An A3 lino print of a black cat napping on a rug

The making of the Cat Nap print

I've always had cats, my family had them before I was born, I've never known any different. When my husband and I moved into our first house, we sought out our own cat and we found Matilda. An 8 week old little black kitten that had been taken away from her mummy too soon. Matilda is now 17.5 and still thriving and as beautful as ever. She is and will always be, baby number 1, and my only girl. 

I've been a professional artist and printmaker for over two years now and for some reaons unbeknown to me, I've never created a print or painting of a cat! One day, inspiration struck, I'm not really sure from where, but I had a visual pop into my head of a black cat lying on a rug sleeping. I didn't want to add lots of detail, but keep it really simple. Anyone who's owned a black cat knows taking a photo of them is like trying to photograph a void, it's almost impossible to capture detail. So I wanted to emulate that in this print.

A lino block being carved of a cat sleeping

As for the rug, I'd planned on something ornate and victorian. But as I started drawing and planning I knew I wanted and needed to incorporate stars - I love stars and they feature in a lot of my work. As the design developed, it become more celestial, with moons too. The moons and starts near the cat were big and bold, so I carved some simple elements into them so they wouldn't draw too much attention away from the cat. 

It was a fairly late decision to include the leaves, and I'm so glad I did, I love the earthy feel they bring. Nature features in almost all my work, so this felt very natural.
The finished lino block of a cat sleeping on a rug

The print itself is carved into Japanese vinyl onto a block that's 200mm x 300 mm and printed onto Japanese ho-sho paper which is just under A3 in size. It's lightweight and an absolute pleasure to print on. So far I've only printed it in black, but I will also be printing up a few in orange at a customer request, I think it's a great idea! Maybe I should do a blue/grey too?

You can order yours here.

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