Composition with Cat

“Composition with Cat”  drawn in June 2020 with Luminance coloured pencils. 32 x 29 cm.

Serendipity!  Three days before I took the photo which became my source for “Composition with Cat” Alicia and I had already visited the cat community at Ospedale Civile in Venice.  I showed the image below of Alicia (middle daughter) talking to the cats in my recent blog post “The Hospital Cat“.

Alicia is stroking the SAME CAT as in my drawing!

I had already begun drawing “Composition with Cat” when I happened to look back at this photo of Alicia with the cats.  What a surprise I had to see that my current subject was THE CAT Alicia was stroking.  From then it was a  double delight to work on this little puss, knowing what an affectionate character he was.

In the pose for my drawing he has intense concentration on his face.  Perhaps he was eyeing a Venetian pigeon in the hospital grounds!

This composition brings to my mind the spacial divisions within the paintings of Mondrian.    (Piet Mondrian – Dutch Artist, 1872-1944.)  His paintings were pure abstraction.  Like him (but not like him) I am working with contrast of proportion and contrast of hue in a pure realism way.  He used to call his paintings either “Composition in…” or “Composition with…” hence the title I have given my drawing – “Composition with Cat”.  I am doffing my hat to Mondrian.

Make Your Own Mondrian – A Modern Art Puzzle.  We bought this at Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

Initial under-layer of colour right back at the beginning of the work.

15 thoughts on “Composition with Cat

  1. Robyn Varpins

    this is a very satisfying composition, perfectly balanced, and with a delicious array of textures.

  2. anna warren portfolio

    My first thought when I saw this was that you have returned to a very photorealist style, yet I was under no illusion that it was a photo – I think because of the textures in the wall, those wonderful bricks and crumbling windowsill. The composition (yes, definitely Mondrian!) has something to do with that too. It is very satisfying. The cat has a look in his eye that says any second now he will pounce, you only have moments to catch him here. It is a lovely moment in time.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hello Anna. Well now, I only go with my intuition as to how photorealistic or not a thing will be. I don’t even think it is a conscious thought. But I did want to get up close and personal to the stones of Venice. You can see how crumbling and eroded they are. It is a drawing of contrasts, soft cat/hard stone, contrast of hues – and also contrast of age: that is, ancient eroded stone and young about-to-pounce cat. Almost a contrast of time then – the ages on one hand, and a split second in time on another.
      And my time has changed as well. With this covid thing it feels like there is endless time to whittle away at a work which is perhaps why I am doing very detailed pieces and taking my own sweet time over them.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        Those contrasts are lovely, and they really do add to the story in the work. I can see what you mean about now having time to really immerse yourself in a drawing. If you are enjoying the process it is lovely to live within it. (I like the preliminary drawing you showed on Facebook too, such a gentle rendition.)

  3. juliepodstolski Post author

    Thanks Anna, what you said about the preliminary drawing on Facebook made me decide to add it to the bottom of this post.
    I’m going to leave cats for the time being and return to the seagull.

  4. lauraslittlecorner

    Hi, dear Julie! You are right, it’s a Mondrian like composition, with squares and geometry as background for this affectionate puss. Plus, the contrast between the hardness of bricks and stones and the delicacy of his fur. He looks so vivid and full of feline spirit. And I appreciated a lot the possibiliy to see the first part of the artwork, with the under-layer of colour (the cat fur is magnificent even at this prior step), as, there,in these muted tones, the Mondrian architecture stands out way more. Awesome and so full of cat-humanity.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hello Laura, once again, it is an absolute delight to read your comment to me. I thought of you a lot while I was drawing this cat. I knew you’d like it because this is such a cute cat! I looked forward to your seeing him. I love your term “cat-humanity”. That is beautiful.
      I will tell you why I included the drawing in its early stage. It is because I put the drawing on Facebook and some people would not believe it wasn’t a photo. And so to prove that it was not a photo I showed the preliminary drawing. Then I thought I might as well add it to the bottom of my blog post as well.
      I might draw another Venetian cat but at present I’m working on another view of a Roman seagull who I drew last December. In the current drawing there is a panorama of Rome behind the gull. It is a big work so will take the whole of July I think.
      Warmest wishes to you! Julie

      1. lauraslittlecorner

        Hello, Julie, today I’ve seen your Roman seagull. 🙂 And I commented under the post. Thank you for your words. I love cats, I missed your blog and drawings. Facebook gave me any sort of problems, from haters to trolls… people seem to experience, there, any lack of politeness. If they only knew how much preparatory work is under an artwork… but I hope your Facebook experience be better than mine. 🙂

  5. juliepodstolski Post author

    I am sorry to see you have had trouble on Facebook. Why don’t you ‘friend’ me? I would ‘friend’ you but I don’t know your name on Facebook so I can’t. I am very easy to find as there is only one Julie Podstolski on all of Facebook. I don’t have problems with cruel comments thankfully. The people in the art groups I am in have good manners.

    1. lauraslittlecorner

      Dear Julie, I’ve replied you in the other post, but maybe I replied in the wrong box… thank you for yesterday, it was a great surprise and I was so happy. Thank you again. Probably I had ask your frienship on FBK time ago, because I follow your blog from years. As I love coloured pencils and I was googleing articles and similar, it happened to find you and your drawings, so I started to read the posts. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.