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Rabbit Hole Collective: Creatures of the Night

Three weeks ago, I joined The Rabbit Hole, an invitation-only artist collaborative on Facebook. Several of my (online) artist friends are members, including Brenda Saydak (who does gorgeous portraits of kitties dressed in kimonos!) and Maria van Bruggen, artist behind the successful franchise: Pookie Cat. :)
A few I met through our participation in the 78Tarot deck.

I am blessed that the artist community on Facebook is very close-knit, and we are generally very supportive of each other’s careers. I am friends with several cat artists, and haven’t met with any competitive hostility…. rather we tend to joke a lot about painting nude cats! ;)

I tend to get stuck in a artistic rut, so to speak, painting my “cute and colorful cats in costume” inspired by characters from classic novels. I have no desire to start doing pastel ocean landscapes or watercolor still-lifes of tulips, but I really enjoyed the Tarot project for encouraging me to “think outside the box” with my art!

The Rabbit Hole Collective, aside from being an amazing group of talented artists, provides motivation and structure for procrastinating artists like me. On the 24th of every month, they host an online art auction with a theme! I joined at the beginning of this month, while prepping for Apple Butter, and started painting October’s themed portrait last week.
Having a short deadline is stressful, but I think I do some of my best work under pressure. :)

Mars and Titania: a Gothic Victorian Cat Portrait

Victorian Cat Portrait by TaraFly, Mars and Titania

October’s auction theme ~ “Creatures of the Night” ~ took me out of my comfort zone, as it brings to mind scary things that I don’t usually paint! :P

I toyed with a Victorian vampire idea for a few days, but while looking for references, I kept coming back to the Victorian obsession with death photography ~ “memento mori” ~ where deceased loved ones were posed and photographed as if still alive (i.e. sitting in a chair or holding a stuffed animal). It was really creepy!!

I decided to paint a female cat woman with a deathly pale face and white eyes, in Goth makeup, with a raven skeleton perched on her shoulder.
Also a first for me: I have painted this as a monochromatic piece, using only Titanium White and Mars Black. As a joking reference, I named the painting “Mars and Titania”. I think Mars, the God of War, is a fitting name for a dead raven, don’t you? Bwahaha!

This duo appear to be friends ~ but she IS a cat, after all, so perhaps she ate him first?!?

Gothic Victorian Cat Painting by Tara Fly

This portrait is an 11″x14″ acrylic painting on stretched canvas, with sides painted black as well, and a sawtooth hanger on back. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and is signed and dated.

Anyone interested in owning this painting, please post your bidHERE ON THE IMAGE featured in The Rabbit Hole Collective’s album. (Bidding ends on Thursday, October 30th, 2014)

Tara Fly

About Tara Fly

A Crazy Cat Lady ... who divides her time between painting portraits of cats dressed in period costumes, watching BBC mini-series, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair. Would you like some fur-flavoured coffee?

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