Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cats in Art: Turnip (Bednar)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.  

I have a loved one who lives in Eureka, CA, and works at the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art.  So...I have previously highlighted several works from The Graves Museum, but thanks to the loved one, have a couple more to share. 

Here's what the museum website says about their mission:

Museum art collections represent the nation’s patrimony and heritage, and the Humboldt Arts Council is conscious that we are entrusted with a resource that essentially belongs to the whole community— it’s yours to enjoy!

Collecting works of art is one of the most basic undertakings of an art museum. Moreover, what the museum collects strongly determines its overall character and influence in the art community at large. As a consequence, the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art is founded upon the principles of ethical art collecting and stewardship. The Museum recognizes that it holds for posterity a significant portion of our cultural wealth.  The Morris Graves Museum of Art is dedicated to the arts and artists of the Pacific Northwest with the highest priority given to the works of our patron artist, Morris Graves. Emphasis is placed on collecting art which builds on the evolving strengths of the collection and which also have a significant potential for long-term usefulness. 

Image credit Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Turnip, Julia Bednar, size and media information unavailable.

So, this fine pussycat must be Turnip.  I wish that the genesis of his name (I assume this kitty is a male but I don't actually know that) was known to me, for that's the kind of human interest (or kitty interest) story that truly appeals to me.

Of course, the bride and I tend to name our cats using human names--Sam, Charlotte, Amanda, Sammy, Molly-- but that's our choice.  Turnip might well be the best of all possible names for this beauty.

At any rate, Turnip is a fine looking cat who seems to be boring into your mind with those eyes.  Julia Bednar captures so well that intense kitty gaze just won't quit; I just knew she surely must know and live with cats.  from the museum website:

Julia maintains an art studio at her home where she lives with several cats, strays who came from the gully to live with her and who often become subjects of her paintings. Her studio is open by appointment during the year. According to ancient Chinese make art good enough to enter people's hearts is called "making stone into gold". That has become Julia's mission and her mantra.

On the artistic side, the eyes are simply perfect, the progressive shadowing from left to right is spot-on, and the layering of the fur is so realistic.  And the whiskers are to die for.

But it's the eyes, always the eyes, that keep drawing me back to Turnip's face.  I'd love to see more!

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