Monday, June 11, 2012

Calico Cat Art Kitty Pastel Painting by Della Burgus

Pastel, 7 x 9
This painting has been sold and will soon be on its way to Bangkok, Thailand.

I have heard it all my life.  Have you heard the same thing?  Three colored cats are all female. So, is it true or is that one of those sayings that are passed down through the old folks?  The answer is "Yes!"  It is a saying passed down from your parents and grandparents and it is also true.

Just a little research on the Internet uncovered the answer. That is one of my favorite pastimes - Googling.  Whenever I encounter something that arouses my curiosity or even mildly interests me, I Google it.  Especially if I have a question about something that I probably should know but don't.  It beats asking somebody and being ridiculed - or looking through countless books and never finding the answer.   I am sure a lot of people knew this,  and after reading it I realized it was covered in my high school biology class.  But that was a long time ago.  Well, maybe not soooo long...

So, the official reason why all calico cats are female,  as it appears on Veterinary Medicine:

First off, what is a calico cat? A calico cat is not a breed of cat, it is a color pattern. To be called "calico", three colors must be present: black, white and orange. Variations of these colors include gray, cream and ginger.,,, Now that a calico cat has been defined as a cat with three colors, the question is: why are they nearly always female? The answer is in genetics. Coat color in cats is a sex-linked trait, a physical characteristic (coat color) related to gender. Female animals have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY). The genetic coding for displaying black or orange color is found on the X chromosome. The coding for white is a completely separate gene.
Since females have two X chromosomes, they are able to "display" two colors (orange and black, or variations thereof) and white; creating the 3-color calico mix. Since males have only one X chromosome, they can only be orange OR black. It is more complicated than simply having the color genes -- it is a complex process of dominant and non-dominate genes interacting on the X chromosomes, but that is the basis for coat color in calico cats.

I am sure you all knew that, right?  Well, you don't have to try to humiliate me by telling me so.  It is enough for me to know that Grandma and Grandpa knew what they were talking about, as usual.  Whatever the formula God used to make this beauty, I am glad He did, as Calico cats are beautiful and very, very sweet.  Most of them that I have met also love to cuddle, which may or may not have something to do with X and Y chromosomes, but I seriously doubt it.

This painting is matted and ready to be framed.  It will be listed on Art Helping Animals, Daily Painters and Chisholm Trail Art.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Leopard by Della Burgus Big Cats Wildlife Art

Watchful Eyes
Pastel, 8.75 x 10.5

Matted size 14 x 18
This painting has been sold
A portrait of one of the most beautiful of the "Big Cats," the illusive leopard.  I love the markings on its coat, and the arresting, green-gold stare of those watchful eyes.  Sleek and swift,  it is an ideal hunter with a terrifying sort of beauty.

When asked if I prefer painting in pastels, oils or acrylic, my answer is "Yes!"  Usually I let the painting and composition tell me what to use.  There are times when I can look at a scene or an animal or person and think "That would make a great oil painting (or pastel or acrylic,)" but I probably couldn't tell you why.  To me it seems intuitive rather than logical, a feeling more than a mental process.  Intimate portraits like this one are often best done in pastel and I do love feeling of handling the sticks of pigments directly, it seems to give me a special connection with the animal.  More complicated compositions sometimes work best with oils or acrylic. Yet, I can't say that is always or maybe not even most often the case.  After years of working in different mediums I find my choices to be as unpredictable as the weather and as illogical as nature itself.  So, obviously I haven't answered the question, except to say, "I don't know."

This seems like a good topic for a future post, "Questions you should never ask an artist."  Or something like that.  Not because we are offended, but simply because we don't really know the answer and don't want to take the time to figure it out. We would rather make art than talk about it.

This painting will be listed on Chisholm Trail Art,  Daily Painters, and Art Helping Animals on Tuesday.  Of course, as always, if you are interested you can also email me directly.

I hope that you have a great day and enjoy whatever creatures may be in your world today.