Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cath Palug

Claws in the Night
Size: 12x17 inches
Medium: Watercolors
Details closeups -here-
Prints and original available -here-
In Progress sketches -here-

As told in Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch (or the Mabinogion), a collection of Welsh legends:

At the Black Stone in Llanfair in Arfon, the great sow Henwen gave birth to a kitten (after having previously birthed a wolf-cub and an eagle). Coll mab Collfrewy was the swineherd, and when he picked up this ferocious little kitten, ball of scratching and fur and claws, and Coll hurled it into the sea to drown.

The kitten clung to life as fiercely as it had clawed at Coll, and managed to survive and swim to shore at Anglesey, where it was discovered and raised by the sons of Palug. (Hence the name Cath Palug, "Palug's Cat", although it is sometimes thought to be translated as "clawing cat" as well.)

It is said that this Cath Palug grew to become an enormous beast who terrorized the surrounding lands. When word came of the ravages, King Arthur sent his knight Sir Cai to dispatch the giant cat. Nine-score warriors and champions rode alongside Cai...and none of them returned, save Cai. How the confrontation went - whether Cai slew Cath Palug, or simply fled...the poems and stories do not say.


  1. Magical and lovely ... happy new year Steph :)

  2. Thank you and happy new year to you too!

  3. BIIG cat!
    You seem to be in more of a cat period now, than a fox period...

    Happy 2011!

  4. Wow! It's amazing! Happy New Year! I wish you even more creativity in 2011! You simply ROCK!

  5. You are such an inspiration! I just love love love the glow all your paintings have. Its like there is pure sunlight glowing from behind through the paper in all of them. Simpley beautiful. If I would give some critisim, and that a very small one, your animals often tend to have just a bit too small heads for their bodysize. But maybe that just your style, like my figures tend too have a bit too big heads just because I like it that way. Well I'm eager to see your next work and this is a bit late but anyway; happy new year to you!