Oil on Canvas, about 36 X 28 inches


Thomas Jefferson II Sparhawk is herein posed for his long overdue portrait, and I painted him to reflect his constancy of love for plants. When in the garden on cooler days he gravitates toward sun-warmed tile. On adventuresome days he sits Sphinx posture in front of the lawn’s gopher holes, patience of saint. Well, actually, of a feline.

But first out he will walk through groves of lily, iris, nasturtium, lavender and geranium so that the blossoms brush him cheek to tail. I have watched him, head tilted back, rub his considerable whiskers alongside plants and slowly, deeply inhale their richness.

Quite some cat. Thomas is a very large, and very agile tree-climber 20lbs plus which I say to brag. We’re both pleased with the enormity he has acquired staying fit and beautiful.


thomas jefferson, cat, feline, lily, geranium, lavender, gophers, garden, plants, big cat, sparhawk, the hawks perch

Professional Expressionist, portrait painter, writer, children’s book illustrator, entrepreneur, and adventuress.

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  • billyboy
    billyboyover 1 year ago

    Wow Baba. This is one cat who knows that the world was made for him and in his image by God, and with that came the God-given right to believe it.
    And you know what? OK, I dig your descriptions cause you write as well as you paint. Concise, no bullshit. You hit the nail on the head. But if there’s anyone who could skip that indulgence it would be you as I don’t know anyone whos art speaks more for itself.

    I’ve seen wonderful portrait artists who do pets so accurately that I can actually feel their fur. And yes, these portraits do look exactly like them and their owners are very pleased with the results for what they are. perfect likeness in physical translation.
    But what you do is taking the art a step further.
    It’s like I commented on Xena’s portrait a while back. You don’t paint exact likeness. You paint attitude. And as such you relate to their personality so much more than with perfection of physical likeness. OK, I understand TJ’s markings are as they are and you haven’t enhanced anything to the point where he’s no longer recognized as a tabby. BUT… you’ve painted him in such context that his fur is emotionally entwined with the flora and foliage. Which brings me back to the superfluousness of your description. That he craves flowers is taken in and branded at first glance !!

    And yeah, then there’s the face. If anyone thinks he’s a sissy for digging flowers… he’ll simply have them for lunch. Simmered nicely on hot tiles. Probably by one of his pet mice.
    This thrills me Baba. I have never seen a more accurate translation. And that it’s in Sparhawkian dramastroke just makes it perfect. I wish this cat was mine and this was hanging over my fireplace.
    Even though i don’t have one.
    The fireplace I mean. The cat I got :-)

  • If you didn’t already have a life as an extraordinary musician you could be a comedy writer/observer of life big time, as you always are, but the profit from this won’t buy lunch until Seinfeld discovers you. I couldn’t stop laughing, the bit about Tommy responding to ridicule by eating the foe, mouse chef, hot tiles was just too hilarious and on target and I read it out loud to said cat and cat said, Tell Billy thanks, he’s a bro.
    As always your comments go beyond insight to instructive. I don’t think I actually head for what you describe but I’m thrilled to hear I ended up there. I do try to infuse the subject with the surrounds. I started myself thinking about that with pen and ink drawings (soon!) of landscapes (and people!) when the nature of environment became apparent to me, and that all things within range are thoughtful toward and aware of each other.
    Thank you good Bill of the northern climes. You are perpetual delish.. And though out of range, I am now and toujours very thoughtful toward and aware of vous.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • billyboy
    billyboyover 1 year ago

    “when the nature of environment became apparent to me, and that all things within range are thoughtful toward and aware of each other”…
    Barbara, I think you just described the basis of your art with unbelievable eloquence :-)

  • You know something, I just wrote that out in responding (writing to you produces much) and thank you on all levels, and yes it’s a good short how de do. I decided to copy it on my Holycowgirl blog. Thanks encore mon ami. xxoo

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Gene Praag
    Gene Praagover 1 year ago

    We have one that loves the flowers too. We had to get rid of all the house plants because we could not keep her away from them. I bought my wife some roses and she would do everything possible to get to them no matter how out of reach they were for her. It was kind of fun to watch her trying to figure out how to get to where we had moved them each time she had figured it out. She is the smartest cat we have ever had. If I knew another cat out there would have part of her personality we would have more that two.

  • I think cats suppose they must suffer an ordeal to communicate with humans who are so slow on the uptake. It’s no good making assumptions about other species, either. They are always as full of surprise as we are.
    Thanks for like this one.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

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