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Starry, Starry Cats

The last time I was in New York City, there were only two things I absolutely had to do while I was there: Buy pastrami at Katz's to take home with me, and visit MOMA to see Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.

Don MacLean's song, Vincent, long ago lit a fire in my soul for impressionist art. I grew up in a tiny cow town that lacked any discernable culture aside from Merle Haggard and merry mariachis. The only "art" in our home included a portrait of J.F.K. paired with one of Pope John, and pastel portraits of my sister and me, rendered in pastel from a kiosk in Disneyland.

After I heard Vincent a few hundred (or thousand?) times, I began an exploration of van Gogh's life and art. His tortured life spoke to me, an emotional young teen with a creative bent who was meserized by suicidal artists and writers. This was several years before I ever took an art history course; I was on my own.

My taste in art tends toward bold strokes of saturated color, so you can understand my attraction to van Gogh. Of all his work, Starry Night was my unequivocal favorite, full of electric energy that nearly sizzles on the canvas, brilliant color, and the magic of a star-studded sky.

As I stood before the actual painting at MOMA, the salty smell of pastrami goodness wafting up from my Katz's bag, I was overcome with emotion. All those many years loving this work and its creator had culminated in that moment.

I'm not moved to quite that degree in looking at Aja Trier's Starry Night cats, but they are a visual treat. The first three are 12"X12" original oils on canvas; the last is a print on canvas, available in multiple sizes.

The artist, Aja Trier, hails from Schenctady, NY, and you can see all of her work at her website,, her Etsy shop, Sagittarius Gallery, and her Instagram. She's prolific, and paints dogs as well as cats. But don't hold that against her.

The images above are 12" X 12" oils on canvas for $250.

The five-cat image below is available as a print in multiple sizes.

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