The Making of Silent Mylo

Silent Mylo isn’t just my brand, he’s my cat! Here’s a little background information on Mylo — and an answer to the question: Is Silent Mylo really silent?

In the late summer of 2007 I was in the market for a cat. I had lost my wonderful Chester earlier in the year and decided it was time to fill the void in my house. Jane, my 18 year old calico, didn’t exactly agree but lacked veto power. I began my search by contacting Barbara Carr, the executive director of the SPCA Serving Erie County. I told her I was specifically looking for an orange tiger kitten I planned to name Oswald. As luck had it  the SPCA was having an adopt-a-thon that weekend . The shelter was bursting at the seams with cats and kitten and Barbara told me: “Come browse, but I already have your kitten picked out and his name is Mylo”. Bah, I thought, I’ll choose my own cat.

That weekend I drove to the shelter.  I entered. I browsed. I met Mylo. He was not a tiger, he was not orange. He was a Mylo and could NEVER be an Oswald. Instead, he was a smokey gray tuxedo kitten with olive green eyes and a  carnation pink rose. And he was fabulous!

It took Mylo about 3 seconds to adjust to his new home. He was playful, funny, smart and adorable — and tolerated by Jane. Furthermore, he was unusually quiet for a kitten. He never meowed!

While I found that odd I chalked it up to his early months. Abandoned at birth by his mother, Mylo and his litter mates were dropper fed and lovingly raised by Alex Baker, an SPCA volunteer soon headed to veterinary school. The kittens were happy and healthy but, apparently, no one had ever taught them how to meow!

Once home, Mylo started modeling almost immediately…..

 

…and within a year he suggested I paint rather than photograph him.

I took his advice and the paintings were a great success.

As Mylo’s fan base increased a question arose: how could I distinguish MY Mylo from the posers and other Mylo wannabes floating around on the web?

Rick Keaton, an artist friend and avid Mylo fan, considered the question one evening as we drank wine before a crackling bon fire . “I’ve got it!” he said. Rick knew that Mylo had recovered his meow by now but rarely used it. “How about Silent Mylo?”, he suggested. I liked it! It was smooth, it was classy — and it was, at least in part, based in fact.

I presented the suggestion to Mylo later that evening. He cocked his head as he considered it, smiled, and nodded his assent. Thus, Silent Mylo was born.

Since then Mylo has served as model and muse for an entire series of Silent Mylo paintings. He’s launched a line of prints and note cards, opened his own webstore, has lent his name to a variety of wines and, most recently, set up a fan page on Facebook.

It’s easy to find Silent Mylo, the real Mylo, on the web. You can find his prints and notecards at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop and LIKE him on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SilentMyloTuxedoCat

But I’ll give you a warning! Modesty is not one of Mylo’s greatest traits. If you LIKE him on Facebook — and you should!! — you may find him to be less “silent” than you’d like 🙂

 

 

Barbara Carr and her team at the SPCA Serving Erie County  work tirelessly on behalf of neglected and abused animals. Online donations to the SPCA Serving Erie County can be made here:

https://www.yourspca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=372 

or mailed to

SPCA Serving Erie County

205 Ensminger Road

Tonawanda, NY 14150

 

Hybrid Art?


hybrid |ˈhīˌbrid|

noun  a thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture : the final text is a hybrid of the stage play and the film.

• Biology the offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties, such as a mule (a hybrid of a donkey and a horse) : a hybrid of wheat and rye

• a hybrid car

We’re all familiar with hybrid cars, too many genetically modified seeds/ foods, and the mystifying array of dog breeds — but hybrid art?

I could argue, and argue well, that my art work is jam-packed with hybrids. I’ve used the “official” term, Mixed Media, for many years — but for my newest project hybrid seems a better fit.

A little more than a year ago I purchased an archival ink printer (Epson r2800). It’s an amazing, if somewhat temperamental, machine and it has paid for itself more than once over. To date I’ve created both paper and canvas prints of my original paintings and digital art. I’ve added hand sculpted elements to the canvas prints to make them more like my originals.

My newest series will go beyond that. I’ve painted a basic wine bottle still life and am about to start designing the individual labels. The planned labels revolve around ribbons/awards given in a dog show. There will be Best of Show Merlot, Best of Working Class Chardonnay featuring a boxer in plumber garb with a wrench, and Select Bitch Bordeaux featuring a sassy poodle in a  push-up bra. But I have more ideas for labels than the time needed to paint the bottles over and over again. And honestly — my work is MUCH more about the sculptural elements than the actual painting anyway 🙂  So — I’ve made a slightly smaller canvas print of the basic painting and will design a different set of labels to be painted directly onto the print.

Up till now, for lack of a better term, I’ve called my canvas creations “enhanced prints”, but the labels on the print will be originals in and of themselves, so what is the resulting work? And what do I call it? “Half Original, Half Print Hybrid” seems a bit cumbersome — and don’t even get me started on limited vs. open editions.

Suggestions anyone?

 

To see a selection of my work visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio

The End of Summer Art Show Season 2011

I always have mixed emotions when my summer art show season ends. Living in Buffalo, New York, September days lead all too quickly to falling leaves, followed by snow, and then the long, long stretch of cold, gray days that can make you forget the sun exists. On the other hand, the end of “BIG” show season is also the end of heavy physical labor, 15+ hour work days, and the ever so fun hobby of looking at the darkening sky in dread of the storm that will blow both you and all of your artwork away. It marks an end and a new beginning and makes you realize that, OMG, you’re really behind on holiday stock and promotion!! So goodbye Summer 2011, you were very good to me. Now about that holiday stock…………………….

It’s in the details…..

Here’s a detail of my new painting “Martini Girl Merlot”. I recently purchased an archival ink printer. In addition to giving me the ability to produce beautiful, archival reproductions, I’m able to pick and choose sections of paintings and make them into separate pieces of art.