Grrr Kitty

The story behind GrrrKitty:

mixed media work of hanging deer carcass and small kitten licking up blood from it

“A Wisconsin Tradition” by S.V. Medaris • 8ft x 6ft • acrylic paint, relief printing and lithography on watercolor paper. More pics at the Consumption Show. (click image to enlarge—and see the kitten)

I was photographing a deer being processed in my neighbor’s front yard. While the humans worked away on this hanging buck, carefully skinning, then cutting the different cuts of venison out, the animals gathered and sat quietly, awaiting their flung piece of meat that was expertly tossed into the waiting mouths of each of the various Weimaraners, and other dogs. The cats however, moved in, and whenever there was an opening, ran forward and settled down to lick up the pooled blood near the buck’s head.

There was this very fierce little kitten, the tiniest kitten I’ve ever seen. Small in stature, but huge in attitude, energy, spirit. I approached her to take her photo, and the highest-pitched, cutest little growl came rumbling out of her venison-filled mouth. She was working on this huge (for her) hunk of deer meat, and as I approached, she glared at me very ferociously, then slammed her tiny puffball of a paw down right next to her meat. Then to the other side “Bam!!” (I’m sure she heard), but it was only a soft, barely perceptible “poof” sound. And the high-pitched growling. I just fell in love with her survivalist, ferocious instinct. She was going to eat her venison and NOBODY was going to touch it.

blockprint of ferocious kitten with text "Grrrrrr"

One of the men working on the deer was taken by her too (everyone was laughing at this outrageously brave little fuzzball), and shortly afterward adopted her and took her home. After watching her thump her paw down first one side, then the other—delineating her space around HER food and keeping out all threats, he called her “Thumper.”

I did a mixed media piece (at top), about 8ft tall, depicting this scene of the huge hanging buck, and the tiny kitten below it, drinking the pooled blood. A fellow grad student at the time said, “If you ever do a t-shirt with that kitten on it, I want it.” Recently, I was finally able to send that t-shirt to him (black on grey t-shirt). And here it is now, in bright colors for the kiddies at the shop!

For now, here is a hodgepodge of kids’ tees—many colors—to see which ones folks like the most, available at the online shop. I will most likely do an edition of kids tees in hot pink + one other color—help decide! Send your votes at any time to

Thinking of doing a small edition of GrrrKitty on pink women’s tees…any interest? Want it in an adult size? Let me know what color/size and I’ll see if there’s enough interest in an edition. See the kids t-shirts (below) now at the Market Weight Press shop brightly colored toddler t-shirts block-printed with kitten on front, and Market Weight Press logo (hog) on back

Printin’ with the littles!

In heaven with the new Takach, and the littles:

prints, press, S.V. and little dogs

That’s Zuzu on the left, thinking…. And Dexter (the licky one) on the right. Brother and sister from different litters, same ma (Midget the ratty) and pa (Watson the JRT). My muses :)

Just finished printing canvases for Drive-by Press’ Tower of Babble collaborative for SGC this year. Printing on canvas, and then t-shirts as well. A success!

1st printing

1st printing on new Takach press:

lifting woodcut block off of t-shirt

Woodcut block printed on t-shirts (and canvas) for collaborative project by Drive By Press. See Drive By Press’ photostream on Flickr.

And the finished shirt!

blue shirt with cow skull

This technique (carving into MDF, printing onto t-shirts with etching press) was taught by Joseph Velasquez of Drive By Press. Thank you Joseph! Also been printing on canvas (same design) for a collaborative project to be presented by Drive By at the SGC Conference (Southern Graphics Council) this March in Philadelphia. It’s why the block was cut in the first place–for this Drive By “tribute.”

All the roosters washed off…

in the wash. This is after I heatset, heatset, heatset… You see, you can’t screenprint all these layers of water-based ink onto t-shirts, since the ink can’t soak in/adhere to the t-shirt fabric. Next time, I have to design the colors so that each color comes in contact with shirt (color seps…). Good, harsh lesson :(