the catalyst for Cat A List

A Creative Life, animals in art, artistic inspirations, cat portrait, Cats in art, fine art, visual thinking

I live in wine country and wine tastings are part of the culture. It’s common to hear comments like “2013 was a very good year for Pinot Noir!” Which means I’ve had my eyes opened to the fact that the same grape variety can taste differently from year to year.

This has prompted me to read books about Pacific NW wine and wine making in general.  It’s amazing how many tiny little things can affect a wine’s flavor; the soil, the slope of the land, whether it’s near water, how warm/cool the temperature average is, the amount of rainfall and of course bugs and animals. Too much wind, or smoke from wildfires can also affect the grape and the taste of the wine.

And there’s the effect of the winemaker, the maker’s many small choices add up: the harvest date chosen, the fermentation temperature, the choice of what kind of barrel or tank to ferment in, the type of cork and bottle to use – and many thousands of other minute mundane decisions.

It seems to be a combination of both art and science.  Which makes me even more curious about wine and more appreciative of the wines I drink.

So rather than writing an essay about what I’ve learned and my thoughts and feelings about it – I’m creating a visual story of a curious cat character – who is investigating a wine list. I did a “vine” background pattern because, you know, grape vines… and I chose a brindle cat breed because wine making is subtle blending of many different elements.


And here is the finished piece:


“Cat A List” by Clancy 30 x 24 x 2 inches Hand dyed, hand stenciled paper and acrylic on cradled board

I’ve titled it “Cat A List” for reasons alluded to above, plus the definition of the word ‘catalyst’ and because I’ve learned that, just like professional fine artist’s, wine makers typically only offer their “A List”, the selection of what they think is their best work, to the public.  And this best-of list can vary from year to year.

Which makes this region the perfect place for this wine-curious cat (aka me) to live!


5 thoughts on “the catalyst for Cat A List

  1. I love how much meaning and thinking goes into your artwork and I do enjoy your word play too. I love the expression and pose on this cat. I’ve met a few oenophiles (is that the right word?) who this portrait remind me of. Lovely work.

    1. Thank you so much!!! I’ve met some wine drinkers like this too – and they inspired this pose! People in the Pacific Northwest are seldom as formally dressed as my cat is – but somehow give the “well dressed” appearance when drinking a good wine even if only wearing a T-shirt and jeans! Lol! Glad you enjoyed the word play too! Thank you!!

  2. The cat’s expression is fantastic. It looks like he’s thinking “What is that undernote – blackberry or raspberry? Am I tasting wet cement or wet mica?”

    1. Thank you! I was trying for the “thoughtful” expression on a cat. I used my cat as a model. He often looks like he is thinking – or scheming. 😉

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!