“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
I’ve been sitting at my computer, at a loss for words. I really don’t know what to say. I have known so many people who have lost pets in the past six months. What can you say? I’m sorry for your loss, that sucks, or I feel for you.
Those phrases don’t cover it! We all know how it feels. I’m sure everyone has felt the heartache from losing a pet. They’re not just pets though. They are friends. Friends that adore your attention. Friends that want to be in the middle of your business at all times, just because they love spending time with you. They listen every time you need them. They sleep by your side every night. A friend that is literally always there! At that point, they become family.
That’s probably why it hurts so much when we can’t see them anymore. They were always by your side and then they’re not. It takes some time to get use to. You just have to remember the life you gave them. As much as they were there for you, you were there for them. They had a good life!
I would like to dedicate this post to Phantom, a gorgeous cat with two different colored eyes(as you can see). A friend of mine recently said goodbye to him. That combined with his striking beauty compelled me to draw him. I hope I did him justice!
Rest in Peace Dear Phantom.
Until next time,
“Momma always said dyin’ was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”
I have been diligent with keeping a sketchbook lately. I am usually terrible about it, inconsistent. I use to think there was a right and a wrong way to use a sketchbook and it discouraged me. I always make things harder on myself then they really have to be. Like there is a secret I don’t know about and I’m doing everything wrong. Why? I don’t know. I chalk it up to not having confidence. That’s changing now. I’ve realized that instead of trying to be confident in my work, I really need only to be confident in myself. Then the rest will follow suit. I stopped worrying about trying to be good at everything and started focusing on just being good at “me”. This idea completely changed my perspective. If I can just simply be proud of myself, then I am, by default, proud of everything I do. With this thinking, I don’t make mistakes. It’s just practice. You get better the more you do things and it’s your choice to better yourself as you see fit. No one else can say your doing it wrong because your the only one who knows what feels right. I wrote in a previous post about a sketchbook entitled Drawing is Magic by John Hendrix. There is a page in it that states, “If at any point in this sketchbook, if you are unhappy with what you are drawing, it is your fault.” It is so simple. I can’t believe it wasn’t this clear before. It goes on to explain that you create your own universe, or in an artist’s case, visual universe. With very little effort and change of perspective, I now am more motivated then ever to sketch! It is so relaxing to not have to fuss about every line being in the right place. I’m not concerned about it coming out “bad” because as long as I’m drawing what I want it won’t be bad! It’s just what I do; there is nothing wrong with that. If I’m the only one that likes it, then that’s all that matters. I have just recently began to create art for myself again, instead of everyone else. I have never felt more free and motivated with my work, then I do now. It’s a fantastic feeling. With this new-found pride and passion, I have been drawing like crazy!
I’ve been sketching “pets” lately. (I hate the word pet. It makes me feel like I’m putting them beneath me.) My aunt sends me pictures of her furry friends all the time so I decided to start sketching them for practice. I learned to draw portraits using a grid to get the details exact. I still use this method when necessary but I am trying to get away from it for a majority of my work. In the same time, I feel like I take too long to finish pieces so I am also working on my speed.
The first friend I drew was Hank. He is absolutely adorable! After I drew him I wanted to do more, more, and more. So I kept going. I got through Gemma, KiKi, Sal, and Zak. My sister-in-laws birthday just passed so I also did Cooper. Cooper is her cat that recently passed away so I wanted to do something to honor him. I like to call these “Animal Shout Outs”. The title is a work in progress. I have a lot of fun doing these sketches though. I enjoy drawing different types of fonts so it also helps me improve that skill, as well. I have so many thoughts that I want to draw now and my hand is literally getting cramped on a daily basis. It’s great. I can’t stop. So I won’t. I’ll keep going until my hand falls off. Hopefully that is a long time from now. I have way to many ideas I need to get on paper first!
I have a strong connection with big cats. Lions, tigers, and cougars are among my favorites. They have a great power and strength behind them. Lions, in my opinion, live one of the toughest lifestyles imaginable. The lionesses are constantly on the hunt for food. Working as a team, so in tune with each other. If they weren’t they would never eat. Taking down prey large enough to feed the pride is hard enough as it is. The males, well, they spend their whole lives fighting to keep their family. And if they fail, their offspring will be slaughtered and the new king will step in and claim his ladies. They are bloodied, bruised, beaten, and broken. Yet they continue on. They keep fighting. They fail, and they fail, and they fail again. Their success rate in hunting is only 30%. Less than 20% for lions hunting alone. If they miss the kill, they don’t fuss and moan about it. Even if they did get injured they just keeping moving on, to face the next battle. Though they fail often, they still carry themselves with a sense of pride. That’s actually why a group is called a pride. They are regal and confident. They are the king of the beasts! Of course they would carry themselves with such self-confidence. Weakness is not a trait of survivors. That’s what lions do, survive. They care for their families, protect them, teach them. They do not dwell on life’s hardships or worry their children won’t live a cozy life. They know their cubs will face hardships but that is why they teach them everything they know. They prepare them to be strong on their own. Lions are a symbol of emotional control. They do not have time for self-pity. They do what they have to. They take responsibility and act! And though life is taxing, they still make time to play or enjoy the warm sun showering their coats. They fight day in and day out but never lose their compassion towards their pride.
To look into the eyes of such a king is a gift no one can surpass. It’s as if they can see right through you. Those eyes carry so much strength and compassion. Ferocity and confidence. Wisdom and control.
This latest drawing gave me the opportunity to study the vigilant glare of the king. It was remarkable yet unsettling at the same time. I felt I could relate. Like I was looking at my reflection. My life is nowhere near as tough as a lions, but they still remind me to keep going. Persevere. No matter how bloodied and beaten you are, you just keep going. It’s how you survive. I have so much respect for them. They live through what may seem as unbearable hardships, yet walk away like Kings! This inspired my title for the piece, “Perseverance”.
When you face hardships in life, what encourages you to persevere? Share your story below!
Until next time,
“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures…”