Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The making of "Mad Cat"

This is "Mad Cat".
Of the pieces I created for M Modern's Fairy Tales Retold show a few years back, this is one of my favorites.

The name is a play on the title of this Henry Fuseli painting, "Mad Kate", from 1806. It portrays a woman who has lost her lover at sea, and all of her marbles as a result, apparently. I saw this in the Tate Britian and it blew me away.

It was as though it had been painted exclusively to be hung in a haunted house somewhere.

I was also heavily influenced by the work and Plight of English artist Louis Wain.
Wain drew quaint postcards of anthropomorphic cats around the turn of the last century.

But later in his life, as he descended into schizophrenia , his work became increasingly abstracted and psychedelic.

When creating the sketches and painting, I deliberately avoided looking at reference for either inspiration.

I wanted to capture that slightly deranged look that can be found even in Wain's early work.
Is she covered in bugs?This is a thumbnail color comp. Looks like I was planning for birds in the sky still.

The entire figure was painted in watercolor, to keep the painting from getting too "tight".

Sky painted in opaque gouache.

It's raining mice! (hallelujah)

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