Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Need Another World

I'm gonna miss my Selma.

My dear, sweet Selma died. I wish you could have known her. As I write this I'm listening to Antony & The Johnson's song, Another World in which he sings: I need another world...I'm gonna miss my..." and it's melancholy and I'm already sad but it helps, you know? We all need another world especially when this world gives us such a heart break, such a challenge. It is perhaps like losing a child, certainly it's losing a dear friend. So music helps a bit. And it almost seems like poetry to me so I'm re-reading Patti Smith's autobiographical: Just Kids. It too is another world, a tale she tells beautifully, tenderly. In Patti's book she gives up her first baby, her friend Robert dies, that's major. That puts it into perspective for me and there's some comfort in the shared sense of personal pain. Oh my dear, sweet, Selma Lou.

I called Selma my little baby partly because she was round and soft and about the weight of a little baby but also because she would fall asleep in my arms or my lap as I would hum to her: hush little baby, don't you cry. She did that her whole life. And she was such a beautiful creature. I just thought her looks were astounding and Patty's too. Selma's sister, Patty died November 2008. Patty and Selma were named after Marge's sister's from the TV Simpsons for irony as my cats were the polar opposite of the Bouvier sisters. My cats had charming, sweet dispositions and beautiful coats : a gorgeous combination of tones and shades of grey on one and stark black and white on the other. They were a most wonderful studio presence for their esthetics alone. We did share an interspecies love affair of the most poetic sort so I guess they were my muses. If I can call upon memory they live still.

Patty and Selma were calm and cool models, photogenic, and appeared in more books and publications than I can remember off hand. They both hung around my studio. Selma was last photographed in my studio with a project that's still up. My project is finished and ready to ship but I've decided to wait before I write a full post with images for the project. I really want to have some pictures if my paintings installed. That should make a big difference, although, I think they look pretty good in my studio. Anyway I'm posting my last shots of Selma and I couldn't resist adding a couple more pictures of her in her youth. I had a book bound of pictures of Patty after she died. I should do the same for Selma.


  1. So sorry for your loss of Selma- I believe the presence of our pets is the little slice of heaven we have on earth-Patty was waiting on her arrival. You must paint the trellis with Selma, though it already looks like a painting. pgt

  2. My heart feels for you. My babies, Miss Marple and Romeo Rabbit were with me for 18 and 19 years. There are not enough words, though I can tell stories for hours, even to myself, of their adventures and eccentricities, sweetness and love, I still miss them madly. I am so very sorry for this loss, Thea

  3. pgt Thank you so much. The trellis picture is from when she was a year or so old, my garden in San Francisco. A friend had that image printed on a mug. I was very touched by the gift. I use it the hold brushes.

    Thea What charming names. My two didn't quite make it to 18 and 19 but almost. I raised them from when they were just six weeks old. In the beginning it was bottle feeding, such helpless tiny things they both fit in one hand.

    Like you I have so many stories.

  4. so saddened by the loss of you sister kitties, scott. i used to have a studio cat who sat on my work at exactly 4 pm every day and many years later i still pause at 4 waiting for the interruption. you never stop missing your animal friends. nor should you. hugs.

  5. Scott;
    What a touching story, and I am deeply saddened for your loss. Selma looked like a pretty crafty kitty!
    Beautiful black and white and those eyes.
    Godspeed to her and think of all the bliss she is having.
    Thanks for sharing and I wish you good tidings,

  6. L. and Lynne I so appreciate you. Thank you so much.

  7. Oh Scott...

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful cat Selma was and with such a magnetic presence. The photo of her sitting on your brushes speaks volumes about her personality..."Yesss, darling? Is there a problem?" and the one of her looking into the mirror is just plain gorgeous: a photograph with Beaux Arts qualities. To have been loved as much as she was is proof of a wonderful life -- all those years, all those happy times together -- she couldn't have asked for a better owner. xx

  8. Lisa, thank you so much. What a nice thought.

  9. hello dear scott,

    so sorry to hear about selma. duster just jumped up, and i think he's saddened also. it's amazing how much our beasts can mean to us. ..seems like they're ready for some lovin just when you need to give it.

    i love the pic of selma with her paw on the paint can. that says so much somehow.

    sending you warm thoughts and a purrrrr from duster.

  10. Thanks Sue, I'm feeling your warm thoughts. Yeah, I know the paw on the yogurt container. She really wanted to be where I was.

  11. The Hubs and I have always had cats - their disposition, their beauty, their furry goodness...and we've lost a few. They become such an integral part of our lives and hearts. Selma Lou and Patty will always be there in the studio and with you. Your muses still.

  12. Scott

    What a beautiful tribute you wrote for your precious dear ones. My heart breaks with yours -- for -- they become so much a part of our lives - it is difficult to image life continues on without them near.
    I wish I could say something that would help -- or if I had some magic powers to communicate with them -- but alas I do not -- but I do believe they are still part of the studio and live forever in your heart.

  13. Thanks Regina. I so appreciated your taking the time to share.

  14. What a stunning kitty – I can see why you were so smitten! I know you made sure they both had wonderful lives.

  15. So sorry about Selma.
    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.
    Love loves a memory no one can steal.

    Scott you are so talented and I see you put your heart in your work.
    Hope I have my Dalmation a while, he is 14 yrs old and an beside me all the time. He fills up the house. yvonne

  16. Lana, Thanks so much for your note. Wondering if I did everything I could for them. That's what's hard. I think I did. I hope I did.

    Yvonne, -Love loves a memory no one can steal. How wonderful. Thank you for that.


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