This morning Cliff and I remembered Charlie. Charlie the cat lived with Cliff (and later, also with me) for over sixteen years, in five different houses and after a very happy life he passed away four years ago today.
As you can see, Charlie had bags of personality . . .
He was an out-doorsy, boysy, rough and tumble sort of cat, but in his retirement he sometimes spent a few hours with me in my studio sitting on my drawing board in the sunshine and that's when I painted his portrait - a Renaissance cat sitting next to his favourite plant - catmint.
Charlie could never really be described as a 'studio assistant', I think he saw himself as senior management! But my studio was so quiet and empty without Charlie checking up on me and we knew that there were cats and kittens out there needing new homes so in May the following year we adopted 'the ginger one' and his 'tabby sister' - the studio assistants.
As regualr readers of PPPs know, the studio assistants spend all day sleeping in baskets next to my desk, but when the light fades they stretch their furry catsuits and make it known that it's time for tea :-)
I know that many of you, like me, have a studio assistant or two (or many!) – mainly cats, (many ginger), some dogs. Today, in memory of Charlie, lets celebrate our studio assistants for their support, companionship and inspiration.