Author Archives: Bernadette

The TNR Story Print or Poster

marker illustration of 63 cats

“The TNR Story”, 8″ x 14″, Sharpie markers © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“The TNR Story”

63 spayed and neutered cats in two paragraphs of cat shapes

“and no one ever had any more kittens, and they all lived happily ever after.”

THE END

CWA Certificate of Excellence badge.

CWA Certificate of Excellence badge.

This art was inspired by working in post op at the May Homeless Cat Management Team TNR clinic. I’m pleased to say that it won a Certificate of Excellence for Illustration in the Cat Writers’ Association annual communications contest this year, and is therefore in the running for a Muse Medallion. I would say the cats at this clinic were certainly muses for me!

I study cats all the time but it’s not too often I get to handle that many cats, especially when they are still pretty much under anesthetic, aside from a few ambitious ones. Cat after cat, large and small, male and female, solid, striped spotted, I cleaned ears and checked toes and combed fur for fleas and other parasites and finished off their ear tips, applied flea treatment and in passing studied their fur and their markings.

In that state they all look pretty much the same as far as where they came from and where they will be returned, whether it’s to a human and a loving home or to a human and a parking lot where they’ll be fed and watched over by a colony caretaker, regardless of whether their paperwork says they are stray or feral or owned by a caring human, at that moment, as I always say, they are all just cats.

All the fur colors and patterns and textures, the way they felt as I handled them, each of them soft and warm and relaxed, and then later as they awoke in recovery and began to get up and bathe a little and find a comfortable spot and position in their carrier or trap, stayed with me and I envisioned this artwork as I drove home, all those cat shapes together in simple marker sketches, simple colors, clearly visual, telling the story of TNR.

I began to plan it out that evening, but especially since it’s far from my usual daily sketch I knew it would take extra time. The idea stayed with me and each day after I worked out a few more details of medium, style, the actual shapes of all the kitties and how I’d represent their spots.

I decided I’d do it for “Just One Day” day, June 11, when shelters are encouraged to stop any voluntary euthanasia for just one day and instead photograph and actively promote the animals in their care for adoption, making the United States a no-kill nation for just that one day. Spaying and neutering companion animals regardless of whether or not they are actually a pet is a big part of reducing the amount of killing that happens in shelters, both by reducing populations being born and populations living on the streets by removing kittens and rescuing friendly cats for adoption, and by keeping these cats, considered unadoptable, out of shelters altogether.

We served 63 cats at the May 25 clinic, so there are 63 little cats in the art. I don’t know if the balance of coat colors and patterns and fur types and sizes represent what was actually there, but I let the choices rise from my subconscious so it’s no doubt in part from memory and in part from my design sense of a visually interesting layout of colors and shapes. I tried to capture each cat in a very simple representation so they were seen as a group, the way I remembered them all.

I also intentionally kept the colors limited. In part that’s the way I visualized it and I honor those visualizations. Each cat is outlined in black and the coat patterns and colors, built from a light orange and a dark orange and a gray to shade the black. As I continued to visualize I decided it could also easily be reproduced by screen printing so I planned it out with clear edges that could be easily color separated.

I had planned how I would draw the grid of cat shapes and laid out a physical grid in pencil on a piece of semi-transparent layout bond way back on clinic day, leaving space top and bottom for the text, then spent the intervening time thinking about cat shapes and how I’d represent the stripes and spots and such, letting the layout of colors and patterns work itself out in my mind. I watched my cats in sleep and at rest to derive the positions of the cats and drew a little cat shape in pencil inside each of the blocks where a cat would appear. I then laid another sheet of the layout bond over top and began coloring them in starting with the lighter orange and determining which would stay solid light orange and which would have stripes and which would have spots—and which would become dilute calico and dilute tortoiseshell—then moving to the light blue to represent the gray and dilute kitties, adding black stripes to some and building tuxedo cats and cow spotted cats and tortoiseshell cats and even a few Siamese-patterned cats, outlining them after finishing each coat pattern.

I actually used my set of colored Sharpie markers for this because it gave me the line quality I wanted, but I didn’t have a gray marker the right shade in any of my marker sets. I used a light blue intending to desaturate it in Photoshop after I’d scanned the art so that the blue appeared gray, which I did but I decided I really liked it better with the original light blue. Gray cats do have a bluish cast, and it simply looks more colorful and eye-catching with the blue, plus blue and orange are color complements and I think that visual is at work here as well.

I’d love to screen print this art just for the sake of screen printing, but for now I am offering this print as an archival digital print and as a poster on a lighter weight non-archival poster board. I was glad to share this inspiration for Just One Day” and now for Feral Cat Day we can still work to reduce the numbers of animals killed in shelters every day.

You can purchase this poster in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

Another Opportunity to Donate With Purchase

sketch of black cat

“Kennedy”, white and black charcoal on gray toned paper, 5″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

If it hadn’t been for an organized group of rescuers Kennedy would never have found his way to my home. He would never have been rescued, and I would never have known him and been able to share him with you. Now that he is gone and the original will soon be on its way to Australia, I’m offering prints of the sketch and your opportunity to make a donation of $5.00 with each print purchased to the cat rescue I work with, Pittsburgh CAT, or to the Homeless Cat Management Team to help spay and neuter more cats so there won’t be so many to rescue.

I’m sure Kennedy is familiar to you now if you’ve been reading The Creative Cat, but if not you can read about this sketch when I first posted it, and the auction of the sketch to raise donations for his care, and read all the articles about Kennedy from when he arrived on June 16, 2014. Visit the post about the donations to learn more about the sketches and the donations.

You can find this print for sale in my Etsy shop.


black cat on floor

Kennedy looks up at me, sitting behind my chair.

Marketplace

Kennedy sits behind my chair in the studio to make sure I stay focused on my work.

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.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

Donations

I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.

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 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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The Deserted Cottages, Recalling a Long-ago Image, and a Friend

painting of deserted cottages by lake

Deserted Cottages, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Original pastel painting, 17″ x 8.5″, 1999

Three years ago this month I posted the original of this painting of deserted cottages along Lake Erie for sale here and in my Etsy shop, including the story below connecting it to an old cardboard painting in my mother’s house found when I was selling it that had been an unwitting inspiration for my work today, along with memories of my mother.

A friend I hadn’t seen since middle school read the story, knew the place where the cottages had been and contacted me. We met and reunited our friendship after 35 years, and she bought the painting because she and her family had spent summers at that place while she was growing up. She had so many precious memories from all those years and the painting brought it all back to her. It also made a nice new bond between us and we regularly communicated after that, hoping to meet for a little vacation at a spot near this place she now visited over summers with her family, but also sharing our love of cats and crochet.

Unfortunately, she unexpectedly died this past summer. I’ve been remembering her daily since then and wondering how she could slip away so soon and unexpectedly, and it always brings me back to this painting. I’m so glad she had it with her for her last three years. She had a part of me with this painting, and I had a part of her with the memory each time I saw it in my portfolio, or as one of the prints I have on hand. I didn’t make it up to Lake Erie to spend time with her, but I will be sure to get to this area and remember her.

And here is the original story I published then, full of emotional connections as well. My mother had died earlier that year, 2011, and I was also renewing my bond with my art which I had let fall aside while I cared for her in her increasing illness over a decade.

. . . . . . .

Anything can become a learning opportunity and an inspiration, even a cheap cardboard painting stapled into a rickety wood frame. It worked for me.

I painted “Deserted Cottages” en plein air at a deserted campground in North East along Lake Erie. It was just a quick thing at the end of the day because the sun was going down and the light was changing fast, but I’d been painting all day and I was well warmed up. I quickly blocked in the buildings with just a few simple shapes and colors and their traceries of shadows, then the trees and grass, trying to catch the fluttering effect of the leaves in the wind allowing chunks of sky to show through, the tree trunks simplified and in high light-dark contrast, the blank expression of the boarded windows. I was pleased with the outcome, yet something was strangely familiar.

J.E. Warfield Painting

J.E. Warfield Painting

Six years later I put my mother’s house up for sale as she had moved to personal care, and took down her collection of cardboard art in plastic frames that I’d studied in depth growing up. It may not have been expensive, but there was a lot of it, in every room, including the basement. I particularly remembered the one long narrow painting with the signature J.E. Warfield because I liked the way the trees were leafy, not solid, and opened to the sky, the shadows traced across the ground and the buildings were very simple; after studying it as a child I felt that I could do that. Later, it hung on a paneling wall in the basement just inside the door from the garage where I entered for years, so I saw it every time I went into the house. Again, something was familiar.

I looked at “Deserted Cottages”, and looked at my cardboard Warfield. The tree trunks, the leaves, the simple buildings, the shadows—there it was! I could clearly see what I’d been aiming for as I’d painted six years before—this painting I’d been studying practically all my life.

detail of painting

Detail of the houses in the Warfield painting.

detail of painting

Detail of houses in my painting.

So it was a cheap cardboard painting stapled into a rickety wood frame—never underestimate the power of any image to inspire and teach! And I haven’t found out a darned thing about J.E. Warfield, but apparently this painting was a popular one judging by all the ones I’ve seen being sold as “vintage”.

Nothing is ever wasted for a creative person. I’ve learned to never dismiss something that impresses me for some reason, be it the cover of a bodice-ripper romance or a velvet painting or a doodle on a notebook, it goes “in there” somewhere and comes out somewhere else as a way I learned to work with color or shape or medium or just something that caught my eye and would catch others’ as well.

detail of painting

Detail of Warfield trees.

detail of painting

Detail of my trees.

Where to find this art

The art is 17″ x 8.5″, and when I originally posted this the original was hanging right above my desk, as it always had since I’d painted it.

While the original sold as mentioned above,  I have made a series of prints on paper and canvas which are available in my Etsy shop.

See other autumn art and landscapes

Click here to see an archive of autumn art and also landscape paintings.

And there are many more images to browse! Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . . .

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


“Kelly’s Morning Bath” Block Print on Handmade Papers

mounted block print

Canvas-mounted pint of “Kelly’s Morning Bath II”

The Kelly’s Morning Bath duo was the first feline pictorial block print I designed all the way back in 1998, even before The Tortie Girls duo of block prints. I was literally inspired by Kelly’s daily morning bath in front of the big casement window, sketched it up and cut the block—twice, because I wasn’t sure I liked the first version. As it turns out I like both equally well, and since I’ve been printing them on gift bags and tote bags and other things, I’ve come to use version 1 as a framed and matted print because it has just the essential image, and version 2 as an imprint because it has the decorative border.

cat in front of window

Kelly at the Window, Morning.

About Block Printing

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique. Kelly was indeed on my work table to supervise the printing of this block print inspired by her daily morning bath in front of our favorite window.

A morning like this reminds me of the original inspiration for this print. The photo above is from 2011, but I really loved watching Kelly bathe enthusiastically every morning in front of this window where the morning sun shines through the leaves at a wonderful angle, silhouetting her and the window itself, visualizing a finished work as a block print to capture the stark dark and light and using various colored and patterned papers to capture the leafy shadows.

I did several sketches and had the idea I’d like to do a multi-frame image to capture her action as a process rather than a just one view; anyone who’s ever watched a cat bathe knows that just one view doesn’t capture the whole sense of the cat bath. I knew I wanted that lovely graceful curve and the silhouette of her looking at me in one frame, and I had to have a “leg in the air” frame of Kelly washing between her toes, and Kelly also has a sweet habit of pausing in the middle of a face wash as if she’s hit a point of meditation—this is the first frame.

Once I decided on the three frames I wanted to use I placed them in various orders, but there was only one sequence that I liked best. Here is my first design for Kelly’s Morning Bath.

block print on green background

Kelly’s Morning Bath 1 on green leafy paper

That looked a little stark, though it was what I’d been visualizing. Then I cut one with a more decorative border, added more of the window and eliminated the shading across the middle keeping it stark black and white, and I liked that design too! They officially became Kelly’s Morning Bath 1 and 2.

block print of cat in front of window

Kelly’s Morning Bath 2, peachy speckle paper

I print them both, and I’ll often print just one panel at a time on items such as gift bags or other small things.

Printing these two designs on unique papers was part of the design plan, and when I began finding handmade rice papers with leaves and flowers embedded I knew I’d found the best choices. This package of handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper (could it be any better?) provided a dozen varieties of prints with a white and a cream background, and shades of green, rose and rust for spring, summer and fall.

I am currently framing these as well as mounting them on the stretched canvases beginning with these two color variations.

I’ve long offered these as framed prints, and last year began experimenting with wood-mounting artwork since I found a ready source for the wood blocks to be used. After the first group was done I began looking at other art and images the block prints are idea as I’d mounted prints of The Tortie Girls on wooden trays and blocks, but the shape and size of Kelly’s Morning Bath isn’t readily available in wood blocks. However, I knew there was another resource and found it in stretched canvases in the perfect size as if they were made for this! They are actually deep enough to be able to stand up on a tabletop, as shown below.


Kelly’s Morning Bath I Matted and Framed

matted and framed block print of cat

“Kelly’s Morning Bath 1″ matted and framed, pink tones.

This is the plainer of the two prints and my original idea. I usually use this version rather than the more decorative one because the decorative border is a bit much in a mat and frame, but I always use various colors of black or color core mat and always a matte black frame to coordinate with the ink.

The image size is 3″ x 10″, the frame size is 7″ x 14″. The mats are as shown, 1-1/2″, with a matte-finish black composite wood frame. You can find these two variations in my Etsy shop.


Kelly’s Morning Bath II Mounted on Canvas

canvas-mounted block print of cat

“Kelly’s Morning Bath I” block print in green tones.

detail of mounted cat print

Detail of depth and mounting.

This is the more decorative of the two prints so I’ve used it for the canvas mounting. The canvas blocks are 4″ x 12″ on the face and a little over 1″ deep. I wrap the front and sides of the canvas with the same paper as the print and glue it to the surface, then I trim the print to fit the face of the canvas and glue that on top of the paper. Both the paper and the prints have a few extra wrinkles after the adhesive swells and dries but it gives it that wonderful papery look and feel. Finally, I cover the entire surface with a coat of matte-finish Modge Podge so that the surface can be dusted or wiped with a mild cleaner.

mounted block print of cat

“Kelly’s Morning Bath II” mounted on canvas, pink tones.

I don’t add a hanger to these because the back of the canvas is deep enough to safely hold onto whatever hanger you use on your wall. I do add bumper pads in the lower corners, though, to help the piece hang straight. You can find both of these in my Etsy shop.


You can find these and more in my Etsy shop, as well as more views of each piece, as I work my way through all the variations on prints of these wonderful papers.


black cat in front of print

Mimi was unhappy at all the attention the block was getting.

Marketplace

And I was all set up to photograph all these pieces atop the wardrobe at the top of the stairs for the excellent light but as you can see Mimi put an end to that, a little piqued that she was not getting the attention she felt she deserved at that moment.

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.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

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


Subscribe to the Portraits of Animals Preview E-newsletter

Or click here to open a sign up form in a new window (which seems to work better).


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 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

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: Bok 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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The Splendor of Autumn, Original Art and Prints

peppers by bernadette e. kazmarski
autumn wildflower harvest by bernadette e kazmarski
autumn in the valley by bernadette e. kazmarski

The Studio of
Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The Splendor of Autumn

Original Art and Prints

market flowers by bernadette e. kazmarski
birches 1: autumn showers by bernadette e. kazmarski
Squashes by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
birches 2: radiance by bernadette e. kazmarski
backyard birds holiday card set by bernadette e kazmarski
Autumn has arrived in the angle and color of sunlight, leaves beginning to change from green to their autumn brilliance, geese flying south and my bird feeders mobbed by birds on some days, and cooler days and nights. I’m offering a special discount until the last day of autumn, December 20, 2014, on all autumn-themed artwork in my Etsy shop: 25% off anything in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery. Just use the code “AUTUMN25″ for your special discount.Just as I have galleries of summer and winter artwork, so do I have a gallery of autumn artwork. Just a few are featured here but you can view and read about others in my Etsy gallery. As much of autumn artwork has to do with trees doing their autumn thing, and Western Pennsylvania is largely tree covered, I’ve had a lot of material to work with through the years. Some were painted en plein air, some were studio pieces.

Click on any of the images in this newsletter, top, sidebar, text area or bottom, to find out more about it.

pastel painting of autumn trailThis year I’m adding a new image to my autumn gallery, “Colorful Autumn Trail”, which I featured in my exhibit on the Panhandle Trail, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow”. I am happy to say I sold the original during the event, but I have archival-quality digital prints of this piece, and can easily have gicleé prints and canvas prints made.

As a new way to present prints of my artwork. you’ll find many are gallery-wrapped canvas prints, including “Main Street at Twilight”, at the top. That’s not the only photograph in this collection, as I’m also offering the ever-popular “Market Flowers” and “Fresh Peppers”.

I’m also offering several popular paintings as canvas prints: “Birches 1: Autumn Showers” and  “Birches 2: Radiance”, and “Autumn in the Valley” and “Dusk in the Woods”. Each of these is 16″ x 20″ and would make wonderful sets of two or even four. They can hang unframed, just as they are, or they can easily slip into a standard frame size with no need for glass or mat. Please ask about framing options.

I’m offering a special discount until the last day of autumn, December 20, 2014, on all autumn-themed artwork in my Etsy shop: 25% off anything in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery. Just use the code “AUTUMN25″ for your special discount.

. . . . . . .
I also have a selection of sets of holiday cards featuring scenes from nature in photos and art:
“Backyard Bird Paintings”“Cardinals on a Snowy Day”“Unexpected Berries”“Winter Walks”“Winter Beauty Paintings”
Browse my full selection of Holiday Cards.
. . . . . . .
Thank you for browsing my artwork in this e-newsletter. If you’d like to share this with a friend, please use the “Forward to a Fried” link below and this will ensure the e-mail and its contents compose correctly when forwarded, and if you’ve received this from a friend and want to receive my studio e-newsletters on a regular basis, use the “subscription preferences” below to sign up. As always, if you are no longer interested in receiving these e-mails, use the subscription preferences below to remove your e-mail from the list.
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soft november afternoon by bernadette e kazmarski
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Donations to Benefit Events

pastel sketch of cat

“Swirling Bath”, pastel on multi-media paper, framed.

Good luck to the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in their 15th annual Paw Prints Gala on October 18, 2014. I framed and donated this original sketch called “Swirling Bath” from May 15, 2014, so if you are one of those who really liked this sketch this is your chance to get it! I will have prints available in my Etsy shop after the event on October 18.

I’m so pleased to be able to help the Animal Rescue League—they work so hard to rescue and foster pets, and the rescue I work with has found many a home through the shelter. I hope the bidding is high on this original sketch!

Advocates 4 Animals

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

A friend in the Cat Writers’ Association co-founded Advocates 4 Animals in Xenia, OH in 2003, hoping to change the lives of animals in shelters and county pounds and introduce “no kill” methods of sheltering animals to their area. Inspired by a little cat named Princess, they hope to end neglect and homelessness for cats in Greene County, OH, and offer Feral Cat and Spay It Forward Programs, Pet Food Pantry, Senior and “Hard to Adopt” Pet Adoption and Rescue/Adoption Programs. They also rescue and rehome dogs of all ages.

I hope this certificate raises enough to rescue, feed, spay or provide veterinary care for a whole bunch of homeless pets! I have already heard from the winner and look forward to painting the portrait for the winning bidder knowing they support this rescue organization.


black cat paws

Mewsette makes sure my label is secure.

Donations

I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.

Mewsette makes sure my label is securely fixed on the folder for the certificate donation.

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.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

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


Subscribe to the Portraits of Animals Preview E-newsletter

Or click here to open a sign up form in a new window (which seems to work better).


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 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

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: Bok 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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It’s Almost Time for Meow-lo-ween, and Madame Mewsette and the Three Witches!

halloween black cat decorations

Happy Meow-lo-ween!

halloween design featuring four black cats

“Happy Meow-lo-ween from The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse!”

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season?

This sketch from Halloween night in 2012 as I handed out my candy and all the knocking got to be a bit much for these four was destined to be a Halloween design. I put together my desktop calendars, but when I designed the card the sketch needed a little something extra so I drew a pumpkin to add to the design.

You can find Happy Meow-lo-ween! in my Etsy shop as a single card and as a half dozen and I offer it with either a white or an orange envelope. Other quantities are available as well, and this card assorts with all other cards.

"Happy Meow-lo-ween" design.

“Happy Meow-lo-ween” garden flag.

Happy Meow-lo-ween Garden Flag

In addition, I’ve printed a Halloween garden flag in the same design. 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. Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s the same design back to back. 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.

You can find the Happy Meow-lo-ween garden flag in my Etsy shop.

Other Halloween cards featuring cats you know

As you’ll see below, the photos in the designs below are from my posting last year on October 31 as well as the one from October 30. In addition, three other designs include photos which appeared on The Creative Cat or one one of my other blogs. From the time I took the photo and when I posted it somewhere on one of my blogs and received the feedback about it, I’ve held onto a creative idea for those images: Halloween cards!

I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons so I actually tried to avoid this, but from the combination of looking at cards in shops whenever I get the chance, and currently compiling my holiday cards to post for sale this autumn and winter, I decided I really did want to create a few Halloween cards this year—especially when my generous felines gave me these first two images which were completely unposed—I got out the pumpkins, but my black cats organized the creative compositions!

And it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday. I so love to see my cats in my design work and share them with others.

You can find them in my Etsy shop as individuals (click each image for a direct link) and as a set of six, but also enjoy the stories of how these images became greeting cards. All cards come with the option of either a white or an orange envelope.

Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna
Halloween greeting card

Madame Mewsette will tell your For-tuna

This card, “Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna” features Miss Mewsette, who has a strong sense of the dramatic and arranged herself in this living still life, then looked at me as I walked through the room at night, probably preparing dinner. Where’s my camera?! And my tripod for this one, a difficult shot with the lamp contrasting with the very dark areas around, but Mewsette was patient. Here is what I included in the post adapted to the back of the card:

This is what Mewsette is dressed up as to celebrate this evening’s events. And she didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.

When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.

Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!

Enter: Three WITCHES
Halloween greeting card

Enter: Three WITCHES

This card, “Enter: Three WITCHES” features Miss Mewsette, her mom Mimi and her brother Giuseppe.

This image was taken on the same night as the one above, as Mewsette was joined by her mom and brother. Dinner was late as it was much more important to get all the photos I possibly could while they arranged themselves!

I majored in English in college and still keep my books around and still read Shakespeare. The text from MacBeth came to me as I looked at them gathered together around the lamp—I remember I couldn’t wait to post the photo and share the idea! Here’s what I posted with the photo and placed on the back of the card.

Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.

Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.

Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!

Boo!
halloween card with black cat

“Boo!” featuring Lucy.

This card, “Boo!”, features Lucy from a photo I took in early summer 2007. Sadly, I lost Lucy to FIP when she was 15 months old so she never had the chance to develop her career as all my other cats have, so I love to use her image in a creative endeavor whenever possible. It’s my way of remembering and honoring my relationships with my cats, no matter how short or long they may have been.

When I took this photo of her next to the orange paper lamp most of my greeting cards were just a vague idea of something to be done in the future, and I dreamed of various other products like tote bags and woven blankets and all the other things I’m finally getting around to creating. I knew some day I’d want to use this photo as a Halloween or fall-themed image either as a card or another product, not the least because I knew I’d be losing Lucy sometime soon after it was taken. I kept this photo in mind all this time and, finally, here she is.

I Dare You
Halloween card

“I Dare You!”

This card, “I Dare You”, features my next-door neighbor’s calico cat, who could have a bit of an attitude as you can see by her expression, but I enjoyed her visits for the brief time they let her outside.

She had unique markings—her face, legs and tail are calico including white paws, but her torso is tortoiseshell. Even though she’s not my cat I loved this photo generally as her colors and random markings blended with the random leaves in the grass as well as the way the vibrant green and bright orange enhance each other. Her expression just makes it all the better.

I had actually posted her on The Creative Cat because the neighbors were moving and for a while were concerned that they couldn’t keep her indoors with two young children going in and out all the time. Apparently they worked that out since she’s doing fine in their new home.

Silhouettes
halloween card

“Silhouettes”

This card features the big yellow Harvest Moon I photographed in September 2011, and the silhouettes of two of my five black cats in a wordless design that actually can be used even outside of Halloween.

I’ve photographed nearly every full moon this year and post the images on my daily photo blog, Today. I wanted to incorporate this year’s Harvest Moon in at least one design, initially working with a photo where they sky was somewhat blue intending to use the cat images as a dark silhouette, but I just didn’t like the way it looked and so used one of the later shots where the sky was solid black, coordinating the color of the silhouetted cats to match the pale orange of the moon, light against dark instead of dark against light.

This image I used for the silhouettes is of Jelly Bean and Mimi looking out the front window where I often catch those silhouettes of two and three and four cats in the morning, but I never posted this one, possibly because there were several others I posted in the beginning of January 2011 when this was taken. My original idea was also to have several cats in silhouette possibly looking up at the moon or simply sitting with tails dangling hanging out as buddies, but I liked the pose and the more romantic idea this brought to the card; in every project there is space for change and development from what I first intended, and this is one example of that. I also adapted this card in red for Valentine’s Day.

We Three Pumpkins
halloween cards

We Three Pumpkins

This card, “We Three Pumpkins”, features my photos of jack-o-lanterns taken at the annual Night Walk on the Panhandle Trail. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 pumpkins donated by Beccaris Farm Market, and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance.

I use the trail all the time, volunteer for events as well as manage their website and social networking, and photograph the pumpkins every year seeking out the feline-themed pumpkins especially. When I posted my article about the many purposes of pumpkins this year I decided I wanted to use these photos in something else related to the holiday, so they became one of my cards.

They are all on Etsy

These 5″ x 7″ cards are printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message (please convo on Etsy). I sell them as individuals and as a set of six—but for this year the set of six will include seven, to include the new design.


Tortie Girls Garden Flags for Halloween too!

garden flags with tortoiseshell cats

“Tortie Girls” garden flags.

The Tortie Girls designs are based on a pair of linoleum block prints I designed in 2001 to show off my two torties’ best features. Typically I print these by hand and hand-color the print, but the size of these flags didn’t accommodate the 9” x 12” original so these are digitally printed from a hand-colored original print which I scanned. Each flag has the same design printed front and back, with a white background on one side and a yellow background on the other. “The Goddess” features Cookie and “The Roundest Eyes” features Kelly.

Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s either “The Goddess” or “The Roundest Eyes” on both sides, one side with a white background and one side with a yellow background.

You can find “The Goddess” garden flag and “The Roundest Eyes” garden flag in my Etsy shop.


And other Tortie Girls items for the season too!

block printed tablecloths with tortoiseshell cats

You really can’t go wrong with tortie girls in any season! Visit this post to read about the fun things I’ve made featuring Cookie and Kelly, or browse the gallery of what’s available in my Etsy shop.


For Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Seasons

I also offer Christmas, Hanukkah and winter holiday cards and garden flags featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography, and I’ll be posting more fully about them in a week or two, but here is a preview.

Since the late 1980s I’ve handmade my holiday cards or designed and printed them from my art, and eventually began offering the designs for sale to others. Then after my exhibit “Winter White” I decided to branch out to offer my artwork from that show, other artwork as well, and then my photos too, and last year designed cards with cats and nature for all the winter holidays.

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat

Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

Inside card.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Click here to see more samples! or go to my Etsy shop to browse the singles and sets.


Ordering Information

 . . . . . . .

Ordering Single Cards

 You can purchase individual cards from any of my shops, and I will generally mail them them out the same day in first-class mail.

Custom Sets

Right now custom ordering is done by contacting me directly, but all 5″ x 7″ cards in my Etsy shop and on my websites can be mixed and matched for your own custom set. If you’d like a few regular sympathy cards and a few other cards to complete your order, you can simply list them and send me an email, I’ll return a PayPal invoice. You can choose cards from anywhere on my website or in my Etsy shop.

Wholesale for Animal Professionals

All cards are available for wholesale prices and quantities to animal professionals, and likewise you can also assort all cards for your order. Please contact me for details.


two black cats with sewing machine

Mewsette and Mimi help me stitch the pockets into new garden flags.

Marketplace

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.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

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 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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Autumn in the Valley

Autumn in the Valley, pastel painting, 31" x 27", 2009

Autumn in the Valley, pastel painting, 31″ x 27″, 2009

Autumn in the Watershed

Sloping hills blaze with autumn color at a rocky, rippled bend in Chartiers Creek, yet on the horizon deep gray-purple clouds hover; although the day was sunny I remember it being distinctly chilly with a sharpness to the breeze, especially on the water in a canoe, and winter is literally on the horizon.

For two reasons the scene was reminiscent and inspiring: first, that I rounded the bend to see this natural splendor in all its detail, brilliant color, fluttering leaves, rippling water, changing clouds, happening all on its own with no help from me or any other human (read the poem, below) ; and, second, it was an example of that “change of season” with the gray-purple clouds of winter arriving on the horizon, two seasons blending into one another. I needed to share this image, and it was so moving that the inspiration also became a poem, and the title for my third annual poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Change of Season.

detail of painting

Detail of upper clouds.

And again, no, I couldn’t paint while paddling, and my little digital photos didn’t do the scene justice, yet other than wading down the creek and setting up an easel in the middle of the water, there was no other way of painting this. To take the scene from the tiny digital image to the full-size painting took a good bit of memory and visualization; it’s a good thing I’m very familiar with scenes like this. I don’t often work at this level of detail, especially at this size, but in order to share what I took from this moment, I found myself worker ever deeper into the minutiae of the scene so that others, viewing it, could hear the light lapping of the water, watch the clouds move, feel the warm sun on your back but the chill wind on your face, and the glory of those tree-covered hills.

detail of painting

Detail of that moment of change.

You really have to get into “the zone”, though, while working at that level on the painting, letting go of your space, yourself, to get back to that moment and all your perceptions from that time. I still go there when I look at the original, which was purchased and made a gift to Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall and hangs in the Reception Hall.

In the mini-ecosystem in the valley along Chartiers Creek, the color show begins a little later and the trees keep their leaves a little longer, perhaps because of the extra humidity along the water through the dry heat of late summer. The diversity of species is generally much greater in both the trees and the understory brush and grasses, which encourages a greater diversity of foliage color and shape. When the show begins, it’s absolutely breathtaking and it gets more stunning every day until a November storm rips the last of the leaves away.

detail of painting

Detail of reflections on the water.

This area of the creek is approximately below Rosslyn Farms, between Carnegie and Crafton. In this area, the creek’s channel was widened and dredged deeper and the banks made more sloping through the Fulton Flood Control Project, allowing all the runoff from upstream communities to flow ever faster down the valley without overflowing the banks or backing up into Carnegie, as had happened prior to the Project. Also, many of the trees were removed from the banks up to a certain level. Still, even with that modification, the channel remains beautiful and inviting in this lovely and unseen area of Chartiers Creek.

You can find a full-size giclee plus various sizes of digital prints, framed and unframed in my Etsy shop.

A Poem Inspired by the Scene

I actually wrote a poem about the scene before I did the painting, so inspiring was that particular moment.

Effortless

I paddled the canoe around the bend,
And was faced with the effortless beauty of the panorama,
The trees in all their colors, the sky with changing clouds,
The water moving and reflecting simultaneously,
All perfectly arranged,
I realized that my creations are but raindrops in a puddle,
Wisps of cloud that change and dissipate
My solitary accomplishments borne of great effort
Would never equal this one solitary scene
Or the one I would have seen the day before or the day after
Evolved on its own, no one to frame it and display it and promote it
As it quietly exists through the day.
We humans sometimes get to think everything happens because of us
But these trees and grasses and hills arrange themselves
And create great beauty effortlessly
Simply in the process of their everyday existence.
So I did a painting that can never match the original
So that I may remember my place.

Read the rest of the poetry from my annual poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, in 2009 entitled Change of Season.

Art On Sale

All my autumn artwork is on sale until the Winter Solstice. Read this post to find out more and how to use your discount code.

About Art of the Watershed

A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed

pastel painting of snowy woods with stream at dusk

Dusk in the Woods, pastel © B.E.Kazmarski

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord,” said Henry David Thoreau in Walden, his paradox of exploring a small town and its surroundings teaching him as much about human life and the interactions of nature as if he had traveled rare and exotic places about the globe.

I’d love to paint faraway exotic places, but in the interests of time I stay close to home for my hiking, bicycling, canoeing, walking and painting excursions, that being the valley where the Lower Chartiers Creek flows.

I’ve seen some exquisite sights on my adventures, and committed them to various media. The most moving are the ones I’ve chosen to paint large and in detail so that I might convey at least a portion of the grandeur that moved me beyond awe to action, sharing the places right around us though most people would never see them. Thus was born the series offering an image indicative of the watershed in each season.

Visit my website to see the full set of paintings included in the “Art of the Watershed” series.

Autumn in the Valley availability

You can find a full-size giclee plus various sizes of digital prints, framed and unframed in my Etsy shop.


“View From Beechwood”, Original and Prints

painting of autumn street scene

“View from Beechwood”, 19″ x 15″, acrylic and ink, 1983.

This painting was another entry into Carnegie Painted, even though I’d done the painting years before, just out of college, long before I’d decided to devote my career to art. I had given it to my mother as a gift, and when she moved from her home to assisted living the painting moved with her until she had no wall space for it. When I took it back I realized how much I like it, and decided to enter it in the show and then make prints of it. I marvel that I created this when I did, 1983, and I know how much my mother enjoyed it.

This painting is acrylic and ink on watercolor paper, double-matted with a quarter-inch forest green bottom mat and natural white top mat, and figured antique gold frame. Painting is 15″ x 19″, mats total 3″, total size is 21″ x 25″. Please also ask about custom framing for a print. I am a skilled picture framer and have been framing my own originals and prints and others’ art for 25 years. I keep my rates reasonable because I love to see my artwork in a frame.

 

The framed original is for sale as well as a variety of prints on paper and canvas. Visit my Etsy shop for details.

SHIPPING

Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed above

ORIGINAL PAINTING

The painting is 18.5″ wide x 13″ high, matted with a 4″ warm cream acid-free mat with 1/4″ burnished gold wood fillet edging and 1-1/4″ burnished gold frame. The backing is acid-free foam core and the glass is premium clear glass.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship.

I offer giclees of this painting in two different sizes: the full size of 18.25″ wide x 12.25″ and a roughly half-size of 8″ x 12″.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on acid-free matte-finish natural white 100# cover using archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I, as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. Digital prints are available up to full size of 18.25″ wide x 12.25″, which is printed on 13″ x 19″ paper and so has very little white border. Other sizes have at least a 1″ white border, 2″ if possible. All are countersigned by me.

CANVAS PRINTS

Because the standard size canvas prints are not proportional to the original painting, canvas prints of this painting will have a portion cropped off of each side.

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2″ in depth. While I usually I set up canvases so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or a color that coordinates with the painting, these canvases actually wrap around using the area of the painting outside of the trim size.

SHIPPING

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope.


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 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

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“The Sunny Upstairs Window”, a Favorite

framed pastel painting of two cats at window

“The Sunny Upstairs Window”, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

This little painting has always been one of my favorites, from the moment I finished it. Then I framed it with a molding and matboard I just happened to have on hand, and it was purr-fect. I’ve sold digital and gicleé prints of it, and carried the little framed original with me to just about every event I’ve been to for the past two years, but it always came back with me, and hung in a spot right next to that window in the sketch.

This special little piece finally sold at the FosterCat dinner weekend before last. Of course, anyone who comes to that event is going to love cats, and I’ve found many cat art lovers there as well. I am so happy the woman who chose to purchase it, purchased something smaller and then decided she had to have that too, told me a little about her lifetime of cats, how she loved cat art and only bought originals. It would hang in her kitchen where she could see it all the time, and it would match perfectly. As I always say, finding a loving home for one of my paintings is as important as finding a loving home for one of my foster cats. And the sale helped to support FosterCat as well!

Below is the full sketch and a little more about it, and below that is the framed version of the original. I’ll still be offering framed prints of this one, just like the original.

pastel sketch of two cats by window

“The Sunny Upstairs Window”, 6″ x 8″, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

If you’ve been following my sketches for any length of time, you’ve probably seen gradual changes that begin with a particular sketch—adding new media, using a new color palette, finding a new style, even using a new and different paper. In my everyday life as an artist I took the time to experiment far lest often, in part because I did less art, and because my visualization and aesthetic senses moved more slowly. With this daily practice everything happens faster, and with more daring I’ll add.

Up to this point I’d done most of my sketches away from my studio, with my toy bag full of older, lower-quality and well-used pencils, pastels, charcoal, pens and even sketch pads. The sketches were just for practice after all, and I didn’t want to use “good” materials on what was basically a quick and temporary item.

But leading up to this with oil pastels and ink and watercolor, this particular morning I picked up my imported pastel paper and my really good pastels and quickly came up with this sketch, and it was truly inspired and enhanced by using the better materials. The two girls have such dimension and interest all over their tiny figures, the light streams in and changes tone and color just as natural light tends to do, and even the shadows have dimension. Let that be a lesson to me.

Mimi and Mewsette enjoy the morning sunshine in front of the sunniest window in the house.

Friday morning was the first of several completely sunny mornings after a row of somewhat dark and rainy ones. All the cats were gravitating to the back of the house, facing east, as the sun streamed in the back door into the kitchen, and in the windows at the top of the stairs and in the bathroom.

I also recently took all the geraniums outside, so this top level of the wardrobe is now accessible, and a perfect spot to enjoy a sunny morning.

In my studio for part of the morning, I used the very Italianate Fabriano Tiziano Pastello drawing paper and a small set of my Sennelier pastels. Typically, what I have easily available downstairs in my toybox of art materials is not this quality of stuff, but in my studio I can play around with other things.

. . . . . . .

framed pastel painting of two cats at window

“The Sunny Upstairs Window”, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Purchase a framed or unframed print

Digital, gicleé and canvas prints of this sketch, framed and unframed, is available for sale in my Etsy shop along with a variety of digital, giclee and canvas prints.

I found a solid wood frame with a soft blue finish that pulls exactly from one of the shades of blue in the sketch, and used my favorite shade of purple mat board as an accent. These two soft, dark colors frame the tiny sketch and let it glow from the frame.

I may have to frame up a print of it for myself.

Ordering prints and custom art, and buying originals

First, check my Etsy shop in the category “Cat Art and Prints” to see if one you like is already available. If it’s not there:

  1. Find the print by searching daily sketches.
  2. Go to the post where it appears and leave a comment letting me know you are interested and I will respond privately, or
  3. You can email me the link to the post, or
  4. You can 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 and my Etsy shop. 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.

Marketplace

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.

 Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

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 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

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

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Featured Artwork: “A Warm Bath”, 1997, and “Less Adoptable Pets”

painting of white cat

A Warm Bath, pastel, 12″ x 10″, 1997 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

September 21 through 27, 2014 is “Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week“, a campaign founded by Petfinder.com to help promote the adoption of pets who are often passed by when people are looking for a new pet. “Less adoptable”  can refer to physical or emotional characteristics, from black pets—yes, black cats are often left behind!—to blind and deaf pets, pets missing an eye or a leg, not uncommon in rescued pets who’ve had a hard life on the streets or come from an abusive or hoarding situation, older pets, even just pets who are adults and not cute babies, undesirable breeds, like pit bulls, or carrying chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, or FIV in cats.

Many of the cats who’ve lived with me as permanent members or fosters were considered “unadoptable” or “less adoptable”. One of the reasons I ply you with photos and paintings and sketches and stories is to reinforce, every day, every way I can, that there is no such thing as “unadoptable” or “less adoptable”, that there is nothing at all different about these cats. Behind their appearance and the knowledge of something about them that is somehow different from what we think of as a pet, they are simply the same loving animals as those who seem to be perfect. There is nothing to fear in living with an animal that is different, once you know them, once you’ve fallen in love, you’ll forget all about that missing eye, or their advanced years. Frankencat and Old Grand Dad both fell into this category, and who could not love them once we’d met them? And if you don’t want to run out and get your very own house panther by now then I’m not working hard enough!

Sally was genetically deaf, and very high-spirited, a combination that didn’t suit her original owner though he’d wanted a cat with her looks, not uncommon with deaf cats. I agreed to take her rather than see her go to a shelter; read “My First ‘Less Adoptable’ Kitty”, and look at this painting and tell me if you could know that she was in any way different, or that it would even be important to you in the face of that much beauty.

. . . . . . .

You’ve seen other works featuring Sally, but this was one of the first. Just after I’d painted Stanley in “After Dinner Nap” I felt I’d arrived at a style and a level of ability and began painting at a furious pace, both my cats and landscapes. This was the year after I’d lost Kublai, and begun painting en plein air and painting serious landscapes, and all that had come together for me. I had studied Sally’s silky white fur from the day she’d come to live with me in 1984, photographed her regularly, but finally felt I had the insight and ability to capture all the colors and textures of her creamy tresses.

Photographing a cat in the process of a bath, white or black or striped or spotted, was no easier then than it is now except that I didn’t know what I hadn’t caught until I had the photos developed. Most of the photos were when Sally had her back turned. I chose this pose because you could still see Sally’s face, though she was looking down, and there is something I love about a cat’s face at that angle, the soft forehead, the nose, the whiskers sprouting here and there.

This painting sold in the days before I took adequate photos, and though I’ve been working on getting an image of the original I just have to live with this for now, so I don’t have any closeups. Still, this is the painting where I remember the feeling of “fingerpainting” for the first time, applying layers and colors of pastel, them mixing them with my fingertips and knuckles, the sides of my hands, both hands, a different color in each area. It was because I looked at the fur on Sally’s head in the reference photo and imagined digging my fingers into it to scratch the top of her head, which she loved, and I did my best to make the top of her head make me, and you, want to do that, even to feel it. The bright pink of her ear, the cool and warm highlights in her fur, it was all I could do to focus on one area to work it out completely.

Then there were the long angled shadows from the metal muntins in the windows, on the wall and book case and on Sally, the white-painted stucco wall, and the dappled side yard outside the window. I’m still very pleased with this painting, and even if I painted it today I may do some things differently, but I don’t think I could improve on this.

"A Warm Bath"

“A Warm Bath”

Once I’d finished four similar paintings, “After Dinner Nap”, “A Warm Bath”, “A Rosy Glow” and “The Little Sunflower”, I decided I had to have color note cards with my artwork on them to sell, and in 1998 had the set entitled “My Cats in the Sun” printed by traditional offset printing, not the ease of digital printing today. I still have a few left of this original set of cards; they’ve gone in and out of popularity, but some customers find them nice for professional correspondence and for sympathy cards, so they will still be around.

I had taken several reference photos of Sally having a good bath in front of that old metal casement window; I replaced it with the big north window where Giuseppe sings and we all watch birds, lots of morning  light, angled in, and my cats have always loved to gather in that light through the years, and you still see it in my artwork. I also used another photo from this set for a commissioned piece, “Welcome Spring With a Unique Commission”.

pastel portrait of cat looking out window

“Spring”, pastel, 12″ x 24″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

You can see more images of Sally in “My First ‘Less Adoptable’ Kitty” and in Sally’s Photo Shoot or search the category Sally


 

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles 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 from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired 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


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