Have I ever told you about my attack-cat, Tiger?
When I was about four years old we went to the animal shelter and I got to pick out a cat. We ended up getting a stripey tabby cat. I wanted to name her Pinnochio. But my mom vetoed that and we settled on Tiger.
I was only like six years old when my parents finished the bedroom in the basement. Except that it really wasn’t a bedroom. They put up a wall that made a nice family room with the windows and the egress to the backyard, and that left the back “bedroom” as it were, completely in the dark. There were no windows (I know. Highly questionable.) And then they moved me down there.
I suppose that because it was dark I should have been scared, but I actually loved that deep dark cave. The only light came from my bedside alarm clock-radio, the kind with the flip numbers. I had a whole double-bed to myself. And one of those brown rattan globe hanging lights with a chain. I thought that was so cool. To this day, I need to sleep in complete darkness which is why I occupy the guest bedroom 95% of the time (my husband insists on sleeping with the t.v. on. All.Night.Long.)
But I digress.
It was back in the 70s when my dad built that wall that created the bedroom/cave. And I don’t know if it was in fashion or purely a cheap alternative, but he covered both sides of that wall with burlap.
One night Tiger was on the prowl. And cats on the prowl like to climb and pounce. And burlap walls in the dark make the perfect scaling material for late-night cat-shenanigans.
Tiger scrambled up that wall, popped up the false ceiling tile and crept around. Until she fell through. She landed squarely on top of me in my big double-bed on the other side of that wall. In the dark. And because she was scared, Tiger dug her claws in, probably thinking she had trapped the biggest mouse of her dreams! Except it was me. And every time I attempted to move, or whimper in the dark, Tiger would dig in deeper.
The next morning, my parents were alarmed that I didn’t come up for breakfast, and when they opened the door, Tiger ran out without a care in the world, but there I was with my legs scratched up, whimpering and scarred.
Not to mention that I am completely and hopelessly allergic to cats (and they all seem to know that and want to roll around on my pillow when I visit!). When we finally figured that out was when Tiger left us for good.
Our Art Journey # 7 was inspired by a painting that my cat-loving friend Loralee Kolton shared with me of Una and the Lion (on the left). I was captivated by the lushness of this autumn scene and knew that it would be perfect for the fall. Flash forward to September and the release of Art Journey #7, and I found three different paintings of Big Cats. Rawr!
Clearly, I am admittedly not a cat person, but I do like to see my friends post their funny antics. That is why the painting of the tiger lolling around with all the other big cats captivated me. I suppose they are just as playful as their domesticated cousins! The power and the majesty that they exude is something to behold.
So I thought long and hard about what I would do to capture these beasts. At first I was trying to do something based on the distinct face shapes of tigers, lions and leopards, but I couldn’t make it happen the way I wanted. So then I completely switched gears and went with a tutorial I found on how to make Faux Leopardskin jasper in polymer clay from Randee Ketzel. The tutorial was for beads, and I did make some beads, but I wanted to do something different. So from some of those beads it morphed into more of a veneer and in seeking out appropriate bezels, I found the big hearts. Big hearts for Big Cats. Because we should all love these majestic creatures and celebrate them, even if they attack you and you are allergic to them. <3
I hope that you are finding some cool inspiration in these three paintings and will join us for the remaining week of the Art Journey challenge #7! One more week to enter your cat inspired jewelry to our gallery for a chance to win a price from Sarajo Wentling that will be purrrr-fect for Art Journey #8 coming up soon!