|ROUGH SHOT. Not for reposting. Jerks.|
The other challenge, of course, is the fact that it's a painting of an adorable boy with an adorable kitten. I think every painter dreads the moment when someone says, "You could sell that to Hallmark!" Neither does it help that Dave rarely approves of my paintings of children until they are finished. Every time I asked if the painting was any good, he'd say,"Well, it's a painting of a cute kid with a cute kitten," and raise his eyebrows with ominous significance over the rim of his tumbler of White Russian.
I certainly didn't want the painting to be cute. It's supposed to be a serious subject, this confusing world of death and life of which humans seem to be the oftentimes unwilling arbiters. And in the end, I'm glad my attempts at gold leaf failed. The darkness and loneliness of the background make Paul's gesture something more than simply sweet. He's not just holding the kitten, he's protecting it.