Artists, writers and others who pursue creative activities frequently enjoy the company of pets.
My pets wander my workspace at will. Just like children, they can be a challenge at times. When I sit down to paint it’s not uncommon for my cat to jump right up in the middle of the table amidst all the paints. And, truth be known, I suspect that she occasionally drinks out of the water tub I have reserved for cleaning my brushes. When I sit down at the computer to research or write, I can count on her to sit on the back of my office chair or on a nearby book shelf to quietly wait and watch.
I babysit my daughter’s black Lab mix. She, too, patiently waits and watches — or sleeps at my feet — while I work.
Both are welcome guests in my office. They are non-judgmental companions. And they remind me to take a break from time to time. They’ve learned to gently remind me when it’s time to stop working long enough to eat or take the mandatory 15-minute walk …time well spent allowing my creative subconscious to do its job and giving my eyes a rest so that I can view my work with fresh eyes.
More than that, they have served me well as subjects for some of my art. I still have a long way to go before I can claim to be a great animal painter, I find them to be particularly challenging subjects. I’ll admit the animals in my life aren’t the easiest animals to paint with their unique fur. But they challenge me to step out of my comfort zone. They help me see art as a means of telling stories. And they are welcome additions to what otherwise might be static scenes.( See Sparrow and Aspen in the Gallery.)
Do you have an office companion? How does your pet contribute to your creativity?
If you don’t yet have a pet, I’d suggest you might like to consider giving a dog or cat or bird a forever home. They are especially helpful for creative seniors who have transitioned to the empty nest lifestyle. If you’re not certain about this option, you can foster a homeless animal while you’re considering welcoming one into your home/office.