Click image to see close-up detail .
Click HERE to see more feline paintings. 

Also, on my blog I documented much of the start of what is becoming a series of works about cats.
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This page was last updated: February 17, 2020
Click image to see close-up detail .

"Mae Lling"
Oil on gesso archival paper
Image size 12 x 8 inches

I've not met Mae Ling but her name brought to mind the moon, the sea, the journey and exoitc intrigue.
In the painting Mae Ling wears a Chinese coin on a red ribbon around her neck. She is a world traveler about to stow away on the next junket to leave the harbor for distant lands.

I'm happy to say that, since completion of this painting, Mae Ling has been adopted.

The painting available for purchase. It is matted under glass in an ornate silver-tone frame.
     Original Art for Home & Office

C. S. Poppenga
What is my work method?

Each painting (whether it's a cat portrait or some other subject) begins as a free-
hand drawing with a hog bristle brush and oil paint directly on the canvas or
specially prepared paper I've chosen to use. I work completely free-hand -- I do 
not use projectors or other means to transfer reference materials.

My initial drawing is very gestural and flowing. Often it is a series of lines moving
over lines and it greatly influences how I proceed with the painting process. 
Sometimes the marks of the gestural drawing remain visible or are reinforced by
subsequent brush strokes in the final painting. 

If I have a photograph as a reference for a specific animal, then  I refer to it 
initially to be sure to note key physical characteristics (for example, some cats
have noticeably round heads while others are oval or narrow, wide set versus close 
set eyes, etc.) Once those keys are established (sometimes more in my mind than 
on the canvas or paper) then the photo reference is set aside. Design/composition 
may start out with a concept but that can also evolve as a direct result of my 
interaction with the painting process.

Paint quality is important to me. By paint quality, I mean that I am not trying to 
reproduce a photograph. Rather, I am interested in creating a work of art that 
contains elements of design, movement, color and an energy flow evidenced by the 
brush strokes which are a record of my thought process.
My Etsy shop is once again active. New works will be posted there as they become ready for purchase.

"Canuck Bird-Watching"
oil on paper.
"Bizo" (portrait)
oil on paper.
Why am I painting cats?

When I'd captured a tiny black kitten that my sons eventually named Canuck, she was a barely-weaned (and starving) orphaned feral kitten. I adopted her (or did she adopt me?) and she became a most wonderful companion pet for nearly 25 years. 

In December of 2009 Canuck passed away and I decided to find another feral cat for a pet. This time, instead of  rescuing a feral kitten, I adopted a homeless kitten from the Pet Paw-See no-kill shelter located in Great Falls, Montana. I named this kitten Neko.

                Neko had been dropped, nameless and homeless, into a pen at one of the Pet Paw-See's 
                adopt- a-thon events. She could have been just as easily  dropped into the Missouri River 
                nearby. I'm glad that the person who had her decided to give her a chance at the Pet Paw-See, 
                even though it was accomplished not in the usual way. Neko is a joy. 

                Since adopting Neko, I still visit the Pet Paw-See website and noticed that several cats have                 been available for adoption for a long time. Some are very old (hard to find homes for "seniors"),
                some have special needs (again hard to find homes), and some simply have been overlooked for 
                a long time. Not all the cats are feral; a percentage are either "owner turn-in" or abandoned. In 
                August (2011) I started painting portraits of cats on the shelter's website. 
                The paintings are my way of saying each animal is worthy of respect and consideration. 

Purchase and Shipment

Sold paintings are shipped upon receipt of payment (I accept PayPal. Email me for details.)

Please email me if you wish to purchase a work or have questions.  
Some works may, from time to time, be posted here and in my Etsy shop (which accepts credit cards or Pay Pal.)