Author Archives: Bernadette

A Great Rescue and a Commissioned Portrait: Bandit Stole His Daddy’s Heart

portrait of black and white cat

“Bandit”, pastel, 18″ x 14″, 2004 © B.E. Kazmarski

SOMETIMES WE DON’T realize until years later that a series of odd circumstances has an intention beyond our control; often this involves the entry of one of our most cherished animal companions into the sphere of our life, and our entry into theirs.

. . . . . . .

One of the Great Rescues families, Bandit is the February cat for Valentine’s Day, as it truly is a story of love at first sight between a man and a cat.

Bandit’s story from Great Rescues:

Bandit’s dad arrived home early from vacation and decided to visit the gym. Exiting the building after his workout he saw in the parking lot two women trying to coax a small black and white cat, four to six months old, from under the front of a car with offerings of tuna. The famished kitten finished his second plate but went back up into the wheel well where he was seeking sanctuary. When they left, Bandit’s dad went around to the side of the car. Bandit came down from the engine compartment, covered in grease and oil, looked his future human companion in the eye and let the man pick him up, trembling in his hands. “He needed a friend and I gained one of my best.”

I never had the chance to meet Bandit; his portrait was a gift from Bandit’s mom to his dad after Bandit had passed. Bandit and his dad were very closely bonded, and both people told me that while his dad was very upset when Bandit was near his end, Bandit was just as concerned about him, trying to comfort him. Cats are very sensitive and compassionate creatures, but I could tell Bandit was one of those souls who had a definite wisdom beyond the typical cat. His rescuer knew this too.

portrait of black and white cat

Detail of Bandit’s face.

Bandit also predated the woman who commissioned me to do his portrait as well, Bandit having spent most of his life with his human rescuer as a couple of bachelors. Because the portrait was a gift we weren’t sure what type of a pose his person would want, but I liked one of the photos I saw in her stack, the light and the feeling of space, the details of their home that was obviously so dear to them, plus the commanding way Bandit is reclining surrounded by plants give it visual depth; sometimes an image that is fully from that time and place, houseplants and all, is simply the best way to remember a moment. She readily agreed, and I knew it was right.

pastel portrait of black and white cat

Detail of portrait, paws and plant

I remember looking at both the cat and those croton plants, just waiting to dig into both subjects. Building the whole scene was a joy, the rich red of the radiator cushion, the simple familiarity of the plant stand and woven basket and the painted windowsill as well as the main subject.

When I felt the portrait was finished I was so excited about contacting the woman who’d commissioned me; I’d updated her with progress photos, but now it felt finished but I always let my customers have the last say on that—this is their artwork, forever, and I want it to feel as if they are not only looking at their animal companion, but in the space with them.

Still, I always let the portrait sit for a day or two, and let the glow wear off, even ignore it, so that I can get a perspective. I was still working downstairs by the big window so that I could look at my art in progress all the time, but this one I covered up for a couple of days. After I’d removed the paper covering and walked into the room forgetting it was there, a glance past it caught the full impact and it took my breath away for a moment; it looked like a window into another world. I couldn’t do a single thing to it anywhere, and my customer agreed.

Years later when I was putting together Great Rescues I realized this was one of the portraits that looked okay on my computer but would not work for print. I would be contacting Bandit’s people to ask if they minded me including Bandit in my project; I always like to be careful with the hearts and memories of people I’ve worked with. They were thrilled and they didn’t mind at all if I came over to photograph the portrait. I have a technique I use to photograph through the glass and most of the time it works fine, but with Bandit there was a bit of a glare on the glass that I didn’t manage to eliminate with all my fancy PhotoShop tools. This only affects the closeups, but the overall portrait is what’s important.

Here is February with Bandit’s portrait and rescue story in Great Rescues Day Book:

cat portrait, story and calendar page

February in Great Rescues Day Book.


About Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book and Great Rescues Day Book

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

Bandit is one of the rescued cats in my Great Rescues Day Book, an undated monthly journal to record the dates of birthdays, anniversaries and events featuring sixteen of my commissioned portraits of rescued cats along with their rescue stories.

This book is built from Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, the original 16-month calendar published in 2011 to inaugurate my series of rescue stories related to the portraits I’ve painted over the years.

Click here or on the image of the book at left, or either of the links above to read more.

Also, read more about Great Rescues families, those who appear in each of the two volumes so far. I’ll be featuring one story each month corresponding with the portrait that appears in the book for that month. That means there are four extra, and I’ll slip those in when the story itself feels appropriate.


Read other stories in my Rescue Stories series.

Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current and past portraits and paintings and art assignments, each week I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Choose the category for featured artwork to see an archive of all these posts, or if you want to see only my portraits choose commissioned portraits.


Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair

Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs

Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski

Portraits of My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table

After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.

 


Purchase a Gift Certificate

sample portrait certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Framed Original Sketches

watercolor of cat

“Blending”, watercolor.

A few more framed original daily sketches have gone to their new homes! I love being able to send a piece of original artwork, knowing these images of my cats are off in someone’s home. I always have ideas for mats and frames while I’m working, and do the framing myself. Also, once an original has been purchased, it’s also added to the gallery of prints for sale in my Etsy shop.Above is “Blending” and below is “Clash of Titans“, both headed for the same home, someone who has purchased several other framed daily sketches.

framed sketch of cats

“Clash of Titans”, pastel and charcoal.

Below is “Tonal Nap”, which went off to the same home as the two sketches above a few months ago.

framed sketch of cat

“Tonal Nap”, pastel.

The photos document the mats and frames for future reference since prints of paintings often work well with the same mat and frame as the original—sometimes I like to put one together for myself.

Below, “Vigilant Nap”, came out just as I’d wanted, with two mats that coordinate with the paper and some of the colors and textures in the sketch, but it’s overall monochromatic.

You can also find “Vigilant Nap” as the November image in my 12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Fine Art Wall Calendar—read more below!

framed sketch of cat

“Vigilant Nap”, charcoal.

framed sketch of cats

“Their Faces to the Sun”, ink and watercolor.

“Their Faces in the Sun”, above, and “Blue Purple Cats”, below, made their way to the same home, one of our friends in Canada, who has also purchased a few other sketches.

framed sketch of cats

“blue Purple Cats”, ink and watercolor.

Below, I deliver “Highlighted Silhouette” to a friend and customer who is Fromage and Cranberry‘s human—does Fromage think the sketch is her? Or another interloper house panther? And what does Cranberry think of a painting of a black cat in her home?

two cats looking at painting

Fromage inspects the painting close up, which Cranberry inspects Fromage and the painting!

Framed daily sketches usually add up to between $100 and $150 which includes the sketch, the framing and the shipping. I choose the framing from all my samples here, and cut the mat and finish the framing myself in my studio. If you are interested in an original sketch or any other artwork, just send me a message. it’s difficult to post all the sketches I do on Etsy or elsewhere since there are so many, but I often try to anticipate the ones others will want to purchase, and I sometimes mat and frame the ones I like personally.

Prints of these sketches will now be available as well in my Etsy shop, and in addition to the image itself I’ve also posted a photo of the framed original as an idea for framing a print, and mentioned that cost as well, just to see how that works.


12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Wall Calendar

"12 Sketches of Cats Calendar"

“12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Calendar”

If you’d like a few of my daily sketches but prefer to purchase prints, I have a deal for you. This calendar includes 14 images printed in archival inks on acid-free paper in a lovely calendar you can enjoy all year. Considering that I typically sell prints at this size and level of quality for $15.00 each, 14 prints would be $210.00. But this calendar, priced at $45.00, is a perfect idea if you want to purchase a number of prints, and $10.00 of each purchase is donated to a different feline rescue each month—right now it’s FosterCat.

I’ve always admired oversized “art calendars”, the ones where the art is foremost and the calendar just an incidental means of presenting it. Calendars are printed on quality text or cover stock and are only printed on one side of the page with plenty of clear space around the artwork because the image is intended to be framable with nothing printed on the back.

And so 12 Sketches of Cats is digitally printed in the same archival inks and acid-free natural 100# smooth cover stock I use for the digital art prints I sell. Each page is 11″ x 17″ so there is plenty of space to have the art at or near its native size with room for the name and information about the art with the calendar at the bottom. The calendar is spiral-bound at the top with a hole drilled just beneath the spiral so you display one page at a time.

In addition to keeping art near its native size I’ve also sized most of the artwork so it will easily fit a standard frame size. Some images, such as “Shades of Gray” and “World Cat” are smaller than the originals to fit the page. I chose sketches for popularity and narrowed them down for a variety of style and medium. All are in color but there is one bonus pencil sketch; no charcoal or ink sketches seemed to fit with the color art, so of course that might be a calendar of its own someday.

Read more about the 12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Fine Art Wall Calendar here.


black cat with mat cutter

Mimi manages things with the mat cutter.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

 

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!


Subscribe to My E-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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Featured Artwork: Pawse

pencil sketch of sleeping cat

“Pawse”, pencil, 10″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Moses sleeps happily on the bed. This quick pencil sketch is actually an early “daily sketch” from a decade ago when I first practiced my daily sketches.

I called Moses my “velveteen kitty”, her plushy gray fur thick and lustrous with that sparkling sheen known well to those who live with gray cats, and I knew no hard lines could describe her. I used the side of my pencil to capture that softness with just enough definition to show a few stripes and the familiar outlines tabby cats have around eyes, nose, ears and toes. Around her is just a sketchy suggestion of a pillow, and then I stopped.

Moses was a former feral cat, and was hobbled by hind legs that never fully developed.  Getting up on the bed was a big deal for her, both in difficulty and habit. But the comfort of the bed was worth all the risks and difficulty to her. I loved to find her there, and would tiptoe in to look at her, sometimes photograph her, and a few times sketch her, as in “Sunday Morning”. As I always say about my sketches, they are a more immediate and even tactile memory for how deeply I study the details of my subject. Though it was more than ten years ago I still have a memory of holding my pencil on its side and sketching the soft shadows of her face and those soft paws, and the tangle of paws along with the pun on the word was what gave this sketch its name.

Where to find this artwork

I framed this original and donated it to a shelter art auction, but I also had it printed as a notecard, notepaper and memo pad in the “Feline Sketches” set. “Pawse” is a favorite as both a general purpose note card and as a sympathy card as some people have chosen this card to use for an animal sympathy card.

My ever-inspiring family of felines causes me to carry both my camera and a sketch pad around the house. Quick, simple pencil sketches catch them hanging around the house and are my favorite warm-up to creating larger pieces of artwork. While I could live three lifetimes and never be finished with the images I can create from my group, friends also give me photos that are too good to pass up. Pencil can be challenging to reproduce, and I’m happy to introduce a new series in addition to my pen and ink and my full-color fine art note cards series. You can find them in Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

. . . . . . .

My daily sketches from this era were less “daily” than now, but were still quite frequent. I carried a sketchbook with me outdoors and kept a sketchbook and pencil at the desk, and it is this second sketchbook that became my series, “From the Lost Sketchbook” , where I’d found a sketchbook that I’d kept at my desk beginning in 2002 and used periodically until about 2005. This was a general purpose sketchbook and I used it for many things in addition to extemporaneous sketches such as illustrations and ideas, and it included sketches of my cats and a few other subjects. I was so happy to see it again when I found it in 2010 that I scanned all the sketches that were pertinent to The Creative Cat and posted them.

See more articles and images of Moses.


Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski


Two New Cards, for Emeraude

animal sympathy card with black cat

To Emeraude, from Emeraude, “I will never forget you.”

Of course, it’s our pledge to them as they leave us, that we will never forget them, but don’t we also hope it’s their pledge to us, that they’ll carry our memory with them wherever they go?

I’ve designed and dedicated a new animal sympathy card for Emeraude. The geriatric kitty who made her own happiness in a strange new world and turned to trust me deserves that, and more—a second card dedicated to the adoption of senior cats.

I take the use of an animal’s image seriously, especially with my sympathy cards, never presuming they want to represent what I have to say; for that reason I always feel most comfortable using the images of animals I know well, mostly those who’ve lived with me.

For about half the time she lived here, Emeraude was quiet and withdrawn, rarely made eye contact with me unless I laid on the floor to look at her, never interacted with Mimi and the kids and though I left the door open they never stepped in and tried to be friends. Until one day she actually looked up at me in trust, the same way Peaches did, and let me know I was her person. We were devoted after that, and the boys plotted to steal her food, we all felt free to join her in the bathroom where she had chosen to live. Emeraude had a forever home, even if forever was just a few months more.

This is my favorite photo of her, this photo of her looking up at me because I wanted to preserve that expression on her face, and I wanted to include her favorite colorful blanket. She loved her bed, and from the first time I added the pawprint blanket to her pile of soft things, and every time I turned it over or replaced it with the second identical blanket she would wait until I had it all just right, then with great ceremony step upon her bed, and turn around and purr, truly a princess. It suited her immediately, and until she began to feel very ill not one black cat ever even thought about stepping on Emeraude’s bed. It belonged to her and everyone respected that.

And I wanted that expression because it was a reminder each time that she had come to trust me, and because I worked very hard to get it, both her trust and the photo. I have at least two dozen photos from this day alone that are blurred, too dark, not looking up enough, looking away too fast, and dozens from other days that were about the same. I knew our time was finite—this photo was taken on December 13, a month after her diagnosis with lymphatic leukemia—and I wanted to be certain I captured it, her slightly bent up face, her one white whisker, her emerald eyes, and her happy bed.

sympathy card with black cat

To Emeraude, from Emeraude, “I will never forget you.”

My sympathy cards have a theme of happy memories, and in the end this is what I hope we all remember about our animal companions, the joy they brought to our lives, and the beautiful things we shared. Like Lakota, Emeraude spent just a short time as part of our feline family, but I will surely never forget her.

And I will never forget all the love sent to her from all of you, and I’m sure she will remember too.

I will add that I had to wait a week to post this image because every time I looked at it tears just splashed from my eyes. I was concerned it would only make others cry too. But I consulted with my friend Deb Chebatoris who meets with people grieving their pets every day and she convinced me that, for all the stories people tell and all the sentiments they share, this is the one thing that absolutely everyone says. So I guess it’s fitting.


Use THIS card to celebrate the adoption of senior cats

card for senior cats

“You’re never too old to fall in love!”

When I sat down to design the sympathy card, this idea kept coming back to me so I actually designed it first. Is this what Emeraude would say? I’m sure, and it’s likely what a lot of other senior kitties looking for a home would say as well. And it makes me smile. It’s a great sentiment to encourage the adoption of senior pets, and it might even come in handy for a few humans as well.

card with senior black cat

“You’re never too old to fall in love!”

I hope that both Lakota’s card and Emeraude’s card can be used to let others know you’ve made the commitment to adopt or foster a senior cat, or to encourage or congratulate someone who has done so, because you’re never too old to fall in love, and even though we may never feel it’s enough time, there is always time enough to love. You can find Emeraude’s sympathy card, Emeraude’s love card and Lakota’s card in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

About my sympathy cards

animal sympathy cards

The set of sympathy cards.

As an artist I turn my emotions into creative output. Thus it is with the grief I’ve felt at the losses of my cats through the years. After receiving many sympathy cards I realized that not too many are focused on the loss of an animal companion, and I vowed to create a line of sympathy cards drawn on my own experiences that would feature photos and paintings of my cats and others’ animal companions as well as artwork and photos not focused on any species.

It wasn’t until after I’d lost Namir in July 2009 that I was suddenly moved to start designing, and when the task was done I had a dozen different sympathy cards. Each of the cats depicted was or is one of mine and the dog, Tika, I came to know through a friend and her animal memorial project.

Lakota’s card is the first new one since that year. I’ve also found that other cards outside this series are also used for sympathy cards, and as I mentioned above these sympathy cards are used for other greeting purposes. I’m so pleased to serve six veterinary hospitals around the country, four of them cat-specific, with wholesale orders of my sympathy cards. It also brings me joy to know the cats I loved are still out there doing their magic on others.

You can read more about my sympathy cards and see all the designs on my regular website, and you can also find the original set of a dozen sympathy cards in my Etsy shop. With the addition of Lakota’s card and Emeraude’s card I’m going to organize different sets and take the time to list them each individually.


black cat with green eyes

I carry her into the room, but Emeraude has grown to like it in there.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

 

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!



Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME


Commissioned Portrait: Little Gooney

pastel portrait of orange cat

“Little Gooney”, pastel on Hahnemühle velour paper, 8″ x 10″, 1999 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Little Gooney was her name, and yes, she did have an attitude, perhaps because of her name. She was commissioned as a small Hanukkah gift for from wife to husband, as Little Gooney had been his girl before they were married.

Even though this pose is not the most flattering, it was the only full-face photo available, and it was clear and direct. It’s one of my favorites, though, small, simple and honest. LG was on a table, I think, but I decided to add a colored background to complement her rich red-orange fur, and what better than a rich cobalt blue?

She is drawn in pastel on a velour drawing paper made by Hahnemühle art papers. The base is a heavy mold-made watercolor paper, meaning the pulp is dropped into a mold and pressed and dried the old-fashioned way which gives it a little more body as well as a slight texture. The velour is a finish just like velour fabric except that it’s not woven. Short vertical bristles that are pretty stiff are adhered to the surface of the paper and tend to hold the pastel forever once it drops down between the fibers. Because of even just the slight depth of the bristles the painting looks ever-so-slightly dimensional, a very interesting effect, especially around the eyes and in finer details like our girl’s face. The texture also tends to soften lines and shapes, and a truly fine detailed line needs to be planned and executed with a fairly sharp pastel.

I will note that Little Gooney looks especially soft here, softer than her actual portrait, because this was scanned from a photograph and the details just aren’t as sharp as the original.

I had used the paper frequently at the time for portraits of both animals and people because of that softness and dimension. The painting of Cookie “The Little Sunflower” is painted on this paper as well as “Blue Tuna”. The paper came in large sheets and I could cut it down to any size I wanted, and could still use the scraps. I’m sure “Little Gooney” came from the same sheet as “Blue Tuna”.

And partly because of Gooney’s expression and partly that softness and dimension, this portrait almost has the character of a caricature. I had actually used her portrait as a slightly cartoony character in one of my illustration brochures years ago.

I know nothing abut her story than what I’ve noted here, and really barely knew her people, just three conversations at a hurried time just before the holidays that year. But Little Gooney is decidedly unique among my portraits for her attitude and she’s still one of my favorites.

. . . . . . .

Coming Soon: Portrait in Progress…

NOTE: I’m starting a few new portraits this weekend, and two of them I know I’ll be able to share. I always leave that decision up to my customers. I would have shared Paige’s portrait, but she was a surprise gift and that just wouldn’t do! With other portraits my customers wanted me to wait a while before I shared them with the world so I began posting about portraits I’d done in the past. But next Wednesday, and for the next few Wednesdays most likely, I’ll be sharing progress images of portraits I’m working on, one a watercolor and one a pastel. Until then…


Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current and past portraits and paintings and art assignments, each week I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Choose the category for featured artwork to see an archive of all these posts, or if you want to see only my portraits choose commissioned portraits.


Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits
portrait of black cat on wicker chair

Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs

Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski

Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table

After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.

 


Purchase a Gift Certificate

sample portrait certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

 


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

FinnBaxter-ad


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME


 

 


 

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraitsportrait of black cat on wicker chair Commissioned Dog Portraitsportrait of two dogs Portraits of
My Cats
pastel painting of cat on table

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.


Purchase a Gift Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.


Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

FinnBaxter-ad


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME


Purchasing Prints of Daily Sketches

Collage of recent prints from requests and sales of originals.

Collage of recent prints from requests and sales of originals.

While I have prints of most of my portraits and other artwork I’ve done through the years, I have so many daily sketches that it’s unwieldy to offer prints of each of them and I need to choose which ones to take through the process and offer here and in my Etsy shop. I also know that many people don’t purchase prints for framing, instead preferring different presentations of the art such as keepsake boxes, wall plaques and placemats, useful things. Luckily I have you, my readers and customers, to help me choose which sketches to print. It’s a great joy when you tell me that one of my sketches is just like one of your cats because, even though I see my cats in them, my goal is to find what is universal about cats and represent all cats in this series of sketches.

I don’t make my own prints, but instead work with a few different printers depending on the type of print and the size as I mentioned in my new year article thanking these very printers for keeping me in business. At one time I had a high quality 12″ x 18″ printer here that I used to make prints and even print limited editions of greeting cards and note cards before I started offering so many. Its feeding and care, or the size of the thing and its need for multiple, expensive toner cartridges plus the time and effort it took to get a quality print would have been fine if I had been making a volume of prints on a regular basis, but then, and now, selling prints wasn’t a big part of what I offer and it took more effort and money than it returned.

oil pastel sketch of two cats

Two Cats After van Gogh, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

How to choose?

I do sometimes choose a piece of artwork that I personally like to have a print made of it, but I also let the marketplace choose the prints I offer. When I have a big response to an image as I did with “Mewsette on the Afghan“, or when one gets a few thousand views on a social network like “Magic Carpet” currently being passed around StumbleUpon, I decide I should get a few prints of the sketch and I am currently working on prints of these two sketches.

Likewise, when someone asks if prints of a certain sketch are available such as “Inscrutable” I’ll decide to offer that sketch as a print. And finally, when a sketch is purchased I’ll often have a print made to make sure I have the image accurately recorded and then I’ll have prints made and offer those as well as I did with “Two Cats After van Gogh“, “A Dozen Shades of Gray” and “World Cat“.

Having prints made

Artwork has a different nature from a photograph, especially a digital photograph, and having prints made is a little more complicated than uploading to a print site. Because I use a variety of media and papers each image and scan the image for greatest detail and clarity they are handled differently when they go through scanning and presentation as well as printing.

inkand watercolor sketch of two cats

“Magic Carpet”, ink and watercolor, 6″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I scan each sketch in order to post it on The Creative Cat because the art is pressed right up against the glass of the scanner which naturally catches more detail at that distance, and even texture with textured papers and oil pastels. At that point I make sure it’s adequately represented on my computer screens and other devices, and sometimes that takes a little bit of work as I’d discussed with “Magic Carpet” when I posted it.

But that’s not necessarily how it works for printing because the devices used are more sensitive and read the image differently from the way it’s presented on a computer screen, sending information to the ink jets when printing. When I decide to make a print I need to change my files from RGB to CMYK and adjust the colors to the same hue and brightness, and print a couple of test prints for myself to see how it’s working, then send it off for a test print.

All colors will slip around from the original because the scanner and Photoshop are assigning values to colors in a work relative to the colors in that work, not necessarily what’s actually in the sketch. Yes, that’s probably confusing, but it means that it may represent a shade of red in a hue anywhere on a range from red-orange to red-violet depending on what’s around it in the sketch, so I often need to tweak each color individually to be accurate in prints.

watercolor of three cats

“Lazy Saturday Afternoon”, watercolor, 9″ x 12″ © BernadetteE. Kazmarski

And then there’s the way each different medium is perceived by both the scanner and Photoshop. Watercolors are opaque and sometimes the color doesn’t even show up on a scan because the scanner light shines right through it. Markers, colored pencils, soft and oil pastels, even oil and acrylic paints when used in certain ways aren’t necessarily opaque which can also influence the way the colors are registered in the scan and as I make adjustments. Pastels have a soft matte finish and though there are rich and deep shades they can scan as being a little too brilliant and I have to desaturate them a bit to represent the original. There have been times when I have scanned an image multiple times or scanned just sections of it, and also photographed it, and pieced it all together to get the colors to be accurately represented.Yesterday’s sketch reprise, “Art Cat”, was one such sketch that was all pieced together from the first time I presented it, and then when it sold I made a print just to make sure it matched the sketch.

Sometimes it takes several tries to make an accurate print with adjustments on my end and on the printer’s end in between. And sometimes I change the file format completely when it works better in RGB than CMYK as I do with “Lazy Saturday Afternoon”, or if I make a PDF instead of sending the original art as a TIF, or if the printer makes the print first thing in the day when the machine has just been turned on, or when we have a blue moon. Some prints are never quite right, and I just come as close as possible.

Then I have a set of ten prints made and post them in my Etsy shop!

watercolor of sleeping curled cat

World Cat, ink and watercolor, 9″ x 12″ © B.E. Kazmarski

The result

So after all that both you and I can be fairly certain your print represents the original. All prints are made with archival inks which will stand up to most interior light for years, though sunlight will cause them to fade.

In most cases I leave them the size of the original. Most of my daily sketches are smaller than 8″ x 10″, so I have them printed centered on 8.5″ x 11″ 100# acid-free matte-finish cover, though some older prints were made on 80# cover. Color prints are $15.00 each and prints that are black only are $10.00.

Occasionally I use larger paper for a sketch which is printed on 11″ x 14″ (so it fits in a Priority Mail envelope with adequate packing) and the cost of this print is $20.00, or up to 12″ x 18″ (which I ship in a tube or triangle), and this size is $25.00; black and white prints only do not cost less because the larger cost is the size of the paper.

Shipping is extra on all prints, usually $7.50 to cover any of the package sizes including the Priority Mail cardboard mailing triangle.

And you can also use these prints to integrate into your own creative projects.

Ordering prints and custom art
oil pastel sketch of cat looking out window

“Cat With Fruit”, oil pastel, 7″ x 5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

First, check my Etsy shop in the category “Cat Art and Prints” to see if one you like is already available—I am still working on “Magic Carpet” but all the other images in this article are currently in my Esty shop. If there’s a print you’d like, just comment on the post where it appears, or send me an email—just remember the name of the artwork and even the date because titles, styles and media can be similar and we can be discussing two entirely different prints and not know it. Sending a link to the sketch is best in an email.

I can also offer sketches on custom products or in custom sizes such as a set of note cards or, within reason, a print that is a different size from the original. You can also order just about any other artwork you see here including prints of my portraits and other paintings, and also any of my photographs. Visit “Ordering Custom Artwork’ for details of products and prices and how to order.

And don’t forget, your custom order helps me choose what’s popular and what I can offer in any of my selling profiles from here on The Creative Cat to my Etsy shop and at my Fine Art America profile. I had a profile on CafePress from the time it was founded and this was where I originally had my custom prints and greeting cards made, and also had a Zazzle profile and even a few others as they opened up for artists, but quality wasn’t consistent and at one point I just had too many profiles and eliminated the ones with fewest sales. Despite all the complications of having prints made it’s worth it for the outcome, and just as when I’m a vendor in a show or festival I enjoy being able to talk to my customers.


black cat with artwork

Mr. Sunshine appraises my painting.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

 

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME


Mimi Among the Geraniums 1 and 2 Garden Flag

Mimi Among the Geraniums 1 and 2

Mimi Among the Geraniums 1 and 2

I did these two sketches at the end of March last year, and when I planned my garden flags I used these two back to back. See below!

. . . . . . .

Mimi Among the Geraniums 1

(On the left) Mimi enjoys a sunbath on the windowsill on the landing, which gets full morning sun. It’s only 18″ wide and 8″ deep, not really big enough for too many cats at one time, so it’s a prized spot, warm and cozy, with a great view. And when the window is open the breeze is wonderful and brings in lots of sounds and scents for kitties to dream about.

Of course there is quite a bit of reflected light on Mimi’s black fur, which we know is not entirely black but quite brown. I had intended to sketch her in black for a contrast of her with the green leaves, but then I saw the colors and all was lost

I hope she does this again when I have the time to sketch her—I’d like to try it in other media, brush markers and watercolor pencils.

I did catch her in marker a few days later. Funny to see I had the window open on this day last year when today it was snowing!

. . . . . . .

Mimi Among the Geraniums 2

(On the right) Well, the last time I sketched this in colored pencil I was hoping I’d have the chance to capture it in brush marker, so today I did.

The markers don’t blend as well as colored pencil, but Mimi enjoys her sunbath in a slightly more abstract way because it’s just her and the leaves. This morning was too cold to have the window open, but that made the little windowsill like a greenhouse, trapping the sun’s warmth in the corner with her.

I like both sketches. There are elements of both mix of tones in the colored pencil and in the brushy bright solids of the brush markers. Soon those geraniums will go outside for the summer and the chance will be gone, but we’ll see what else I can do before then.

. . . . . . .

Mimi Among the Geraniums Garden Flag

cat garden flags

“Mimi Amng the Geraniums”

These “garden flags” are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finish by adding the rod pocket. (Bracket is not included.)

Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s the two designs above, but mirrored, my impression of Mimi enjoying the sunlight and the geranium at the window upstairs.

Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area.

My garden flags are designed with images of my feline artwork, from the quick colorful sketches I create each day to my detailed fine art paintings. They are made locally to me and I can work closely with the printer and have smaller quantities made, and therefore offer more designs.

Find this garden flag in my Etsy shop.


Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME


Commissioned Portrait: Milan and Felix

portrait of two cats

“Milan and Felix”, pastel, 22″ x 15″, 2005 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Milan and Felix spend some time together; yesterday we read their rescue story and today we study their portrait. Their rescuers volunteered for Animal Friends in Pittsburgh and won a portrait certificate I’d donated in a benefit auction. They’d won a portrait from another artist a few years before and had two other cats done, and it was actually Milan’s diabetes diagnosis that gave them the idea to have a portrait done of these two in 2005.

I remember looking at photos and planning the composition to show the best angles of their faces and all the best markings on each of them, Milan’s distinctive white areas and Felix’s many bracelets and necklaces. The two have completely different styles of stripes, but both have that classic eyeliner that I always find so lovely around a cat’s eyes. I actually look forward to firming up that eyeliner as a finishing touch at the end of working on the face.

detail of portrait

Detail of Felix’s face.

I wanted to choose a pose for each that suited their nature. The two were friendly but didn’t cuddle so I also knew I’d have to leave some sort of space between them, yet I also wanted the portrait composition to work. I saw this pose of Milan and I really liked how it showed Milan’s interesting resting position; the pose was also different enough from the sitting position I’d had in mind for Felix that it just might work as a way to “leave space” between them and yet have a composition without holes in it. The open upper left corner kind of naturally balanced.

This portrait of Milan and Felix, with their everyday markings and casual postures, could be any two cats in any household, a couple of rescued cats enjoying their day.

detail of portrait

Detail of Felix’s face.

The two had quiet, friendly natures and their postures certainly conveyed that, but the way I’d work the background should as well. Normally I’d choose a color and shade the subjects would stand out well in front of but in this case it would be a shade of blue and that didn’t really suit them. I used a neutral tan, the shade you find between a tabby cat’s stripes, but worked many pastel colors into the tan, especially in the highlights, and used deep greens for the shadows so they’d stay vibrant though dark.

This portrait is done in Rembrandt pastels for the most part, with finishing detail in Conté pastel pencils, on Wallis sanded pastel paper.

A little more about Milan and Felix and their people—and doggy brother

two cats on deck

Milan and Felix enjoy the deck in June 2011.

Some time after the two cats had come together in the house, their mom noticed Milan wasn’t walking quite right, especially in using his hind legs. Milan was diagnosed with diabetes so she gave him insulin shots and he was fine with it—no one would ever know. Diabetes is not difficult to treat but can be a challenge because of testing and needles. This didn’t bother their mom, so Milan certainly chose the best people to impress! He survived eight years with a great quality of life as Missy let me know in the autumn of 2012 that he’d passed.

This was one of the portraits I had to re-photograph when I discovered my image from a few years before wasn’t up to current reproduction standards. Unfortunately, the details aren’t quite what they could be but no matter, I enjoyed meeting the two and their mom again, and their doggy sister Murphy as well.

Felix said goodbye to Murphy in October 2013, but Missy let me know of a new addition to the Bauer Famil—Izzy, a corgi/spaniel/unknown mix, and says that Felix and Izzy have a special bond.

And I was fascinated with what Missy did with her purses and quilts; you can read more about Missy and Vic in Creating With Cats: Quilted Kitties for Fun and Charity.


About Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book and Great Rescues Day Book

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

Milan and Felix are the April cats in my Great Rescues Day Book, an undated monthly journal to record the dates of birthdays, anniversaries and events featuring sixteen of my commissioned portraits of rescued cats along with their rescue stories.

This book is built from Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, the original 16-month calendar published in 2011 to inaugurate my series of rescue stories related to the portraits I’ve painted over the years.

Click here or on the image of the book at left, or either of the links above to read more.

Also, read more about Great Rescues families, those who appear in each of the two volumes so far. I’ll be featuring one story each month corresponding with the portrait that appears in the book for that month. That means there are four extra, and I’ll slip those in when the story itself feels appropriate.


 

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair

Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs

Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski

Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table

After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.


Purchase a Gift Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

Enter the recipient’s name
Enter shipping address

You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive through PayPal. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.


Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

FinnBaxter-ad


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

HOME


A Great Rescue: Milan and Felix

portrait of two cats

“Milan and Felix”, pastel, 22″ x 15″, 2005 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

TWO ADULT CATS who’d lost their people but found their way to the same rescuing household; we build our rescued families first out of need and then out of love—do we really find our way to each other, animals and people, until we’re where we should be?

. . . . . . .

After his owner went into a nursing home Milan found himself at Animal Friends in Pittsburgh. His mom, who volunteered there, noticed the shy tabby and white cat and took him home for a cage break. He blossomed and she and her husband fell in love with his big personality; cage break was over as he became permanent.

Felix was found wandering in the neighborhood between Christmas and New Years about a year later with no collar and no microchip; neighbors agreed that he had just appeared about a week before. His people took him in and got him on the wait list for Animal Friends. Three weeks later when Animal Friends called and said there was room for him at the shelter he had already worked his way into their hearts and made best friends with Milan—no shelter for Felix! He had chosen the right home to wander by; cats always know.

. . . . . . .

Sadly, we lost Milan in September 2012, but this family has not stopped rescuing cats—or dogs, and the continue to volunteer for Animal Friends. Also, Milan and Felix’s mom is a skilled quilter and makes cat-themed quilts to donate for shelter benefits. Read Creating With Cats Quilted Kitties for Fun and Charity.

. . . . . . .

Tomorrow I’ll write about Milan and Felix’s portrait as this week’s featured commissioned portrait. Here is April with Milan and Felix’s portrait and rescue story in Great Rescues Day Book:

page in day book with cats

April in Great Rescues Day Book.


About Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book and Great Rescues Day Book

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

Holly is one of the rescued cats in my Great Rescues Day Book, an undated monthly journal to record the dates of birthdays, anniversaries and events featuring sixteen of my commissioned portraits of rescued cats along with their rescue stories. This book is built from Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, the original 16-month calendar published in 2011 to inaugurate my series of rescue stories related to the portraits I’ve painted over the years. Click here or on the image of the book at left, or either of the links above to read more. Also, read more about Great Rescues families, those who appear in each of the two volumes so far. I’ll be featuring one story each month corresponding with the portrait that appears in the book for that month. That means there are four extra, and I’ll slip those in when the story itself feels appropriate.


Read other stories in my Rescue Stories series.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

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Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features: Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!

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Garden Flags for Spring and Summer

garden flags

Such a sweet peaceful scene–almost like spring!

Well, we had a nice day last Saturday, it was warm-ish and the frozen pond by my front porch and the glacier at the back finally thawed enough to be safe to walk. But the sun was so pretty, it was breezy, and my garden flags were so colorful it looked like spring! But those pink bows are frozen, and I really need to change them to green for St. Patrick’s Day. And I really need to change out “Kitty in Pink”, at least, for one of my other flags!

Still Product Testing

This winter has been a great test of these flags—they are right by the street and regularly get hit with pellets of road salt because I live on a very steep hill. More than usual we’ve had ice coating everything along with snow and sub-zero temperatures for over a week at a time. And this bit of sun is all this portion of my front yard sees, for about 20 minutes each day—the big spruce is to the south and blocks everything, very nice in summer, but keeping everything frozen in winter.

garden flags

Waving in the breeze…

The salt truck just went by. And as the temperature is currently about 10 degrees with a windchill below zero and a whiteout of snow, I need to look at another photo from just last Saturday, with just a bit of a breeze.

While fading in the sun is a main consideration with materials for a garden flag, winter weathering also needs to be tested. The ink is printed on the surface of the material, and cold weather itself, as well as that icy covering, can make the material itself or the ink on the surface brittle so I’d checked for fading and cracks and any other changes through the course of this winter. I only found a few specks, hardly noticeable, and no damage at all.

In summer the consideration in this spot is the constant shade and checking for any mold or mildew or discoloration or deterioration during wet and humid weather in an excessively shady spot, especially with all those ground covers that hold moisture.

The flag on the left, “In Afternoon Sun”, and the “Two Cats After van Gogh” flag have been there since last April when I printed my first proofs, before I began selling them, so they’ve gone through a baking summer punctuated with violent storms that blew branches off my trees, and humid weather, followed by this icy frozen winter. The ink and fabric are intact, as is the stitching.

garden flags

Let’s take one more look.

About the flags

black cat with garden flag

Mimi poses with her favorite design, featuring her, of course.

At left Mimi models her favorite design, I presume, since this was when she chose to saunter over and rub herself on the bracket even though she is featured in three other designs. Mimi is not included with your order, I need her here to model for more art, supervise their design, and especially act as art director for our back yard photo shoots.

These are digitally printed on a product called digital satin, a woven product intended for outdoor as well as indoor use. It’s heavier than the nylon most other flags are made of, but if I’m judging by the the survival of the ones I have outdoors now this is tough and durable material, no fading, scratches in the finish, fraying or wrinkling of the flag in any way. I’m sure, like any other product, if the flag is in direct sun for more than four hours per day it will eventually fade, but the testing worked better than I’d thought. You can read about the development of these flags as well as backyard testing and a photo shoot with Mimi and me in Backyard Product Development and Testing With My Assistant, Mimi.

black cat with sewing machine

Mewsette inspects the threading of a bobbin.

The flags are printed flat and, after an inspection by either Mr. Sunshine, my engineer cat as shown below, or Mewsette as seen here, I fold over an stitch the pocket on each. They are then inspected by one or more felines prior to packaging.

I ship the garden flags flat at this point—the fabric holds a curl really well and some flags I had stored never wanted to completely flatten out. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, seen here and sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area. You can order on through me, but with their weight and size it adds to the shipping cost.

Current designs

black cats and garden flags

Finished flags are inspected.

I have eleven garden flag designs now with three holiday designs now available in my Etsy shop, each one a completely different style and theme to suit any garden—fine art, Impressionist, Warhol-esque and “after van Gogh”, black cats, pink cats, tabby cats and calico cats, and of course, those tortie girls! Three are holiday designs, but the rest are summer and colorful.

These eight summery flags actually feature twelve images. All are two-sided, and most have two different designs so you can turn them around and show something different, or you can put them along a walk and see both sides as you move in each direction. I began with the most popular and requested images, and from those chose and ones that fit well on the shape of the flag while the image was still easily recognizable from a distance. Colors can be a little unpredictable with digital printing, and this digital fabric is a new product, but the colors and detail are astonishing.

The designs below are currently available in my Etsy shop—click the image to go to the product on Etsy, or scroll down for links to the images to read more about the original sketches here on The Creative Cat.


"Cats After Van Gogh"

“Cats After Van Gogh”

cat garden flags

“Mimi Amng the Geraniums”

cat garden flag

“Fine Art Cats”

garden flag with cats

“Impressionist Cats”


cat garden flag

“The Roundest Eyes”

cat garden flag

“The Goddess”

cat garden flag

“Kitty in Pink:

cat garden flag

“In Afternoon Sun”


Following is a list of links to the daily sketch or painting:

Cats After van Gogh: Two Cats After van Gogh/In Window Light

Mimi Among the Geraniums 1/Mimi Among the Geraniums 2

Fine Art Cats: Peaches and Peonies/After Dinner Nap

Impressionist Cats: Stanley With Apple/White Cat Reflecting

The Roundest Eyes (white background)/The Roundest Eyes (yellow background)

The Goddess (white background)/The Goddess (yellow background)

Kitty in Pink/Kitty in Pink

In Afternoon Sun/In Afternoon Sun

Below, just my favorite photo of my first proofs in my yard! Of course, I’ve moved them around, but this is what I was envisioning last year when I first had the idea to create these.

garden flags with cats

Garden flags are here!


black cat with sewing machine

Mr. Sunshine inspecting my sewing machine.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats! Mr. Sunshine inspected my sewing machine and had the whole thing figured out before I even sat down to thread it.



Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

 


Also browse Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.



Featured Artwork

If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and at assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, each week I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Choose the category for featured artwork.


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

FinnBaxter-ad


All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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