“Friends for Frances” – Studies II

Frances’s eyes often look exactly like cat eye glasses frames, tilted up and narrowed – as in suspicion. They make her look disapproving. Not only is she black to their orange, her personality differs dramatically from the orange man cats. Frances was abandoned in an apartment with a litter of kittens – perhaps that origin story explains her present personality.

But both Wolsey and Cromwell were equally abandoned in their pasts, and Wolsey has a nearly permanent air of innocence and trust. I’m not sure how he’s kept that demeanor (he survived two years outdoors, through Anchorage winters).

Cromwell has the roundest eyes, saucers in his flatter face, above his slightly protruding jaw. I don’t know Cromwell’s origin story, but before Downtown Abbey he was returned to the rescue people because he had “issues.” At Downtown Abbey he is often referred to (when out of earshot of the other critters) as The Best Guy in the World.

None of these personality thoughts and back-story speculations are part of “Friends for Frances,” but I find myself thinking a lot about these survivor cats. It’s a privilege and a joy to work with them.

Cromwell  - field notes II-1

Frances  - field notes II-1

Wolsey  - field notes II

8 thoughts on ““Friends for Frances” – Studies II

    • Oh hi Jane, good to hear from you always! We Washington Gilmores are paltry rescuers compared to Mrs. Hughes and the others at Downtown Abbey. Mrs. Hughes is the total animal angel – two active rescue dogs (a new one I haven’t even met – Winnie!) and two giant, furry cats you know so well – LB’s mom is the one whose loving heart has made a difference!

  1. These are three darned lucky survivor cats. Such wonderful homes they fell into, and now they are being immortalized in these splendid paintings and soon a story book. I love seeing the studies. The painted Wolsey, as usual, is luscious. .

    • Thank you Carol very much. There IS something totally delicious about Wolsey – some sort of ice cream confection, as mentioned before, crossed with angora sweater – more heft though – he fills a lap!
      (I have a lot of wonderful drawings of your cats through the years!)

  2. Wolsey is my favorite—I can just imagine him purring in my lap. Fun to read the paint notes about colors too. And I look forward to seeing more!

    • You can imagine him purring in your lap because if you were in the vicinity, he would be so quickly and so permanently in your lap! He would say: Michelle is my favorite. It’s interesting that in the same way everyone loves Wolsey in person, his image is also the favorite! (And I must say he is most fun to paint – forgiving – just like in person.

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