Just off the easel
'Treading Water' Asian Fishing Cat 2013
pastel 65cm x 50cm
This is my second attempt at painting this remarkable wildcat. The first one was in oil but it just wasn't working so I abandoned it in frustration with no intention of revisiting the work. However I refused to let it get the better of me so after several weeks I decided to try doing it again in my favourite medium - pastels. It's largely an experimental piece worked on rough watercolour paper I chose for the lovely texture that allowed me to create wonderful shimmery water.
The Fishing cat is a South east Asian cat found from northern India, Sri Lanka, Burma, the Malaysian Peninsula, to Sumatra and Java weighing in at 12-20 pounds. The fishing cat is commonly found in areas near water and its primary prey is fish preferring to hunt wetlands rather than moving watercourses. They are excellent swimmers and will dive in after fish.They also will lie in wait and attempt to scoop fish out of the water from the water’s edge with their paws. The main problem facing fishing cats in the wild is the destruction of wetlands. A recent survey found that over 50% of Asian wetlands faced threat of draining, pollution, and human encroachment.