Today I have a design inspired by a poem: “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear. For a brief period during and after high school I would read poetry and therefore be inspired to write my own. But it wasn’t something I cared about deeply so I drifted away from both activities. Which is why when Elise (@Osmovaara) picked Inspired by a Poem or Quote for this month’s Nails With Ig (Instagram) Friends, I did not have much to draw from. While I am sure many of the participants picked much more adult poems than mine, I got to paint an owl and a cat. That’s a win in my book.
I tried taking a progress shot, but my phone ran out of battery and I couldn’t wait a minute and let my paint dry. *eyeroll* So I painted a little more and suddenly I was basically done. Here’s the nail art in its “raw” form before I added top coat. It turned out very thick because I started out with a white background instead of dark blue and didn’t water down my paint enough. *sigh*
Paint smarter, Lisa. Paint smarter…
And now, thanks to the poem being written in a time before copyright protection, I bring you “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” by Edward Lear:
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)
Can you feel the inter-species love just pouring from it? Lear apparently had some notes on a sequel featuring their children, but I could not find a copy of it. Hopefully they ate a lot of mice.
I added two layers of glossy top coat, but it still felt a little too empty. The sky had a moon. It needed some stars…
- Freehand with acrylic paint over a white gel base for no actual reason (seriously, why didn’t I use dark blue polish instead?).
- Starry sky created with Wet ‘n’ Wild’s “Kaleidoscope”
Finally, I added some stars via holographic glitter polish and yet another layer of glossy top coat. I think in total I had three layers of white gel polish, two layers of matte top coat, three layers of glossy top coat + the gel top coat and the acrylic paint itself. This was a very thick manicure. Such things never last long on my nails. Too much fun to pick at.
It’s fitting, I think, that I picked a poem written in the Victorian age even though I did not paint any Victorian-esque elements into the nail art itself. Steampunk, after all, draws heavily from and cannot exist without the Victorian age. And Lear himself was both a skilled illustrator who made money illustrating natural history books and was known for nonsense drawings and poetry, which about covers my range of skilled work and nonsense as well (I want to do both!). Did I pick the poem for these reasons? Nope! I knew nothing about him before I decided to paint. Instead, I remember reading this poem with an illustration of the owl and pussycat out on the boat in the middle of the sea with moon shining down on them. I have no idea which book that was since there are so many versions of it now, but I hope I did the entire history of “The Owl and Pussycat” some justice in my own small way.
And back to matte, which is my favorite way of seeing this. So many layers of top coat to smooth out my paint. I really need more practice at this…
I thought I’d add a macro of the honey pot since you already saw the macro of the owl and pussycat in the boat. Those litterers! I hope they finished all the honey before they threw the container away. LOL
Well, this was a lot of fun, but our time together has come to an end today. Check out the group tag for #NailsWithIgFriends to see all the individual designs. And if your heart is still not completely full of nail art inspired by poetry/quotes, Elise’s entire account is full of such gems. Devour them with your eyes and you will be the richer for it.
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