Behind the Scenes: HRH Java

Miss Java was my loyal fur friend for 17 years. Always patient, she put up with a live-wire kitten that turned into a bossy “sister” and with an interloper who arrived in 2015 and never left.  She moved from apartment in La Mesa, CA to apartment in Austin, TX to dorm room in at SDSU (we were dorm “parents” for 3 years) and finally to her dream home in Lemon, Grove — where she finally had her own place on the couch she didn’t have to share.  She ruled our home and hearts with a velvet paw.

Miss Java as a kitten
Her Royal Highness, Princess Java

When my husband commissioned her portrait, I knew I had to do something amazing to honor my sweet and beautiful friend, a very special painting that incorporated not only bits of maps of all the places we had lived, but also some of her fur which I had saved from her brush before she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.

Java's fur along with her favorite paper to rip -- the packing from a Sephora box.
Paper made from Java's fur, some ripped up packing paper, and lint from her blankets.
It starts with a sketch and painting in the color.
The basic colors and shading are painted in -- they act as a guide for the collage.
I put in the background and started on the body. You can see some of the fur paper as it is laid down.
More and more layers of hand-painted paper are glued down to create the portrait.
HRH Java, Princess of Hearts


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