Cathi Marro is a professional free-lance musician, educator and artist. She specializes in flute and alto flute, playing in several ensembles ranging from classical symphony orchestras, to flute choirs, rock bands, sacred ensembles and even a performance art troupe. Four fabulous cats and a patient husband allow her to live with them in the Miami, Florida area. Daily cat painting is an important part of her day.
We’re delighted to welcome Cathi to The Conscious Cat today.
You’re a musician by profession. How did you get into painting cats?
My friend Pip Brant, an art professor at Florida International University, challenged me to draw one cat a week. It sounded like a good idea but I didn’t do it right away. A few months later I saw some paint on sale so I bought it. Perhaps out of guilt for waiting so long to act on her suggestion I began painting a cat EVERY NIGHT!
You have a very unique style – tell us a little about how you developed it.
I just paint. I don’t think too much about it. No matter how I feel or what is going on in my life and my day, I succumb to the compulsion to paint! Cat paintings must be made every day! To me this seems urgent.
What is the creative process for a project, whether it’s music or painting, like for you?
I approach music and painting very differently. I am a highly trained professional flutist and use all that training and knowledge in every musical endeavor. I have very high standards and expectations put upon me by myself and others when it comes to music. With painting…it is a more pure creativity – a stream of consciousness if you will. I just paint. I paint from the heart and from my creative space. I don’t worry if I’m doing it right or if someone will like it or hire me or judge me. I don’t obsess over learning the proper techniques like I have for years and years in my music career. My paintings are a pure unadulterated expression of my creativity and personality. For me painting is a critique-free zone.
Where does your inspiration come from?
All my daily experiences. Sometimes it’s as simple and obvious as watching my own cats or the activities I did that day. Also it can come from a conversation, a thought, a TV show or book. Many times it comes from interactions and dealings with other people. Since I play flute, I have a whole series of cats playing flute. It’s a well known fact in the flute world that all flute players live with cats and/or love cats (wink).
Tell us about your own cats.
They are all short-hair rescues. Spike is 20, CC 18, JP 17 and my baby INKY is only 11. They are all indoor only and eat the best food money can buy (mostly raw, homemade or canned). I give subcutaneous fluids to my 3 oldest cats. It’s not as hard as people think and it improves their quality and duration of life immensely. Inky used to be known as a trouble maker but I never gave up on him. I tried hiring behaviorists, psychics, energy healers, giving him drugs and homeopathic potions to help and now he is like my golden child. You can read about Inky and the others on my previously top-secret blog: http://www.felinebehavior.blogspot.com
What does a purrfect day look like for you?
I wake up without the “help” of my cats, slowly come to life over emails, social networking, quality television programming and breakfast – cats beside me every step of the way. Then I dive into my music: practicing, teaching, rehearsing, arranging etc. A good day would include a paid gig somewhere – with an orchestra, small chamber ensemble, solo, coffee house, performance art or something fun. The day always ends with me busting out the art supplies to paint at least one cat. OK, maybe the PURRRRFECT day would include less work and more beach, but this is a typical smooth day for me at this point in my life.
You can find Cathi’s cat paintings in her Etsy shop. You can also find Cathi on her personal website at http://www.CathiMarro.com, and on Facebook. Cathi is donating a portion of proceeds for all sales for her paintings through the end of the year to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation.