Look a Little Closer: A Friend’s Artwork

If you are of a certain age you will remember…well, first, you may remember the rock group “Santana”, then you may remember the cover of their eponymous album, “Santana”. This cover featured an ink line drawing of a roaring lion which, on closer inspection, was actually composed of sketches of many other subjects worked together to create the features of the lion’s face and mane. You’ll just have to look it up, because any further description ruins the surprise.

And I’m sure he gets tired of being compared to it, but the sketches of Chaz Letzkus take this technique way beyond what you can see in the Santana album cover, though a roaring lion wouldn’t be out of place in his gallery. Of course, he draws cats!

"Cat's Tale", ink drawing by Chaz Letzkus

"Cat's Tale", ink drawing by Chaz Letzkus

Above, so it’s big enough to see, is “Cat’s Tale”, one of several drawings featuring cats he’s got in his repertoire. I’ve made it as large as possible so you can see some of the details, and below are detail images of each of the cats’ faces. Look closely!

Detail of the mother cat's face in "Cat's Tale".

Detail of the mother cat's face in "Cat's Tale".

Detail of the kitten's face in "Cat's Tale".

Detail of the kitten's face in "Cat's Tale".

At festivals, Chaz’ table is usually surrounded by people who take a quick look, then look again, then stop and look closely at all of his drawings to see what’s there. That’s the fun of them! I’ve also seen them in several veterinarian’s offices around Pittsburgh, and what better to take your mind of being at the vet than an ink drawing where cats keep materializing.

Chaz’ gallery includes not only cats but all sorts of animals domestic and wild as he used his years working at Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh, hanging around all those models and displays in the Museum of Natural History and taking advantage of all of Pittsburgh’s other creative assets in the Museum of Art and the Warhol Museums.

If you are around Pittsburgh you may have seen him at any number of festivals and shows in and around the tri-state area. In fact, I’m looking forward to seeing him as we both attend a few festivals around Pittsburgh as vendors this coming summer and fall. This is about the only way many of us vendor artists with day jobs get to see each other, but it’s kind of like homecoming showing off our new stuff, catching up and talking business, promising to get together more often.

He sells his art as matted or framed prints in various standard sizes, and as sets of notecards. He publishes a calendar every year featuring 12 sketches, a few new ones and a few old ones, and even has a few of his works available as puzzles. And any of the prints can be customized—Chaz can hide a name in the drawing to make it a special gift.

Visit his website at www.chazmania.com for more information, to see more drawings and to purchase as well!



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