For some hokey reason in September I get all up about a chalkboard theme for “back to school”; must be all those years spent designing advertising and planning months ahead for promotions that are burned into my memory. And where I usually move among style and medium to keep it interesting, in autumn I kind of break that cycle because holidays come along that suggest other reasons to choose images.
This sketch was in the running for August because of the vibrant colors of the pastel, but one of the reasons I disqualified it was that the cats looked as if they’d been drawn in chalk on a black chalkboard. So now it’s finally time! (A little past time I might add as I post this in the early hours of September 3, considering I had it ready for September 1.)
So though I featured a pastel last month that was looser and more colorful, certainly not photorealistic, I am doing so again this month, but it’s a totally different style of pastel. And while I realized last month that my monthly calendars to date have featured only one cat at a time and chose one with three cats for last month, this month we’ve moved up to the full five!
Here’s what I had to say about “Milling” the day I painted it.
I watched them milling around my legs like koi in a pond, waiting for some action on a day when I was up and down and all over the house and they followed me, anticipating my next move. I pictured them, colorful, on a dark background, loose and active, a moving pattern with a slight lighter shade in the background to further isolate them from the floor. I drew them from memory later, in my studio.
They are in their colors: Mewsette is magenta, Giuseppe is green, Bean is blue, Sunshine is yellow-orange, but Mimi is usually purple and the purple in this set just wasn’t bright enough so she is, instead, orange. That fit with the composition. Unfortunately the slight texture of the paper showed when I scanned it and I find it distracting from my lines; I may photograph to see if that will eliminate the pattern.
I rescanned and adjusted the image to eliminate the distracting pattern I’d mentioned above.
They are so close, physically and emotionally, and I can never describe in words the way it feels to be close to all five of them when they are functioning together as a group, when they seem like one central point with rays, like the ripples from a drop fallen to the surface of water, how the ripples form from the center and travel outward. Sketches like this come closer than words.
Again, because this was strongly horizontal I had to do some fancy copying and pasting and cloning patterns in Photoshop to make it work on a vertical device. I had copied the initial layout from last September’s monthly desktop calendar, “Stanley With Apple”, but discovered the chalk font I’d used for it was not available on my computer, nor could I find it, strange for a font, but I had to look up a new one. Last year I’d used pale yellow for text and the little piece of chalk because it reminded me of the chalk our teachers used through the later part of school. This time I used all the colors in the sketch. Autumn is colorful, and contains all these colors! That wasn’t something I noticed when I decided on this sketch but once I was designing I thought of painting autumn landscapes, and it certainly worked out well.
As always, I will miss the prior month’s desktop calendar, but I also hope that you enjoy looking at this month’s selection as much as I do.
This month’s desktop calendar
I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month. Looking at the downloads from previous months and averaging out which dimensions fit which devices, I have reduced the number of variations from 12 to three. It was very time-consuming to create all the variations with new devices arriving all the time, so I have one for horizontal monitors/screens, one for square monitors/screens, and one that should fit the dimensions of nearly all mobile devices.
If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.
How to download and use your desktop calendar
- Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
- For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
- For mobile devices, download the image to your gallery then choose it as your wallpaper—this is slightly different on all devices.
Horizontal and HD monitors and screens
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Square monitors and screens
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Small Mobile Devices and Tablets
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Cell Phones and Smartphones
Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.
Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.
click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat
or visit Fine Art and Portraiture on my main website.
If you are interested in a print of 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.
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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 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.