Blog:  Crooked Cat Cottage No 1

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 


Follow me on Facebook

I’m on Instagram as rozgadd. Install the app to follow my photos and videos.

I am also on Twitter @GaddRoz

How I made “Friendship”

The Inspiration 

“Friendship” is the second piece in a series for The Crooked Cat Cottage. This is a rescue house for our feline friends at Sheep Sanctuary, a plant based sanctuary that is home to many animals. 

The Hawkin’s Residence is being made into the  “Crooked Cat Cottage” which is home to rescued cats and a rehoming centre that will be a quirky summer rental too. If you love cats this is the holiday home for you! 

The house belonged to a lovely man who loved his cats. He was a key part of the Sanctuary and when he passed away it was a crushing blow to his dear friends who he ran the Sanctuary with. They are making Crooked Cat Cottage in his honour and so I thought that something about celebrating friendship seemed very appropriate. 


Thoughts, Research & Pulling it together …

So, a cat and a sheep, showing the two parties in this amazing partnership.

The more I find out about sheep the more it’s clear how loving they can be.  And how forgiving they are, especially after the, often very terrible, things they have been through before being rescued. 

Cats often are not seen as not very  loving but that just isn’t true. They are just particular where and how they show their affection. Cats often show that they love you through a head bump.  Cats do this to members of their colony as a sign of unity. They have scent glands on their head just above the eye and below their ear, which excretes pheromones that they rub on you to make you smell like them. They want you mark you as theirs with a communal smell because cats recognise each other by smell before anything else.

So, we have a shared moment of love and unity between a sheep and a cat. In my mind, the cat is standing on a fence so the friends can have this moment of quiet unity and mutual affection. 

For me this  also is about unusual and unexpected friendships.

The symbol in the top right corner is a Celtic symbol of friendship. I like to include symbols to add meaning and a mystical element, the Celts being a mystical race where my roots are. 

I made the symbol gold and picked this up in the eye of the sheep too to add balance and also a lustrous feel to the piece. 

The circles or dots are also about magic and I use them a lot in my pieces of art. The circle is universally used to represent notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, all cyclic movement and even God.  I think it adds to the meaning of the piece and gives it a magical quality as well. 


Where you can find it

Purchase a beautiful Gilcée print of Friendship here

At least 10% of any profits made from the sale of “Friendship” are donated to Sheep Sanctuary

Want to know more: 

 Find out more about Crooked Cat Cottage 


Follow me on Facebook

I’m on Instagram as rozgadd. Install the app to follow my photos and videos.

I am also on Twitter @GaddRoz

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