We owe it all to Roland.
At the vet clinic where Sienna worked for many years, they often find themselves with “clinic cats”—cats that are surrendered by their owners, usually due to an expensive illness or behavioural issues. The vets refuse to euthanize healthy pets, so they let them live in the clinic until someone adopts them. As a result, many of us (and our friends and family) have cats that came to us this way—including Midge!
Well, one of these clinic cats fit in so well that he stayed on, and became a beloved part of the clinic family. He was completely at ease surrounded by dogs, and was known to stick his paw through the kennel bars and steal the food of recovering patient cats. Several years ago when he passed away, I made a small portrait of him. It still hangs on the clinic wall, and it was the seed for Beatrix & Midge Co.
Recently I started making portrait of pets for friends, and it has been great fun. It is a challenging task, as the illustration has to remain simple, but it also has to be exactly right in order to really capture the spirit of its subject. I often draw them several times, until they are just right. Often Sienna is called in to help me figure out what is off—she always spots issues right away! The moment the portrait ultimately “clicks” is the most satisfying feeling—in an instant, it goes from being a flat mass of colour and line to a creature looking back at me. The moment they come to life, I often find myself saying “Oh, hello!” to their smiling (or stern, or crabby) faces.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for your interest in my drawings. We are so excited about Beatrix and Midge Co, it has been a long time in the making! I can’t imagine a better use of my time than drawing your beloved buddies.