This beautifully framed, happy chonk was painted by a Chinese artist in the 18th century.
I’m sure this is how my cat would prefer me to feed him every day. I love the addition of the jealous little dog beneath the fluffy feline overlord.
When I look at my cat I see a cute, cuddly, adorable creature. When birds and small mammals look at cats, they probably see something like this nightmarish vision from Picasso’s 1939 painting, likely inspired by the violence of the Spanish Civil War.
It seems that Picasso wasn’t a big fan of the pampered domestic fluff balls:
I hate pure-bred cats that purr on the pillow in the living room. I like feral cats that hunt birds, scamper around the streets like crazy, drag everything they get. They look at you with wild eyes ready to scratch your face.
Louis Wain (1860 – 1939) was an English artist famous for the thousands of sketches and paintings of cats displaying human behaviour. They enchanted the Victorians who were more likely to see cats as a mildly irritating tool of pest control. Some of his art is too saccharine and cutesy for my liking, but I love this painting in which a feline bachelor party is clearly approaching an advanced stage of debauchery. I bet there’s catnip in those cigars!
Life got in the way for a while, but I finally found the motivation and momentum to complete this project! The finer details, like the trimming on Woody’s cowboy hat, really brought it to life. Now I’ll have to see if my artwork meets the approval of the harshest critic, my three-year-old niece.
To infinity and beyond! Buzz is now finished, even if he looks a tad creepy at the moment with his blank eyes. After I finish the finer details that are too fiddly to do with fabrics, next is the assembly time, where I put the top and bottom halves of the artwork together on the background, and pray that they fit.
After I blitzed through the top half of the artwork, the more detailed bottom half with Buzz is coming along at a slower pace, mostly because of my changed work hours and good old-fashioned procrastination. Every time I look down at what I’ve managed to complete after five or six hours of work, I think to myself, is this all I’ve done today? However I am quite happy with the way it’s looking so far.
With plenty of free time and nowhere to go, I’m off to the flying start with this one, completing what usually would be a month’s worth of work in a week. I already had leftovers of about a hundred different shades of silk and satin, so I had to make very few trips outside for the supplies. For now, I’ve decided to leave the small details (like Rex the dinosaur’s teeth) for later, since they’re too fine for fabrics and I’ll probably have to do them with paper instead.
Because of the restrictions, I lost the luxury of using my Mum’s nice big dining table, but though the conditions in my apartment are more cramped, it’s been workable so far. I had to tell off my cat a few times for jumping on the working table and sniffing around, but most of the time he just wanted to curl up inside my fabrics box. Any new box is an instant cat magnet, and if that keeps him away from more destructive behaviour, fine, have a nappa.
I dug out my old art folder from under the bed while looking for materials for my next artwork, and got nostalgic looking through my old high school and university art and design projects. One of my favourites was this set of fantasy-inspired playing cards, done with acrylic paints and ink pen when I was in my final high school year. I must have run out of time, because it’s missing spades.
It’s a shame that I’ve done barely any painting or drawing in years; I used to love it but in between a full-time job and other creative interests it’s simply fallen by the wayside. Well, never say never again I guess.
I’m making this one for my little niece, who loves Toy Story (my sister is also a big Disney/Pixar fan, so everybody’s happy). I found an existing Toy Story art that’s absolutely perfect for my medium, but I tweaked the colour scheme; less artsy, more kid-friendly. I’ve already done away with some smaller details (sorry Bo Peep!), but I suspect I’ll have to simplify this a lot more along the way, or do the finer details with paper rather than fabric.
Now I hope I can round up all the materials before the next wave of coronavirus measures closes down everything. A time-consuming indoor hobby would be really handy now that I have six weeks off work in the next three months, and a strong possibility of the Australia lockdown happening.