Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Up The Garden Path with Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE

Hello everyone

Last time we took a closer look at artist Ruth Addinall's work, this time it's the turn of Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE. In particular this lovely piece:

'Up The Garden Path', oil and pencil on card by Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE.

This slinky looking feline is Nannie, a former companion to Joyce Gunn Cairns.
Those who know her well, know that Joyce is an animal lover and has a particular fondness for cats. She admires there intelligence and loyalty, but at the same time their independent spirit. Put it like that and I see why they tick a lot of Joyce's boxes!
Many years ago, Joyce took her sons to the cat and dog home with aspirations to pick out a really striking looking cat......but came home with Nannie.
Poor Nannie was no great beauty, indeed she was a sorry looking wee thing, but her talents laid elsewhere. In sensing that she had just come across 3 good natured humans, she endeared herself to Joyce's boys by circling round and round their feet. Being youngsters at the time, the boys instantly feel in love with wee Nannie and of course she went home with them. Joyce, slightly disappointed with the choice, soon grew to love her too and believing it was meant to be never looked back. And so it was that Nannie came to be a loyal and loving companion to Joyce and her sons for many happy years.

I really love this painting of Nannie and the story that goes with it. It's a fitting tribute to the old cat to see her immortalised so sensitively. For me the work has a familiar feel to it, almost like a memory.

I think this is the reason why:

This is my good self many, many years ago cuddling my own kitty at the time, 'Birdie'.
Similarly, I remember my mum being a little disappointed in our new puss at the time. She'd come from a litter that were born in a haulage/truck garage which was also home to 2 huge guard dogs. On a visit there my dad took pity on this tiny kitten squeaking from the jaws of one of the hounds. That little kitten miraculously disappeared from that garage....making her way to our home.
She was a poor thing too, filthy, fleas-ridden, underweight and somewhat 'mismatched' in her markings, but I loved her to bits and she was my best friend for many years.
She also turned out to be a first class hunter. Indeed, 2 minutes after that photo was taken I stood, bare foot (it was a gorgeous summers day) on one of her victims. I still remember the horrible sensation of standing on the tiny mouse!
On further inspection, there turned out to be close to 10 little corpses in that part of our garden.
I never went bare foot in Birdie's graveyard again!

Hurry back to see who we're going Up The Garden Path with next.....

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