Motherhood, in progress

Motherhood, in progress, originally uploaded by ahtravis.

My choice of medium and Thomas the cat

I notice that I change from one medium to another in a rhythmical pattern, season to season, year to year. In my effort to understand why, I have been reminded of a wonderful tomcat, Thomas, with whom my family was fortunate to live for many years.

Thomas was born in the Bronx, raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and was renown in Larchmont, NY for his supposedly miraculous journey from France to Larchmont in a bureau drawer.  He lived his last years on Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts, OH.

Neighbors from New York to Ohio thought Thomas particularly loved each individual one of them.  He visited regularly and often and usually was rewarded with treats.  However, when we, his actual family, observed closely we discovered that Thomas was following the most comfortable patch of sunshine available according to the time of day and the season of the year, year after year.

Like Thomas I choose my medium according to the weather and the temperature.

In warm weather I love painting outside and watercolors are light to carry and quick to use. As temperatures turn colder I move inside and concentrate on oil.  When the weather becomes frigid, even in my studio, I must move to my worktable next to the heater.  In the cool of the studio the oils are too viscous to apply, the watercolors are fine for my “kitchen paintings“, but pastel is perfect.  The view through the window from my position near the heater is the “house across the street“, my favorite subject. That may be why I have such a growing collection of paintings of it in the snow.

The mediums behave differently: watercolor moves, oil stays where I put it and requires a palette knife to apply. Acrylic can be thick or thin and brushes work nicely. Pastels are so intense sometimes they surprise.  I apply them with my fingers and I haven’t had as much fun since I used my hands to make mud pies as a child. Pastel is like drawing.  There are still many other different materials with which to work–something to which I look forward.

I have most recently begun this almost 7 foot figure painting in pastel.

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3 Responses to Motherhood, in progress

  1. mhfiler says:

    I Love this story about Thomas the cat, you should write and illustrate his story!!! What fun.

  2. Rachel says:

    oh, thomas.
    he was a wonderful cat. i think about him all the time.
    i love how everything is affected by the seasons, the weather: temperment, behavior, world view?
    seven feet!

  3. Phyllis Horowitz says:

    I could weep! What a great story.

    As for Motherhood — leave it alone. It’s perfect! Find a nice competition.

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