I am cat mad, and I am constantly sketching them in my work notebooks, though I don’t paint them very often in lipstick. (Unless you count my big cats – my lionesses and the work I did for the Kipling exhibition.) Cats are very popular in Japanese culture – whether we’re talking traditional art or Hello Kitty – and this was a good opportunity to paint them.
These studies were inspired, appropriately enough, by a cat with a Japanese name: Shima, my mother’s ginger oriental. Shima and his twin Suji found a home with my mother a few years ago when their original owner abandoned them. Suji subsequently succumbed to cancer, but Shima is fat and happy and very interested whenever I paint – it’s impossible to get anything done when he’s around.