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October 04, 2008

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Margaret Oomen

I was introduced to this artist in the context of how mental illness can be reflected in a person's art. My brother in law is a psychiatrist who practices psychodrama and art therapy. Wain's art is often used to show the progression of a person suffering from schizophrenia. Here is a link that explains it briefly http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/163/4/599.pdf . A young friend of my eldest daughter became increasingly symptomatic of schizophrenia in the later years of high school and he used to bring his drawing over to show me. he drew human shapes with the same colorful wavy lines layered around them just like Wain's cats. He and I thought he was seeing the fields of energy around every living thing. These are very real but most of us can't visualize them. Some people call it our aura is a quasi paranormal way. I am going off on a tangent so I will tell you the comment I really wanted to make . My favorite anthropomorphized cat is a literary one. Behemoth the huge black cat that comes to Moscow to wreak havoc in the 1930's from Mikhail Bulgakov's novel the Master and the Margarita.

bluemountainsmary

I cannot comment on the literary aspect of these cats - only what strikes me from an artistic viewpoint. Two things - firstly that even the earlier cats have a loopiness /darkness to them.

Secondly - and most striking to me - is that I am strangely reminded of Van Gogh's works - the later ones - as he descended into madness himself...

Lelah

Hi there Bill! I am a huge fan of your wife's work, as well as her blog. Thank you for starting a blog, I love reading about you and Elsa's creative processes and dedication to your children. :)

Christine

Hello Bill,
Thanks for mentioning the fabulous Sally Cruikshank and her films. I still show "Quasi" in my History of Animation class. It is an important and wonderful film. Her DVD and other fun stuff is available at her website http://www.funonmars.com/
Best,
Christine

Lynn

I lOVE the Louis Wain cats. I have purchased several of his "cats" postcards when I could afford them...mostly on eBay. I never knew much about Wain himself...very surprised to find out about his mental illness. Thanks for the wonderful article.

I found you through your fabulous wife's blog. Welcome to blogland.

Lynn :)

waterrose

I linked to your blog from Elsa's. The colors are so vivid in this artwork. So many things going on and the last picture is just wild. One might think this was created in the 1960s rather than the early 1900s. I've enjoyed reading all of the previous posts will stop back to read the newer posts. Have fun with your blog!

Maria HLobo

may your words be mine:
"It's great when people share their personal passions and obsessions. We learn so much about the vast world we live in." that's blogosfera, that's about sharing. thank you, Bill, thank you Elsita for helping him entering this "new world" (!) such a precious contribution to blogland. todo o amor para a bela família, Maria.

Lois Collins

Hi Bill, great to see your blog. Elsita has inspired me to write my own. I've been following hers since day 1! :0)I've just seen some of Louis Wain's work in an exhibition in london, Eloquent Obsessions,(including the last pic of his that's in your blog post!). Absolutely amazing work, you'd love it! I've only just found out about his mental illness!!!! Out of the most heartbreakingly difficult times come some of the worlds most magical works of art!

Paul hussey

May I invite all Louis Wain fans to my hobby website.

I have one of the largest collections of Louis Wain art which I have on display at my website and also I have written his life story which is also on display at my website.

http://www.fabprints.com/LW.html

http://www.fabprints.com/LWLIFE.html

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