Blog / 2020 / Why I Painted 676 First Names

June 1, 2020

The 676 names are listed here. If yours doesn’t appear in the book, I apologize. I really tried to make it as inclusive as possible, because I know what it’s like to have a “weird” name.

The original kodkod painting is for sale for $1500 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks. If you want prints or other pretty items with this image, check out my Redbubble shop. The completed alphabet book that it is a part of will be available very soon—sign up for my mailing list if you want to be notified when it comes out.

kodkod South American wild cat art
Gwenn Seemel
K Is for Kodkod
acrylic on panel
14 x 14 inches

The first names embedded in this image are Kaity, Kamala, Kamau, Karina, Karrie, Kashana, Kate, Kathleen, Kaylee, KC, Keiko, Kelly, Ken, Kendra, Kenji, Kennedy, Kiese, King, Kirk, Kollodi, Kris, Krissie, Kristan, Kristine, Kymba, and Kyra.

g¨iña from Chile acrylic painting by Gwenn Seemel
detail of K Is for Kodkod

Here’s what I’ve been reading since my last alphabet book update:

  • The City We Became by NK Jemisin

    I loved Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, and this novel delivered more of the same excellent storytelling, while also unveiling the very real monsters that are destroying our cities.

  • The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

    I adored this book when I first read it years ago, and I decided it was worth another look when I came across a group of artists and activists online who are using Butler’s Earthseed series as a way to process our pandemical present. If you’re interested in that discussion check out Tananarive Due, Monica A Coleman, and #OctaviaTried on Twitter.

  • The Revisionaries by AR Moxon

    I started reading this novel because I have followed the author’s commentary for years on Twitter. I kept reading because, even though it is really violent, it reminded me a bit of Victor LaValle’s Devil in Silver, one of my favorite books. I stopped following Moxon when the first important female character—a woman who, incidentally, never speaks to another woman—is killed. I probably should have stopped reading the book then too, but I hung on and was treated to the introduction of a new important female character, who came to embody the archetype of the secretly rebellious subservient woman to a T. I did not finish this book.

  • In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

    This book details all the ways that learning a new language can rewrite the poetry of your life at the molecular level.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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