Meet the artistic and whimsical cats of Evelyne Nicod
Published in CAT COLLECTORS (USA), August-September 1992, pages 4-5
Words: Evelyne Nicod
Translation revision: Marilyn Dipboye
Illustrations: © Evelyne Nicod
I was born in France, March 17,1942. When I discovered that the art world would be where I would find my career, I began my studies, first in the Fine Art school in Besançon (France), then in Vevey (Switzerland) and one year in London at the Saint Martin School of Art. Later, I married in Italy and started working as a professional painter in Milano. It was there that I became interested in etching and knew that I had found my technique.
It takes years of hard work to get a decent result, to understand the sensibility of a line on a zinc plate, the acid action, the printing and the thousand tricks to improve. I know I will never stop learning and it is the reason why it is so fascinating.
The real problem is the acid. I use a very slow one to control the process, etching the plate five or six times (or more) to get the very light and very deep contrasts. It requires a good concentration. I print every plate myself on my dear old press.
For printing I use a technique called " poupée " , which means all the colour shades on a single plate. It is very slow but the result is very personal. I make a black and white copy to see the contrast and two copies for the research of colour; after that I start the definitive printing, making 50 prints for each plate. To draw a plate 13 " x 20 " takes me three months; then two days for etching in acid, and each print requires about 3/4 of an hour to ink. What I like in this art form is the freedom to obtain almost anything I fancy. The best (or the worst) is when I try my first print. The tension is high!
CATS CATS CATS
I had a marvelous grandmother; she loved flowers, plants, animals and expecially cats. I was very fond of her. I grew up caring for many of the things dear to her heart.
My husband and I, too, are dedicated cat fans. We live with two tabby cats on Lake Garda in a charming old, old village. We used to live in Milano (population 2 million) and when we arrived here my cat " Ciccia " (fatty!) discovered grass, trees, a big garden and a large house. At that time she was six years old and had become adapted to a small urban flat: so, for a month she hid under the bed. When her curiosity overcame her fear, she came out from hiding. She soon adored her new home - delighting in the smell of the fresh morning dew and in chasing the poor little birds (which I din't enjoy at all)
About 10 years ago I began to draw only cats. I sketched a lot of funny situations where cats were great stars. It was just a game, but I began to enjoy the subject more and more and finally settled on doing just cats
My two felines, Ciccia (now 10 years old), and Gherson (4 months) are fun to watch and they inspire me. Ciccia hates the intruder Gherson and believes we are horrible to stand this little monster. Gherson doesn't care at all and loves us. He is very lively and sweet (for the moment, as he is quick to learn). One thing, it is never boring living with them. It is something different all the time, except for the food ceremony, which is three times a day and they pretend full attention. I mean really full!