Best Friends Forever… Katya and Colin.

8″ x 8″ (20 x 20 cm) oil on gessobord panel. To bid on this painting click here.

In spite her youthful appearance Katya is an old gal. She is 19, almost 20. We all remember vividly how Katya came to live with us. That summer Shelly was 3 and had to go see her doctor for a checkup. For some unfathomable or since forgotten reason the doc decided that Shelly’s ears needed to be washed inside with warm water applied from a large syringe. Shelly took exception to the proceedings. Her wailing could have drowned an ambulance siren. She was still voicing her objections and indignation when we left the torture chamber, I mean – the doctor’s office, and got in a car. Instead of going home I drove straight to Toys-R-Us. Grandma and I knew that we found a soul mate as soon as we saw Katya. The drama and tears stopped in an instant, and Shelly was smiling. Katya lived with us ever since and helped us through many illnesses and medical procedures.

Colin came much later. My memory of Shelly’s early teen years is fairly vague. I understand that the psyche does this for a reason, for our own benefit some things better remain obscured and misted over. I don’t object. But at some point during those fog clouded years Colin arrived and took a place of honor on the bed, next to Katya and Francisco.

Oh, should I tell you about Francisco? Later, perhaps… when I paint him.


24 thoughts on “BFFs

  1. Outstanding piece of work! You have brought out the great differences in the texture of surface and design of the two different toys brilliantly. The cartoonish face of Katya and the furry body of Colin have been brought out distinctly! Awesome. Its such a treat for the eyes!

    • Funny that you brought up Colin’s fur, Ganapathy. It gave me the most trouble, LOL. My greatest interest these days lies in shiny reflective surfaces: glass, polished metal, mirrors. I took a step away from this, into soft fabric and fur, to strengthen my understanding of reflections by being away from it for a time. I knew that fur would be a challenge, I just didn’t realize how much of a challenge… So pleased the painting came out after all, and very happy you like it :).

        • If you have ever done a buddhist or yogic retreat, you remember how intensely you perceive the world after coming out of it. Voluntary deprivation intensifies perceptions. I think the same principle applies here. I expect to see reflective surfaces with greater clarity after being away from it. Besides, the processing inside continues even when we’re doing something else, those neurons are hard at work making their connections (or so I hope :)), so giving them time should be beneficial.

          • Yes. You are right.. Its quite amazing how we learn. and I think I can relate to it. Few years ago while learning to fly a tricky vintage aircraft, the take offs were so impossible, that I thought of giving up. These were very senstitive airplanes and needed real skills to pilot. Then due to weather I stopped the lessons for two-three weeks. and once the weather cleared up, I go take the lesson, and surprisingly I made a smooth take off,as if I knew it all along 🙂 Now that you mention it, I think the neurons must have been at work!

    • Thank you, Debbie! Photorealism is my interest these days, and I intend to paint in this style for a while. I find it intensely rewarding. The story is true – too funny!

  2. Oh Alex, surely you are just showing us photographs and having us believe they’re paintings! Seriously, this is extraordinary! It looks like you could just pick that doll and teddy bear right up out of the screen! Unbelievable photorealism at its best! How long would it take you to do something like this?

    • Hahaha! No! Thanks, Nicola! I hope the painting is much better than the photo, at least that was my intention. I can do things to the image that a camera can’t. The camera is limited by its algorithm, I on the other hand have artistic freedom :D.

  3. I still can’t believe this is a painting. As much as I stare at it, the brain just won’t accept that you did this with your brushes! Your photo-realism technique is amazing.

    Love the story about the two BFFs!

    • I am finding that brushes can do better realism than a camera. There is thinking behind the brush, decisions, solutions and ideas. As to technique, I am inspired by Richard Estes and Chuck Close. I have ways to go, but I love the journey :). Thank you, Carol!

  4. I actually thought this was a photograph, Alex. You are getting so good at the realism. Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story. I especially like your mention of the memory fading during teen years. Ha! 🙂

    • Ha! Indeed… It would take a parent who went through those years to get that :). The rest of the population should be quite happy without. Thank you for your comment, Leslie! It made me smile 😀

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