Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cat's Eyes on Cat's Eye

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Painted - Nov. 19 - Dec. 5, 2007, #139.

This painting is part of an on-going series that celebrates authors in a visual way. In the past, I've explored imagery with books by noted Canadian authors as Carol Shields and Yann Martel. I read Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood in 1989, and it remains one of my favorite books. This work of fiction tells the story of painter Elaine Risley who is returning to Toronto for a retrospective of her work, the city where she was born and fled after her first divorce. She becomes obsessed with events from her childhood, adolescence, past relationships with men, friends and family she left behind. It is a brilliant introspective novel filled with humor, compassion and wisdom.

The cover art was done to reflect one of the paintings (Unified Field Theory) that is part of her show as described in the book . This illustration is by Jamie Bennet. The figure on the book cover is the Virgin of Lost Things. She holds an over sized cat's eye marble at her heart level. The title for this painting actually came to me before I actually did the photo study for the painting, here again it's a play with words.

Margaret Atwood is regarded both by the public and critics as one of Canada's literary treasures. She has been awarded the Man Booker prize for her novel The Blind Assassin, the Giller prize for Alias Grace and the Governor General Award for Handmaid's Tale. Cat's Eye was a finalist for both the Governor General and the Man Booker prize. Mrs. Atwood lives in Toronto.
-private collection