Cat-Inspected Art

If you’ve ever locked gazes even momentarily with a cat, you know the inspection is deep and thorough.

Trees of Edge Forest,  mixed media, collage

Trees of Edge Forest, mixed media, collage

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

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.

Catlike Image Appears in Landscape, detail, mixed media

Catlike Image Appears in Landscape, detail, mixed media

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

Understory Birds, mixed media, grackle-inspired

Understory Birds, mixed media, grackle-inspired

Understory Birds, detail, mixed media

Understory Birds, detail, mixed media

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.

Ink Sprite, mixed media, collage

Ink Sprite, mixed media, collage

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.

Forest Dance, detail, mixed media

Forest Dance, detail, mixed media

Forest Dance, detail, mixed media

Forest Dance, detail, mixed media

This time the cat joined in!

The Budster

The Budster

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!


About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Art, Cats, Nature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Cat-Inspected Art

  1. Pingback: Enough About the Creek, Already! | Catwoods Porch Party

  2. hobo hippie says:

    Reblogged this: (link removed because it no longer went to the correct site with the reblogged post)
    cat-inspected art

  3. Pingback: Brightening Cat Photos with Added Color | Catwoods Porch Party

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  5. Joe Bradshaw says:

    Beautiful… 🙂 Thank you for sharing your gifts you are quite talented and quite creative…

  6. Hi your artwork us stunning I love cats and especially cats in art.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much, torchgirl2012! I love cats too! I wish I had pictured them in my visual art more than I did. I’m happy to find so much good cat art around the Internet these days.

  7. awax1217 says:

    Really unique. My wife and I enjoyed your perspectives on cats.

  8. Pam says:

    inspiring paintings and techniques! thanks for sharing…

  9. rlte says:

    Gorgeous work. Very creative. Thanks for visiting my blog and following my blog. Rlte

  10. I love your work! Gorgeous colors…

  11. Oh, and congratulations on your book! I’m sure it will be terrific!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you for visiting, and for your kind words! I’m still working on the book, close to being finished but not there yet, as I don’t work very fast. I did find your very nice art blog and I will definitely take a closer look as time unfolds. I plan to start commenting more on other blogs once I do finish the book.

  12. Love your cats, love your art. I think what I see on Budster’s face is pure awe.
    (I have a blog about art too, in case you’re interested – take a look)

  13. jaybluepoems says:

    Nice art! Amazing what and how cats can influence. My eldest cat, about 15, talks to me like a grumpy little old man. Bitches me out when it’s snowing and he can’t go out, and I can bring summer back in an instant. Ha! Nice work.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you! I enjoyed hearing about your cat, sounds like he’s very much like my kitties! My cats have also have some years on them, and aren’t always shy about expressing their opinions.

  14. I love the art and love cats too, and dogs and any other animals.

  15. I love this. I will study it more closely than I’ve had a chance to today. And thank you for noticing my blog.

  16. Birry Heagle says:

    Lena gives the pictures 4 paws since that’s all she has!

  17. Beautiful artwork, what medium do you work in?

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you! These are mainly drawing inks on heavy drawing paper. Some detailing was done with hard-lead drawing pencils, softer-leaded color pencils, and graphite sticks; anything within reach, basically. A very mixed media. I would collage parts of drawings together at times. Since it’s been awhile since I worked this way, I may have actually forgotten some of the techniques, lol.

  18. Jennifer McCracken says:

    Fantastic work, Leah!

  19. Rachel Turner Bohin says:

    I have never seen any of your art before. It’s beautiful. i love the colors.

  20. Fizzy says:

    Very cool, Catwoods! I love the beautiful colors. “Peripheral visions” is a great description. And once in a while you might have periferal visions ; )

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