Susan Garriques, an artist in North Carolina, created a wonderful painting of our cat Spooky as part of an upcoming art show that is running this summer. It’s our first Cat Art. We’ve had many fun things happen since we began the Band of Cats web site, but this is one of the most exciting things that has happened to us so far.

When Susan contacted us a few months ago about painting Spooky we were very surprised and gladly allowed her to use a picture of Spooky to create the painting.

Our White Cat Spooky's first Cat Art
Our White Cat Spooky's first Cat Art

The picture of our white cat spooky first appeared in our post ‘Is your Cat a Couch-Potato?’. It was nice to see it getting some interest.

After a few months of patiently waiting the painting was finished. Susan sent along a picture of the painting to give us a first glimpse before the show. We loved it and so did Spooky. Here is the painting of Spooky for all to enjoy along with some ‘in-progress’ pictures showing the stages of the paintings creation. Below is Susan’s story about the painting and how everything came about. There are details about the show below for anyone who would is planning to attend.

Here is Susan’s story…

Please Match My Sofa

A gallery in Hendersonville, NC, put out a call to artists for an upcoming art show called Please Match My Sofa. The hope is to educate the public about why it is important to buy art and to help them understand they should buy art because they love it, not because it matches their sofa. Artists are often asked to create pieces to “match the sofa”.

When I heard about the show, the first thing I thought about was the time that I spent working in an animal shelter. People would come in looking for animals that would match their furniture. Or even more alarming, they would give up animals that didn’t match their furniture. A shocking thought, but absolutely true.

I knew immediately I would be painting a cat on a sofa. Turning to Google, I did an image search on “cats and sofas” and found the Band Of Cats website. It was there that I found the great picture of Spooky on the couch. Perfect! I emailed Band of Cats to ask for permission to use the photo as a reference and they graciously gave me the okay.

Painting a Cat on a Sofa

Cat Art in Progress 1
Cat Art in Progress 1

I started this painting with a coat of dark gray – almost black – over the entire canvas. When that was dry, I sketched with chalk on the canvas. Then I blocked in the first layer of colors, leaving a black space between each shape. This was entirely experimental and the first time I approached an animal portrait this way. The first photo above (Cat Art in Progress 1) shows the canvas at that point.

Cat Art in Progress 2
Cat Art in Progress 2

From there, I started back in with more color, laying in the shadows. I worked on Spooky first, mostly because I really wasn’t sure where I was going with the couch part yet. As I worked, I kept making the black lines thinner. The second photo above (Cat Art in Progress 2) shows this progress.

At this point, I wasn’t sure I liked the black lines at all, so using Photoshop, I painted over them to get an idea if I wanted to do this on the actually canvas. I liked what I saw, so I went back in and started filling in the black lines. I didn’t totally cover them, because they add a lot of depth in the shapes on the couch. That pretty much finished up the painting.

Please Match My Sofa Art Show

The show opens on June 10th and runs through August 8th at the Conn-Artist Studios & Gallery in Hendersonville, NC.

The Conn-Artist Studios and Art Gallery
611 Greenville Highway/Rte 225
Hendersonville, NC 28792

There will be an opening Artists Reception from 6pm to 9pm on June 10th. If you are in the area, please be sure to stop by and see the painting in person.

Thanks again to Susan for creating this fabulous painting of our cat Spooky. It’s been a very unique and fun experience for us. We wish you all the best at the show.

See more of Susan’s Animal Portraits and visit her online at

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