|Winston, ink on paper, 29.5 x 42 cm|
This is Winston, a cat I had the privilege of living with a few years ago. My housemate took him on board hoping he'd be a playmate for her four year old daughter. NOT. Winston is WAY too cool for that. No playing. No kittenish behaviour. The poor kid can play alone, thank you very much.
However, what he did bring to the table was pure Zen. He brought a beautiful stillness, and seemed to have a knack to seek us out when we were stressed. (At that point in time, my housemate and I were both going through an interesting period of our lives.) The more stress I seemed to experience, the closer his presence.
At some point I had a job booking flights for stranded passengers. There was an ash-cloud that originated in Chile, and seriously messed up the aviation industry. I would often come home after a 10 hour shift, having listened to stressed people and trying to solve their problems. So when my head would finally hit the pillow, it would buzz with flight-numbers, times and prizes. At the job, we would joke about having 'flight-mares' after a long day. Meanwhile in Europe, my mother had been whisked away to a hospital with a live-threatening condition. To make a long story short, my stress levels were high.
At night, I usually didn't have wait long before some indentations were made on the bed, ending with a little 'thump' on the pillow right next to me. Purring would start, often accompanied by the loud licking noises of Winston cleaning himself. (For cats, it is a meditative exercise. It is not a meditation technique recommended for us humans though. We are better off taking a bath instead!) For the rest of the night my nose would hit some serious fluff every time I turned over to the left. Nevertheless, it did have calming effect on me, and thankfully, I do not have a cat-allergy. My housemate confessed Winston would do the same to her on nights when she was worried and her mind was very active.
In this drawing, I tried to portray some of the stillness and high comfort level Winston exudes. I used fluid strokes with ink, but kept them to a minimum. Together with the red stamp in the bottom, it has a Japanese 'flavour', emphasizing Winston's Zen character.