Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sneaky Pictures

Sometimes a picture just creeps up on you, like a little blue cat on silent feet, and jumps into your lap.

©L.Ciacco 2011, Girl With Blue Cat, acrylic, graphite, found text on paper, 7.5 x 5 in.

I keep small pages of watercolour paper on hand and use up left-over paint on them, building up layers and textures, drawing into the wet paint without paying much attention.  Until one day, the page starts to "speak" to me in some way; some aspect of it catches my attention and I begin to see an image coming through.  I follow this ghostly presence and see where it leads me.  And thus a picture gradually unfolds.

I think this Girl With Blue Cat is a message from my subconscious about the recent disappearance of my little grey kitty.


  1. I've always been intrigued by that kind of process - use it with collage. Isn't amazing how there is something there, waiting to come out?

    Love your work Lynne.

  2. Hi Lynne
    Well I'm a fan of everything you create.. so this little girl is no exception... sorry to hear about your kitty kat...

    have a great weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

  3. I've heard of sculptors that carve away at stone until the image or figure within starts to emerge. Or writers with stream of consciousness. I heard Neil Young say when interviewed that he feels that he didn't really write or compose any of his own songs, that they were given to him somehow. So I think you are participating in a grand artistic tradition and an exercise in freeing your subconscious, or maybe even channeling to some extent. And the outcome is our precious gift.

  4. Bonnie,
    Something there, waiting to come out, if only we take the time to pay attention and give it the space to take form. And then recognize it when it appears!

  5. Julie,
    A fan of everything I create?! Well then, it looks like we've got a little mutual admiration society going on.

  6. Stickup,
    It took me some time to arrive at this juncture in my way of making art to just allow things to emerge, either from my subconscious or on the support before me. I guess I've learned to trust my own process...and get that inner critic out of the way. That what emerges might be considered a precious gift by another is a precious gift to myself. Thank you!

  7. Lynne, sorry to hear your kitty disappeared. We had a male cat take off for 6 weeks once, but he came back.
    I noticed when I saw this in person that the cat has a magical feel to it. He looks safe and loved.

  8. the girl's eyes look kinda sad, even though she has a cat in her lap. although maybe it is a cat ghost as we can see through him/her. Poignant

    again thank you for your thoughtful comments on my poem

  9. Shayla,
    I'm so pleased you found your way to Ragzedge and left your calling card so that I can find you! I've heard several stories of people's cats returning after very long disappearances but I'm pretty sure the coyotes got mine. She was 18 so at least had had a good long life, in cat years.
    It's hard to get textured work to translate adequately into pixels, especially when it's scanned, I find. I had a heck of a time with this image, in fact. That's so nice, what you said about the blue cat seeming safe and loved.

  10. sukipoet,
    "Maybe it's a cat ghost"--I didn't really think of that. And in that case, of course the girl would be sad. I guess it really is a self-portrait about my loss of Tasha. Odd how feelings surface and manifest.

  11. Delicious paint a magnificent portrait. I love the colors.

  12. Leovi,
    Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your comment.

  13. Lynne, I love this one! the girl is so quirky and wonderful. And I love the simplicity of the cat--all that is needed to show how cuddly he is. It's so interesting to hear how it just snuck up on you.

  14. Robin,
    "Quirky and wonderful"--what great personality traits to give my girl! I guess you've noticed by now that I don't do cute.
    The cat, much like the Cheshire in Alice in Wonderland, just took form, seemingly on its own. I'm pleased that the simple form works for you.

    I thought of you today as I moved a box of uphostery scraps/samples and was tempted to start teaming one pattern with another and cutting out shapes. I got a grip on myself though, and put the box away and went back to the task at my studio.

  15. so fascinated with this one, i can't take my eyes from her - are her hands and arms protecting the cat, holding it close or opening to release it? what is she thinking of? i know i have often said this when it comes to your painting of girls and boys, but i find their expressions incredible, and so unique, i really see your special 'signature' in the way you manage to make their faces both a mirror and a veil for their souls: a mirror, because we see the feelings reflected on it, sadness, reverie, longing, absent-mindedness too - but also a veil because there is something uncanny there, perpetually hiding from us, the more i look, the less certain i become that i understand what these feelings are, such ambiguity, always...

    ps. i have a girl with a blue blouse on the Bridge!

  16. Roxana,
    ...or is the cat merely a projection/manifestation of the girl's secret dreams, which could be as simple as wanting a pet cat, or as complex as wishing to be loved and protected (which is perhaps the same thing...can everything in life be reduced to the need to be loved?) As a child, I learned to keep certain thoughts, feelings, beliefs to myself. Perhaps that is why the faces in my paintings are challenging to read. Childhood is no simple playground of endless delights and innocence. Well, it can be that, but it is also full of dark corners and fears that must be contained.
    I had a feelig that you would like this girl. And your girl with the fabulous blue blouse is enigmatic and beautiful, too!