Mimi gives a fond greeting to Grimalkin, our feline protector spirit at the entrance to our porch. Then she gives her a nose tap. It’s time to feature yet another of my early art projects.
I carved Grimalkin from limestone in an art class in high school, and aside from a few years during college when she guarded my parents’ back yard have been lugging her around with me since. Below are a few more views of her. I love sculpture but didn’t have enough time to really finish her as I’d planned, partly because I had no idea how to carve in limestone. You can see her general shape and her tail from the front, but her face, well, not much in profile. And I didn’t get to finish her ears at all, but I’m really fond of her.
“Grimalkin” or “greymalkin” is an archaic British Isles term for “cat” beginning with “gray” and ending with a diminutive of the woman’s name “Maud”. The British have always done very interesting things with language. It’s sometimes used as an insult for a woman as well, but a cat named Grimalkin helps the three blind witches in Shakespeare’s MacBeth look into his future. Of course, grimalkins were also associated with withcraft and the devil by Christian traditions, but in Scotland the grimalkin was a faery cat who wandered the highlands. It was the faery cat of the Scottish highlands as I remembered my beloved fields and pastures and my first readings of Shakespeare who helped me name her and recognize her special qualities. However, I should possibly check to see if she’s been welcoming stray kitties all these years. Mimi probably knows, but she’s not telling.
I do remember walking around my mother’s back yard with my niece and introducing her to Grimalkin and telling her the statue was haunted. Well, my elders told me things like that. I apparently traumatized my niece with that and reminded me of this when I shared this on Instagram. Apparently even my mother backed me up on the tale. All is well with my niece today, and we’ll just attribute the little story to a budding fiction writer enamored of both the Scottish highlands in Jane Eyre and the intrigue of Shakespeare.
Each week on Wednesday I feature a piece of artwork, sometimes a current or historic portrait, sometimes an illustration or an art project from years ago, usually cat-themed, but sometimes wildlife or even non-animal subjects, and even projects from my commercial art life. Read other Featured Artwork posts.
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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun! —