Tag Archives: original art

Featured Artwork: “Interior With Cat”

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.

Original, prints, cards and merchandise

framed watercolor

“Interior With Cat”, matted and framed.

“Interior with Cat” is new 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 original on Etsy.

I also have it available as a full-size 8 x 12 digital art print or an 8×10 digital art print that will fit in a premade frame by trimming a bit off the top of the image. “Interior With Cat” is also one of the images included in my  Feline Greetings Art Cards as a 5 x 7 image.

I can also have a full-size giclée made upon request. And I will soon have keepsake boxes and wall-mounted art in this design.



Also browse Featured Artwork

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


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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.


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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


In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley

Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:00 PM

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Reception Hall, 2nd Floor

Library Avenue, ink sketch

Library Avenue, ink sketch

As a part of the celebration of Carnegie’s 120th year, I will share poetry and art inspired by my home town. The program is free and a reception follows the reading.

West Main Street, original pastel

West Main Street, August Afternoon, original pastel

Much of what I do is inspired by the place I live as I’ve walked the trails and streets of Carnegie and the surrounding area, watching the land and people change from my childhood. I’ll be reading about a dozen poems, some of which I’ve presented in prior poetry readings, and a selection of new works.

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

I’ll also have some familiar paintings and prints as well as recent sketches, paintings and photographs and I’ll have a selection of note cards on display from the set “My Home Town”. In addition, a selection of my photographs from the collections “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed” will also be part of the exhibit.

Table of Glass, original pastel

Table of Glass, original pastel

You can see samples of poetry and art from my prior poetry readings at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall by visiting the poetry page on my website.

If you’re local, I hope to see you there!

main street carnegie

Main Street at Twilight, photo


House By Tracks, a Hot Summer Afternoon

pastel painting of house by railroad tracks

House by Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

This painting is sold!

So glad this painting went home for Christmas 2014, to a person whose grandma lived in a house like this, such wonderful memories she shared of her siblings walking across town with their mother to her mother’s home for Sunday dinner, and a house that had not too long before only had an outhouse and no running water, though it did by the early 60s. We think of these things from long ago, but friends of mine from high school grew up in houses without running water, or electricity, or just plain old. Time to remember these things.


House By Tracks, a Hot Summer Afternoon

pastel painting of house by railroad tracks

House by Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

This painting is sold!


A Garden Party Summer Art Exhibit

Garden Bench-1000px-for exhibit

The Studio of
Bernadette E. Kazmarski

presents

A Garden Party Summer Art Exhibit

And there’s no need to go anywhere—it’s all on your computer!

I’m featuring several new original en plein air paintings plus framed originals from previous years as well as framed and unframed archival prints and canvas prints of summer-themed artwork, all in my Etsy shop.

I’m offering a special discount for the month of August, 25% off anything in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery. Just use the code “GARDENPARTY” for your special discount. I’ve featured a few in this post—click any image to find out more about it or visit my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I’ve spent the past year focusing on building my following for feline and animal art, writing and poetry on The Creative Cat and now I’ve hit the trail again and I’ll be publishing seasonally with new and existing art and photography as well as other inspirations.

As always, if you’re no longer interested in receiving this e-newsletter, please use the unsubscribe link below. If you are interested in receiving The Creative Cat e-newsletter, click here to see a sample, and use the sign-up link to join the list. I don’t do anything with your e-mail but send the occasional e-newsletter, I never share or sell or use in any other way. I’d rather be doing artwork!

April Cloud Study framed original pastel.

April Cloud Study framed original pastel.

Main Street Sunday digital print.

Main Street Sunday digital print.

Red Climbers framed print.

Red Climbers framed print.

Sunset on the Bay original watercolor.

Sunset on the Bay original watercolor.

Spring Morning Leaves original pastel.

Spring Morning Leaves original pastel.

Fruit framed original pastel.

Fruit framed original pastel.

Evening on the Beach canvas print.

Evening on the Beach canvas print.

Lilacs and Laundry framed original pastel.

Lilacs and Laundry framed original pastel.

And there are many more! Click any image to find out more about it or visit my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery, and don’t forget to use your “GARDENPARTY” discount code for 25% off your purchases.

If you’d like to sign up to receive this e-newsletter, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.


July Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar

ink and watercolor sketch of cat
“Stanley With Geraniums”, ink and watercolor, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This painting is one I’ve wanted to do for years—since the very moment it depicts, in fact, on July 30, 2006, in fact, when Stanley and I enjoyed a Sunday morning on the deck.

As I’ve been digging through old photos while I’ve been moving them to my studio and organizing, both prints and digitals, I’m finding special moments I’d forgotten, moments of inspiration, beauty and especially a growing closeness with my older generation of cats even as they stepped ever closer to their last days with us. While it seemed like any other morning, looking at the rest of the photos from this day, I can see this was a quietly memorable morning. This was Stanley’s last summer with us, he’d been with me for 21 years and at my best guess was 25 years old, and he and I spent every possible moment together, especially out on the deck. While he slept most of the time and was fragile and often confused, each time our eyes met we built a deepening bond I’ll always carry with me; we had lost Moses and Cream in the spring, Lucy had just joined us in June, and though there were seven (or more) other cats in the house, Stanley and I carved out time for just the two of us nearly every day.

detail of painting
Detail of “Stanley With Geraniums”.

And on this morning when I looked at Stanley sleeping on the table I knew I’d want to remember this moment and to paint it, and visualized the painting in this style. But believe it or not, for as often as you see this particular style of ink sketch with watercolor washes, I was not at all skilled with it at that time and had only tentatively experimented in a few sketches. The desire to see this painting on paper was one of the driving forces for me to work this out, find the right drawing pen with the right ink, the right brushes and set of watercolors. And finally, seven years later, here it is.

The details are comforting to look at: the round picnic table where I’ve spent so much time with and without cats; the faded linen dishtowel calendar with the cardinals, one of many with birds, all of which are beyond threadbare and completely faded now; the mug I loved for my Sunday morning coffee; the binoculars my mother had used to watch birds and I “inherited” for birdwatching, given to her by someone who’d served in Viet Nam; the geraniums, collected over years from friends and family, overwintered and renewed each year—they are ancestors of the ones you see in my photos today.

Here is the reference photo, and as I remember Stanley this month—we had a little escape in July that year which I’ll be writing about—I’ll be sharing other photos as well.

photo of cat on table with flowers
Reference photo for “Stanley With Geraniums”

You can see I took a number of liberties with lightening the entire scene and reorganizing some of the flowers, but this particular digital camera was not terribly accurate for color or lighting, and being able to change some of the details is part of the fun and challenge of creating an original piece of artwork. I actually liked the flag in this photo and had originally intended to include it because I’d brought it home from the Carnegie Memorial Day parade I’d taken my mother to in May and that was a memory too, but I didn’t want to “date” this painting for a holiday or event, or set it for a country since many of my readers and collectors are from other countries. That detail was not so important to me as the others I included.

And in designing this month’s desktop calendar I am pulling from another idea and design style I have long enjoyed. As a long-time gardener I’ve saved lots of empty seed packets, even bought seeds I didn’t need, just because I like the style. While this design isn’t as detailed as one of those seed packets or the derivative signage or decorative items patterned on them, but perhaps at a later date I can work on that style beginning with this painting.

On a side note, I hand-lettered “July 2013″, and had intended to hand-letter the rest of the text as well, but when I design these calendars I need to be able to be flexible with the text and didn’t want to have to re-letter then entire calendar several times.  I also enjoy hand-lettering in my designs and I’ll be integrating that into other designs as well.


This month’s desktop calendar

Stanley-1920x1080

I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month. Reading statistics and knowing that more than half of my readers view use a mobile device, I also offer the dimensions for desktop images for mobile devices from iPads to Smartphones. Click here to visit The Creative Cat to find your electronic device and download the right format and size.


And other special deals

Sign up for my monthly e-newsletter below for discounts on these and other products.

Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know

image of cat calendars


 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

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Tortie Girls for Summer!

wooden trays with tortoiseshell cats
Tortie Girls wooden trays!

Perhaps it’s their colors, orange and yellow with black, or perhaps it’s that I remember how much my tortie girls loved the summer, the open windows, and even visits out to the yard, but for me the tortie girls are always a summer theme.

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 art I could print myself on a variety of things to offer inexpensively for sale and for donation, combining my love of hand-cutting and printing with linoleum blocks and hand-coloring into the black with watercolors or with cold-set dyes depending on the paper or fabric.

About the artwork

hand-painted and printed wooden tray the goddess
“The Goddess” wooden tray.

“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”.

hand-painted and printed wooden tray the roundest eyes
“The Roundest Eyes” wooden tray.

“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.

You can read more about how I developed both designs, and about block printing in the post “Tortie Girls Block Print T-shirts”

Here is a collection of all the housewares and art with my tortie girls printed on them—enjoy!

pawbar

Tortie Girls Trays

These trays, featured above, are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, decoupaged in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray.

Find these in my Portraits of Animals shop on Etsy:

Set of two trays: $60.00

“The Goddess” tray: $35.00

“The Roundest” Eyes tray: $35.00

pawbar

Handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted Tortie Girls textiles

I’ve always offered my block print designs on a variety of textiles, from tees to tablecloths, one of the reasons I love that medium. I had wanted to find a washable alternative to the oil-based inks I’d been using, and the cold-set fabric dye I’d long used to paint the Tortie Girls designs was no longer available. Beginning last summer I experimented with various inks and fabric paints and came up with a combination of materials that are easy to use and washable, widely available and non-toxic and in addition to the tees I have a line of textiles.

block printed tablecloths with tortoiseshell cats
Tortie Girls Tablecloths!

Tortie Girls Tablecloths and Runner

I keep a bolt of unbleached cotton muslin on hand for these little accent tablecloths. Each 36″ x 36″ tablecloth has the same image printed four times, one on each edge. The Roundest Eyes table runner is 11″ x 36″. Each is signed and dated below the design and has my handwritten “label” reading “handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted” and the year. Washing instructions are included on a separate tag. I have only one of each tablecloth and one table runner—for now!

“The Roundest Eyes” 36″ x 36″ tablecloth

“The Goddess” 36″ x 36″ tablecloth

“The Roundest Eyes” 11″ x 36″ table runner

hand-printed placemats with tortoiseshell cats
My tortie girls Cookie and Kelly on canvas placemats!

Tortie Girls Placemats

I made these extra-large 15″ x 19″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with the edges stay-stitched and fringed. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table! I have six of “The Goddess”, left, and four of “The Roundest Eyes”, right, and they are for sale in sets. You can find them in my shop on Etsy and see more detail shots of them as well.

“The Goddess” placemat, set of four

“The Goddess” placemat, set of two

“The Roundest Eyes” placemat, set of four

pawbar

Tortie Girls Wood-mounted Prints

hand-colored linoleum block print of cat
Tortie Girls wood-mounted hand-colored 9″ x 12″print set.

The 9″ x 12″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1.5″ tall canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging, and this size can even stand up on a tabletop. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.

The prints are hand-colored and signed block prints of “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes” decoupaged on the surface. I first print the block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow it to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors. Then I paint the block with acrylic paint, black on the sides and white on top. I adhere the finished, colored print onto the block and let it dry, then put a coat of matte-finish acrylic on the top and sides.

Set of both Tortie Girls Wood-mounted Prints: $60.00

The Roundest Eyes Wood-mounted Print: $35.00

The Goddess Wood-mounted Print: $35.00

pawbar

Tortie Girls Garden Flags

garden flags with tortoiseshell cats
“Tortie Girls” garden flags.

These “garden flags” are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finish by adding the rod pocket. (Bracket is not included.) Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s “The Goddess” or “The Roundest Eyes” on both sides, one side with a white background and one side with a yellow background. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area.

The Goddess Garden Flag: $15.00

The Roundest Eyes Garden Flag: $15.00

pawbar

Matted and Framed Tortie Girls Prints

framed artwork
Hand-colored Tortie Girls block prints matted and framed.

A set of hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block prints featuring my tortoiseshell girls,matted and framed and ready to hang. Each image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 16″ x 20″, horizontal or vertical as shown in the photo.

Set of both Tortie Girls Framed Prints: $125.00

The Roundest Eyes Framed Print: $75.00

The Goddess Framed Print: $75.00

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


And other special deals

Sign up for my monthly e-newsletter below for discounts on these and other products.

Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know

image of cat calendars


 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



Mother’s and Father’s Day Specials

pastel portrait of two borzois
“Borzois”, pastel, 20″ x 26″ © 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.

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.

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 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.

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

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair
Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski
Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs
Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski
Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table
After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

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


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure
My Portraits Brochure

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


Purchase a Gift Certificate

sample portrait certificate
Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I always offer portrait certificates, but can only extend that automatic 10% discount through Etsy, but you are more than welcome to purchase a gift certificate right here.

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 on The Creative Cat, on my main website, or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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.


Blue Waves Canvas Print

watercolor of waves

Blue Waves, watercolor © B. E. Kazmarski

I first saw the ocean at the age of 30 when I visited Assateague Island, Virginia and felt as if I’d come home to an old friend; I also enjoyed meeting the wild ponies after having read all the books in the Misty of Chincoteague series by Marguerite Henry (and closely studying the illustrations by Wesley Dennis) and read about the island and wildlife refuge.

I conspired how to make a living so I could stay there, but instead brought my photos back and have been painting from them ever since. I have a few originals left and in this heat of August in Pennsylvania I’m thinking of a trip to the beach where the breeze blows and I can run into the water and swim whenever I want.

“Blue Waves” was the last of a series of small paintings of ocean waves, executed as I experimented with watercolor techniques and materials. I wanted to capture the constant movement and sound of the waves, and in this case I used a spattering of opaque white to render the spray as the waves broke on the beach. I’m pleased to say I sold the original and now am offering canvas prints.

This is a signed digital canvas print of an original watercolor painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers. For this painting instead of painting the sides with black or another color, I left the original rough edges of my watercolor along with the pencil marks on the print and allow that to wrap around the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose.

The original was only 3″ x 5″, but canvas stretchers are difficult to find smaller than 8″ so I make a slightly larger print and gallery wrap it. It is printed in archival inks on primed canvas, signed by the artist and wrapped and stapled on wooden canvas stretchers. Find it in my Etsy shop.

Other prints of beach paintings

print of watercolor of evening on the beach

Evening on the Beach, canvas print of watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Evening on the Beach is another work inspired by the beach at Assateague Island painted in 2000. I was back to a study of watercoloring and wanted to capture the changing sunlight on that late summer evening and experiment with all the new colors I’d found and techniques for painting sand and grasses.

pastel painting of sailboat on lake

Serenity, canvas print of pastel painting © B.E. Kazmarski

Serenity is a signed digital canvas print of an original pastel painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers. For this painting also instead of painting the sides with black or another color, I left the original rough edges of my pastel on the print and allow that to wrap around the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose.

This sailboat drifted lazily for hours on the calm waters of Lake Arthur in Western Pennsylvania. As the August afternoon tended toward evening, the sky began to grow pink and the shadows darkened and lengthened, and the serene moment seemed to last for hours.

Painted “en plein air” as I sat on one of the beaches at the north end of the lake, watching this sailboat was one of my favorite afternoons; this painting always takes me back to that day.

This painting is 21″ wide x 8″ high, larger than the original but canvas stretchers smaller than 8″ are difficult to obtain. I’ve allowed the rough edges from my original sketch to wrap around the sides instead of printing with black or another color. It’s printed in archival inks on primed canvas, signed by the artist and wrapped and stapled on wooden canvas stretchers.

Other waterscapes

I have many others which you can find under “Waterscapes” on my website, though they are from an era when my photographic abilities and equipment weren’t quite where they are now. I hope to track them down and offer prints some day, but for now you can find these and others in my shop on Etsy.


A Trip to the Beach

watercolor of waves in blue and white

Blue Waves, watercolor © B. E. Kazmarski

I first saw the ocean at the age of 30 when I visited Assateague Island, Virginia and felt as if I’d come home to an old friend; I also enjoyed meeting the wild ponies after having read all the books in the Misty of Chincoteague series by Marguerite Henry (and closely studying the illustrations by Wesley Dennis) and read about the island and wildlife refuge.

framed painting

Blue Waves, framed watercolor

I conspired how to make a living so I could stay there, but instead brought my photos back and have been painting from them ever since. I have a few originals left and in this heat wave I’m thinking of a trip to the beach where the breeze blows and I can run into the water and swim whenever I want.

“Blue Waves” is the last of a series of small paintings of ocean waves, executed as I experimented with watercolor techniques and materials. I wanted to capture the constant movement and sound of the waves, and in this case I used a spattering of opaque white to render the spray as the waves broke on the beach.

watercolor of beach houses on the bay

Sunset on the Bay, watercolor © B. E. Kazmarski

detail of painting

Detail of Sunset on the Bay

Also from that visit is “Sunset on the Bay, depicting a view from Chincoteague Island across the Chesapeake Bay toward the mainland in Virginia. That stillness, that odd pink light of a sultry evening on the bay…the beach houses along the dock looked so puny and unprotected under that huge sky above and the water below that I took several photos in the days before panoramic images were available.

Later, I brought them out and laid them side by side on my drafting table and sketched the scene onto a full sheet of watercolor paper, not knowing how much of the sky and water I’d use and leaving plenty of extra. I was just experimenting with watercolor techniques and materials and knew I wanted the clarity of the details on the beach houses to contrast with the big sky and water.

pastel painting of sunset on lake

Burnished Waves, paste © B. E. Kazmarski

Coming a little closer to home is a painting I painted on one of the beaches on Presque Isle in Erie, “Burnished Waves”.

The deepening light of evening and sunset burnishes all it touches with gold and silver, and always encourages a time of memory and reflection for me. I had spent the day on Presque Isle in Erie, playing in the water, collecting shells and rocks, photographing the woods and water, and finally settled on one of the beaches facing west to do some painting. Rain clouds rolled in as the sun dropped toward the horizon, deepening shadows and brightening highlights as I did my best to capture the rapidly changing light, the building clouds and lapping waves which grew as the wind increased. I can still feel the sand under my bare feet, dampness in my hair and remember standing there in my bathing suit feeling so connected to the scene after the day of taking it all in.

I matted and framed this painting when I finished it in 1999, but for many years it sat in my “extra paintings” box; there was something I just wasn’t happy with at the time. But when the time came for my annual poetry reading and art show in 2011 and nothing new fit what I was feeling in my poetry, I found this in the extras box and realized that when I painted it, I just wasn’t quite ready for its message.

This painting became the signature image for my fifth and final poetry reading and art exhibit at The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in January 2011 entitled “Burnished Light on Water”, featuring 12 new poems inspired by evening light and reflections, both physical and metaphoric, and an exhibit of paintings and photographs. My mother had been in personal care for years, was seriously ill through 2010 and passed just two days prior to when my reading was scheduled; I continued with it, including a brand-new poem dedicated to her, and knew why that painting had had to wait for me to appreciate it.

Prints of beach paintings

print of watercolor of evening on the beach

Evening on the Beach, canvas print of watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Evening on the Beach  is another work inspired by the beach at Assateague Island painted in 2000. I was back to a study of watercoloring and wanted to capture the changing sunlight on that late summer evening and experiment with all the new colors I’d found and techniques for painting sand and grasses.

This is a signed digital canvas print of an original watercolor painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers. For this painting instead of painting the sides with black or another color, I left the original rough edges of my watercolor along with the pencil marks on the print and allow that to wrap around the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose.

The original was only 6″ x 4″, but canvas stretchers are difficult to find smaller than 8″ so I make a slightly larger print and gallery wrap it. It is printed in archival inks on primed canvas, signed by the artist and wrapped and stapled on wooden canvas stretchers.

pastel painting of sailboat on lake

Serenity, canvas print of pastel painting © B.E. Kazmarski

Serenity is a signed digital canvas print of an original pastel painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers. For this painting also instead of painting the sides with black or another color, I left the original rough edges of my pastel on the print and allow that to wrap around the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose.

This sailboat drifted lazily for hours on the calm waters of Lake Arthur in Western Pennsylvania. As the August afternoon tended toward evening, the sky began to grow pink and the shadows darkened and lengthened, and the serene moment seemed to last for hours.

Painted “en plein air” as I sat on one of the beaches at the north end of the lake, watching this sailboat was one of my favorite afternoons; this painting always takes me back to that day.

This painting is 16″ wide x 6″ high printed in archival inks on primed canvas, signed by the artist and wrapped and stapled on wooden canvas stretchers.

Other waterscapes

I have many others which you can find under “Waterscapes” on my website, though they are from an era when my photographic abilities and equipment weren’t quite where they are now. I hope to track them down and offer prints some day, but for now you can find these and others in my shop on Etsy.


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