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“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!

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

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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

HOME

 


Favorite Felines in Black and White

black and white photo of cat curled on deck with shadows

Stripes on Stripe, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

One of the ways I cherish my cats while they are alive, and remember them when they’re no longer with me, is to celebrate their image in art and photographs. This is especially true of the cats who lived with me long ago, before I was actively creating every day and still searching for my creative voice. These are the ones who led me to the level of visualization where everything becomes art but I can focus on what inspires me most, which is usually that which I love best.

But the best are when they are enjoying the sunshine, inside, outside, any way, my cats in the sun will always be an inspiration; three of my black and white favorites, shot with black and white film years before digital cameras, are Stripes on Stripe, Late in the Year, and Sally Silhouette.

STRIPES ON STRIPE

fraed black and white photo of a cat

Stripes on Stripes, matted and framed

Above is an image of Stanley in his last years, one of the mornings I love to return to. We always visited the back yard in the morning, me checking flowers and vegetables and Stanley letting the world know that the yard and everything in it belonged to him the that way that cats do best. Afterward he loved to nap on the deck in the morning sun in warm weather.

Stanley always had a way of arranging himself in interesting compositions, such as this one. One of my nicknames for him was “Stripe” as he was a black tabby with big swirls of striping on his sides and racing stripes on his face, hence the title of the photo with the shadow and light of the decking boards, the shadows from the deck railing, and the stripes on Stanley, all layered on each other.

I haven’t recorded Stanley’s full story yet, in part because he lived so long, about 25 years, but I’m going to take the time soon to do that.

I offer this as a framed photographic print at 5″ x 7″ and 8″ x 10″, available in my shop on Etsy under “Favorite Photographs”.

LATE IN THE YEAR

black and white photo of gray cat sleeping

Late in the Year, black and white photo © B.E. Kazmarski

“Portrait of a senior kitty”…this is a favorite of my black and white photos. The reason it’s a portrait of a senior kitty…her flattened nose, slightly sunken eyes, curled ear tips, just the general softening of her features, so appropriate for a quiet, gentle, soft gray kitty in the autumn of her life.

framed photo of a cat in the sun

Late in the Year, matted and framed

Moses had been a feral kitty and against many odds lived to be 19. Aside from a strict adherence to twice-daily mealtimes, her one and only absolute necessity was a sunbath, preferrably al fresco, every day to help soothe the arthritis that had built up in her somewhat underdeveloped hind legs.

I took this photo during her last autumn on our deck, on one surprisingly warm late November afternoon, late in her life, late in our long loving relationship, late in the year.

Read more about Moses on The Creative Cat.

I offer this as a framed photographic print at 5″ x 7″ and 8″ x 10″, available in my shop on Etsy under “Favorite Photographs”.

SALLY SILHOUETTE

silhouette of white cat

Sally Silhouette

Sally is in reverse silhouette in this black and white print, the light filling her white fur from behind, leaving her face in delicate shadow.

A Turkish Angora, Sally had the look of a kitten all her life, and her silky white fur was an inspiration for many a photo and painting.

white cat

Sally Silhouette

When I purchased my first camera, a Pentax K-1000, I shot only black and white film for the first few months until I felt I had some understanding of the manual controls. This was a shot from that time two decades before I knew I’d be making part of my living selling my paintings and photos of my cats. And unlike the other two, Sally is only a little over one year old here, just a baby.

Read more about Sally on The Creative Cat.

This 3″ x 3″ print is framed in a 9″ x 9″ black frame with a 1-1/2″ black bottom mat and a 1-1/2″ white top mat.

I have other unmatted and unframed prints of this photo as well.

You can find this photo in my Etsy shop.

OTHER PHOTOS

You can see other photos as well in the Favorite Photos section of my Etsy shop.

I offer this as a framed photographic print, available in my shop on Etsy under “Favorite Photographs”.


Crocheted Washcloths are a Hit on Etsy!

Crocheted washcloth collection

The Garden Collection of crocheted washcloths.

Two of my flower-themed crochet washcloths are featured in collections on Etsy:

Thanks to both of you!

Inspired by the flowers in my garden as they bloom from spring through autumn, I designed these crocheted washcloths to brighten up your bath or kitchen.

As I watched my roses bloom I envisioned how I would interpret the furled petals swirling out from the center in a crochet pattern, deciding to make it as a cotton washcloth. Then my daisies bloomed and as I worked out that pattern the idea was born for a set of washcloths of all my favorite flowers!

The full set consists of a rose, daisy, sunflower, red poppy and aster. See the full set and the individual cloths on Etsy.

I wanted the patterns to be relatively simple, both easy to make and easy to enjoy, no more than two colors, and in simple stitches that would be practical for their intended use, easy to handle and drying relatively quickly. They can also be used as hot plates, doilies or just for decoration!

Each cloth is between 8″ and 10″ in diameter and is made of yarn-dyed cotton. I’m selling them as a set of five and also individually and in sets of two and three of each pattern.

I’m so pleased with my latest offerings, the tote bags, gift bags and crocheted washcloths. Along with my block prints and small framed prints they really represent more of what I create.

If items are offered as sets, such as the crocheted pawprint or flower washcloths, or the gift bags, I can fill a custom set if you contact me and describe what you’d like.


Stripes on Stripes

black and white photo of cat curled on deck with shadows

Stripes on Stripes, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And another image of Stanley in his last years…we always visited the back yard in the morning, and afterward he loved to nap on the deck in the morning sun in warm weather. Stanley always had a way of arranging himself in interesting compositions, such as this one.

I offer this as a framed photographic print, available in my shop on Etsy under “Favorite Photographs”.


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