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Monday, January 10, 2011

Four Cool Cats in Town: We're Having a Party!

Four Cool Cats in Town: We're Having a Party!

I've rounded up my four whimsical cat paintings and they're now on exhibit at the Green Goat Gallery in Spencer, NC, located right across from the train museum. "Mystic Tiger," "Miami Lewie," "Monty Meerkat," and of course, "Cry Baby" are on display for cat and whimsical art lovers alike, along with prints, greeting cards, notecard sets, and stand-up prints.

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"Cry Baby" is the only house cat of the group. I caught this unusual yawn? one day when I just happened to have a camera in my hand. It was just a coincidence that the footstool he sat on was a leopard-print. I created the deep blue/purple background to accent his silver and grey fur. The texture of his coat was captured with brush strokes and knife work, with a sheen on the top of his head to highlight the softness of his hair. The whimsical original, 22" x 28", is smaller than the other three 30" x 40" paintings.

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"Miami Lewie" is a curious little alley cat who lives outside a hotel in the Art Deco district of Miami. The unusual perspective of this painting was captured from an interesting vantage point with the cat reclining upon a stuccoed wall. I captured this interesting portrait with a camera while on a photo excursion in Miami while on vacation. I affectionately named my subject "Louis Puffy Cheeks" and captured this interesting feature when I painted him. I spelled the name "Lewie" instead of Louis in the title because so many people pronounced the name Lewis (must have been because of the juxtaposition with "Miami"). My treatment of the foliage is reminiscent of the primitive style of Henri Rousseau, while the sunwashed beach-tone stucco created with a scumbled effect, contrasts with the more natural color and stylized lines of the cat's fur. The chain-link fence behind the subject accentuates the whimsical Art Deco flair.

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"Mystic Tiger" is based on the male tiger who lives at the Natural Science Center in Greensboro, NC. Axl came from a large cat rescue in Mebane, NC, and is a Bengal-Siberian mix. Tigers are now endangered and more live in captivity than in the wild! Like all of my animals, I wanted Mystic Tiger to be something out-of-the ordinary. To me, a tiger is out of place in Greensboro, behind a fence or glass. Somehow its presence transcends the here and now. It's such an awesome experience to be able to see such a sight in person. The "mystic" aura around the tiger in my painting seeks to capture that experience.

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"Monty Meerkat," like the tiger, also lives at the Natural Science Center. Meerkats have always been curious creatures to me. I struggled with the treatment of Monty. I created the rocks in the foreground early on in a "cartoon-like" style, and then considered what to do with the rest of the painting. At first, I was going to do a monochromatic treatment of the entire subject. I then began the background, at first in a flat black. After adding texture to the background, I found the balance I was looking for between the stylized look of most of my animals, and a hint of realism to add to their character. Painting Monty was easy by that point. His curiosity is reflected in his eyes, and his fur just waits to be petted.

All of these whimsical art images can also be purchased in matted art prints. I offer matted 8"x10" and 11"x14" prints. You can see what these images look like as matted prints by checking out my prints page at They're also available as glossy, high-quality 5"x7" greeting cards. You can even get all four cats in a four-card notecard set, called "Cats in the Bag." You can see it at my cards page at

"Cry Baby" is even featured in greeting cards at my FREE Online Greeting Card site at  Over 500 cards were "picked up" during the Christmas holiday season, but I'm going to keep the site going strong by expanding it with other holiday cards. I have three very different birthday cards to choose from, and even a get well soon card. I'll be creating a large variety of Valentines Day cards, so check back soon!

To learn more about Whimsical Artist Scott Plaster's work, read more at

Visit the cats at the Green Goat Gallery:

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