Inside The Artist’s Sketchbook: Cat Raynor ’15

This feature was conceived as a foray into the hearts/minds of Kenyon’s finest artists through the pages of their sketchbooks. This week, we talk with Cat Raynor, ’15.

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The artist in her natural habitat.

I met Cat in the library, which was unusual, as I almost never seen her outside of Horvitz. I realized immediately that I had never seen Cat’s doodle style, so I asked her for a page from her notes. She handed me this:

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“Unicorns are my go-to doodle, because unicorns are my spirit animal… I draw unicorns in all of my classes.”

“Magical is probably my favorite word,” Cat told me. “I used to have a stutter as a kid, and I would stand there for like, hours, trying to say something. Sometimes words aren’t enough. Sometimes you can communicate better with art.” She listed Gustav Klimt as her favorite artist and inspiration. “I like art that expresses a feeling – not really a situation – but how you feel in that situation. Klimt does that.”

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I take figure drawing with Cat, so I asked her to explain her artwork outside the classroom. Cat is big into onions right now, as it turns out. She flipped through several photos on her computer for me and explained that she hates onions as a food  – “I think they’re only good as art materials,” – but was struck recently by how beautiful they can be.

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a photograph of one of Cat’s onions

Cat loved the onions, but worried that if she tried to paint them, she wouldn’t be able to capture some of their beauty and fragility. She decided to take her onions and make a canvas out of them, and then paint on top.

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This surface is made of onions!

“My favorite things are probably onions and boobs, and you can quote me on that.” Mostly for my own curiosity, I asked Cat for a longer list of her favorite things. She recited the following:

– Leotards (“Those should definitely be at the top of the list.”)
– Squinting at the sun
– Nipples (“but not, like, weird ones”)
– Velvet
– Unicorns
 Onions (“but not for eating”)
– Chili (“for eating”)
– Glitter glue

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“An example of nipples that I like and aren’t weird”

Cat believes in feelings, nipples, and finding beauty in small things.

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