed prints I had out. I sold Lupito.
African Penguin, 5 x 7 ink (O, P); original photo credit A. Phillips
Otherwise known as Jackass Penguins. This ink is from a photo my relative took of a wild penguin in Africa. He had this to say:
When I went to South Africa I did not know about the penguins. I took a tour to the Cape of Good Hope and the Boulders Beach Park was part of the tour. There were park rangers there to keep the tourists from getting too close. Penguins will bite. There are only 2 or 3 kinds of penguins that like ice and snow. There are maybe 17 kinds that do not. At least one of my pictures shows a girl in a bikini sunbathing on the sand with penguins walking around her. The penguin in your picture is not trying to keep the egg warm. It is shading the egg from the sun to prevent overheating.