This cat is an illustration for a friend of mine who has written a story. Her now deceased cat was named Goya. As you can tell from the photo she sent me I have taken some liberties with her markings. Mostly I was concerned with trying to capture the sweet, contemplative nature the picture conveys.
She is about 3″ x 4″. Even though her friend in the story is a boxer dog and will need to be bigger, which gets a bit unwieldy to stamp, going any smaller than that makes it hard to capture expression in the eyes.
I’m thinking a dark grey will suit her character well, but it was great fun to try on different coats of color.
There is a scene in the movie Marie Antoinette of a towering stack of brightly colored macaroons. It is drool-worthy. Almost as unbelievable as her hair. Who says she didn’t live with adversity? It couldn’t have been easy to balance that ungainly heap of horse hair on top of your head. Add to that a cinching corset and you have proof of a woman with real fortitude (and commitment to vanity).
Anyway, growing up Rosemary Weedlemeyer (I decided to change her last name) dreams of being Marie Antoinette. She yearns to control her coif and be admired for her locks.
Ever since Medusa, hair = power. Rosemary will find her own (hairy) expression, but until then she enjoys trying on other’s identities.
(You can see how I had to do another face stamp, as this hair-do requires a three quarter profile -shown above. Much more challenging than I expected. I’m much more comfortable with fur than faces, it would seem.)
I’m having so much fun! This character I’m creating is taking over my thoughts. Her name is Rosemary Weedleknocker. Further details are still being teased out, you might say. I’m still debating whether to draw in her face or use a varying stamp to change facial expressions. The merits of drawing it rather than stamping are the obvious time element, but equally the detail. When working that small (about the size of a quarter) it is hard to cram in a lot of fine lines. But I do love the quality stamping lends.
My blog followers will be the first to see the story unfold from behind the scenes. Stay tuned to see where Rosemary’s hair takes her.
I finally got back to the black and white animals I wanted to do. Pandas are an obvious choice, of course. But he had to wait in line behind the zebra and the penguin before he got his turn. It took me a while to settle on an image that was going to read clearly, yet not be too cute. Too often pandas are dismissed as sweet and simple. I wanted to capture something more handsome and real.
I will immodestly admit that as soon as I stamped him I said (aloud), “I love you.” I was very pleased with how his fur came out. Instead of thinking of the white as negative space that needed to be carved away completely, I stopped myself from being too meticulous and stayed with the “grain” of the fur. This effect gives him a certain texture and depth.
(Below is a picture of him before being carved. Before the rubber meets the road, so to speak. It is a mental exercise to imagine the positive and negative spaces contrasting.)
It rained all morning here and gave me some indoor time to carve the third winged creature in my collection. I’d say it was a trilogy, but I can’t be sure there won’t be another animal begging for wings in the near future.
I am master of avoidance. As soon as I have an assignment I can think of all sorts of things to do… but that. Black and white animals have taken a momentary backseat to my current obsession with wrongly winged fauna.
It started with the rabbit I did for a friend of mine with a farm (Rabbit Wing Farm). Various animals started jumping through my head as I went to sleep. I get very persistent images that can’t be ignored until they make it out of my thoughts and into the world. It’s sort of like an exorcism.
This is all of my stamps to date. Unfortunately, while standing on a chair and trying to get them all in the frame, the focus got a little lost. But on this rare occasion it is quantity, not quality, that counts.
Nigel, my cat, jumped on the table to show scale.
These stamps are just a collection of creepy things I haven’t found a proper home/setting for yet. I’m sure they’ll come in handy at Halloween.
I took a picture of this hippo at the Museum of Natural History, DC. I have a soft spot for yawning hippos. Though, truth be told they are not yawning but showing dominance and aggression.
I made this stamp for a new friend who owns Rabbit Wing Farm. The minute he told me the name I had an image flash in my head. I happily made his logo into a stamp, but couldn’t shake the image I had first gotten. I had to make it into a stamp as well. They are very different moods. (Top one is their logo. Bottom one is my creation.)