Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a true cat artist— No not an artist who paints cats, but a cat who paints artwork! Quint Cole, of Colehaus Cats, has been painting from a young age. Here is his story:
~Please tell us a little about yourself.
I don’t know what there is to tell. I’m a quiet kind of kitty. Sure, I get hyper sometimes, and sometimes, I want to bother my sisters, but who doesn’t? I am thankful that my humans saw my creativity and energy and directed me into paths like my painting to combine them into a way to express both at the same time.
~How did you begin your painting career? How did the humans come to know you were an artist?
I used to create from the specks of toothpaste I found on the bathroom mirror. Pawing at them, I quickly saw art and that the variations could be endless. The humans must have picked up on that and had a desire to channel my energy. Pretty much, my human Mom looked at what she saw as smears every day and said, “Um, no. Let’s take this somewhere else.”
~What is your artistic process?
Usually, Mom picks up on my restlessness and gets my cardboard ‘studio’ together. Then, she puts together some paint blobs in a shallow bowl (in colors similar to what’s blooming outside) and something to paint on. By this time, I am more than ready to begin. When everything’s ready, including having a mousie or special toy nearby, we get to work! I touch some color and touch the paper. Sometimes, I create bold streaks, sometimes hard paw prints and sometimes I get all soft and delicate. It all depends on my mood for the day. Sometimes I’m cranky and me and Mom tussle a bit over the creation stuff, but then I get lots of scritches and attention.
~I know your paints are safe, but do you ever lick your painty paws?
No. Ugh. I won’t even touch my mousie if he gets paint on him, accidentally, of course. After Mom cleans my paws, I’ll lick them then. Just not before.
~Who chooses your colors? They are beautiful.
Thank you for mentioning that. I do like the colors Mom sets out. Once mixed, I mostly get to pick which ones to use. Ultimately, it’s a collaboration, I suppose. I do have favorite colors. Sometimes, I like painting with just purples and yellow. How I love yellow! I like oranges and apricots quite a bit too. But that yellow color, did I mention I like yellow?
~I read that you take inspiration walks to see the blooming flowers before you paint. Which flowers are your favorites?
I like them all, but l love Dad’s pink Rhododendrons the best. It’s big and in spring, is covered with flowers. Oh, and petunias. I like sticking my nose in petunias.
~Since cats don’t use money, at least not directly, what happens to funds from the sale of your artwork?
Early on, I donated to the shelter my foster family worked through, or a charity for a shelter’s benefit. Sometimes, someone needs funds for doctor visits or that kind of thing. I like it best when I hear that I’m helping a cause or a cat in need with my efforts. A very small amount is needed for my supplies. My Mom buys in bulk!
~You have quite a big family. Tell us about your fur-brothers and -sisters.
There are both the current residents of Colehaus and those that came before us. The Dad explains it best, I think. He’s told us stories of all other kitties who came before us. Those are some of my favorite Dad-time stories. I love the way he explains that each cat is special, no matter how short or how long they are part of the family. He says each one leaves a lasting impression and sweet memory in his heart and in Mom’s too. Our Colehaus Cats blog is our way of allowing the world to see how exceptional and distinctive rescued kitties are and perhaps, a reader might feel so moved as to rescue and love a kitty or two themselves and further enrich their own lives.
~Your human family actively works to benefit cats. Can you tell me a bit more about what they do?
Outside cats just seem to find my Mom and Dad; always have, they’ll tell you. We live out where people used to abandon pets to fend for themselves and someone would always be in need of food, shelter and/or medical help. My Mom and Dad along with our cat blog friends raised money for a couple of feeding stations and two sturdy feral shelters that have warming beds inside. All are used regularly especially during winter months. A few years ago Mom was a volunteer at a local shelter, painting their walls and photographing new intakes while Dad served on the shelter’s board of directors. But it’s not just cats. Sometimes, they simply feed and provide water and shelter for birds and other wildlife. It seems they always have something keeping them busy, which I suppose is a good thing because it keeps them out of trouble.
~Thanks so much, Quint, for spending time with us. It isn’t every day we meet such a talented feline. I hope all our readers will look up your website and buy your paintings! I realize that like all true artists, you paint only when you feel the muse, so folks who want one of these unique originals shouldn’t hesitate to purchase.
Quint’s Art Shop is currently closed, but we hope he will be back in business soon. More news here. He still has a few left.
Here is one of my favorites:
Quint’s Winter Berries, 2017 on Art Paper with 8 x 10 Inch White Mat. ($15.00)
About Mollie Hunt: Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. Mollie Hunt writes the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series featuring Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip, and the Cat Seasons sci-fantasy tetralogy where cats save the world. She also pens a bit of cat poetry.
Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, and NIWA. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like Lynley, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.
You can find Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer on her blogsite: www.lecatts.wordpress.com
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/