Tabitha – In Memoriam

Tabitha  / gouache / August 2016

Tabitha / gouache / August 2016

One of my favorite people in the world is my good friend Sandra. Not only was she was the first friend I made in Vancouver, but one of those rare friends that just instantly "got me" from the very moment we said hi to each other. Over the last five years I've gotten to know her cat Tabitha pretty well too — a cuddly, sassy cat that Sandra and her partner Dave loved to bits. A few weeks ago Tabitha passed away after an incredible 19.5 years (!!!) so naturally they were heartbroken. 

I've had my fair share of cats (a bit of an understatement) so I know how the loss of a pet can feel. I thought it would be nice to paint something for Sandra and Dave to put up in their place to remind them of their many years shared with Tabitha. 

Detail of Tabitha's furry texture

Detail of Tabitha's furry texture

Tabitha has a wonderfully complex mix of browns, peach, white, black, and grey so I knew I my best option was to try gouache layered with colored pencil fur textures. I've always bought the cheapest, lowest quality art supplies (usually called student grade) but lately I've realized that if I am going to take myself seriously as an artist, then I should be using professional grade paints. And so I walked out of the art store significantly poorer, but feeling like this portrait definitely deserved the best. And I know I don't say this enough, both as an artist and in my daily life, but I am so proud of myself. This piece is the perfect mix of honoring a treasured pet and looking just like her, right down to the patterns of stripes on her chest. 

Let's lift our metaphoric glasses in a toast to friends both furry and human, all the pets we've love and lost, and all the good times spent with people and animals you love.