Friday, 28 March 2014

Carmella's Cats....(Magical Journal Journey)

The first journal (apart from my own)  I get to create in on this year's Magical Journal Journey is Lisa Di Nunzio's. As explained in my last post, for our theme this year we have all chosen an artist who we admire. Lisa chose Modigliani whose style includes portraits of people with elongated necks and faces, often tilted to the side.
               Now at this point I have to admit to some shoddy research and foolishness on my part. Seeing quite a few 'Modigliani's' cats I misunderstood that they had been inspired by the fact that Modigliani had painted his own cat once. This led me to my idea for Carmella and her cat portrait studio. However, after painting a few cats I discovered I'd misunderstood. Modigliani himself hadn't a painting of his cat in his collection. Instead an artist called Eve Riser-Roberts had created the idea that Modigliani's cat had jumped up on the chair where his subjects had posed and Modigliani had painted him. Well it may have been fiction but it led to my own story and paintings.

My first painting is of Carmella. Bear in mind I don't/can't draw/paint people so this was a big challenge for me:


and if you click to enlarge the image below you can read the story of how she was inspired to open a cat portrait studio:

Here are a three of the neighbourhood cats that begged to be immortalised with her paintbrush:


 Another new part to our challenge this year is that we are all collaborating on the journal covers. These two cheeky chappies are my contribution. I hadn't named them but my son thought one looked like planet earth and the other like the lava that ran through it. I thought this was a clever observation by my ten year old. So maybe they could be named Lava and Gaia???....
This journal was a huge challenge for me. It stretched my abilities, pushed me outside my comfort zone and forced me to face my fears over drawing/painting faces. However, in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it :-) I do feel a little embarrassed about believing that Modigliani had actually painted his cat. However, who knows, maybe he did. Meanwhile, hopefully Eve Riser-Roberts won't mind that her blue Russian cat inspired yet another story and some characterful cats into existence.

Wishing you all a Happy & Creative week and weekend!Kat :-) x


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20 comments:

  1. WOW, Kat- I LOVE the idea of Modigliani cats, so clever accident or no! And both your Carmella (you did a great job with her btw :-)) and the cats are great- especially love Gaia and Lava and all the long necked felines. I'd be thrilled to see a Chagall-ish cat presiding in my journal (hint, hint) and he DID paint cats; on occasion!
    Anyway as always, I love the way you combine your painting art with the written- they meld so beautifully well!
    LOVE this!!!

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    1. Aw thank you Stephanie, your lovely comment means a lot. I shall keep a Chagall cat in mind when your journal comes to visit :-) Kat xx

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  2. Kat! I am completely enamored by the "Modie" style cats and there names! Jellybean is even sitting on a mandala rug...so clever of you and so personal. I think Carmella is not and should not be the last girl you paint...she is a perfectly poised young artist with great talent! I am also delighted to see a story!!! I have to say, I have become spoiled by you and always hope for a story, so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for every bit of love you squeezed into these pages! What a treasure♥ ♥ ♥
    And
    as a side note...
    Lava is the most perfect name for an orange and black kitty...I may have to steal that someday :)

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    1. Lisa (priti) - I am so pleased you like your pages and have taken all Carmella's cats to your heart. When I have a story in my head the characters become scarily real to me and so I'm glad you understand and appreciate Carmella and her feline friends :-) Thank you for all your kind words. Big hugs, Kat xx

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  3. Kat,
    I don't paint faces either and this was way out of my comfort zone as well, but YOUR Carmella is fabulous! You did a great job, I am so impressed, not to mention your clever cats and story! Such creativeness and explosive goodness....

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    1. Kim - thank you so much sweetpea :-) Judging by the rest of your art work I imagine you'll rise to the challenge of face painting much better than I did but it is lovely to know you think I did ok, thank you! Hugs, Kat xx

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  4. Darn submit button ... Love all that you did ! Wow. ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Lol, Kim, that submit button (especially one on facebook) gets me frequently too :-) Xx

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  5. Your pages are wonderful. Love the story and
    love your cats xxx Too cute

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    1. Gemma, thank you, glad you like the cats & their story :-) Hugs, Kat xx

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  6. Well ladies - just wait until you see this 'in the flesh/fur'!! You Modi cats are just purrfect Kat (so many puns...), and now that you have shown us you CAN paint faces then we definitely want to see MORE MORE MORE!! You have plenty of time to practice until Matisse drops on your doorstep! I think I may have to paint my cats now - you have totally inspired me!

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    1. Lisa (Wright) - thank you :-) You're all being so kind about my face painting attempts but your suport is boosting my confidence, so: thank you :-) It is true that this years journal journey is pushing me into things I may just have avoided out of fear & lack of confidence. I may just try another face if the coming artists encourage it :-) I look forward to seeing your cats soon! Hugs, Kat Xx

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  7. Okay, Kat, you've been holding out on us! What do you mean, you "can't paint faces"?!? I love Carmella's sweet face and she is very Modigliani-esque! As Lisa said, we will definitely be expecting MORE faces. (Of course only if you enjoy painting faces...) Your story is amazing as usual. I hope you turn this into a children's book ~ instant best seller. And last but definitely not least, love love LOVE the cats! Cats are my favorite, and these each have unique personalities. I love Signorina Ginger-Spice, she is very regal and a bit nose-in-the-air lol!

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    1. Maggie - like I've just replied to Lisa (above) you're all being really kind about by face painting attempts but your support has given my confidence a boost, thank you :-) My lack of skill coupled with a crippling lack of self confidence in drawing/painting people has stopped me but this swap has forced my hand in a positive way and shown me that I may manage a semi-recognisable face maybe with lots of practice & only if I can get over my lack of self belief. Funny how often when we let go and take the leap we are introduced to new opportunities and possibilities. You MJJ girls have helped me make those leaps and trust in experimentation.
      Like you, I love cats! My son showed our cat my drawings but sadly he was not particularly impressed, lol :-) And actually, there may just be a full story in this. I have a ton of story ideas & excerpts...now I need to believe in my ability to turn them into something complete, worth publishing and sharing. Watch this space....:-)
      Hugs
      Kat Xx

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  8. Love your art style with the sweet girl and cats ~ wonderful! ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol

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    1. Thank you Carol, and artmusedog too :-) Kat x

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  9. Oh I love what you've done Kat! You've definitely channelled Modigliani in style and with that deliciously rich red. Carmella is adorable and those elegant felines are fabulous - I love the frames and the names you've given them (Ginger Spice made me laugh!) I'd love to see the whole gallery of Carmella's cats xx

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    1. Hi Angie - lovely to have you visit, missing you, please do pop by our back room on facebook sometimes. Hope you had a good week away. And thank you for your lovely comment :-) I did enjoy these cats and am tempted to create more so you never know.....:-) Hugs, Kat xx

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