As an owner (servant?) of my own pack (or more correctly clowder) of cats, I have a special affinity towards the subject matter for this year’s seventh Art Journey… Big Cats!! Meow! I mean ROAR! I’ve always been fascinated by the big cats. Growing up, the mascot for the college most of my family attended was a tiger and a couple of my favorite stuffed animals were a floppy lion and an almost Steiff-like tiger. While we had a Siamese cat at home, I yearned to have a big cat all my own. This didn’t seem that crazy to me since the pet store near my aunt’s house in Florida had a cougar. ( I swear I’m not making this up! I’m not sure he was for sale, and now I feel bad for him living in an enclosure in a store, but it was really a thing.) But I digress.
By now I have resigned myself that I will never own a big cat of any kind. I will have to be satisfied with my comparatively tiny tigers! Although to give our current crew credit, they are often wild and savage beasts. They stealthily stalk our vegetables… pouncing when the time is right and dragging their prey off to their lair (i.e. under the dining table). They viciously grab human ankles from hiding spots under beds or around corners. They scale great heights (like our kitchen cabinets) to survey their domain. They are fierce!
As Erin pointed out in her Launchpad post for this new Art Journey, the chosen art pieces are rich with symbolism and inspiration beyond the big, beautiful kitties. I’m sure many of you will find your muse with the rich tapestry, the crescent moon, or other elements… but for my focus here I’m sticking with the big cats themselves in all of their glory and majesty!
Here’s my standard caveat: This isn’t in any way meant to be exhaustive or a shopping list… I realize that some of these makers are outside of the U.S. and that it’s always possible that not all my picks will still be available by the time you see this post. That being said, I’m providing a link to each artist’s shop in the photo captions for you.
Of the big cats, I felt like lions were the most underrepresented in the art bead world… at least from what I could find. I’m curious to see if anyone else has a lead on other leonine pendants or charms.
This grouping of leopard inspired beads is probably my favorite of the bunch. But, I mean who doesn’t love kitties with spots? I found a couple of things that were specifically snow leopard which felt fitting for the pale color of the big cats in our second inspiration piece although I feel like their thin forms look more cheetah like!
Our last inspiration piece mixes in a whole collection of big cats, but that tiger rolling onto his or her back in the foreground captures my imagination. I found a few different tiger striped beads out there… mostly lampwork glass, but shared a few more cheetah/leopard spotted finds here as well.
In preparing for this post, I discovered that for as big of a cat lover as I am I have a surprising lack of kitty beads in my personal art bead stash. I only own one measly big cat themed bead and only a couple more things favoring their domesticated cousins. Sigh. They are totally going to take my crazy cat lady card away from me if I don’t rectify this situation! Here’s what I found…
Thanks for stopping by to get some art bead inspiration! Here’s to happy creating as we head through Art Journey Seven! I hope that I’ve given you some ideas to get you going… Click HERE to submit your creations for this Art Journey. Remember, you can enter as often as you like… the only rule is that you have to use at least one art bead or component.