Illustrator Clare Turlay Newberry

My Mom recently gave me a book she had saved called Drawing a Cat by Clare Turlay Newberry.  It was published in 1940 and has that worn old book feel.
What’s in this book is golden. There are lovely drawings of cats and an elegant description of the artist’s work. I did a google search on the author and found a few website resources that I will list below.  One quote that I found from a Time Magazine review said that she was” the best cat artist since the Egyptians”.  Here are quotes from the book about the drawing process as well as some of the samples of the work.  I hope that you enjoy these drawings. I found them inspiring.

” Cats do not pose for the artist, except when asleep seldom stay in one position for more than a few moments. In order to learn to draw them you must make hundreds of quick sketches from life. What appears on your sketch pad in the early stages of studying a cat does not matter. What does matter is the intense, concentrated observation that accompanies the act of drawing. ”

” This method of working is very different from that used in a “life” class , where one draws in a leisurely fashion for perhaps twenty minutes, and then rests for five or ten. I don’t allow myself rest periods while sketching, but work steadily for an hour or two at at time, starting a new sketch each time the cat moves. This is an exhausting process and I usually want to quit before I have been at it long. If however, I can force myself to continue past the fatigue point, I find my second wind and forget about being tired. Gradually my speed and accuracy increase, along with the intensity of my concentration, until I am drawing with the most furious rapidity. This stage lasts only a few minutes – half- an hour at most – but it is then that I do my best drawing. ”

From Drawing a Cat by Clare Turlay Newberry