Category Archives: animal-inspired merchandise

Kitty in Pink

Pink Sunshine garden flag in my pink garden by the driveway.

Pink Sunshine garden flag in my pink garden by the driveway.

This kitty in pink is really in the pink! Mr. Sunshine colored in pink looks wonderful in my “pink garden” so everyone knows where my driveway is.

This little garden is next to the end of my driveway by the street, developed from leftover native plants from the back yard. The spot had been very dry because of the number of trees growing over it from the rental house next door as well as my own maple trees, but when one of their trees fell and soon after I’d lost a branch from my old maple the spot was bright and sunny and received a good bit of rainfall and I decided to have a new garden knowing I had lots of extra natives from the back yard. The spot is in the bottom corner of my yard so watering and maintenance weren’t as easy as the rest of my yard, but I knew these native plants would have no problem if I didn’t get to water, or if the sun beating down and reflecting on the street hardened the soil even with watering. They also have dense enough foliage that they shade the soil from most other smaller plants.

I’d moved the pink pasture rose, in the back, left, here because it was so pretty but so thorny, and in that spot it could grow any size it wanted to, not needing to be trimmed to often! I lost more than half of it in the ice last winter so it’s much smaller this year. I also planted a clump of my pink phlox here, and to my surprise it bloomed this delicate blush pink, and the bergamont or bee balm is much happier than it was in the back yard.

cat garden flag

“Kitty in Pink” garden flag for Valentine’s Day and Spring!

It also includes a few flowers you can’t see that bloom at other times: a pink-lilac columbine and echinacea. It had also had autumn joy sedum and rose turtlehead plants, but the bergamot shaded them out and I moved them elsewhere, and I also have a few clumps of daffodils for spring blooms. The green and white variegated leaves are “bishop’s weed” which bloom with tall white umbels like Queen Anne’s Lace—right now those bright yellow-green clusters are the spent flower heads from these. I also encourage other plants with little white flowers to bloom here for accent and they come and go as wildflowers do, like the white avens in front of the right edge of the flag, and fleabane and feverfew.

I have a set of flags for my yard that are actually my first proofs and ones that were on display at others’ shops and were damaged. These are the ones I try out in different areas to see how they weather, and I also take them to shows and festivals, just pulling them out of the yard when I go. I was never really happy with Mr. Sunshine up by my front porch, but I’m really pleased with him in this garden!

This design is made from one of my daily sketches, Kitty in Pink.

Where to find this garden flag

You can find the Kitty in Pink garden flag in my Etsy  shop.

. . . . . . .

See more “Kitty Things”, feline-themed things I’ve made or with which I decorate my home, or which I’ve seen elsewhere.


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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Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package

day book and greeting cards

The full kit: Great Rescues Day Book and 70 greeting cards.

Some people don’t send cards anymore, and many people keep journals of their days electronically, but still some of my most popular products are greeting cards and calendars.

This is a gift package that can last all year long—and possibly even longer! You can even give some of it away and still have enough for yourself. One of the things that most inspired me was the stories of the cats I’d rescued, the rescued cats I’d met, and the people who rescued them, and the art I’d created through the years from my own cats and all the others I’d met. Being able to share those stories and art encouraged me to do even more with the art and the stories resulting in dozens of greeting cards, calendars, prints and handmade and unique items.

Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package

So what’s in this package anyway? All the materials for you to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, events and any other noted or annual life event for yourself, family and friends in Great Rescues Day Book, and 70 greeting cards to meet the occasion in a mix of feline-themed cards and cards inspired by nature.

The combined value of Great Rescues and all the greeting cards would be just about $132.00. I offer this package of correspondence in my shop for $60.00.


Great Rescues Day Book

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

New format, same great kitties! If you’re familiar with Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, this book carries on the idea in a way that’s much more permanent. This book is not dated for one year, but has all the dates in a month for you to fill in the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and social and personal events in your life.

I’ve used a day book for over 20 years and have all the arrivals and, sadly, departures of each of my cats along with my friends’ weddings, my nieces’ births and the births of their children, the day I first registered a business name, all that sort of stuff, conveniently included in one place. Below is a sample two-page spread for the month of January.

On the left is the featured portrait with the kitty’s story, below that the monthly fun quote of something feline. On the right is the month name with enough lines for all possible dates in that month. The holidays that are celebrated on a certain date are marked on that date, but ones that float, especially those Monday holidays, are explained at the bottom just to remind you that they also happen in that month. If animal-themed holidays are celebrated on a certain date, like Spay Day USA, they will also be included, but just the same if they are ones that float like Pet Memorial Sunday they will be explained at the bottom. The book is 8″ x 10″ and spiral-bound on the left edge, still small enough to be easily carried around.

great rescues day book

Great Rescues Day Book, January featured portrait and day book page.

I had long wanted to share those stories and the lovely kitties I’d painted. Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book brought these stories and portraits to people who love animal rescue and feline art, but as a calendar it had a limited time to share its message. This day book still shares the stories and art, and can do that for years to come.

portrait of black and white cat

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

Although Great Rescues Day Book is a 12-month book I am still featuring from the original calendar all 15 portraits of rescued cats I’ve been commissioned to paint in the 20 years I’ve been an animal portrait artist, plus the portrait of my own which I consider my first. These portraits won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, is what compels me to share them with you. Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.

black and white notebook paper featuring a collage of cats

Award-winning 22 Cats Notebook Paper

And while each cat has an individual story, each rescuer has a story as well of reaching out to an animal in need to bring it in from the streets—because rescue is really about the rescuer as well as the rescued. In many cases they helped heal physical and emotional wounds and gave that cat a lifetime of love, in return receiving love and devotion; often those humans received some healing in return they weren’t aware they needed.

Great Rescues is spiral-bound and measures 8″ x 10″ to easily fit on your desk or in a purse, briefcase or backpack. While the original Great Rescues had a die-cut cover with the title stamped in gold foil, this has a solid 12 pt. printed cover for durability.

Following the calendar section is a section of stories of the rescuers and their feline families today and notes on the design and rendering of each of the portraits, followed by a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings. I’ve also redesigned my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits, to fit the new size, as seen below.


Greeting card sets in this collection

Most likely you’re familiar with my feline-oriented greeting cards for sympathy, holidays, and all-occasion. For nearly as long as I’ve photographed and painted cats, I’ve photographed and painted flowers, gardens, the woods and fields, the essences of nature that I love, and once I’d begun offering feline greeting cards I also designed and printed greeting cards inspired by nature. At one time they were all different sizes but at one point I made them all 5″ x 7″ so they could assort with each other, and I didn’t have to have eight different styles of envelopes on hand! In addition to the feline cards you’ll expect in this package, I’m also offering two sets non-feline cards for those occasions as well. All cards come with matching envelopes, and each set of cards will be packaged in an individual greeting card box.

I’ll start with those since they are likely all new.

Inspired by Flowers, 12 cards

two young ferns

“You’re My Best Frond”

greeting card with two pink tulips

“Because You Are My Friend” greeting card.

These are designed from my own photos of my garden and yard and my walks along trails and natural areas. Each photograph inspired a sentiment and thus became this line of simple greetings, so unlike most other cards I design which only feature the image, these actually have a message on the outside of the card including sympathy, birthday, get well, inspiration and friendship. All cards are blank inside.

At left, two pink tulips bring a warm and cheerful message for friendship, sympathy, support or just a hello, “Because You Are My Friend”. At right, two young ferns in the woods along the trail where I regularly walk sprout, unfurl and become BFFs—”Best Ferny Fronds”—in “You’re My Best Frond”.

Click here to see all the designs and read a little more about each in my online Marketplace.


In the Garden, 8 cards

greeting card showing pink and red roses

“Small Roses” greeting card.

greeting card with tulips in teapot

“Tea for Tulips” greeting card.

These cards feature my favorite paintings of gardens and still lifes, many scenes from my own yard and home. They have only the art outside and are blank inside, and I think just as many people have framed them as have sent them as greeting cards.

At left a still life of the really old-fashioned roses in my yard, a fragrant old deep red tea rose and a bright pink pasture rose in a little daily sketch I did in my dining room in “Small Roses”, because the sketch was about 4″ x 6″.

At right a watercolor of tulips in an old rusty teapot on a sunny windowsill, put together from photos I’d taken in “Tea for Tulips”.

Click here to see all the designs in the set.


Animal Sympathy Cards (13)

image of cat with shadow

Quiet Moments

Each of the cats depicted here was or is one of mine and the dogs are ones I’ve come to know through friends and art customers. I am currently working on more dog images; I take the use of an animal’s image in one of my designs very seriously and while I have many lovely photos and have been offered many more, I feel I need to know my subjects before I use their image.

I have also found that people use these cards for human sympathy or even for “thank you”, “thinking of you” and even romance, especially for those who share a love for animals. Loss is about love, and when I designed these I focused on that love instead of the pain.

Click here to read a little more about each of the cards.


Feline Greetings Art Cards (12)

greeting card with tuxie cat

“Buster Lookin’ at His Toes” greeting card.

I find people use these cards for all sorts of greetings, from invitations to parties to friendly hellos and thinking of yous to sympathy at the loss of a pet or even a person. Others have taken their favorites and slipped them into 5″ x 7″ frames for their wall.

These greeting cards are created from paintings of the cats with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life—and that includes a few friends’ cats as well. I’ve included a mix of pastel and watercolor and a mix of styles, from realistic detail to loose impressionistic scenes so you have a choice for all occasions. Cards have only the image on the front, are blank inside, and carry the title of the painting and information about it on the back, you can write inside it whatever you want.

Click here to read a little more about each of the cards.


Feline Valentines (6)

valentine cards

“Two Yellow Cats”, Valentine card based on a daily sketch!

You’ve seen this set over and over recently! This set includes a mix of photos, sketches and illustrations, some with a greeting inside and some without, and some can even be used as all-occasion cards. These cards come with red envelopes.

Click here to see the designs and read more.


Feline Halloween Greetings (7)

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? I posted many of these photos on The Creative Cat for my daily photos during 2010, and from the feedback decided I needed to have Halloween cards! I added a new one this year from a daily sketch. Each of the cats depicted here is one of mine except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo!

Click here to read more.


Victoriana Cats (4)

set of four sepia images of black cats

Victoriana Cats in dreamy semi-sepia tones

Though these photos may look antique and sepia-toned, they are neither. My cats are perfect models and knew to pose in the bright yellow morning sun in front of my round antique mirror and the narrow casement window with the lace curtain. I applied a few Photoshop filters to the original photos to make them consistent in tone and style.

Use them for all-purpose greeting cards, sympathy, thinking of you, friendship, or find some shabby chic frames for 5″ x 7″ images and frame them for your walls.

Click here to read more about Victoriana Cats.


Compositions in Black and Green (4)

"Compositions in Black and Green" greeting card set.

“Compositions in Black and Green” greeting card set.

The set includes two familiar images, but really focuses on one kitty—Jelly Bean! “God, I’m Cute” pictures Jelly Bean admiring himself in the mirror long offered as a greeting card, and “Drink Straight From the Tap” shows the Fantastic Four all drinking from the sink faucet at the same time. The new designs are “Composition in Green and Black”, offered by request but one of my favorite atmospheric images of Jelly Bean dozing in the sun on the edge of the sink, and “Toe Cleaning in Green and Black”, the Bean once again in a close-up capture of activity with the mint green sink reflecting on Bean’s black fur and paws.


Feline Christmas Greetings (2)

cat christmas cards

“Star of Wonder” and “Can We Get That Thing?”

Because I have sooo many feline holiday cards, this will only include the two most popular, “Star of Wonder” and “Can We Get That Thing?”.


Favorite Photos (2)

cat with lace curtain

A few steps closer, there it is.

You’d think I’d have a bazillion cards in this category, but I have only three that aren’t used in other designs: “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things” and “A Sunny Room”.

. . . . . . .

That may sound like a lot of cards, but believe it or not, it’s not all the cards I offer! I also have wildlife cards, and cards made from my nature paintings, and a set called “My Home Town” that is my paintings and sketches of Carnegie! But I love giving others a means of sending a message.


 Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package” is available in my Etsy shop!


ink sketch of cats on boxes

“Free Cat Hair With Every Order”.

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

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“Shadow of Bison” Original Art and Prints

detail of painting of bison grazing in sunset prairie
“Shadow of Bison “, pastel on 26.5″ x 17.5″ on Hahnemuhle sanded watercolor paper.

I have traveled too little to see any real wildlife aside from the critters who inhabit my back yard, so I began my wildlife excursions from pictorial resources such as magazines and calendars. Nonetheless, after being accustomed to seeing domesticated animals in the relative comfort of my home and neighborhood, it is almost a shock to see an animal which has never known a human and cares nothing for human companionship. Studying a wild animal in its natural habitat is a reminder that the world does not revolve around us, that these creatures get along just fine (and probably better) without us, that we are really only one more species carrying out our lives on Earth. And while, for me, the inspiration to put an image on paper is always primarily a visual inspiration, wild animals carry the same emotional inspiration for me as domestic pets. Add to that the beauty of a natural landscape and you’ve got a perfect recipe for visual pleasure.

I regularly write about my “Registered Backyard Wildlife Habitat”, and even though small and in a regular old neighborhood near Main Street, it is host to plenty of native species of all sorts, especially songbirds hence my quantity of bird art, but I have a series of photos I took at the Pittsburgh Zoo and intend to go there in good weather to sketch and paint. Until then, here are two featured wildlife paintings with links to more.

I saw a photo in a magazine of bison grazing on the plains and remembered historical and fictional novels I’d read from the “Little House on the Prairie” series to the settlement of the Great Plains.

detail of painting of bison grazing in sunset prairie
Detail, bison grazing.

I put together what I saw in photos and what I’d visualized while reading of a countryside I’ve never seen.

detail of painting of bison grazing in sunset prairie
Detail of bison on left.

This looks like a lot of bison, but considering how many populated this country just 200 years ago, this herd is just a shadow of what it once was, and in this orange twilight even their shapes are reduced to shadows.

detail of painting of bison grazing in sunset prairie
Detail of bison on right.

The original pastel painting, 26.5″ x 17.5″, was done in Rembrandt pastels on Hahnemühle sanded watercolor paper. You can see a lot of ambient textures in the paper in this painting, and even, just above in the lower right corner, you can see the actual color of the paper. This is a sturdy German-made 300# watercolor paper with deckle edges which has the sanded finish used for pastel and charcoal layered onto it, tinted various colors. This was my preferred paper for pastels in the 90s and early 2000s in part because of the colors in which it was available. I rarely begin a painting with white paper, when when I saw the photos of the bison and envisioned this painting it begged to be painted on this shade of this paper, knowing I’d be able to use that ambient texture to enhance the feel of the prairie grass.

This painting is larger than my usual and was actually difficult to paint because my easel at that time was quite small. Framing was another issue—I looked everywhere for the frame that would coordinate in style as well as color, and be able to support a painting that large with mats and glass and ended up with a custom-ordered 4″ wide solid wood rounded profile with a faux calfskin finish, an expense I never undertake except for this one painting. The mats are black core in a tone of orange that exactly match the mid-range tones of the painting. I still look at this painting and love every bit of it and am glad I followed my star to make it what it is.

I have the original painting alone or matted and framed, and I also have giclee and digital prints available in my Etsy shop and I even have one last 12 oz. mug available too.

ORIGINAL PAINTING

The original pastel painting, 26.5″ x 17.5″, was done in Rembrandt pastels on Hahnemuhle sanded watercolor paper and is currently matted with two tones of deep orange black-core mats, and framed with a 4″ wide solid wood rounded profile with a faux calfskin finish.

I am happy to sell the matted and framed painting, or just the original painting if you’d like to choose your own mat and frame. Shipping charges are included in the prices listed above.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Larger prints are shipped rolled in a mailing tube unless otherwise requested; flat shipping is an extra cost because it’s oversized.

Please ask for shipping on the original or framed original.

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 26.5″ x 17.5″, a half-size of 17.5″ x 11″ and a proportional quarter size of 13.25″ x 8.75″.

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 only available up to 11″ x 17″ so I trim a bit off each end to fit, and also offer the quarter-size 13.25″ x 8.75″.

Right now I also have one 15″ x 9.5″ digital print that I had made for a series to fit frames I had on hand.

The giclees have 2″ of white around the outside edges, while the digital print has 1/2″ around the edges. 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. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas mirrors the edges of the image around the sides.

SHIPPING

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Larger prints are shipped rolled in a mailing tube unless otherwise requested; flat shipping is an extra cost because it’s oversized.

. . . . . . .

Other Wildlife Art

Below is a slideshow of more of my wildlife artwork linked to those images in my Etsy shop. You can also find these and more on my original website under Wildlife and in my Marketplace purchase greeting cards with most of the images.


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.


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

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

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Mother’s and Father’s Day Portrait and Gift Specials

pastel portrait of man and cat

“Fred and Simba”, charcoal and pastel, 12″ x 15″, 2010 © Berndaette E. Kazmarski

Did your parents pass on to you a love of animals? Did they decide one day you needed an animal companion of your own, starting you on a lifelong path of sharing your days with cats and dogs and birds and bunnies and ferrets and any other animal that came along?

Perhaps you know a special man who has rescued many animals and loves them all. Read about Fred and Simba, above, and consider capturing a special moment or a lifelong habit like the one between these two.

In everyone’s life is at least one special person who shared a love of animals, and in that person’s life there is often an animal companion who is or was very special to them. Read about Shadow, Casey and Ralph and a special Mother’s Day gift from 2006.

watercolor portrait of dog and two cats

“Shadow, Casey and Ralph”, watercolor, 2006 © Bernadette.E. Kazmarski

Did your parents pass on to you a love of animals? Did they decide one day you needed an animal companion of your own, starting you on a lifelong path of sharing your days with cats and dogs and birds and bunnies and ferrets and any other animal that came along?

watercolor still life of tulips and photo of schnauzer

Veronica’s Tulips, watercolor, 16″ x 23″, 2008 © B.E. Kazmarski

Thank those people who gave you this gift—and I’m loosely defining mother and father because sometimes the person who shared their love of animals with you was an aunt or uncle or grandparent, or even a neighbor who rescued cats or dogs. An animal-themed gift such as a print of a piece of artwork, a keepsake box or household item, even a personalized gift such as a portrait, is a wonderful way to thank them for the gift they gave you to love animals.

And thinking a little less conventionally, consider a piece of custom art that also includes an animal. For “Veronica’s Tulips”, right, this pet mom got the painting for herself, and wanted both flowers and, after a lifetime of rescued Schnauzers also wanted a Schnauzer in her painting, though not to represent any individual she had lived with. This was the very natural solution.

People and pets together

I’ve done a number of portraits of people with their pets, but many years ago I painted a very special portrait for grandparents who lived in Germany and never had the chance to see their grandchildren and grandcats. A photo was impossible to manage for the parents, so, with photos from the parents I put together a portrait of them all together in a style they requested, more sketchy than finished. I thought I’d taken a better photo of it at the time, but this sample is all I have; it was shipped off to the grandparents that year.

portrait of two children and two cats

The Grandchildren, pastel, 1993 © B.E. Kazmarski

I’m offering 10% off the purchase of a portrait certificate or a commissioned portrait that is booked between now and Mother’s Day—and Father’s Day as well. Portraits take up to four weeks, especially with framing and then shipping, but we can work things out with certificates and portraits that are done some time in the next two months.

A Mother’s Day Special, and Father’s Day too

I’m offering 10% off the purchase of a portrait certificate or a commissioned portrait that is booked between now and Father’s Day, June 15, 2014, whether it’s for mother, father, grandparents or any of those special persons who encouraged your love of animals.

Portraits take up to four weeks to complete, especially with framing and then shipping, but you can also give a certificate and invite the recipient to choose their own portrait subject and provide photos and memories.

About Commissioned Portrait Gift Certificates

sample portrait certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

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.

Mother’s Day Discounts in my Etsy Shop

Use MOTHERSPORTRAIT10 to receive 10% off the purchase of a portrait certificate or of the cost of a commissioned portrait (we will discuss the portrait and I will give you an estimate).

Use MOTHERSDAY10 to receive 10% off the purchase of Mother’s Day gifts, which may include a portrait certificate or of the cost of a commissioned portrait.

Father’s Day Discounts in my Etsy Shop

Use FATHERSPORTRAIT10 to receive 10% off the purchase of a portrait certificate or of the cost of a commissioned portrait (we will discuss the portrait and I will give you an estimate).

Use FATHERSDAY10 to receive 10% off the purchase of Mother’s Day gifts, which may include a portrait certificate or of the cost of a commissioned portrait.


Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read about my special for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days.

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.


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.


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 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.

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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“Two Cats After van Gogh” Prints on Paper and Canvas

oil pastel sketch of two cats

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

This art is “Two Cats After van Gogh”, 5″ x 6″ oil pastel on textured paper, © Bernadette E. Kazmarski, signed and dated 4/12/12.

After seeing the  “Van Gogh Up Close” exhibit I wanted to work the same energy and form I saw in his brush strokes choosing oil pastel to layer and blend the strokes. It’s Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine, just quietly hanging together on the landing, Giuseppe sitting upright, Sunshine loafing. Originally the sketch had only the two cats but I decided that if I was to truly create homage to van Gogh, I needed to have a background for these two to exist within, especially that lovely cerulean blue and turquoise van Gogh often used. I scraped my name into the oil pastel in the lower left as Vincent often did in his paint.

I am honored that this painting, and the series based on it, won the President’s Award in the Cat Writers’ Association 2013 Communications Contest.

SHIPPING

Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.

PRINTS

Note that prints are not the same dimensions as the original and may be cropped  on the top or sides to fit the dimensions of the print size.

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.

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.

The giclees have 2″ of white around the outside edges. The 5″ x 7″ and 8″ x 10″ digital prints are centered on 8.5″ x 11″ digital cover while the 11″ x 14″ has 1″ around the edges because the digital paper is 12″ wide. All are countersigned by me.

CANVAS PRINTS

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. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is white on the sides.

FRAMED PRINT

This print is matted with a double mat 1.5″ wide, white on top with a rust underneath to match the outline of the two cats. The frame is a molded 1.25″ natural white flat painted wood. On this piece, the frame and mats may vary slightly since both the mat and frame are on the list to be discontinued, though that may take more than a year. The framed pieces will definitely resemble the one shown here.

framed print of oil pastel painting

Two Cats After van Gogh, framed digital print, 8″ x 10″ © B.E. Kazmarski

MOUSEPADS

Mousepads are 8″ x 7″, always horizontal, 1/4″ black foam rubber with the image printed on a flexible fabric on top.

mousepads with cats

“Two Cats After van Gogh” mousepad.

Stay tuned for other items with this image, like keepsake boxes, wood-mounted prints and coasters!

DAILY SKETCHES

I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day as a warm-up to my aesthetic senses, so I have a small pouch of art materials and a few various sized sketchbooks available in the house and out. Usually, these are done in pencil, my first and favorite medium, though sometimes it’s charcoal, ink, colored pencil, ink and brush, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, the greatest challenge to keep it quick and not get caught up in details, let the idea flow onto the paper.

Most often, the subjects are my cats because they are such willing models, though sometimes I’ll also wander afield, literally, and sketch in my yard or anywhere I go for errands. Medium and especially style vary just so I get a chance to do something new.

Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I’ve designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using other daily sketches (see my notecards section). Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I’m designing.


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.

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.



Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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

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

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Upcoming Events: See You Around in June

front of display tent

Front of my tent at Sewickley Unleashed

June is looking like a pretty busy month for animal and other events!

June 1 is National Trails Day and many trail associations host benefit dog walks on the first weekend, plus it’s prime time for other festivals. I tend to stay with smaller ones because they are more manageable for me along with my community’s monthly business crawl. Here is where I’ll be in June.

. . . . . . .

Tails for Trails X, Saturday, June 7, 8:30 to noon

Since this is only four hours and primarily a dog event, I’ll be setting up with just my portrait information, a few sample portraits and a small display of handmade goods. It’s sponsored by Cecil Friends of the Montour Trail Tails for Trails, Kurnick (National) Access Area at 259 Cecil Henderson Road in Cecil Twp. Admission is free. Click here to read more.

. . . . . . .

The Carnegie Crawl, Friday June 13, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Even though I don’t have a business on Main Street the organizers asked me to participate, and I’ve set up inside other businesses who host me. This month I’ll be at 6 East Main Street, Carnegie PA 15106. I’ll have as much art and merchandise as I can possible fit into the space, including, of course, my paintings and photos of Carnegie as well as my feline and animal paintings and merchandise, a mix of original art, prints, canvases and handmade items such as my wood-mounted art and keepsake boxes, and of course my feline garden flags.

The Carnegie Crawl happens the second Friday of every month, May through September! This year the crawl goes from Black Lamb Consignments at 323 East Main Street (Corner of 50 and Main) to Carnegie Antiques at 423 West Main Street. Flyers with maps will be provided for “crawlers” to explore Carnegie and visit all the Crawl sites. Get your flyer stamped at each participating location and enter to win a great prize at the end of our Crawl season in September. I’ll update with this information as soon as I have it. Admission is free. Click here to read more.

. . . . . . .

11th Annual Pet Adoption and Care Fair, Saturday, June 21, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This event is huge with about 40 participants ranging from shelters and rescues to businesses and individuals who provide services and merchandise for pets and their people. It’s sponsored by the Hearts and Paws Pet Ministries at Christ United Methodist Church. Admission is free. Click here to read more.

. . . . . . .

Steel City Pet Expo, Saturday, June 28, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This annual pet expo will be held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh with dozens of rescue groups with pets for adoption, discounted vaccinations, microchipping and heartworm & flea preventatives, prize giveaways and activities for people and pets, live entertainment, obedience demonstrations, author readings and book signings and more. Admission is free. www.SteelCityPetExpo.com

 


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.

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.



Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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

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

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

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The Birthday Party Placemants Featured in an Etsy Treasury

five black cats with party hats

“The Birthday Party” celebrating their fifth birthday!

Thanks so much From Glen to Glen for featuring is in your Pretty Things Treasury!

This placemat is “The Birthday Party” featuring all Five felines lined up with their festive party hats and eating breakfast on the Fantastic Four’s fifth birthday with Mama Mimi joining in the celebration. On the back “Five Black Cats in a Line” in color when we were celebrating “Black Cat Day”.

A second design for placemats features “Five Black Cats in a Line” from the post “Still Celebrating Black Cats”, which I’d posted in both black and white and color on Black Cat Appreciation Day in August 2012, so it’s color on one side and black and white on the other.

Five Black Cats in a Line color side of laminated placemat.
Five Black Cats in a Line color side of laminated placemat.
"Five Black Cats in a Line" black and white side of laminated placemat.
“Five Black Cats in a Line” black and white side of laminated placemat.

I’ve worked out several ideas for placemats and, discouraged at the price of the prints on the absorbent materials and various fabrics, I decided to go back to the good old laminated placemat. The neat thing about these is that I can make them two-sided, so these feature the two photos of The Five mentioned above, “Five Black Cats in a Line” in black and white on one side and in color on the other.

They are 11.5″ x 17.5″, printed double-sided on 120# card stock then laminated with heat-sealed 5 mil laminate trimmed 1/4″ larger than the print with rounded corners. They can be dunked in dishwater or wiped down with just about anything to clean, just avoid any abrasives to avoid scratching the laminate. Other than that, my household test have found them to be just about indestructible. Use as a mat under your cat’s food bowl, water bowl, your own food bowl, or just for decoration on a table or counter.

Where to find these things…

“Five Black Cats in a Line (color)/(black and white)” placemats on Etsy

“The Birthday Party/Five Black Cats in a Line (color)” placemats on Etsy

And read more 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.



Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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

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

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

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“Interior With Cat”, Framed Original or Prints

watercolor of flowers and cat

“Interior With Cat”, watercolor, 8″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

reference photo for painting

Reference photo for painting.

This is a painting I’ve been intending to introduce here for a while, though I painted it in 2000, right about this time of year. With its cheery reds, the bright sun coming in the door and the paperwhite narcissus sprouting out of the pot in the middle of the table, it’s always dated to February for me. It was also one of the first paintings I did after I’d left my day job and began working at home, and I remember the almost guilty feeling of taking a couple of hours in the afternoon to paint, which I’d dreamed of doing for years and hoped to make a part of my daily schedule.

Those calendula, which had braved a pretty hard frost, opened fully when the sun shone in the windows the next day, and that was the first inspiration for this piece. I photographed the calendula, intending to paint only them and have a number of closeups of the flowers. But when I looked over the photographs in preparation for painting, I noticed the cloth, the paperwhites in the pot, the light glare on the table, and of course, Sophie at the door, but I really intended to keep it as just a still life. It developed into a much larger work than I had intended, but it was a fun challenge to create something from a different perspective and in a different style than I had before, visualizing a bright, simplified watercolor. I pictured an “interior”, not just a still life of objects in an arrangement but a moment in time involving more of the space, and I really tried hard to keep Sophie out of it, but it just wasn’t complete until I painted her in, hence the title, “Interior With Cat”.

Being able to begin painting as soon I had the photos developed was another joy because many works had waited years to come to fruition as I worked a day job and had freelance assignments at night.

I enjoyed painting the flowers on that cloth, in part because those flowers were actually handpainted as well. The cloth was woven linen handpainted in Poland, one of the souvenirs of traditional work my mother’s sister had brought back in her travels to find family in Ukraine and Poland; I treasure those items. Though this is brightly colored and might work better for summer, I like it for winter because those bright colors enliven short winter days.

watercolor of flowers

Detail of cloth, calendula and pots.

I managed to have fresh calendula flowers as described above, and I also remember that we had a mild winter that first winter I worked at home, and the calendula was growing in a sheltered spot near my chimney and continued producing flower buds. The other flowers are paperwhite narcissus, one of many flowering bulbs I had always forced in the house in spring to put around on all the windowsills and tables—by February I was ready for blooming flowers and bright colors—and also to place outdoors in my windowboxes (a little more on that, below).

I did enjoy painting those marbles too, in fact I could have done one painting of just those marbles. I found dozens in the yard in the house I had rented, so excited at possibly finding truly vintage marbles, but they were not vintage, actually quite recent. Still, I’ve always loved having them in the bottom of a vase or a jar of plant cuttings and still use them for that today.

detail of watercolor

Detail of glass vase with marbles.

And as I’d mentioned I had not intended to have a cat in this painting. As I worked my way around, though, and looked at the composition I realized I’d have a weak, rather blank spot in the upper left because just the door wasn’t strong enough to balance the patterns, shapes and colors at the bottom. So, in keeping with the loose style of this painting, and with the fact that Sophie and the door are both blurry, I added a loose rendition of Sophie looking out the door. I couldn’t picture it without her, and I’m glad I have her immortalized in another of my paintings.

watercolor of flowers and cat

Detail of Sophie looking out the door.

I was very pleased with the looser, more decorative quality of this painting. Up to then all my watercolors had been very tight, detailed, realistic images. Of course I had set goals for my art career when I’d started working at home, and this was one of them—loosen up!

One other thing to note with this painting—paperwhite narcissus and most other plants growing from bulbs can be very toxic to cats, causing renal failure in a matter of hours. I knew about lilies at the time, but not about other bulbs, and I force-bloomed daffodils, tulips, crocuses, hyacinth, snowdrops, squills, you name it. I know my cats had chewed on them through the years because they chewed on everything, and I never noticed any issues. A couple of years after this, however, I suddenly lost my dilute tortie Nikka in February to acute renal failure and I will always wonder if this was what caused it and I removed all of these materials from my home. If I force blooms for display now, it is done outside, in my cold frame, and they stay outside too.

I hope you enjoy your February image!

Original, prints, cards and merchandise

"Interior With Cat" framed.

“Interior With Cat” framed.

“Interior with Cat” is available in my Etsy shop and the original is still available. I used two elements in the mat and frame that I liked in the cloth pattern: the red outline around the outside, and the outlines on the fruit, which were actually a deep olive green but I used black core mats for the outline effect, and finished it with a narrow white painted wood frame. Click here to see the framed original on Etsy.

I also have it available as a full-size 8 x 12 print or an 8 x 10 print that will fit in a premade frame by trimming a bit off the top of the image in a digital print, a giclee print and a canvas print. Visit this product in my Etsy shop to see all the possibilities.

“Interior With Cat” is also one of the images included in my  Feline Greetings Art Cards as a 5 x 7 image.

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.

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.

The giclees have 2″ of white around the outside edges. The 5″ x 7″ and 8″ x 10″ digital prints are centered on 8.5″ x 11″ digital cover while the 11″ x 14″ has 1″ around the edges because the digital paper is 12″ wide. All are countersigned by me.

CANVAS PRINTS

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. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is white on the sides.

And I will soon have keepsake boxes and wall-mounted art in this design.


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.

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.



Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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

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

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

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The Goddess, and Friends

"The Goddess," hand-tinted linoleum block print.

“The Goddess,” hand-tinted linoleum block print.

Above is a hand-printed linoleum block print tinted in tortie colors featuring my Cookie, who was indeed “The Goddess”. From the very first time I showed the design to someone, and each time I set up a display where the prints are included someone, or several, stops by to tell me about a cat they have “who looks just like that”, and tell me stories and share a laugh. People often tell me stories when they purchase prints as well. The number of them who were rescued always warms my heart.

A customer ordered a print of “Dinnertime” along with an unframed hand-tinted print of “The Goddess” last week. I told her the story of Cookie and she told me the story of Tasha, below.

“I just purchased both of them as an anniversary present for my husband. I really like all your art work, but decided on those two because (1)We have three cats and (2)my husband’s baby is a fat (one-eyed, formerly feral) tortie . . . My husband rescued Tasha (tortie) when she was six weeks old. He was working on a job site near a dairy barn in 2003 and found her — she was really sick with a herpes infection in her right eye. We took her to the vet and she recovered immediately after getting care (although she lost the sight in that eye), and we’ve had her ever since. She has never wanted to go outside again . . . We have two other rescue males, but she’s the queen of the house (most of the time!) and has my husband wrapped around her little paw :) . . . All the best and thanks so much for rescuing Cookie and other kitties . . .”

photo of tortie cat

Tasha, the rescued tortie.

Now there’s a cat guy! He gets a print of a tortie and three cats eating for his anniversary present, reminiscent of the cat he rescued. I love knowing my girls have a share of immortality when their prints go off to live in other homes and celebrate other tortie cats. You can also read a list of other tortie stories I’ve collected at shows and festivals when people see “The Goddess” especially in “The Goddess Truly Inspires” and “The Artist’s Life: Still Inspiring” as well as “Featured Artwork: The Roundest Eyes”.

. . . . . . .

About my Tortie Girls linoleum block prints

"The Goddess," hand-tinted linoleum block print.

“The Goddess,” matted and framed hand-tinted linoleum block print.

Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship.

More often than anything else in my collection of feline art, these two prints have been purchased in memory of a special tortie. I’ve even customized prints in memory of other torties by hand-tinting them using photos, and dedicated them to the memory of other kitties by lettering their name in underneath; read this post for more on those stories.

Three years ago a customer in Canada purchased a print of “The Goddess” in memory of her tortie Clio, ill and malnourished and rescued from a pet store, which led to a friendship—and a very famous affaire between her ladycat Mademoiselle Daisy Emerald and my opera star Giuseppe Basil Verdi. Today, May 15, we remember Clio especially as her mama said goodbye to Clio 13 years ago on this day, and because she was so bereft at the loss, she found herself a month later at the Toronto Humane Society where she met and adopted the elegant Mademoiselle.

How the designs came to be

As you know, I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially my Tortie Girls. I initially designed these in 2001 because I wanted something I could print myself on a variety of things to offer inexpensively for sale and for donation; at the time high quality home printers and inexpensive digital printing were a few years in the future and all I had to offer was original art and expensive giclees.

Unlike many of the other prints I sell, I print these by hand from a hand-cut linoleum block, then each print is hand-painted in watercolor, and with the slight variations in the printing process and the individualized coloration each print is just as unique as torties themselves. “The Goddess”, featuring Cookie, is the other print in this set, and I have more information on her, below.

What enchanted me first about block prints years ago, and what I wanted most to see when I began creating with them, was the clarity of black ink on white rice paper. While I often use other colors of ink and types of paper, and when the image is my tortie girls, usually also tinted with oranges and yellows and green for their eyes, pink for nose as I had designed, the black on white is what I usually return to.

When I initially print these two they are that familiar black ink on white, and I watch the ink reveal all the cuts and trims I made on the surface of the block to create their image, it makes me smile as I remember designing the prints and cutting the blocks, and I remember my girls and the inspiration they gave me.

The Goddess

“The Goddess” came along first and I actually have photos of the process, but I knew right away she’d have to have a companion print.

I looked at Cookie on the kitchen floor, on her back with her toes curled, a defiant look on her face, and it happened—that moment of visualization. I could see a linoleum block print in black ink on white rice paper, hand-tinted with oranges and yellows for the patches in Cookie’s tortoiseshell fur and green for her eyes and pink for her nose. I would call the print “The Goddess” for the many women depicted with generous figures in sculpture and painting through the millennia.

Compare the photo and the print:

tortie cat on back

Reference photo for “The Goddess”

Cookie, “The Goddess” block print © B.E. Kazmarski

From the time I first described the idea to someone, who chuckled at the idea of the image, I knew Cookie was a winner. And through the years she has continued to bring people and stories to my display no matter where I am—everyone knows a cat who looks like Cookie!

linoleum block

Linoleum block for The Goddess, of course it’s in reverse.

Cookie inspired not only a design, but a particular style and technique and a new element to my creative life and my merchandise. With an inspiration that strong, I probably would have done it anyway, but I had other reasons as well. In the late 1990s having my sketches and paintings reproduced was still expensive and not always successful and I wanted artwork that I could reproduce easily and inexpensively myself so that I could have something more affordable than original artwork to sell in my displays.

I’d worked with small linoleum block prints for years and always enjoyed the medium, but this time I decided I wanted something larger and I might actually create a series—which led to “The Roundest Eyes” depicting my other tortie, Kelly, a few months later. Between the two, Cookie gets more notice and stories, but Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that.

Capturing all Cookie’s freckles and spots and stripes was indeed a challenge, especially when I went to actually cut them out of the surface of the linoleum block.

Cookie’s face in closeup from the photo:

tortie cat on floor

Cookie’s face from the photo.

Cookie’s face in the block:

detail of linoleum block.

Closeup of Cookie’s face in linoleum block; the light areas are the smooth surface that holds the ink.

And here is Cookie’s face, printed and colored!

block print of cat

Closeup of Cookie’s face from “The Goddess”.

The Roundest Eyes

"The Roundest Eyes," matted and framed hand-tinted linoleum block print.

“The Roundest Eyes,” matted and framed hand-tinted linoleum block print.

In designing the set, I didn’t have a signature photo of Kelly as I did Cookie lying on the floor, but I did know how I thought of Kelly—sitting at attention, paws and tail neatly placed, a little uncertain and with very round eyes. When I pictured her, this was what I saw.

I began with a few photos of Kelly sitting in this position—in the days before digitals so I had to wait for film to be developed—sketched it out, then filled in the details by observation. It was a real trick since Kelly never sits still for too long. And I actually wanted two different orientations so Cookie was the horizontal image and Kelly the vertical one.

The design of “The Roundest Eyes” doesn’t have a long and detailed story as does “The Goddess”, but between the two, while Cookie gets more notice and stories which I’ve collected over the years, Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that. Last year a young couple just getting engaged purchased one of each shirt to wear in their engagement photos too!

You can read more about “The Roundest Eyes” and see more detailed images in “Featured Artwork: The Roundest Eyes”.

A little bit about block printing

I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artist’s 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.

Despite the fact I’ve been trying to video a little block print demonstration, all I have are a few photos taken as I was printing the “Tabbies” cards for Valentine’s Day last year. Click here to see a brief slideshow (it won’t play on this blog).

The resulting work isn’t a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple times–and I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but they’ve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I nearly always add color to The Tortie Girls with watercolor or dyes since that was part of the original design, and I’ll often add color to other designs to give them extra interest.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

The Tortie Girls Set

 

matted framed block prints.

The Tortie Girls set.

Each image is 9″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions are 16″ x 20″, and I also offer the tortie girls designs on many other things.

“The Goddess”
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

From the time I first described it to someone, who chuckled at the idea of the image, I knew Cookie was a winner. And through the years she has continued to bring people and stories to my display no matter where I am—everyone knows a cat who looks like Cookie!

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Where to find the prints and more

You can read more about my girls printed on everything from tees to garden flags  this post, and visit my Etsy shop and search “tortie”.

Click here if you’d like to see all the Tortie Girls goods in my Etsy shop together.


Click here to find out how you can help homeless cats and get a gift certificate!

Treats For Homeless Cats And Caretakers


 

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

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 on The Creative Cat I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Visit The Creative Cat and choose the category for featured artwork.

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


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

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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

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A Little Feline Art Sampler Gift Book

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” book of sketches and portraits.

I love to use selections from my portfolio of artwork to gather into a collection of some sort, finding a theme and then a likely way to present the collection, like my calendars. In my “inspiration collection” I have calendars and art and photography books on all subjects that I enjoy simply pulling out to study, and a few friends and readers have asked if I ever planned to do a book of my artwork.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” cover.

Earlier this year I created this little portfolio piece, Feline Style Sampler, sketches and portraits, to include in presentations to prospective illustration customers to both show a variety of styles of illustration and my ability to design a little book like this and have it printed and bound. I was very pleased with the way it turned out and enjoyed the response when I presented it and showed it around to friends. When a friend admired it and wanted to purchase some for gifts, I thanked her for an idea I hadn’t even considered, though once she mentioned it the idea was a natural. In fact, I had such an enthusiastic response to it on all accounts that I decided to offer it for sale.

Feline Style Sampler is simply a collection of 34 images, no text or narrative, though each image has the name, medium and size of the image inconspicuously added at the bottom of the page. The book is little, only 4.25″ x 5.5″, and coil bound. All pages are printed on 100# gloss cover rather than text weight stock to stand up to handling and to ensure opacity.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” title page..

The images I’ve included run the gamut from quick and simple ink sketches to highly detailed commissioned pastel paintings. They are a mix of daily sketches, commissioned portraits and a few of my personal works all jumbled together instead of categorizing them by medium or style. They even span my entire career as an artist with a few of my earliest included as well as very recent daily sketches.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” spread from book.

I can’t list all the images as I did with my calendars, but in addition to the cover and spreads above here are a few more spreads to give you an idea of what’s here.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” sample spread.

How to order

This is available here using the button below and in my Etsy shop. It will be available on Amazon.com soon.

Click here to order a book through my Etsy shop.

 


Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

two black cats in studio

Bean yawns as Mimi looks bored to tears.

Usually 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.

Above is the response I usually get from my cats. I’m either a total snooze or good for a laugh, depending on whether you think Jelly Bean is yawning or laughing. Mimi looks skeptical and rather bored.

 


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

 


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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.


© 2013 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST

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