My friend Kevin and I were talking about local Pacific Northwest music, feral cats and handmade musical instruments. We also talked about the “found object” instruments we were both aware of in the Southeastern parts of the U.S. – guitars made out of cigar boxes or banjos from cookie tins. Our conversation drove me to the library to research “handmade music instruments in the Pacific Northwest”. (I’ll post a picture of some of my book research on Instagram) I discovered a long tradition of using local wood scraps to hand-craft musical instruments. The native woodgrain was often a prominent decoration. These instruments were works of art not at all like the “found object” instruments of the SE. I also discovered that here in the PNW playing music in public, on porches, patios, anywhere outdoors was, and still is, the norm during “nice” weather. There has also been a strong connection between music, food and community no matter what the weather. But I could only get so much into one painting.
Below is the finished painting I titled “Purrfect Entertainment”. I’m hoping you can see the woodgrain – both in the background and on the guitar. It was a challenge to do the woodgrain pattern. And to get a “screen door” appearance too.
For my cat character I was inspired by a photo I happened across in an article about a feral cat rescue – the cat was white with grey-brown-ish markings, huge pink ears and dark blue eyes. The long-skinniness of the cat in the photo reminded me of some of the traveling musicians I’ve had the pleasure of hearing.