Happy “Love Cat” Day!

This collagraph seemed befitting for Valentine’s Day! It’s based on my beloved Abyssinian cat, Fuzzbie.

    "Love Cat" 2011. 22"x30" collagraph.
“Love Cat” 2011. 22″x30″ collagraph.

I particularly love her profile, which inspired me to create a collagraph. After weeding through the 100 or so photos of her, I finally chose one (see below).

Fuzzbie, my Abyssinian cat
Fuzzbie, my Abyssinian cat

I emailed it to a local Staples Copy & Print Shop to be printed quite large.  I taped tracing paper over it to transfer her image to the black matboard I used as the base for my collagraph plate. I proceeded to very carefully cut the image out using both a box cutter and scissors. Once her profile emerged, I cut out a heart!

From this point forward, I delved into my assortment of textured decorative papers and scraps to strategically and thoughtfully paste them all over Fuzzbie’s cut out image. Once I felt pleased, I moved onto the “tiny” heart.

When they were finished, I painted them with a layer of Gesso to protect the paper and matboard. This was always a trial as I had to lay paper towels all over our tiny kitchen counter (we lived in New York City at that time!). I was also always a bit impatient with this step, mainly because I was excited to print and because it was late at night!

Early the next morning, I’d take the dried plates to the rooftop to spray them with Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating, the last step in protecting them. Leaving them upstairs to dry, gave me the perfect amount of time to have breakfast and prepare for the day. Then, I’d gather the plates and supplies to walk the mile and a half to Parsons School of Design for my studio time.

Initially I arranged the plates to coincide (therefore the heart plate was cut smaller than the opening), but unfortunately I misplaced the heart at the studio… I have only one impression of Fuzzbie with her heart (see below).

"Love Cat with Heart" 2011. 22" x 30" collagraph
“Love Cat with Heart” 2011. 22″ x 30″ collagraph

Both versions, with and without the heart, have qualities I like. I may in fact prefer “her” with the stark negative space in place of her heart. I feel it makes the heart stand out that much more! Which do you prefer?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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2 thoughts on “Happy “Love Cat” Day!

    1. Thank you! I also think Abyssinian cats, as is my Fuzzbie, were a favorite amongst the Ancient Egyptians! You actually read my mind – I was going to mention Ancient Egypt, but for whatever reason, didn’t.

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