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Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot

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Good point, Bob...
Top   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by firemaiden
Great Firemaiden say: Rednecks don't have highest testosterone, they only think they do.

I'm not a cat fan... but these cards are cute. I would like them to be a little more different from the Tarot of Prague though. I mean, I love the Tarot of Prague, you know, but, I already have it...
LOVE the redneck comment!

So - I don't think these cards will be very like Tarot of Prague, well they don't seem so to us. But remember that we do have a certain style and so in one sense, well that's what we do.

Please wait until you see a few more in detail and I think you may find that the deck as a whole looks very different - and do tell us one way or the other! Certainly the overall technique is quite different and to me that has quite an impact on the overall look and feel. It's a much less serious deck symbolically, but there are symbols in there and we are incorporating them in a rather different way.

But thanks for the comment. It's a worthwhole one of course, and we'll certainly think about this.
Top   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by lunakasha
OK.....Baba, let me get this straight: you actually dress the cats in these handmade garments and they *allow* you to photograph them???? AMAZING!!! I tried to put those birthday hats, with the elastic going under the chin, on my two cats one time......forget about it! You would have thought I was trying to strangle them the way they protested. Needless to say, I have not a single photo of my cats wearing anything but fur
Yes, we actually spend several months training each cat - she said with a straight face.

No, we don't actually dress the cats. We did try with our little one simply to get her to wear one tailor-made top (we needed to see how it would hang on her shoulders) and much cream, much hysteria and many attempts later we ended up with two blurred photos. She initially thought it was great fun, but quickly lost interest and simply tore off the top and went back to her favourite "shocking pink mouse" toy (which she can "fetch" on demand - she is BRIGHT - too bright to wear dresses).

It's all in fact done with "smoke and mirrors". I don't want to give details of the whole technique because it took us ages to really get it to work (the early attempts look very rough and "stuck together"). Most people will easily guess the basic technique, it's the refinements that were hard to get right.

We really, really want it to look real, because that's part of the fun - and the fantasy. I also do think that deep down in my mind this is in part a memory and tribute to the second cat I ever had (when I was three). He was such a darling and so kind that he actually DID let us dress him in doll's clothes and wheel him around in a pram. He wouldn't let adults do anything like this - but in some way he understood children and was very tolerant. I'm sure that I've had some sort of half-buried memory of dressed cats ever since!

We're very careful not to alarm any of the cats when we take the photos, and that's one reason it takes a long time. You have to give them time to trust you first. The hardest of all so far was a tabby and ginger "British Shorthair" who was initially very afraid, poor little thing. Eventually (after we were in her home for a couple of hours - fortunately taking shots of other cats in the meantime) she did settle and even purred - but she still had a very closed off and wary look about her when she finally let us photograph her. She is going to be our Eight of Swords.

Oh - and in answer to the question, April we hope. We've been working flat out more or less since last July. But this time we sketched everything first, so there was nothing to show until recently.
Top   #53
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Le Corsair and firemaiden have a point...the Baroque Bohemian Cats (abbreviates to BBC!?) Tarot may require more differentiation from the ToP, as it does have much of the same feel in imagery, colour, mood, et. al, although it already has a 'cattitude' all its own.

I would also like to suggest a dark, plainer border for this deck. The images are already quite bright and chock-ful of detail, and the fancy border, though pretty, tends to detract from the beauty of the images themselves; a dark, simple border would contrast better, and 'hem in' the images less, I think.
Top   #54
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I thought so at first, but the more I look at the cards the more I realize how different they are. The cats are front and centre and the air of fantasy as a way to play out the tarot meanings is essential.
Top   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by baba-prague
Yes, we actually spend several months training each cat - she said with a straight face.
Heheh. Still, there are also some good stand-alone studies of cats! I have one favourite of my own cat which has him lying (nose to tail) in a perfect circle. It always makes me think of an (albeit ginger) "Ace of Pentacles". I think there's supposed to be a cat in similar pose imortalised in marble in Chartres Cathedral? Not a particularly useful piece of information (or even attractive image?) but merely that Cats don't figure too much in such situations...

Another useless picture, but one that makes me laugh anyway, illustrates how Jason has a habit of slowly sneaking up to the camera while composing the shot...

Macavity
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Top   #56
baba-prague's Avatar
baba-prague  baba-prague is offline
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Hi Demonesse,

Thanks for pitching in here though I may have misunderstood, but I think Bob was saying roughly the opposite? (Bob, correct me if this isn't right please).

I would say myself (but all critique welcome!) that this deck really won't seem at all like "Tarot of Prague with cats" once you can see the whole thing - it is a very different sort of project. I would say it is quite a sharp contrast in terms of mood, technique and imagery (in fact we rather worried that people would expect something MORE like ToP - and I'd guess we will get some criticism along those lines too).

But of course the imagery does draw on some of the same period as Tarot of Prague, though of course there is virtually no post-Baroque in this new one (we've also used less sgraffito and perhaps fewer of the very serious symbolic sites in favour of the really colourful and lavish material - also many more interiors). In terms of colour there may indeed be similarities - we do really like strong colour - not primaries, but lots of rich colour and light and visual contrast. Our primary visual inspiration was the film "Amadeus" - though of course for those who have seen the film you can't put those amazing elaborate wigs on cats! (we tried - it looked terrible).

But also, I suppose the real point is that as a two-person studio (baba studio) we do have our own style, and we want to go on developing that - as Bob said, it's rather in the way that any artist develops their own style. It's what we ARE. So while we think this new project is quite a big step in another direction (and it's required whole new techniques), we won't do this deck in a whole new style - simply because it wouldn't be us. Fortunately there are other cats tarots to provide a range of styles - which is great. Collectors can choose - or be like me and have both :-)

Plain border? Well, it might be very good in its own way, I agree, but this deck IS Baroque lol. You know what I mean, the over-the-topness IS what Baroque was partly about (and part of where the beauty comes from).
Whoops - I'm not saying no to these comments - and thank-you again for them - but just explaining a bit more about our approach. We've actually talked a lot about the borders, but the one you are seeing is the seventh or eighth version (major version that is, there was lots of tweaking too) and we feel it's largely right now. It is taken from a real Rennaissance "stumpwork" cabinet - silk on bone, and it's a beautiful thing in it's own right.

But please remember that the deck is all about gorgeousness and decoration and unashamed pleasure in thing like embroidery, old paintings, costumes, fabrics - and the diversity of cats. It won't appeal to anyone who wants something plainer or modernist - it is really for people who love fantasy and magic-realism.
But there are other tarots out there that fill that less decorative and more naturalistic niche really very well - and they are great in their different way too. Ours isn't better or worse, it's just, well... I suppose it's just "us" really.

But keep the comments coming - it's all very useful you know :-)

Oh - a slightly blurry close-up of the border - so you can see how beautiful it is. The stitches are TINY - almost invisible to the naked eye. No, sorry, we really do have to use this - it's crying out to be used and it's gorgeous (and in the original it framed tiny detailed pictures painted on each miniature drawer and door of the cupboard so using it again in this manner is correct in one sense).

http://www.tarotofprague.com/cats/co...ce-closeup.jpg

________

edited to add - Macavity if you knew how many close-ups of cat paws we have! I can so relate to this photo. One lovely silver tabby in the cat's home here kept following us round and gently (and obviously very helpfully) touching the lens with her paw JUST as we pressed the button...
Top   #57
Moongold  Moongold is offline
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WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

I didn't even see this thread!

Morgaine and I have just gone through every image you have posted. Such an Empress and is it the Knight of Swords???? What self-respecting cat with claws could not meditate with satisfaction on this image?

Baba-Prague, you will be elevated to a worthy place indeed in the feline spiritual hierarchy - a very exalted place.

Can you put my name down for TWO of these decks?

Do you know that Morgaine actually loves it when I do my reading on the table with all the cards spread out? She looks at them with great interest and sometimes gently moves them around when I am not looking. When I am there she respectfully waits to one side. I feel (and people can say I am nutty) that she actually sees things.

Mumble mumble..............yes I know it's absurd..........but...

THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Moongold
Top   #58
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Just to pour more oil onto the pan..... I LOVE the flowery border. HAHAHA
Top   #59
Demonesse's Avatar
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I respect your reasons, and thanks for the response, baba-prague. Look forward to more scans of the cards!
Top   #60




 

 


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