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Eleanor of Toledo, and Two Works in Progress

April was meant to be my “slow” month, as the only event I had to attend was the Farmer’s Market Easter Show on April 4th. Looking at the calendar, I saw a blank slate; the weeks stretched out before me, with so many possibilities.

In truth, I had two projects to finish. One of them, a commissioned portrait of a client’s tortoiseshell cat, is shown below.

She wanted her cat dressed as Eleanor of Toledo, the wife of Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de Medici. This portrait was based upon the famous painting of Eleanor with her son, Giovanni, which was painted by Agnolo Bronzino.

Tortoiseshell Cat as Eleanor of Toledo

The second project, my Five of Wands card for the 78Tarot’s sequel deck, is due in less than two weeks.

I had started the painting awhile ago, but put it aside to focus on completing Eleanor. Now finishing this card is my #1 priority. Unfortunately, I am unable to share any progress pictures until they’ve been officially released by the group (the rules have changed since last year!)… but I can give you a teaser shot:

First Peek at 78Tarot Nautical Five of Wands

My painting will feature pirate cats and a treasure chest, and promises to be a fun challenge! :)


I decided to skip this month’s Rabbit Hole auction, themed “Spirit of the Forest”, although I did create the header/title images in Photoshop they will be using for the event.
This tree photo was taken by me during a 2012 visit to our local Pangborn Park in Hagerstown.

Rabbit Hole Artist Collective April auction

I also volunteered to create the promotional video for the pieces being sold, which will debut a bit later in the month, as the auction draws near.

The reason why I’m skipping this month is because I’d really love to get a head start on next month’s Rabbit Hole Collective piece. May is going to be super busy for me, as I have personal things planned as well as art shows scheduled three weekends in a row, so I probably won’t have time to paint much.

However, May’s theme is “Art Nouveau”, which is a style I’ve never experimented with before, and it sounds like a lot of fun! I didn’t want to miss out on doing this theme.

Here is the concept sketch for it. If you’ve never seen my initial sketches before, they can look pretty rough! LOL
It will be painted as usual in acrylics, probably on watercolor or acrylic paper, in bright spring colors. There will be much more detail added; more butterflies and birds, and some vines and leaves in the background.

Rough sketch for Art Nouveau cat

If you aren’t already following me on Facebook or on Instagram, I encourage you to connect with me, as those two sites are updated frequently with my latest works-in-progress and sneak peeks!

And a quick reminder that my next show appearance will be in Winchester, VA on May 2nd & 3rd, for the 88th annual Apple Blossom Festival. I’m so excited to be participating this year; it’s a fantastic show!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! The weather will undoubtedly tempt me to work outside so I can smell my newly bloomed hyacinths. ;)

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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