Two Black Cats

two black cats looking out a window

An Inspiration

Mewsette and Giuseppe have a front row position to watch the great outdoors outside the big window otherwise known as Cat TV.

Their positions reminded me of a famous poster design, “A La Bodiniere”, by Théophile Steinlein, the painter, illustrator and Art Nouveau printmaker who helped set the standard for poster design and has been a great inspiration to me as both a graphic designer and a feline artist.

Steinlein was one of the most famous feline artists of any era, sketching and painting his cats all the time and incorporating their images into his designs. Easily recognizable among his designs are “Tournee du Chat Noir” and no doubt many people have seen “Clinique Chéron” hanging in their veterinarian’s office.

One of my favorite things to sit and study is a beat-up old copy of the Dover Art Library’s Steinlein Cats, showing me pages from his everyday sketchbooks of cats in charcoal, ink, watercolor, studies of paw and ears and noses, a momcat nursing her kittens, a little cartoon of a cat who spilled the milk; what a joy for me to share the inspirations of another artist so intimately.

So were Mewsette and Giuseppe posing for me as an inspiration? If they hadn’t been on my main sketchbook that may have worked, and when I got up to get my smaller sketchbook and drawing bag, they hopped up and came with me. My studio and office used to be integrated and drawing materials were here with my disks and computer paper; I have now installed a couple of sketchpads and drawing materials at my desk. I never know when it will happen.


4 Comments on “Two Black Cats”

  1. […] A few of his poster designs from before the turn of the last century are iconic, as I mentioned in a post about a photo of mine that reminded me of one of his […]

  2. […] A few of his poster designs from before the turn of the last century are iconic, as I mentioned in a post about a photo of mine that reminded me of one of his […]

  3. Marg says:

    That happens to me when I try to take a picture. They all either just walk away or jump up to do something else. Just have to be patient. Would be kind of hard to carry your sketch pad around in your pocket.

    • animalartist says:

      Marg~I always had one at my desk, now I do again–I can get quite a bit done from my desk chair wihtout disturbing them! I can sometimes catch them in other places if they don’t notice me, but it’s a challenve.


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