About My Life as an Animal Artist

This blog is the living update for my online “Marketplace“. Pointing out what’s new, what’s on special and what’s on clearance is always a challenge, but blogging makes it easy! Sign up at the block in the right-hand column to get regular updates when I post something new.

"After Dinner Nap", 10" x 13", soft pastels on sanded paper, 1996 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“After Dinner Nap”, 10″ x 13″, soft pastels on sanded paper, 1997 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Even though my marketplace features many subjects, anyone who knows my beginnings understands why Stanley’s portrait watches over what I do. Years ago, I was wondering what to do with the artwork I kept producing. Selling originals isn’t all that easy, but there aren’t too many other opportunities available for getting your artwork “out there” in front of people who will appreciate it.

This portrait changed my world, as an artist and in my career. The day I finished this portrait in 1997, I knew I had reached a higher level of skill as an artist and a deeper level of visualization combined with that skill that goes way beyond reproducing what I see, very far into what I feel. Stanley was a difficult soul having been abused before he was dumped outdoors, but his real personality was sweet, fun, silly and relaxed, and for all his issues I loved him completely. In this scene, the after dinner nap he enjoyed just about every day, I found that part of him, and that part of me, and got it onto the paper. It’s been magic since then, not just with my portraits and other animal artwork, but with all my artwork. I may have arrived at that point as an artist eventually, but it was my deep feeling for Stanley that delivered me to the door, which I had only to open.

And I knew I had to share this image, so decided right then that I’d use create the four images I was visualizing of “my cats in the sun”, and this became my first set of notecards, and my first offering of high-quality prints of my artwork. You’ll find those notecards and the corresponding prints in my marketplace on the Feline Notecards page.

Stripes, pencil

Stripes, pencil, 9″ x 12″

Many cats have inspired me since this portrait in 1997, and you’ll see them all represented in the marketplace. This, in turn, led to rendering images of wildlife, and from there images of nature, my local areas which I’ve loved since I was a small child. These, too, you’ll see in my marketplace, and all over my website in poetry, prose, essays and photos.

Stripes on Stripes, black and white photograph

Stripes on Stripes, black and white photograph

Stanley was with me for 21 years, and considering that he was an adult when he arrived on my porch of his own accord, that meant he was nearing the quarter-century mark when he died in 2007, inspiring until the end as I was photographing and sketching him until his final month.

I hope you enjoy your visit to my Marketplace and my website, or find my handmade goods, original artwork and photos on Etsy. I have so much to share…


4 responses to “About My Life as an Animal Artist

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