"When we all think alike, then no one is thinking."
— Walter Lippman

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheshire Cat Revisited

I'm revisiting the Cheshire Cat image one more time.   Who can resist this character!
Again I am using the altered photo of my cat Roy, and the digital image created for the ATC (posted below).
This time he appears floating above the woods, which I find a bit more unsettling and suited to the original concept.
The original photo of Roy appears in the right hand column of this blog and he is waiting to sign autographs for his starring role....
Meanwhile, I would like to mention a new book titled The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful and Sometimes Lonely Man Who Created "Alice In Wonderland"  by author Jenny Woolf.   It is getting rave reviews and I am ordering my copy today.
There is also a Facebook page dedicated to the book.    If you are a fan of Lewis Carroll and Alice, it is definitely worth a look.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The "Alice" stories were written for the young daughter of the Liddell family with whom Charles Dodgson was friends in the mid 1850s.            
Having told the story and been begged by Alice Liddell to write it down, Dodgson eventually presented her with a handwritten, hand illustrated copy of the manuscript entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground in November 1864.
The work was later published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the pen name Lewis Carroll which Dodgson had begun using some years before.  The illustrations this time were by Sir John Tenniel as Dodgson thought that a published book would need the skills of a professional artist.   
There are several interesting speculations about the relationship between author and muse, and the later split between Dodgson and the Liddell family.  You can learn more about the intriguing story from the many online resources.
The original book ends with a poem titled A Boat Beneath Sunny Skies.  The first letter of each line of the poem spells out Alice Pleasance Liddell.   

A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky 
by Lewis Carroll

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cheshire Cat

This month's ATC exchange was so much fun with it's "Alice" theme.  I knew immediately that I wanted to do something featuring the Cheshire Cat, and my own cat Roy begged for a starring role.
I started with a photograph of him (you can see the original on the right hand column of this blog).
His handsome little face was isolated in photoshop and eyes were enlarged and slanted slightly upward.
Next I found a photo of a fashion model's mouth and morphed it to make the well known Cheshire Cat Grin.    The chin and upper lip of Roy's face needed to be redrawn to accommodate the new mouth, and more whiskers and fur details were added.
Once the face was made, it became an object to play with in various settings.
The quote is from the original Alice story.  It's what the Cheshire Cat replied when Alice asked for directions.    "It really doesn't matter which way you go....."
Roy was pleased with the results..... it made him grin.
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