Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Pink Dress for Miss Kit E.

"And what do you think Miss Kit E?", I asked our little princess. Having just finished her wee, pink dress, she turned this way and that, jumped on top of her trunk, purred, and said it was very pretty.

I'm seriously having to question my mouse brain as to whether or not I'll be able to do this tiny work much longer! I know I always say this and then once again launch into something equally tiny and difficut. sigh Such is the challenge. I've been doing this a long, long time, but it never gets any easier, I promise you that. And, then there was that tail to design the dress around! Well, she was a sweet and mannerly little model. It is a very serious thing when a mouse plays with a cat, no matter how tiny she is.

But, look!! The trunk is done, the back side illustration has been painted, Miss Kit E. is dressed, and its on to the little details. Should I put a handle on top of the trunk so the Pipos kitty doll can carry it with her? I think so. And, Miss Kit E. needs a few toys to play with as well. The goal is a finished trunk set by the end of the month.

Time to rest my eyes and paws, and enjoy this very rainy weekend. I hear there is snow falling in the mountains!

Miss E. Mouse

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Tail of Halloween

Okay, so I didn't use Hartung! But, can you believe the sweetness and fun of Mainzer's cats? It took me a very long time to make a decision on what images to use for the little kitty's trunk. As I browsed over and over again, the postcards on ebay, I was simply struck by the wonderful imagination and spunk these two artist's possessed. At great expense, I won and purchased three vintage Mainzer postcards. This one of a Halloween street fair couldn't be resisted! Just look a the little cat in the Dutch costume! I have always loved things Dutch. I think it stems from a pin my auntie gave me when I was a little mouse. It was an enameled pin of a little Dutch girl and boy. I used to look at it for hours thinking about their costumes and where they lived, what Holland was like. So for Halloween, I am sharing this darling postcard by Mainzer, printed in Switzerland. If you have a few minutes, do take a look on ebay and see what these artists came up with.

Kitty now has one half of her trunk painted. I think its always fun to see a work in progress, but its also fun to have a look at the materials and studio where the piece is being created. My work in acrylics hails from a background in oils and a love of watercolor. Acrylic is not the easiest medium to work with since it dries so quickly and builds up a texture. Yet, many layers of thin, watercolor from acrylic can produce the nicest effect on a tiny trunk.

In the front of the trunk, I've painted a little kitty girl handing a freshly picked rose to a mama kitty in a yellow striped apron. This vignette was inspired by one of Mainzer's postcards. The garden displayed kitties pruning, hoeing, planting vegetables, and one silly cat watering another by mistake. In all of Hartung's and Mainzer's paintings, there is always a calamity or two occuring. As I continue to work on this little trunk, it is the sweetness that I am pulling from the pictures to create a kitty child's plaything.

In all honesty, the ginger cat and tabby fur was very difficult to render. The mind plays tricks on you and you have to concentrate on shape and color, rather than what you know the thing to be. Also when painting this small, an artist has to be careful not to overcrowd the scene, yet include enough to tell a story and create a pleasant presentation.

The entire trunk is being painted with this one brush you see in the photo. It is a Windsor Newton Sceptre 0000, synthetic sable. Even at that, I've removed several bristles to give it a finer point. Little pools of watery acrylic have dried on the wax pallette showing the colors, some mixed, used to paint the front of the trunk. It is my dream that one day someone will value my tools and scrap pallettes as much as the finished work. sigh!

Happy Autumn, Happy Halloween! And, back to work for me.


Miss E. Mouse