Mr. Bloodworth Commissioned to Paint Smith’s Cats [April Fools!]
“My cats and I are one big, happy family,” said Ms. Smith, a life-long cat lover. The desire for a “family portrait” inspired her to actually have one made of her cats. She has commissioned drawing and painting teacher Donice Bloodworth to paint a still-life oil painting of her cats that she plans to hang on the wall opposite her bed. “Seeing them when I first wake up will definitely brighten my mood for the rest of the day,” she said. The six-by-four-foot painting will cover a large portion of the wall and will hang above the stacks of graded and ungraded papers spread over the floor.
Mr. Bloodworth was thrilled when Ms. Smith first approached him about the job. “Cats really represent everything I stand for; they really influence my artwork. They are everything that is graceful and innocent in the world, but those eyes always tell a secret,” he said. Mr. Bloodworth took several courses on drawing felines in art school, including classes on body proportions, feline movement and musculature, and different fur patterns. “I haven’t had much of an opportunity to really dive into these kinds of portraits, and I can’t wait to see the finished product,” he enthused. However, after two weeks of painting, Ms. Smith has already sent him over 50 emails with new changes. “I have a lot of ideas of features I would like to see in the painting; no one knows my cats better than I do,” she said. AP European History and Model UN students are more accustomed to the constant bombardment of emails. “She wanted a red and blue color scheme, then a green and orange color scheme, and yesterday she mentioned having the painting all in black and white,” exclaimed the frenzied painter, “I guess I’m just going to have to put my foot down and make my own artistic decisions.”
Every other weekday and on weekends, Ms. Smith brings her cats over to the art room where they pose for Mr. Bloodworth. “They are surprisingly still,” he commented. When the cats do move around the room to stretch their legs, they often leave cat hair on the floor, forcing the maintenance department to take extra precautions when cleaning the art room for the students with cat hair allergies. However, despite their best efforts, Ms. Powell has reported several cases of itchy red eyes and stuffy noses in students leaving Mr. Bloodworth’s class. Nevertheless, Ms. Smith maintained that “one must make sacrifices for art.”
Shortly after word got out in the artistic community about the cat painting, Ms. Smith began receiving calls from prominent Atlanta art galleries asking if they could feature the painting in an upcoming exhibit. Ms. Smith has denied all offers, insisting that this painting will be exclusively for her home. “A painting like this is too intimate and personal to be displayed in a public gallery,” she explained.
By Suzanne Monyak, Staff Writer ’12