Blog:  Crooked Cat Cottage No 1

room with sofa and on wall is large drawing with cat

Crooked Cat Cottage Series  No 1

So, I am going backwards through time as the last blog entry was about the second piece in the series. This post is about the first piece! In this one, I wanted to represent the Crooked Cat Cottage itself.  

The Inspiration: 

When I talked about it, people kept asking me, was it the cat or the cottage that was crooked?  And that got me thinking. And the poem about the crooked man with this crooked cat seeped into my mind: 

“There was a crooked man

And he walked a crooked mile

He found crooked sixpence

And a crooked stile

He bought a crooked cat

Which caught a crooked mouse

And they all lived together

In a crooked little house”

The Cat: 

A crooked cat…I thought about our Labrador, Shadow  – who has a (slightly) crooked tail after it was run over by my daughters wheelchair when he was a puppy! I have tell you that she wasn’t driving it at the time (she is quite vehement about this point). 

A cat that came to mind, is a cat that I think looks so cute but has “crooked” ears and that is the Scottish Fold (I know they are folded really).  They seem such characters. A scout around and I found this lovely example. Such a funny cat and just right for this project. It’s the main element of the piece so it’s the focus by virtue of its size and that everything else is surrounds it. 

The Cottage:

The crooked cottage part was easy, Sharon who owns Crooked Cat Cottage knows exactly what she wants regarding the aesthetic. I like to play with scale and like things to be a bit abstract, also as they are elements representing one thing, being in a tower seemed the right things so they were together – so on the cat’s head it went! 


Romantic Mice:

I hate to think of crooked mice as it makes me think of mouse traps, but I still waned a mouse or two, for fun and little bit of whimsy. So, Romeo and Juliet mice, balancing on the cat…

Sheep just want have fun…and be hugged

Therefore sheep had to be included as the Crooked Cat Cottage is part of Sheep Sanctuary. Sharon, who owns the Sanctuary, describes her sheep in such detail you can’t help  but see their unique, loving and playful characters. What could be more fitting than a sheep helter-skelter. 


Enormous Food: 

Honestly I don’t have a reason for the enormous cherry. I just love very small, teeny weeny food or, alternatively, super size food. When I was planning the piece I was  eating shiny plump cherries and they made me happy so it seemed very obvious, maybe only to me, that everything would be enhanced by the addition of a huge shiny cherry… I think was right ! 


Magical Mollusks and Feathered Maestros:  

So, I turned my thoughts to what else might be found around the Crooked Cat Cottage, I decided that snails and birds would be good additions. My daughter had just been showing me she some snails from our garden and how you can see-through them when they eat, so…it wasn’t too much of a leap for me to have one drinking a ‘shake.  They also “hide” in the garden, so playing hide-and-seek was a cute reference to my daughters disappearing snail friends…

The bird is having a lot to say, as birds do, but I wanted it to be sitting on a swing, or in a hot air ballon. Something that didn’t quite make sense because its a bird, but that they might enjoy anyway. So, I decided on a swing. But I didn’t wasn’t a bit of tree or branch sticking into the picture, so, combining the balloon idea, I got a bird singing on swing held up by balloons…of course! 



I do realise that there is a bit of a complication in that the cat would love to eat some of the little friends around it, and the bird probably would gobble up the snails.  However, its a shiny magical world where they are all vegan and are nice to each other! 


Other composition elements:

Graphite is my main medium. I love to add a little bit of colour, especially a metallic paint or ink which I think compliments the shiny nature of graphite really well and allows “spotlighting”. It also gives a little bit of a luxury feel whilst I grunge things up. I love playfulness and abstract fun but I don’t want it to be too twee. So the grungy nature and the metallics balance each other and stop things becoming too sweet.  

In most of my art you will find circles or dots.  They have spiritual meaning and magical allure to me, so they are a bit of a personal motif.


Where you can find it:

Purchase a beautiful Gilcée print of Crooked Cat Cottage here

Sheep Sanctuary will receive at least 10% of profits made from the sale of “Crooked Cat Cottage”.

Want to know more: 

 Find out more about Crooked Cat Cottage 


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