|both images copyright and by kindest permission of the artist|
Portland, OR artist Michael Pratt's animal portraits are earthy and elegant at once. This didn't surprise me; after all, Pratt is one half of the team behind the art tile company Pratt and Larson, which has been creating rare beauty from clay since 1982. It wasn't until my first visit to the Side Street Gallery two weeks ago that I realized he painted as well, and that he did so with a feel for the yearnings and self-expression I've always found in my own animals. In fact I bought a card of "The Fly Catcher," above, because it reminded me of little slim Elizabeth's intensity in the bughunt.
Below is "The Ball Catcher," who has a proud pose and a playfully waving tail. The image, in which the cat and the two toys pop against the pale background, is warm and immediate. If you'll go to Michael Pratt's website, you'll see more that will fill your eyes and your heart with appreciation.