"What the Cat Saw", an exhibition of 13 cat art works, is on display at the Dragon Fly Arts on Broadway Gallery in Orangeville, Ontario, until the morning of May 24th, 2011. The majority of the art work are oil paintings but there is also an original lithograph. You can see part of the black and white original litho "yes?!" in the bottom right of the photo above.
What's a lithograph you ask? Although the term lithography is often used in reference to posters or other fine art reproductions, that is NOT what this is. This type of lithography refers to an original work of art, the way an original etching or serigraph is. I drew this cat in reverse on a big piece of limestone that had to be sanded perfectly flat. The drawing was then etched on the stone, and special lithography black ink was rolled over it. Arches paper I had torn to size was placed on top of the inked image, a cover felt on top of that and then the whole thing was run through a press, ONCE. Details, texture and values are achieved through the accurate etching, the quality of the drawing on the stone, and the careful inking. I did this 13 times to achieve an edition of 13. The drawing on the stone was then ground off. The resulting 13 prints are the art.
It was great fun to set up in the window of the Dragonfly Gallery, a first for me. Why the Dragonfly Gallery? Quite a few reasons actually. I don't mind selling amongst potters and jewellers at all. At the Williams Mill, I am quite accustomed to working alongside professionals who work in all media. The Dragonfly is a mini Mill type gallery with studios at the back. A bigger reason through is Joan Hope, the owner of Dragonfly. She LOVES her artists. She is proud of them, can talk knowledgeably about what they do and she looks out for them. As well, she values her customers and works hard at knowing what they want! In fact, she won the the 2010 Hills of Headwaters "Best Customer Service Experience ". Plus, many local hardworking, creative artists I know and admire sell out of the Dragonfly. So, count me in!
As the work went up in the window, many a passerby would stop, watch, and comment, too. A young man enquired about the 5 foot high "Silver Light" painting, and the slightly smaller "Blue Eyes Inside". After a pleasant conversion about my art, we discovered, he was the great nephew of the iconic Joyce Wieland, often regarded as Canada's foremost female artist and the late wife of the equally important artist Michael Snow. It was a long time ago, but when I did lithography (the lithograph Yes?! is an earlier art work), I did a residency at St Michael's Workshop in Newfoundland. At that time it was located in a small village about 30 minutes outside of St. John's. The previous tenant who I had just missed? Joyce Wieland. When I left, if I could have stayed just a few hours more I would have had the privilege of meeting Christopher Pratt and his then Wife Mary Pratt. How great would that have been!
Oh, life and its mysteries! lol
And speaking of mysteries.. if you would like to solve the mystery of "What the Cat Saw" visit Dragonfly Arts on Broadway until the morning of May 24th.