AN art gallery will be raining cats and dogs as part of a month-long exhibit.

Hayletts Gallery in Maldon will be hosting the exhibit Reigning Cats and Dogs until December 24.

Gallery owner Sally Patrick said: “Who can resist a picture of a cat curled up on the sofa or an atmospheric estuary view containing the occasional dog walker in the early morning mist?

“Many of us will understand just how much our pets mean to us and sometimes how much we permit them to rule our lives.

“With a gallery full of art works, each featuring a cat or dog by a wealth of professional artists, including etchings by the noted royal academician, Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, and screenprints by iconic artist Ray Richardson, making this show very distinctive and an inviting prospect for potential Christmas presents.”

With artists working away in their studios at home, it can be a solitary profession, so it is not unusual to discover most artists have a cat or a dog for company.

One of the exhibitors, well known East Anglia and Great Bardfield artist Richard Bawden is known for including his cats in his work.

He said: “I have a very special relationship with Jessy and Amber; very different characters, but they both love to sit with me when I draw.

“They seem to appear from nowhere the moment I sit down on my stool with a drawing board.

“Sometimes they are perfect models, positioning themselves in my composition, but occasionally create chaos by leaping on to my shoulders, or the drawing, sending everything flying.”

Other artists such as Arabella Shand uses a beautiful array of colours to depict her Collie dog nestled within an interior almost becoming part of the pattern.

Other artists in the exhibition include Helen Fay, Glynn Thomas, Olwen Jones, Daphne Sandham, Jennie Southam, Sam Fitzgerald, Pat Schaverien, Chloe Cheese and Sanchia Lewis.

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