Last month with the New Year just beginning I was thinking of a suitable art project to kick start things creative. I have a number of house plants which are out growing their tired terracotta pots and thought painting a new one for the house would be a great idea and brighten up the room.
Sometime ago I bought several large terracotta pots from a local garden centre in a sale so have chosen one of these for the project. Now I was faced with settling on a theme for the decoration. Being a cat lover I chose the Japanese beckoning cat Maneki-neko image, which is a talisman and supposed to bring good luck to the owner. After a rather sad year in 2015 I could do with some happiness.
Maneki-neko can have either the right or left paw raised (even both) and some say the higher the paw the greater the wealth or good luck. The cat is originally a Japanese Calico Bobtail and is seen in various colourways although the traditional is white (for good luck generally). Often the cat has a red collar and a bib and golden bell. The first Maneki-neko were seen in the early 1850's but they could go back much earlier in Japanese folklore.
On this pot I am painting three cats which comfortably fit on the outside and it is very fortunate that the number 3 in modern Japanese culture is auspicious and Maneki-neko are often found in rooms on the third floors of buildings.
These are ideal for presents to friends and family and can be planted up with either house plants, herbs, blubs or a favourite flower. I will be planting a palm in mine.