By Julia Williams
I’ve profiled many talented felines here over the years, including therapy cats, photographer kitties, cat burglars, bestselling author cats and even a TV newsCATster. Today it is my great pleasure to introduce you to another gifted feline – Quint, a cat who paints! Quint’s abstract art is just exquisite, and the kitty himself is quite the charmer. I know you will enjoy getting to know “Quint the Painting Cat” just as much as I have.
Julia: How old are you, and how long have you been painting?
Quint: I turned one year old at the beginning of May. Everyone says I’m still a baby, so I get lots of kisses. That’s not so bad. Officially, I took up painting last October. Unofficially, I’d been practicing my paw-strokes for about a year.
Julia: Your paintings are so beautiful! How did you pawrents discover that you had this artistic gift?
Quint: Thank you! And thank you for calling it a gift! My pawrents didn’t think it was that at first. I’m not using names or anything but when I was little, I used to watch my dad get ready to face the world each morning and during that time somehow, little white dots would magically appear on the bathroom mirror. Well, no dot is safe with me! I’d touch and pat each one and sometimes, the dots would smear and swirl and that made me want to tug at each one even more. Mom wiped away my art every day and I had a fresh canvas to work on the next morning. When I was a little older, one day I thought the walls of our Cat Den looked boring and needed some help. The way mom tells it, I graduated from toothpaste on a mirror to cat litter smears on her walls. And that’s when I think I finally got through to them – I’m an artist and I needed a more acceptable outlet!
Julia: Why do you like to paint?
Quint: Hmm, I think most artists don’t know why they do what they do. We just feel the need to express ourselves differently than most. This fall marks one year since I began painting and that milestone excites me. When something excites me, paint helps me express my excitement. Oh, and it’s fun to get colors on my big, white paws.
Julia: Could you describe your painting process?
Quint: Sure, that’s easy. Usually, mom picks up on my restlessness and pulls my cardboard ‘studio’ together quickly. If I’ve been outside admiring flowers or sitting in my window watching birds, mom uses those color cues to set out a few paint dabs in a shallow bowl along with whatever I choose to paint on that day – small square canvases or heavy artist paper. When she tells me she’s ready, I find one of my mousies to take with me; for extra inspiration, and we get to work! I touch some of the paint and dab it on the paper. Sometimes, I’m in the mood for bold streaks and hard paw prints and sometimes I try to be more gentle and delicate. It all depends on my day!
Julia: What are your favorite colors to paint with?
Quint: Yippee! I like it when asked my favorite colors! I like purple a lot and yellow. I have a hard time not putting yellow on everything. This summer I worked with red and that was fun, but I like orange and apricot better.
Julia: What inspires you to paint?
Quint: Birds, leaves and the big open sky. Changing seasons, a vision, a memory, a mood. Mr. Mousie inspires me. The chicken cat treats I get after each painting session ain’t bad either!
Julia: How would you describe your painting style?
Quint: Well, I’m no Picatso, Purrkirev or Pawicelli, that’s for sure. I like to think of my work as modernism with a touch of abstract spontaneous expressionism. Or maybe Cat-Meets-Paintism.
Julia: If you could get your paintings displayed anywhere in the world, where would you most like to see them?
Quint: This is a hard question! Big fancy places aren’t terribly impawtant to me. Honestly, I’d love to see them decorating no-kill shelters around the world. I think that would raise interest and much needed money papers.
Julia: What kind of paint do you use?
Quint: I like the child and pet-friendly acrylic water-based paint me and my dad find at our local craft store. Have you seen my pictures of shopping for art supplies? That was a blast! I wanted one of everything in the store!
Julia: How long does each Quint “masterpiece” take?
Quint: “Masterpiece” * paw covers snicker * That depends on the colors and how many I want to use. I have to fight my tendency to go for the light colors first before adding stronger, bold colors. That makes a muddy painting. Lately, mom gives me dark colors to begin with and then we take a break to let the paint dry. After play time, meal time and a short nap, me and Mr. Mousie are ready to wrap it up using lighter shades. 24 human hours later, give or take, it’s ready to be shipped around the world!
Julia: After a painting session, do you have to take a bath or just get your paws washed? And do you mind?
Quint: A whole bath? Never! I don’t think I’d like that! Most of the time, I don’t mind having my paw(s) dipped in warm, soapy water afterward. Sometimes though, I’m not happy with my work that day and I just want to get away. Dad calls that “Painting the floor.” I don’t know why. MOL!
Julia: Do you paint with both paws, or just one?
Quint: I’m right-pawed but to be purrfectly honest, I slip my left paw in there every once in a while.
Julia: What do you like most about being a famous painting cat?
Quint: Famous? Who’s famous? Me? Naw, not me! Mom says I won’t be famous unless I can get over my dislike of being photographed during work. I LOVE the flashy box and I’ve been rightly accused more than once of being a ham. Just don’t bother me while painting.
But I guess if I were a famous painting cat, what I’d like most is knowing that half of each painting sale goes to help kitties that no one wants. I was almost one of those cats and look at me now! I’m proof that you never know what pawsome talent lies within a kitty waiting for a forever family!
Photos courtesy of The Colehaus Cats
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