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.
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.
This friendly fellow lives at Farm Sanctuary (Watkins Glen, NY). I loved his completely open and trusting expression. Some goats are wary, some goats look like they’re about to pick your pocket, many see me as a complicated back-scratcher or wanted help getting apples down from the tree overhead. This guy had no agenda.
I have been busy this summer with plants, but the Pittsford Art Group‘s meeting is tonight and we are supposed to bring an artist trading card (original art on a 2.5″ x 3.5″ card), so I made this in the nick of time.
Lupito is a rescued Chihuahua, and he was really enjoying himself when I took this photo.
I caught this Manx cat looking wistfully out the window.
Manxes supposedly originate from the Isle of Man, and their genetics don’t just alter the size of their tail – it changes their whole hind end, which is why Finn is perfectly comfortable completely upright or flat on his belly or back like a person. His back legs seem longer and he runs differently.
Finn McCool was a rescue from a breeder, and his brother is disabled and will not live long due to genetic Manx syndrome. If either parent is Manx, all offspring will be Manx, a substantial percentage with serious, painful and fatal defects (tails randomly range from full length to a disconnected spine). If both parents are Manx, all offspring will die. Should anybody be breeding these cats?