Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Lil Bub+impasto arylic+art+pet portrait+Nic's eARTh+Nicola McLean
Lil BUB - impasto acrylic on canvas 4 x 4 inches (10m x 10cm)

If you love cute animals (and if you don't, seriously, why not?) and spend even a modicum of time on the internet then you will no doubt be familiar with the cuteness that is Lil BUB – the cutest cat on the internet (or to quote her website 'the most amazing cat on the planet!')

This is the description of Lil BUB taken from her website:

"BUB was born with a multitude of genetic anomalies which all add up to one of nature's happiest accidents. She is a "perma-kitten", which means she will stay kitten sized and maintain kitten-like features her entire life. She also has an extreme case of dwarfism, which means her limbs are disproportionately small relative to the rest of her body and she has some difficulty moving around. She has short, stubby legs and a long, ferret-like body. Her lower jaw is significantly shorter than her upper jaw, and her teeth never grew in which is why her tongue is always hanging around. Fortunately BUB has a very healthy appetite and eats dry and wet food with no problems. Additionally, BUB is a polydactyl cat, meaning she has extra toes, and in her case, one extra toe on all of her four paws, adding up to 22 toes (and 22 claws). And then of course there are her big, bulging, wonder-filled green eyes. Some think she can see into the future with those things. Despite her unusual looks and numerous "deformities", BUB is a healthy, happy cat living in the care of her "dude" who treats her like a queen." 

Lil Bub+cat+miniature+painting+pet portrait+impressionism+Nic's eARTH
A mini painting for a mini cat

She has a huge following online and has rubbed shoulders with celebrities (including one of my favourite actors, Robert de Niro!) and delightfully, she uses her powers of cuteness to raise awareness and funds for other special need animals in collaboration with the ASPCA. In February 2014 the ASPCA announced Lil BUB's Big Fund which is a national fund in the States to provide grants to shelters with special needs animals. 

Lil Bub+Cat+Impasto+painting+art+Nicola McLean
Close up of texture

I was looking through her Instagram feed one day not long after I'd finished the tiger commission and I thought it would be fun to have a go at painting this gorgeous little face with its mahooosive eyes and little pink tongue. 

Lil Bub+Portrait+Cat+Impasto acrylic+min canvas+Nicola McLean

So,in between other bits and bobs I'm working on, I did this wee painting. Because I wanted to be able to include this style of painting as an option for custom pet portraits, this was an ideal way to try it out because it wasn't a commission so if it ended up rubbish then there no harm done and no one need ever know.

I'm delighted with how it turned out though and I had a lot of fun painting that adorable wee face in the process! Even better, I contacted Lil BUB's person, Mike, asking if they would like it and was over the moon when he replied that they'd seen hundreds of portraits of Lil BUB and this was one of the coolest! So, it's currently on its way to Indiana and I'm delighted that it'll be hanging in Lil BUB's home. 

Lil BUB+Pet portrait+impasto acrylic+Nic's
Lil BUb's lil portait. 

If you'd like to know more about Lil BUB and the amazing life she leads with her human, Mike, then please do pop over to her website, Facebook or Instagram page, if only to get a daily dose of cute. 

In other news, I've been shortlisted in the Scottish Renewables Young (ahem!) Professionals Green Energy Awards 2015!! A few weeks ago a fellow artist contacted me via my Facebook page and told me about this award and how there were different categories, one of which was art, and she suggested I submit my paintings.  The idea was that it was something that painted renewable energy in a positive light which my paintings of wind turbines against a beautiful Scottish sunrise literally did!  

I had a look on their website and as it didn't actually stipulate anywhere what exactly young was, I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained and nominated myself and my paintings stating that, for the record, I was young relative to, say, a pensioner!

Lil Bub+pet portrait+miniature art+Nicola McLean
The real Lil BUB (photo reference from Lil BUB's Instagram page)

Anyway, I got an email last week advising that I'd been shortlisted and the winner is decided in a vote at the awards evening which takes place on Thursday 28 May in Glasgow. I was invited to the event but unfortunately I won't be able to attend. It would be lovely if my paintings got the vote on the night although honestly, I'm delighted just to have been shortlisted!

I'll be joining Paint Party Friday as always and will see you all there!


  1. thanks for the story about Lil Bub...I had not heard of this kitty before!! what an adorable painting!! your work is so nice. I love each and every painting!

  2. beautiful!!! My gosh the texture you achieve in your work is just delicious, thats all I can say, really so scrumptious, I love love love it,
    the story brought tears to my eyes, happy tears, I'm so glad this kitty is able to eat because some are not, best wishes,

  3. Love your portrait of Lil Bub. She is so cute and her face has so much character. Good luck in the energy awards! Yours is one of the only images I've seen that make wind turbines look sexy. Fingers crossed.

    1. Sexy Wind Turbines? Hehe! Made me chuckle! I really like them too, though 'sexy' isn't the first word that pops in to my head when I see them! ;0)

  4. I had never heard of Lil Bub before now and he is adorable! And how lovely that they loved your portrait! I'm not at all surprised! Things are going so well for you my friend and I couldn't be happier for you! They say what goes around comes around and you deserve all of the good things that come your way :0)

  5. OH my goodness, this is sooo cute and a such powerful painting!!

  6. Fascinating about Lil Bub and you of course did an amazing job of portraying him!! How generous of you to send the painting to Mike. And another big congrats on being short listed. Such wonderful art news all around!!

  7. Id never heard of him either( I live a sheltered existence :) ) what an unfortunate yet fortunate kitty! I do like the texture and am sure many pet commissions will follow. My opinion on age is you are as old as you feel... So young has a very broad meaning! I can't think of many artists who have painted renewable energy themes.....I wish you luck!!

  8. Gorgeous painting and wonderful explanation of little Bubs situation. So glad the owner got such a terrific painting! Oh and you have to win that award because that day is my birthday and that's my birthday wish! Congratulations being short listed! Your proactive spirit is so inspirational!

    Hugs Giggles

  9. Big congrats on being shortlisted, and good luck with the final vote. Love your portrait of Lil Bub, really well don! Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  10. All the best your way Nic, it always feels bubbly and effervescent this way with all your stories and news! This piece is so striking, that eye fixes and has such a magnetic feel, fabulous art!

  11. Love your portrait of Lil Bub!
    Congratulations being short listed!

  12. Your work has got even better over the years. xxx

  13. Lovely painting, and what a texture it holds. Good luck on the award, I'll cross my fingers for you.

  14. oh wow, that texture is just amazing! You must go through tons of paint! It looks gorgeous, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of commissions for this sort of paintings. Congrats on being shortlisted, how exciting!

  15. Amazing work ! Lil Bub is adorable and thanks for introducing him. What a great piece.

  16. Well congrats on the shortlist. I hope you win! As for Lil Bul, what a cutie. I hadn't heard of him but now I'll be liking him on FB. You did a fantastic job on his portrait!

  17. Can't believe I didn't know about Lil Bub till now - Glad you introduced us to this fabulous face. I love how you are incorporating the new style into the animal portraits. This is definitely the coolest as lil Bub's dude put it. wonderful news about the short list. Fingers crossed here. M.x

  18. Fantastic piece ~ I just love your style ~ so much color, texture and great energy! Best wishes and merry creating!

  19. Wow! Awesome work, love the way the eye turned out and the dimension on the paint!

  20. Congratulations on both fronts. I love your rendition Lil Bub. His story is so touching it is not surprising how he has touched so many.


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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