Category: Paradoxes

What’s on BZTAT’s Easel? Simon the Church Cat.

Simon the Church Cat Pet Portrait by Artist BZTAT
Simon the Church Cat Pet Portrait by Artist BZTAT

It is rare that an artist gets the opportunity to paint the portrait of an animal who holds a very important job. I recently was granted that opportunity.

Meet Simon, the caretaker and chief greeter of the Church of the Advent in Boston, MA.

Simon has kept residence at the Church of the Advent since July of 2012, and a parishioner, Julianne Ture, documents his antics on Facebook and  Instagram. He is the latest in a long succession of church cats at the church.

He takes his job very seriously, as you can see in the slideshow photos below.

Painting Simon’s portrait was a bit of a challenge for me. I wanted to capture his personality, as well as express something about the spiritual environment that is his domain.

It is a study in contrasts. His countenance is a mixture of mischief and pride, both stately and comical at the same time. His domain, on the other hand, is very regal with beautiful woodwork and ceremonial furnishings. Behind the scenes, Simon keeps the office in working order, and he manages the church’s recycling program.

 

You can see that Simon is a very busy cat. He is very friendly as well, and he is very observant of the job description that was developed for his predecessor Jeoffry. I wonder…are there lint rollers hidden in the sacristy to keep the vestments and pillows free of Simon fluff?

Cat portraits are always fun for me to paint, but Simon’s was an extra special treat. I hope someday to meet this amazing beast. Thank you, Julianne, for sharing Simon’s antics in cyberspace, and thanks for the opportunity to paint his portrait!

See other Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings here and learn about commissioning a portrait of your pet!

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

*Slideshow photos by Julianne Ture

Today’s “Drawing a Day” – “Aromatic”

"Aromatic" Drawing of a mug of coffee by artist BZTAT
“Aromatic” Drawing by artist BZTAT

For an artistic challenge, I am making a drawing every day in November. Each drawing will be placed for auction on here on my blog. These drawings will be fun images that will make nice gifts for the upcoming holidays. I have done “Drawing a Day” projects before, and they have been a lot of fun!

You can follow each day’s drawing by by subscribing to my my blog or by following my posts on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Minimum bids will be low – you just might get a great artwork for a bargain!

Today’s drawing is of a very aromatic cup of coffee, drawn with Prismacolor Pencil on black paper. As the days get shorter and colder, a nice warm cup of coffee to snuggle up with is just what you need. I hope that you like it! 

Thanks for following along all month and for bidding on the drawings!

By the way, let me know what you would like to see me draw the rest of the month in the comments below. I am open to suggestions!

Here’s the info about the drawing:

5″ x 7″ Prismacolor Pencil and Marker Drawing by artist BZTAT 

Comes with an acid free mat ready for a 8×10″ frame

Leave bids in increments of $5 below in the comments section.

Minimum Bid $20 USD

Shipping: $5 USA $15 International

BUY NOW OPTION: You can buy this piece now for $35 as long as no bids have been made in the comments below. Simply write BUY NOW in the comments and I will send you an invoice via Paypal which can be paid with a credit card or with PayPal.

Highest bid at 10:00 pm EST on Tuesday 11/4/17 wins the piece.

Winning bidder: I will send an invoice via Paypal to the winning bidder which can be paid with a credit card or with PayPal.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for USA shipping.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

Shaking it off like a stunned squirrel.

Whimsical Squirrel wildlife contemporary painting by BZTAT
“Squirrel” Painting by BZTAT

Around my home, there are a number of trees that are a playground for a family of squirrels. These squirrels are amazingly busy little acrobats, scampering up and down the trees and jumping from limb to limb all day long. 

One day, as I was coming out my back door, one of the smaller squirrels fell from a high branch right in front of me. The poor thing lay motionless in the dirt, blinking but not moving. I gasped, frightened that it would not get back up. Selfishly, I thought, “I don’t want to watch it die.” It felt wrong to leave it there all alone, though.

So I stood still and I watched it for a moment.

Slowly, the squirrel started to move its head. Its belly heaved with heavy breathing. Then the legs moved a little, and the creature lifted itself up. It walked slowly over to the trunk of the tree it had fallen from. It jumped onto the trunk. Then it hopped up to a branch.

On the branch, the squirrel “shook it off”, checking itself to make sure its body was still working. Then, the squirrel scampered back up to the higher branches, chasing after another furry acrobat.

Squirrels work and play without a net below to catch them when they fall. When they fall and get the stuffings knocked out of them, it is not certain that they will recover. Thank God this one did. When squirrels get back up, the reality of knowing that they could fall again doesn’t seem to stop them. They go right back to doing what they were doing before they fell.

I feel a bit like that squirrel right now. I feel a bit stunned, and I feel like I have had the stuffings knocked out of me. I am on the branch trying to “shake it off”, and I am checking to see if I am in working order.

Once I get my bearings, will I go back to doing what I was doing before the fall? That’s what squirrels do, but is it what people do?  Hmm.

Losing my furry pal Brewskie Butt has really knocked the stuffings out of me. I lost a companion, and a muse. It was a relationship that was unique, and I can’t replicate it with my other cats, even though I love them very much. There was just something special between Brew and me.

Maybe its because I shared the uniqueness of that relationship with people around the world in the early days of social media. Maybe its because the creativity that he inspired in me took me to places I never though were possible. Maybe its because he awakened an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and together, we went on an amazing creative journey that defined me as an artist.

Or maybe its just that I miss his silly self and his furry body next to me.

It occurs to me that the span of Brewskie’s life covered the time frame that launched my career as an professional artist. He came to me towards the end of my career as a mental health counselor, and he has been with me the whole time that I have explored my creativity in a professional realm. He was with me when it was all fresh and new and adventurous, and his character gave me great material for exploring the creative realms of social media. He made marketing my business fun, because it was all about telling our story.

Now I am left with this creative enterprise that he helped me build, and I confess, I am not exactly sure where to take it from here. Unlike the squirrel, it is not so clear a path to find the higher branches of my tree to go back to doing what I was doing before the fall. How do I do this without my Brew?

Social media is not so much the frontier that it once was when it was all new and Brewskie was delighting people throughout cyberspace with his silly antics. I have established myself as an artist, so forging that path has become a bit routine as well. The business side of entrepreneurship is a struggle for me. I still love painting as a professional artist, and I still enjoy connecting with people through social media. I do miss exploring new frontiers, though. 

Brewskie and I scampered about the interwebs like my squirrels scamper about through the trees around my home. The internet was our playground. We did it without a care in the world, and without a net, until it just wasn’t the same tree anymore. 

Now he’s gone, and I am stunned, and I am trying to “shake it off”.

We follow patterns in life. My pattern is to pick myself up after setbacks, and ultimately find new adventures to explore. Sometimes I retrace old steps, and sometimes I embark on new travels. I am sure that my pattern will re-emerge once I shake this off. A new adventure will come my way, and my artistic enterprise will find new heights.

For now, though, I think I will just sit on this branch for awhile and reflect on the last one.

What a grand adventure we had together, Brewskie and me.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

The painting above is for sale – learn more here.