Caracal Totem by Hadley Seymore
Nowandthen-cat2014
Watercolor
Limited edition reproductions available

I painted this caracal for my submission to the Now & Then project, an upcoming book that asked artists to re-create a drawing of theirs from childhood. My original drawing from 20 years ago was a yellow feline face with a sunny disposition, surrounded by flowers floating in the bright blue sky. I re-interpreted the original cat, making it a caracal, an animal that I find particularly striking, which shares the same large ears and golden color as in my childhood drawing. Looking up the symbolic meaning of the caracal proved fascinating: “Continuing with one’s goals even if others disapprove” was one possible meaning of the caracal as a spirit guide. I decided that the flowers surrounding the original cat should be turned into desert flowers. Even though the environment of the desert rose (and caracal) does not seem to lend itself readily to life, they still thrive in this climate. 20 years after my original creation, the whimsical cat has become a strong caracal through the trials of time and making childhood artistic dreams an adult reality.