Sunday, June 5, 2011

#5 - 30 Prints in 30 Days (Cat In Hand)

"Cat In Hand"
Woodcut (four blocks)
2.5" x 4"(image) 5.5" x 7.5" (paper)
Water-based inks on Rives BFK
Artist Proof (I'll be doing an open edition)

Four years ago, while I was the art teacher for a Pre-K through 8th grade school, a second grade student brought in a box of kittens. These were tiny little things, maybe 5 weeks old. The girl's family was going out of the country for summer vacation and so her mother had sent the kittens to schools for "show and tell" as a ploy to get rid of some of them. It worked. Two teachers, myself included, took a kitten home that day. An adorable, little Tortoiseshell. I had planned to name her Nuala, an Irish name referring to fairies mythology. I put her in a large cardboard box for the long commute back to my house. Despite her tiny size, she displayed powerful lungs, yowling the entire ride, and about 20 minutes in, powerful legs, which she used to pop open the top of the closed box and attempt to leap out. As soon as I brought the box into my house, my cat Horatio - a twelve pound tabby, approached the box. The little spitfire popped out, took one look at Horatio, growled, and smacked him in the face. I realized she needed a name that better reflected such a bad-ass personality, so I started to flip through Uppity Women of Ancient Times, and settled on Kubaba - the only queen in the Sumerian king list. And she had started out as a barkeep!

I like to think that the bold colors and jagged lines in this print hint at an assertive personality ready to burst out, while the inclusion of human fingers provide a sense of scale, showing off the kitten's tiny size.

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