Tag: Paintings

This one’s for you, Brew. Miss ya dude.

Brewskie Butt Custom Cat Portrait Painting by Artist BZTAT

In December of 2008, a cat started tweeting on Twitter. He tweeted about many things, but his favorite thing to do was tell stories about his human companion, who was an artist. He became the spokescat for his artist companion’s burgeoning arts business, and he also became a worldwide advocate for the Canton Arts District in downtown Canton, OH. He tweeted about his everyday cat adventures, and he tweeted about some, well, shall we say, extraordinary misadventures.

Brewskie Butt First Tweet
@BrewskieButt’s First Tweet

That cat’s stories on Twitter became so beloved, his birthday was celebrated on Twitter in the first official 24 hour #PawPawty. He made many friends around the world in subsequent #PawPawties and other cyber adventures, and he became quite the internet sensation. He launched his human’s art business, and he brought many pet portrait commissions her way.

That cat was Brewskie Butt and his human companion was me. Although his stories in cyberspace were quite fanciful, I assure you, Brewskie Butt the cat was every bit the character that the stories revealed.

Brewskie Butt (AKA The Brew) was a real cat who came to my home in 2004. A friend at work brought him to me after he had been rescued on the side of the road by a school teacher friend of hers. The first night I had him, he stuck his nose into my freshly poured beer and he started drinking, earning his name by rights in an instant.

Brewskie was ornery, obnoxious, pugnacious, nosey and annoying at times. He was also loving, curious, humorous and the biggest presence in the room no matter who was in the room with him. Although he was a huge presence, he also had a way of sharing that presence, making everyone around him feel welcome. 

I am sad to say that Brewskie is not in the room anymore.

Brewskie went to the storied Rainbow Bridge yesterday. He had been suffering from pancreatitis since January of this year, and he declined rapidly over the past week. I cannot tell you how much his presence is missed here in my home.

I really miss that ornery, obnoxious, pugnacious, nosey, annoying, loving, curious, humorous cat who was the biggest presence in the room no matter who was in the room with him.

Brewskie Butt GraveThe Rainbow Bridge for me is in Dellroy, OH. I used to live in a cabin there years ago, and my friend who owns the property allows me to continue burying my pets there. Brew’s body, and spirit, rests next to that of his former nemesis Slick, and those of Bub and the original Beezie.

I am not sure how to move forward without my buddy Brew. He has been such a big part of my life for 13 years. I owe him a lot, because, without his presence, I don’t know if I would have explored the creative depths that I did with him by my side. I know I will come back around, but, for now, I feel pretty lost without him.

I have painted, drawn and digitally mastered many artworks of Brew through the years. I even created a picture book and a coloring book with an artistic character based on him. But I never created a serious portrait of him. I have painted serious portraits of many of his cyber friends, but I have not seriously depicted the huge impact that he has had on my life in an artwork.

So a few days ago, when I realized that the end of our wonderful time together was near, I started painting a Premiere Portrait of Brew. I began painting it at home, with him sitting next to me, then I finished it in my studio today after he was gone. It was both the hardest, and the easiest, painting I have ever painted.

I often paint portraits of pets for people who are going through the experience of losing a pet. I want them to know that, when I paint their pet’s portrait, I feel with them, and I try to translate that love that they feel into the portrait. I have to be authentic with that experience. I know their pain, because I am living it too. It is the sweetest pain, because it is the sweetest love – that human animal bond. 

Anyway, this one is for you Brew. I have loved you with every ounce of my being, even when you were annoying the crap out of me. I miss you dude. Life will never be the same. 

But life is so much grander because of your having been here.

Life is an Adventure!


Many times Brewskie shared this song and video on Twitter with friends to comfort their loss of a beloved pet. I know he has many friends, and I wanted to share this with you to comfort your loss as I deal with my own private sadness.

“Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.”


Cats and Patterns and Designs and Colors and…

Pet Portrait Painting of a Dilute Tortoise Shell Cat by Artist BZTAT
Pet Portrait Painting by Artist BZTAT

Capturing the essence of an animal’s character is a primary objective when painting the portrait of someone’s beloved pet. Although my pet portraits are somewhat abstract, and the colors diverge a bit from reality, there still has to be plausibility. The image has to look like a specific animal, and it has to strike a chord with the animal’s human caretaker in a deep and moving way.

Even so, there is room to play.

Cats are fantastic creatures, and the relationships we form with them include a great deal of imagination. Painting their portraits often allows for a great deal of creativity beyond the simple depiction of their features.

In my most recent portrait of Francie, a beautiful dilute tortie cat (tortoise shell/calico with gray and creamy colors), I found a lot of creative energy in the way that her presence interacted with the background of her home. The reference photos I received of her revealed a rug with amazing abstract patterns and designs and colors as part of her domain, and I was drawn to it as I developed the initial sketches. I had to include that rug in the painting.

Moreso than many of my portraits, Francie’s painting took a turn towards the abstract in many ways, yet her personality still dominates the painting. According to her human caretaker, she is an intense creature with a variety of expressions, ranging from worried, annoyed, sleepy, impatient, alert, goofy, and loving. She can be demanding, yet also very loving, and she is a generous “big sister” to a younger feline with whom she shares her home.

“She is very emotionally involved with us and sensitive to our moods; she is always in the room with us, participating in whatever we’re doing… She was  a rescue, found by a workman riding his bike home from work. She was on an overpass and he picked her up and carried her to a restaurant parking lot. We saw them from the window and we took her.  She was not feral; she was vocal and made eye contact, and bonded with us immediately.”

Francie’s story is as amazing as she is. She was so fortunate to be rescued at the exact moment that the most perfect family arrived to take her home! I had great fun painting her portrait, and I am grateful that my artistry could help to express that love in a special way!

Life is an Adventure!


Order a portrait of your pet today! Four different styles for different tastes and budgets.

Art Improv Auctions are Live!


Stegosaurus painting by BZTAT
“Stegosaurus” painting by BZTAT

The auctions for the artworks created in yesterday’s Art Improv are now live! What a fun time it was creating these pictures based on requests from friends and fans of my work!

Many of these artworks would make great gifts for children or adults, and since we have those gift giving holidays on the horizon, now is a good time to get a head start on your shopping!

Each artwork has its own bidding page. Please do not leave bids in the comments of this post. Click on the images of the artwork below for which you’d like to bid. Simply leave your bid in the comments on the artwork’s bidding page, and keep checking back to see if others have made bids after you. There is a “Buy Now” option for each piece. You can buy the piece now for the stated “Buy Now” price as long as no bids have been made before you. Simply write BUY NOW in the comments and the piece is yours for the “Buy Now” price + shipping.

Bidding will conclude on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10 pm ET.

Winning bidders will need to allow 4 weeks for shipping.

Thanks for your support of the auction. Happy bidding!

Click on images below to get info on each artwork and to make bids.


Art Improv Auction 1

Greyhound painting by BZTAT
Greyhound painting by BZTAT

Art Improv Auction 2

Stegosaurus painting by BZTAT
“Stegosaurus” painting by BZTAT

Art Improv Auction 3

Hedgehog painting by BZTAT
“Hedgehog” painting by BZTAT

Art Improv Auction 4

Tabby Cat portrait painting by BZTAT
“Tabby Cat” painting by BZTAT

Art Improv Auction 5

Frog Painting by BZTAT
“Frog” Painting by BZTAT

Art Improv Auction 6

Starfish painting by BZTAT
Starfish painting by BZTAT

Art Improv Auction 7

Sheltie Dog PortraitPainting by BZTAT
Sheltie Painting by BZTAT


NOTE: I am closing the comments on this post in order to prevent bidding here. Please click on the images above to post your bids or other comments. Thanks!


Life is an Adventure!