Saturday, August 18, 2012

Becket, for Charlie

I had my husband scan this painting, thinking it was done, but I think I want to add more green to the eyes, more whiskers in the ears, and more shadow around the nose.

That's what scanning sometimes does, highlight the imperfections.

But, this blog is not meant to be a meditation on how I fail as an artist, it's meant to provide a little background into inspiration, and to give you, the reader, a sense of my connection with the animal. I may not know the animal personally, but I know what his person tells me.

Becket was one of my husband's cats. He showed up at the front door one day, greeting my husband, who had his arms full of groceries.  When my husband turned the handle of the door, Becket was the first one in.  Clearly, he had found his home.

Of course, we took him to the vet, who neutered him and told us he was a healthy adolescent boy. He was very affectionate; he was one of those boy cats who knew how to cuddle. He was a delight.    But, he soon got into a territorial war with BeetleCat, the cow cat that my husband had rescued as a kitten. They started wars as to who could mark the most territory, and my husband went through many gallons of enzyme cleaners.  Becket needed to find a new home, though, after he sprayed my husband's bare legs. Ugh. 

Thankfully, the next door neighbor loved him just as much; in his house, he only peed in the bathtub.  He lived happily with Charlie for about 13 years and died  on his front porch.  My husband asked me to paint a memorial to give to Charlie, who still talks about Becket.

Becket, by the way, is a short length of rope used for securing spars,  and other nautical devices. A becket has an eye at one end and a thick knot or a toggle at the other.

I'll post the finished piece, too.