The Cat Story Behind This Painting
Philip Koch, Lizzie's Day, oil on canvas, 18 x 16", 1980
When I met Alice she had emerged from a difficult period in her life and had even had a close call with a life threatening illness. Through these times she explained to me that she had felt the most comforted by, of all things, her cat Liz. Unfailingly devoted to Alice, Liz would always end up near her, offering that mysterious companionship that cats can be so good at. Liz of course would listen and to Alice's mind, Liz understood.
The same week I was working on the Arboretum painting Liz took seriously ill. Upon examination the vet was pessimistic but had us leave Liz overnight at his clinic for observation. Glumly we left and drove to park to have Alice model, both of us suspecting we wouldn't be seeing Liz again.
The autumn light that morning was shining down on us and the trees through a barely perceptible mist. It lent a quiet glow to everything it touched. It was quiet and stunningly beautiful and both of us felt comfort from that. Liz died the next day.
I wanted to somehow honor this small cat who had been such a confidant to Alice so I chose the title Lizzie's Day for the little canvas. Still have it as it has too many memories to put it on the market.
Three years later I did an expanded version of that painting. I wondered if I should also title it Lizzie's Day. Liz though was an authentic and modest girl. I think she would have wanted just one painting named for her.
Philip Koch, Bright October Day, oil on canvas, 54 x 48", 1983