If you’ve ever locked gazes even momentarily with a cat, you know the inspection is deep and thorough.
Drawings I produced in the 1980s and 90s were done around, next to, and among the household cats, in tight proximity. There will be more about that in my upcoming cat book, described at https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/announcing-my-cat-book-meowyall-a-feline-centric-memoir/.
These were highly experimental works. Materials are inks, color pencils, graphite, and regular drawing pencils. Sometimes I felt a work in progress needed colors or textures that just hadn’t happened in the drawing process. I had made some drawings for the purpose of having a wide range of effects on hand. I’d hunt for what I needed, cut out sections, and collage the parts together.
Rather than subjects of drawings, the cats were usually just fellow onlookers and scanners – cat scanners – when I took off on a pictorial walkabout through weird landscapes. The pictures are all based on natural forms and effects, just reconfigured, out of order. For an essay on color in nature, click https://catwoodsporchparty.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/black-cats-in-sun-and-shade-a-painters-eye-view/
The Common Grackle is a real bird, with a coloration that has always fascinated me. I wrote an article called “The Uncommon Grackle” that was published in 1987. I’ll post it on this blog eventually.
I used to think of all my drawings as peripheral visions.
When I first drew this it was part of a series of good-hearted, happy little woods spritey personifications rising from the ink. Those are the only kind I draw. For a title I wanted to play on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, so I called them “Little Witches”. They’re good little metaphors.
This time the cat joined in!
Near as I can tell, these drawings passed muster with the cats of the 80s, but did they pass this big fella’s inspection? He’s very particular, and makes a formidable critic. I think he approves, but we’ll never know for sure!