Sunday, February 17, 2008

Playing Around

Winter is hanging on this year, making it difficult to get out of the house very much. I read, cruise online, watch old movies, and do artwork. To entertain myself and just let off a little pent up frustration, I took a series of pictures of our cat, Bucky. I tried sketching her while she lounges on my lap, and when she comes to knead, massage and tickle me in bed at night, but she is so fascinated by the moving pen and by the sound it makes on paper that I never get very far. She ignores me when I get out the camera, however.

When we brought her home from the Humane Society last spring she was a slender, big-eyed kitty, scared of every noise. Today she is a calm, stocky, plushly furred tuxedo cat who is more likely to holler for her dinner than to hide under the bed. I digress.

There is a woman on Flickr, Janey, who does wonderful line drawing of cats and dogs. I wanted to try something that had some of the whimsey and attitude that her drawings embody. I printed the photos I took of Bucky on plain paper, then did blind contour drawings from them. I looked up to place shapes like her tail and eyes, but mostly I just put a pen on paper and followed the contours of what I saw. I wasn't sure how these would turn out, so I used an old Readers Digest condensed book that I picked up free from the library. Afterward I embellished the line drawing with TomBow markers, gold around the outline, black for her dark markings. I probably could do more with that idea, but I'm sure I'll experiment more. I liked the results so much that I tore them out of the old Readers Digest and spray mounted them in one of my many unfinished sketchbooks. Each looks more like a caricature of a cat than a real kitty, but in an odd way they resemble her more than her photos do. They have Attitude.

I am pleased that these exercises turned out well, but discouraged that I like them better than drawings I slave over for hours or even days. What can I do with these things? I don't know. I suppose I can ask myself what I'll do with all the framed paintings I've produced the past couple years since I retired from teaching. I'm not sure where I am going here.


Alyson said...

Sherry - you continue to amaze me!

Teri C said...

That was a fascinating exercise! See what winter does for you :) but seriously, these are great!

mARTa said...

These are delicious...despite me not liking cats! These are printable, frame-able, mass produce-able!!! They do have attitude and lots of character! I love the exercise sounds so.....freeing! I have 'tagged' you...go check it out at my blog!