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nugget channels his inner van gogh

I always knew that Nugget had a certain depth of character unusual in a feline companion. I simply didn’t have concrete evidence of this fact until we signed up for an oil painting class.

A few months ago, Dave and I found ourselves discussing what we should give one another for Christmas. This conversation is now an annual tradition it seems. We wonder if it’s unromantic to forgo gifts altogether. “We can’t skip presents on our first married Christmas!” you would have heard one of us say this year (guess who?). But we didn’t want to clutter our lives up with unnecessary things and our bank accounts were suggesting presents should be kept low key (weddings and honeymoons are expensive!).

Then Dave came up with a great idea – let’s give each other a skill. Or at least, a skill-building opportunity. So we decided to give each other painting lessons. That way we learn something new, we’re not burdened with more “stuff” and hey, it’s kind of romantic to boot. Dave got in touch with the talented and lovely Carolyn Vienneau of Strokes of Colour Art Studio in Pictou and just like that, we had a standing art lesson date for the next 8 weeks.

Carolyn is a wonderful teacher who encourages individuality. Her faith that “everybody has it in them” to paint is heartening to two souls who’ve never before put brush to canvas. Or perhaps, never before in earnest put brush to canvas. We’re learning about colour, composition, technique and of course the rules – so we’ll know how to break them once we really get going. We’re three classes in and already we’re coming home with masterpieces.

Okay, maybe not masterpieces but our paintings have certainly far exceeded my expectations. I had no idea we would be this… capable. I would chalk that up to Carolyn’s support and tutelage.

Last week we got home from class a little late and not thinking anything other than, “I’ll deal with these in the morning,” I put our finished paintings on the sideboard in the porch.

The next morning I sleepily walk into the porch for shift change (dogs out, cats in) and suddenly, I’m very awake. Looks like someone who was supposed to be outside slept inside (sometimes it’s hard to keep track of three cats).

harrierhill.caharrierhill.caharrierhill.caharrierhill.caIt took my brain a second to realize what had happened and then I had no choice but to laugh. I suspected immediately that it was Nugget, the mischievous one among us, but first had to inspect our paintings before pinning down the culprit. Dave’s was relatively unscathed.

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Mine had a trace of a pink paw print and a bit of a smudge.

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But overall, it was mostly fine. I don’t mind it actually. I think it has a better story now . The paw print makes me smile.

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I totally get that Nugget saw these paintings resting on the sideboard and was overcome with a desire to create some art. I would find it tempting if I were a cat. Still-wet paint and four paws are basically a dream come true. I can easily picture him with a beret and small easel.

Just to make sure we were blaming/crediting the right creature, we dug around for some proof. It was scarce, but it was definitely there. Looks like Nugget had spent the night channeling his inner Van Gogh.

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