2 February 2009

Good Luck Cat and Wabi Sabi

This is a collage of Tia the cat that I made to give to Julie as a little parting gift. She and her boyfriend Andy left for Australia on Saturday night :( They've been staying with us for a couple of months so it's going to be very quiet around here now!
I had a lot of fun making the picture - I used some of my stash of handmade paper for this and made whiskers from fishing line dipped in gesso!

Inspiration came from a photo (left) I'd taken a couple of weeks back of Tia in the garden and a super children's book I've just bought (for myself!) called Wabi Sabi, written by Mark Reibstein with superb collaged illustrations by Ed Young.
"Wabi Sabi, a little cat in Kyoto, Japan, had never thought much about her name until friends visiting from another land asked her owner what it meant. At last, the master says, "That's hard to explain." And that is all she says. This unsatisfying answer sets Wabi Sabi on a journey to uncover the meaning of her name, and on the way discovers what wabi sabi is: a Japanese philosophy of seeing beauty in simplicity, the ordinary, and imperfection. Using spare text and haiku, Mark Reibstein weaves an extraordinary story about finding real beauty in unexpected places. Caldecott Medal-winning artist Ed Young complements the lyrical text with breathtaking collages. Together, they illustrate the unique world view that is wabi sabi. Wabi Sabi is a unique picture book that clearly explains a new way of seeing the world to readers."

Wabi Sabi had a very long path to publication and you can read the fascinating story (in 4 parts) here and more about Ed Young's work here. Finally, here's a video about the making of the book.



  1. I really enjoyed your post about Wabi Sabi and Ed Young Caroline. It looks a fascinating book. As for your kitty collage - fantastic. I love the eyes particularly. What a lovely gift.

  2. Thanks, Cathy! I'd never made a collage before so this was an interesting project and I'm thinking of having a go at some more now. Yes, the book is wonderful and Ed Young's illustrations are perfect for the story.

  3. Wonderful collage-- love the eyes! Thanks for the hat tip regarding the book-- I intend to check it out.

  4. Fascinating information! And I really like your collage too.

  5. Hi Caroline,
    Thank you so much for your comments on my blog and my website. I'm glad you like my work !
    I love your cat's collage ! It's impressive ! And thank you for sharing about this beautiful children's book !

  6. I love this! Tia is a beauty. I have a weakness for B&W cats :)

    I must send my Wabi-Sabi friend here. She'll love this post. And I'm going to look for this book. I adore Ed Young's work!


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