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A personalized folk art piece!

Back in June, my brother and sister-in-law visited the Smithsonian...and I was immediately texted a photo asking if I was taking commissions:


Second -- I am thrilled to get surprise texts showing me things people love

And third -- I will do anything & everything for my brother and also anyone else I've ever known

They were smitten with the "Cats with Asparagus" painting found in Julia Child's kitchen. It is super cute and a pretty appropriate piece of art for a kitchen!

Soon after their trip, they bought a house in Maryland. I thought it would be a perfect housewarming present, to recreate the painting, but of course personalize it for them with their two cats.

For two cats, I chose an 8x8" square canvas to keep the same cropped look as the original. Instead of asparagus, I thought I'd use whatever the state vegetable of Maryland was. I figured every state has a state version of ... everything, right? Welp, Maryland doesn't have a state vegetable. I debated sticking with asparagus, then thought maybe leeks, or perhaps rhubarb. Something tall and stalky.

Then I thought of using the state flower - the Black-eyed Susan.

Yep. That's when it all kind of came together.

I've been doing so many watercolor paintings lately, it took some getting used to acrylic paints again. I tried documenting the process, and put together a quick video of (mostly all) the steps.

Once completed and varnished, I put it in a simply cut light-wood stained canvas float frame, to try to match the original as much as possible.

Stylistically, it's a bit of a departure from my usual. It's more folk art than I'm comfortable with (and honestly prefer) but it makes me so happy looking at it. And!! the reaction when they first saw it made it so worthwhile. (Photos of their surprised faces are at the end of the video)

If anyone knows something about "Cats with Asparagus" painting, please leave a comment! I couldn't find much of anything about it, except for a brief mention in this interesting article.

I'd love to know more about it, and certainly hope I made the artist proud with my rendition.

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