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black cat painting red curtain by artist Rachel M Brown

Chocolate Cat with Window Curtains

Watercolor on Cold Press Arches

Last spring a bear came out of the woods behind our neighborhood and wreaked havoc with everyone's birdfeeders. The only sensible—and safe—solution seemed to be to stop feeding the birds, making our area less of an attraction. But having the birds visit our hedges and trees in the winter always gave my husband great joy. So we rigged a rack to one of our second story windows where we could hang birdfeeders out of bear reach. When the Ides of March roll around, I'll stop filling the feeders and will sweep up all the leftover hulls. By the time the bear wakes up and starts foraging, the birds will have other sources of food.

Our cats love the new bird feeding arrangement. They prefer the upstairs of our house, as the downstairs is quite cold in the winter. Marina, of the Magnificent Weight, had a bit trouble fitting on the window sill. So we refashioned a kitty tower so that she could be closer to the birds as they feed... Very close, it turned out, sometimes mere inches away. For some reason, her expression always seems a bit sad when she is birdwatching.

black cat painting curtain Rachel M Brown

I may be a member of the clean plate club, but I'm definitely not a member of the clean palette club. When I started this little painting of Marina, I hadn't washed my mixing palette for three paintings. In true Yankee spirit, I decided to just use the pigments I'd already mixed and not waste any of the pretty colors (although I did need to mix more black). I also painted this on the back side of a failed landscape.

black cat watching birds by Rachel M Brown

Our curtains are actually washed-out-beigey-oatmeal, but I really wanted to bring some summer warmth into this picture. I had to add green to the barren trees outside as well. Perhaps that is why Marina seems a bit sad in this picture, because it is summer, and the birds are no longer visiting her.

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