This painting was for a critique class that I am taking. Our teacher, Fred Rawlinson is a former art professor for the Memphis College of Art, and a well-known watercolorist.
Our assignment was to paint a self portrait, not portraying ourselves figurally. We were to paint ourselves in such a way that we revealed something noone else knew about us, and to make it unique to us.
I chose a cat. My state of mind at the beginning of the painting was not good, as I was feeling particularly self-defensive. Backed into a corner, and trying to maintain a bit of dignity in losing all control of the situation around me! The painting became a real learning experience for me, however. As I did my preliminary sketches, and started laying out the basic painting, I found myself...my true self coming out. I am a bit of a mischievous soul. I hate being bored, and am always coming up with new ways to stay occupied. That imp in me, that bit of the devil, started to show in the eyes of the cat. I took the eyes in an Egyptian direction, to show that bit that few know about me...my favorite art teacher in college was fascinated with Egyptian art, to the point that he spent every summer there working archaeology digs. I did many assignments dealing with the cultural pyramid paintings, and the perspective of Egyptian pictographs.
I kept the attitude of the aggressive cat behavior to show my constant battle against my low self esteem, and my determination to beat it! When I painted in the whiskers, my final touch, I felt such joy! I danced around the entire house! It isn't my best work, but it is certainly my favorite. It expresses so much about me, and I learned that I need to put ME in more of my work. I can't wait for my next assignment!