“Awakening” is a linoleum block print, 16″ in diameter, printed in soy-based ink on handmade white rice paper and hand-colored in bright autumn colors with watercolors.
I offer the print “Awakening” printed in black on white rice paper, but designed it for a versatility of presentation. The two cats in question were indeed one black and one white, and the yin and yang form they mimic is typically black and white also, but I enjoy the use of pattern as a design element and decided to incorporate several rounds of detail when I designed this. That way, I’d have the versatility of leaving it in black and white or adding color.
Each one is as unique as the print itself because I use different media, styles and color combinations. In this case I used watercolor. Other times I’ve used colored pencil, gouache, marker, even pastel rubbed into the surface of the paper.
Most of the time I’ll use a variety of bright colors, but I’ve also colored them in all earthy tones—brown, tan, red earth, sand—as well as shades of green from the summer woods, light pastels, bright primaries, jewel tones and monochromatic themes, blue or purple, and it looks striking with touches red.
Below is just the image with color.
Quote reads: “‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’–Anatole France. Dedicated to my prince and princess and all those since who’ve awakened their part of my soul.”
“Awakening” was inspired by my close companions Kublai and Sally who ran the household together for about 12 years and who actually slept curled like this. I enjoyed following the inspiration to combine the image of the two cats with the decorative border simply made of shapes and patterns that were both attractive and easy to cut in a block print.
I had seen the quote in a number of different places, and of all the quotes about how animals fill our souls this one, the concept of awakening, I found most moving. These two cats, especially Kublai, the black one, were a major part of my awakening not only to animals but to love in general.
Aside from the fact that they were both loving, friendly and social, they were complete opposites in the way they expressed this love and were as different in temperament as they were in color and texture as the loose reference to yin and yang illustrates.
In their own ways they nurtured about 30 foster cats of widely differing ages and social abilities, just as they nurtured me in the years they shared my life.
“Kublai” is somehow derived from the word for “prince” in Sanskrit, and “Sally” is derived from the word for “princess”—Sarah—in Hebrew.
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.
I also print this image on textiles, such as t-shirts, curtains, tablecloths, shawls and tote bags! Please check my apparel and housewares categories to see what’s currently available.
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.
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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.