Humorous Contemporary Cat Art: Interview with Tamsin Lord

Last Updated on March 12, 2016 by Jenny

Humorous Contemporary Cat Art: Interview with Tamsin Lord 

One of our readers, Teresa, recently emailed me to show me her new painting from Tamsin Lord – she waited two years for it – but is totally in love. I have seen photos of Teresa’s kitties through the years and I think that Tamsin really caught the essence of each kitty in the painting.  It was really neat, so I wanted to re-run this interview.

Gracie Illaria and Miss Mariposa - Fiendish Feline Painting
Gracie Illaria and Miss Mariposa – Fiendish Feline Painting

Originally posted July 9, 2014

Tamsin Lord
Tamsin Lord (Photo at S.O.F.A Annual Exhibition)

Tamsin Lord   BA Hons  S.O.F.A.
I’ve always adored cats, and our family felines even featured in some of my first drawings as a child!  At 19 I left home to study Sculptural Ceramics, and a few years after graduating I set up a hand-made greetings card business with fun animal themes.  My designs were inspired by our numerous family pets, and I sold these cards through galleries, gift retailers and at craft fairs.

Some years later, my artist husband suggested I consider a format of miniature art called ACEOs, which stands for Art Cards, Originals and Editions which are 2.5”x3.5” in size.  They really suited my style, and I started experimenting with cheeky cat themes which had always been my favourite greeting card designs.  So began my very popular range of ‘Fiendish Feline’ miniature art ~ which is still growing today!  Over time I started to receive larger scale commission requests, I enjoyed doing these so much I decided to paint my own larger format series.  It was shortly afterwards that I joined the Society of Feline Artists (S.O.F.A.) and was thrilled to be awarded the Society’s ‘Stephanie Kay Manchipp Memorial Award’ for new members.  I have since become a full member as it’s such a great opportunity to meet artists who love using cats as their subject, it’s also very exciting to be involved in the Society’s annual London show which runs for a month at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery in Waterloo.

In addition to the S.O.F.A. show, I also exhibit at a number of cat shows during the year ~ these are great fun to do as in addition to promoting my art, I get the chance to see so many wonderful breeds up close and chat to their owners.

Of course, no artist is complete without their muse and mine comes in the form of two Exotic Shorthairs (both of who are thoroughly fiendish!)  Pumpkin and Star provide us with countless hours of fun, infinite inspiration and we love them to bits.

09 My Girls ~ Star on Left & Pumpkin on Right
Photos of my girls (Star on Left, Pumpkin on Right)
Pumpkin and Star ACEO ~ Size: 2.5x3.5”
Pumpkin and Star ACEO ~ Size: 2.5×3.5”

Website: Tamsin Lord Art
Fiendish Felines of Facebook

How did you get interested in cats?  How old were you when you had your first kitty?

00 The Teeny Fiendlies Capture of Mighty Mouse! ACEO 2.5x3.5
‘The Teeny Fiendlies Capture of Mighty Mouse!’ ACEO ~ Size: 2.5×3.5”

It’s down to my mum, she had a particular love for Siamese and was a hobby breeder, we would literally spend hours mesmerised by the kittens watching them play!  My first cat was my 13th birthday present, her name was Marigold and she was a seal point Siamese ~ she was my original fiendish feline and was dearly loved and thoroughly spoilt right through to her dotage, she lived to the ripe old age of 23!

Please describe your creative process.

I use sketches to work up compositions ideas, then use Designers’ Gouache on watercolour paper for the actual paintings.  Gouache paint is an opaque water colour which produces crisp, vibrant colours which suits my style perfectly.  I then combine with Artist’s water colours as this enables me to produce controlled, colourful paintings with elements of fluidity and soft texture.

Do you sell your paintings in a local store in your area?

I have a range of Fiendish Feline giclee prints that are produced and sold in a local framing gallery, but I don’t sell original paintings locally.

Do your customers ever give you new ideas for paintings?

‘Chocolate Box Fiendish Felines’ ~ Size: 13x11”
‘Chocolate Box Fiendish Felines’ ~ Size: 13×11”

All the time!  My commission paintings are very much a collaborative and fun experience.  Each is unique and with every one I learn something new ~ I absolutely love doing them.

Have you painted Ragdoll cats?

I have received many commissions for Ragdolls.  It’s always a real treat as I adore painting them, all that fabulous fur and those gorgeous ruffs ~ they are perfect Fiendish Feline models!

Do you have a blog?

Not a blog, but I have a Facebook page which I keep up to date with photos of paintings that I’m working on ~ I also find it a great opportunity to engage with people and share my art.

Do you do custom ordering?  Can someone return it if they don’t care for it?

Commissions are always welcome, although I do have a 15 month waiting list at the moment.  I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee so returns would be refunded in full, although I’m happy to say I’ve never had anything returned.  I also have a range of open edition prints that are available to buy direct from my web site.

‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ Commission ~ Size: 13x11”
‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ Commission ~ Size: 13×11”

Can you share a story with us behind any of your products that you especially enjoyed working on?  Maybe because of the story behind the kitty?

They are all very special, but I recently painted a commission of a rescue cat called Tex who particularly touched my heart.  The family he is with now are so devoted to this incredibly special boy, but he had a very dark past where he suffered the most appalling abuse which resulted in permanent health problems, including him going off into trance like episodes.  It’s part of who he is now, so we embraced this hippy trippy flower power kitty foible in his portrait’s expression, also his favourite thing is to lounge in the boudoir, so that’s where we portrayed him.  His good looks also stole the heart of my girl Pumpkin, she plonked herself on his sketch and refused to move for an hour!

‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ Photo of my cat Pumpkin Falling For Tex
‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ Photo of my cat Pumpkin Falling For Tex
‘The Three Meowsketeers’ Commission ~ Preparatory Composition Sketch
‘The Three Meowsketeers’ Commission ~ Preparatory Composition Sketch
‘The Three Meowsketeers’ Commission ~ Work In Progress Pictures
‘The Three Meowsketeers’ Commission ~ Work In Progress Pictures
‘The Three Meowsketeers’ Commission ~ Completed Painting ~ Size: 11x14”
‘The Three Meowsketeers’ Commission ~ Completed Painting ~ Size: 11×14”
'Castle Cat Burglars' Commission 10"x10"
‘Castle Cat Burglars’ Commission 10″x10″

The above photo is of ‘Castle Cat Burglars’ is of two Ragdolls, Linus and Newman, who have been Ragdolls of the Week!

~ ‘Sleepy Kitty Hollow’ Commission ~ Size: 11x13”
~ ‘Sleepy Kitty Hollow’ Commission ~ Size: 11×13”
‘Cardboard City Theme Park’ ~ Size: 12x11”
‘Cardboard City Theme Park’ ~ Size: 12×11”
‘Furry Towers’ Commission ~ Size: 10x10”
‘Furry Towers’ Commission ~ Size: 10×10”
‘Pottering Shed’ ~ Size: 11x14”
‘Pottering Shed’ ~ Size: 11×14”
‘Chalk and Cheese’ Commission ~ Size: 11x13”
‘Chalk and Cheese’ Commission ~ Size: 11×13”

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16 thoughts on “Humorous Contemporary Cat Art: Interview with Tamsin Lord

  1. Patti Johnson says:

    So glad you re-ran this post, Jenny! Tamsin’s work is truly AMAZING! I just adore how she takes the information and photos provided by folks and then lets her artistic creativity and imagination run wild which results in the most GORGEOUS works of art! I’m so happy for Teresa and know she is absolutely thrilled with the results of the portrait of Miss Marigold Morningstar Moneypenny, Miss Illaria Rose Peabody & Miss Gracie Lou Pittypat Bookbinder! Saw the final portrait pic on Teresa’s Heart Of Grace FB page and it is BREATHTAKINGLY STUNNING!!! Just sheer purrfection in how Tamsin captured each beautiful kitteh’s purrsonalities to a T! Awesome.

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

    • Teresa Reid says:

      Awe, thanks so much Patti, for the sweet comments. It was so much fun collaborating with Tamsin. She is such a sweet person with amazing artistic talent. Thank you also for naming the portrait! You are so funny and always do the best and most hilarious names! Just purrfect for this painting, “The Diva, The Princess, Miss Congeniality and Friends.”♥♥♥

      • Tamsin Lord says:

        It was a complete pleasure and privilege from start to finish Teresa, I’m thrilled I was able to capture your girls the way you had hoped. I loved every minute that I was working on your painting as it was brilliant fun ~ thank you so so for giving me the opportunity to paint them 😀

        • Teresa Reid says:

          You are so welcome Tamsin! Can’t wait until Illaria Rose’s portrait comes up next Spring. Will be so much fun!♥♥♥

    • Tamsin Lord says:

      It’s just wonderful to hear how much you enjoy my art Patti, thank you so so much for this amazing comment :D! Working with Teresa to portray her gorgeously stunning girls was as you can imagine a ridiculous amount of fun – not forgetting of course those nosey neighbours who can’t resist an apple or two LOL! By the way, your suggestion to Teresa for the painting’s title was pure genius – absolutely love it and sums it up perfectly!!!!

      • Patti Johnson says:

        You are truly most welcome, Tamsin! Lurved the addition of “the friends” with the apples and the playfulness of the red cardinal in the cathouse. (Cardinals are my favorite bird!) Plus, the little birds in the trees! Truly a masterpiece of love! And…thank YOU for your sweet compliment about my suggested title to Teresa. 🙂 <3

  2. Jeanette Wendt says:

    Tamsin is the greatest! I’ve had 2 commissions done by her and a third one in the way next spring. She is lovely to work with, creative and so much fun! Really enjoyed the interview. P.S. My 2 Ragdolls (Linus and Newman) were featured as Ragdoll of the Week AND painted by the gifted Tamsin. Thank you Floppycats for recognizing her stupendous talent and sharing it with your subscribers.

    • Tamsin Lord says:

      Hi Jeanette, what an amazing comment ~ thank you so much :D. By the way, it’s fantastic to hear Linus and Newman have been featured Ragdolls of the Week on If you take a look at the pictures above, you’ll find those fiendish Castle Cat Burglars (and of course the legendary Binky!) have made an appearance 😉 xx

  3. Patti Johnson says:

    What a great post, Jenny! I really enjoyed reading this and looking at all the beautiful creations from Tamsin. 🙂

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂

  4. Teresa Reid says:

    Such a talented artist! These paintings are just adorable and so are the little kitty muses. Love, love, love those big eyes because I have seen those very eyes on my Gracie when she is excited about something she wants to play with or do.

    Really love all of them and seeing them just made me smile today. Am going to find a photo to send to her to see if she would be interested in doing one for me in 15 months. Great interview and thanks for sharing her work with us. Just so adorable!

    • Tamsin Lord says:

      Hi Teresa, you’re very kind and it’s lovely to hear how much you enjoy my paintings :). By the way, Gracie looks absolutely gorgeous so if you interested in commissioning a painting, just drop me a message through my website and I’ll send you further details :).

  5. Patricia McDermott says:

    adorable!!those eyes really capture the cats nature. your babies are so dang cute too. love your work, i think i have to have some of these. thanks for sharing.

    • Tamsin Lord says:

      Thank you so much Patricia, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the interview and it’s great to hear you enjoy my Fiendish Feline art ~ yes it’s all in the eyes! :D.

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