Category Archives: art/merchandise for benefit

Follow Me! Portraits of Animals Has Moved

Portraits of Animals new website!

Portraits of Animals new website!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and that’s because I’ve been preparing and building a brand new website for my artwork and merchandise. Maintaining this blog plus my Etsy profile, Fine Art America account and a few other profiles where I displayed and sold my things and decided to invest the time to put one whole new site together.

Actually, this has been in the works for a few years, and I finally found the time to get the site built. I have set up my new website for Portraits of Animals! That’s what you see above, a screen shot for the home page. Finally, this plan I’ve visualized for the past five years has been put into action. I found a template I liked, I’ve planned out my new products and I set up my Sampler Box Program and a free gift for those who register for an account on the site. It’s ready to go! Mostly.

If you are already a subscriber, your subscription may have already moved to the new site—I moved subscribers today. But if not, you can go to Portraits of Animals and subscribe to “News and Articles” there. Of course, you can always change your subscription preferences if you no longer want to be subscribed. But read on—I have features on the new site that I couldn’t have here, including setting up an account with a free gift when you do, member rewards programs and a sampler box program!

A Soft Unveiling

Another Sampler Box view.

Another Sampler Box view.

I’m calling this a “soft unveiling” because, while the site is structurally ready to roll, I’m missing…a few products. Well, quite a few. And it’s my own fault. I had started working on a new site in December set up on a template from my shopping cart provider, and while the back end of it is impressive, and the front end was attractive, clean and easy to navigate, the product area just looked like…and internet store. As well it should if it was selling merchandise.

But it wasn’t selling merchandise. It was selling my art. And it wasn’t looking like a gallery. And I couldn’t blog on that platform, essential for driving traffic to the site, and I couldn’t use some of the plugins to set up galleries of art and merchandise the way I’d envisioned.

The new menu.

The new menu.

January had originally been my deadline to have this website ready, but the holiday season doesn’t permit focus on too many things other than the holiday season, so I didn’t get too far. And then I ran off to Savannah to deliver a couple of kittens and visit family. But before I did I decided to stop building that site and decide which way to go: continue with the site or look for a template that better represented my work.

I found the perfect template, designed by an artist for artists. Next, I needed to find three or four days to set it up and get all the parts in there and start adding merchandise. Designing websites has always been a process of not only putting your visualization on a computer screen but also fixing all the little issues, bugs and conflicts that come up, and at this point in my life I like to stake out some time to just focus on it.

I have not posted since last week, on Tuesday. Because I wanted a long weekend to work on this I had to get all my regular work done early last week, so I settled in and focused on that so that Friday I could put it all aside and get my hands into this site and work through the weekend. I’d intended to post at least once each day, but I was so focused on finishing the other projects and lining things up for the new site, and I knew I’d be distracted and didn’t want to be. By Monday morning a good bit of it was set up and some products in place. All ready to present it on Tuesday, my hosting company had an issue on my shared server that kept filling up the memory and shutting us all down. It turns out it had something to do with the voting on Super Tuesday, and though they found the site that caused the problem and could shut it down, I wasn’t back up until Wednesday.

Now it’s Thursday and I miss posting about my cats and stuff and I can’t wait to share this site, even though it doesn’t have much on it! You can imagine it will take me quite some time to get my things up there. I shake my head and think, why did I do all this stuff? But really, I can’t wait to fill out the pages I’ve set up!

A display of gift ittems.

A display of gift items.

I love the way I can set up the galleries so that you can see a whole screen full of images and read the headlines, click on the item and read the details and order. Above is a sample of art papers on display and below is a sample section of animal sympathy cards.

The display of sympathy cards.

The display of sympathy cards.

And here is a detail page, what you see when you click on a product.

Detail page.

Detail page.

A signing bonus!

I like to thank each person who signs up for an account on Portraits of Animals. Each new member receives a thank-you gift not only as an honest thanks from me for signing up, but also so that you can see a sample of my art and the quality of my merchandise, even if you’ve been a customer already and purchased from me in other places.

You don’t need to purchase anything to get your thank you gift, you can just register an account and get your free print.

The thank you gifts always include matted digital prints of art and photos that I usually sell for between $20.00 and $40.00. The selection includes the current month’s featured artwork and several of the more popular images I sell. Sizes vary according to the size of the art itself—some of my more popular sketches are as small as 3″ x 5″—but they are always matted to fit a standard frame size so you can use a frame you have on hand or easily purchase one without the cost of custom framing. Below is the current selection of prints you can choose from. Visit Current New Member Gifts to read more about the size and matting for each print.

The current selection of new member gifts.

The current selection of new member gifts.

About that Sampler Box

What's in the sampler box

What’s in the sampler box

Each box will receive the following items in a design appropriate to the audience:

• an 8” x 10” print matted to 11” x 14”, ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a new one

• two or more greeting or note cards, current designs and new designs

• a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance

These can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to shelter or rescue or other fundraisers. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer.

Sampler boxes can be purchased singly or in subscriptions of three and six boxes. Shipping within the US is included.

$30.00 for one box, value about $47.50

$75.00 for a three box subscription, value about $142.50

You can read more about the content in the gift boxes on the page on Portraits of Animals, and don’t forget to go and visit the rest of the site too! I’ll be adding things every day, and also my links from Marketplace articles on this site will now go to Portraits of Animals. I’ll keep a few things on my  Etsy site, but nearly all of it in time will be moved to Portraits of Animals.



Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats and Their Caretakers

Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats and Their Caretakers
Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats and Their Caretakers
Donate a gift certificate, get a gift certificate

Help homeless cats come in off the streets, get veterinary care, shelter and food—make a donation that helps people help cats, and I will give you a $10 gift certificate to my shop, now through the end of 2013.

Every day, selfless individuals are helping homeless cats in any way they can from answering the call to capture orphaned kittens to foster and care for and find forever homes, trapping cats living outdoors for spay and neuter and veterinary care and either keeping them indoors or returning them to a supervised outdoor site, scouring craigslist for kittens and cats being given away for free or for sale and retrieving those they feel are in danger, also offering information and assistance to humans who can use it, and providing safe housing for and feeding thousands of cats every single day in outdoor colonies and much, much more. There is no payment for this and much of the expense for it out of their own pocket.

homeless cat management team logo

Homeless Cat Management Team logo

After the endless parade of kittens over the spring and summer and into fall, many of whom are still looking for homes, we are headed for the often deadly winter months where sturdy straw-filled shelters are needed to be built and maintained for cats living outdoors, and often critical emergency veterinary care is needed for kittens born in the cold, and cats suffering injuries caused by or made worse by wintery weather along with the usual street injuries and, unfortunately, abuse.

We may call this Trap-Neuter-Return or TNR or simply rescue. It’s far more than just grabbing homeless cats and spaying or neutering them, returning them to their outdoor home; there’s a network of assistance behind what rescuers do to help them with this rescue and care for outdoor cats, offering food and materials if they can’t afford it on their own and low-cost veterinary care for a cat they’ve rescued or a foster or outdoor cat they are caring for.

The Homeless Cat Management Team (HCMT) and Frankie’s Friends provide that network of care to rescuers in the Pittsburgh area, loaning out traps, networking rescuers, providing low-cost or free spay/neuter clinics at least monthly and making low-cost emergency veterinary care available to rescuers as well as distributing food and even shelters to those who are caring for rescues in their homes or community cats living outdoors.

$10 gets you $10

Frankie's Friends Cat Rescue

Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue

There are two ways you can help this effort by making even a small tax-deductible donation to Frankie’s Friends for HCMT and their network of rescuers and caretakers through a donated gift card or with cash, and I’ll give you a $10 gift certificate to my Etsy shop for you to use for your holiday shopping, to give as a gift, or keep for later, good for $10.00 off your order of $25.00 or more. And don’t forget that both cash and gift cards are fully tax-deductible as charitable contributions unless you are receiving a gift from the organization you are donating to—but you’re not receiving a gift from Frankie’s Friends, the gift comes from me, and I’m doing this of my own free will and get no benefit from Homeless Cat Management Team or Frankie’s Friends for it.

Make a donation

A cash donation will help support the low-cost veterinary care that has saved many lives and, most importantly, prevented the births of many kittens. And Frankie’s Friends also treats dogs in many of their low-cost clinics in Tarentum and in the mobile van, so you are helping prevent puppies as well, and also helping rescued dogs with low-cost veterinary care.

Here’s what you do:

1. Go to the Frankie’s Friends website and make a donation of at least $10.00.

2. The donation is made through PayPal which has a “notes” section. Note that this is through “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat”.

3. Email your confirmation to me, or simply email me that you donated cash through the Holiday Cheer program. Please let me know if you’d like to be acknowledged publicly at the end of the campaign with just your name, no donation amount. Your name will not be used without your permission to publish it.

4. Frankie’s Friends will email me to confirm your donation.

5. I will reply to your email with your numbered gift certificate attached.

Donate gift cards electronically

Help HCMT and Frankie’s Friends continue to provide much-needed food and supplies to rescuers and caretakers by donating a gift card for pet supplies and they can purchase food and supplies tailored for the animals they are caring for. Petco, PetSmart and WalMart are each convenient to the HCMT clinic in Tarentum where the TNR clinics are held and the veterinary care happens, and where the materials are collected and distributed, so gift cards from these three would be most appreciated.

Here’s what you do:

1. Go to the Petco, PetSmart or WalMart website and purchase an electronic gift card for at least $10.00.

2. Designate it as a gift to “Frankie’s Friends”.

3. In their “notes” section (most have one for gifts), note that this is through “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat” so Frankie’s Friends knows where it came from.

4. To complete the gift card, here is their contact information:

Mailing Address: Frankie’s Friends Cat Rescue, P.O. Box 161, Tarentum, PA 15084

Email: frankiesfriendscatrescue@gmail.com

Phone Number: 724-889-7011

5. Email your confirmation to me, or simply email me that you donated a gift card through the Holiday Cheer program. Please let me know if you’d like to be acknowledged publicly at the end of the campaign with just your name, no donation amount. Your name will not be used without your permission to publish it.

6. Frankie’s Friends will email me to confirm your donation.

7. I will reply to your email with your numbered gift certificate attached.

If you’re not comfortable purchasing it on the internet, you can purchase it in person and mail it to them using the address above. Simply include a note that it’s part of “The Creative Cat Holiday Cheer for Homeless Cats”, or just “The Creative Cat”, and make sure you include your email address. They will contact me when they receive it and I will send your gift certificate.

How to use your gift certificate

sample gift certificate
Sample gift certificate.

Your gift certificate will have a code that will be active for use in my Etsy shop until December 31, 2013. This code is entered at checkout for your $10.00 discount. But if you are shopping elsewhere on one of my pages or you’d like to use the discount toward a commissioned portrait or in person, you’ll just need to give me your name and the certificate number and I’ll either manually discount your order or refund $10.00 to you.

Feel free to use your certificate for your holiday shopping, for your post-holiday shopping, or to give as a gift. For my own accounting purposes, I’d like to keep all the transactions within this calendar year.

. . . . . . .

Read a few articles about what Frankie’s Friends and the Homeless Cat Management Team are doing:

HCMT Feral Cat Day Clinic: 99 Cats Spayed and Neutered

Free For Ferals Clinic: 95 Cats

Spaying By Candlelight

HCMT to “Fix” 15,000th Cat, and Clinic Dates

Black Friday and the Story of 38

Shop for Homeless Cats, and Help Trooper Find a Home Trooper was adopted!

Help Kopy Kat Sanctuary—Adopt! And Donate for a Discount



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

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


2014 Calendars From The Creative Cat

cat calendars

2014 Calendars from The Creative Cat

Calendars are a natural with as many images as I have, and I could easily design a dozen different styles, each a different theme and type of image. The difficult part is narrowing the ideas down to a few that I can reasonably put together and have printed. This year, in addition to continuing three other popular designs, I have a very special new design that features popular daily sketches and includes a donation with every purchase.

I’d been waiting to introduce these until I had details settled out with my Amazon.com account—it seems I’ve actually had two accounts all along, which I’d thought (I set them up using different computers), and we had a difficult time moving things around so everything was in one account. We’re still not quite done so these calendars are not on Amazon.com at the moment, but they will be soon. I didn’t want to wait any longer to offer these, though! Right now they can be purchased here and in my Etsy shop. I will add them to Amazon and other sites once the Amazon account information is settled out.


12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Wall Calendar

"12 Sketches of Cats Calendar"

“12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Calendar”

I’ve always admired oversized “art calendars”, the ones where the art is foremost and the calendar just an incidental means of presenting it. Calendars are printed on quality text or cover stock and are only printed on one side of the page with plenty of clear space around the artwork because the image is intended to be framable with nothing printed on the back.

And so 12 Sketches of Cats is digitally printed in the same archival inks and acid-free natural 100# smooth cover stock I use for the digital art prints I sell. Each page is 11″ x 17″ so there is plenty of space to have the art at or near its native size with room for the name and information about the art with the calendar at the bottom. The calendar is spiral-bound at the top with a hole drilled just beneath the spiral so you display one page at a time.

In addition to keeping art near its native size I’ve also sized most of the artwork so it will easily fit a standard frame size. Some images, such as “Shades of Gray” and “World Cat” are smaller than the originals to fit the page. I chose sketches for popularity and narrowed them down for a variety of style and medium. All are in color; none of the pencil, charcoal or ink sketches seemed to fit with the color art, so of course that might be a calendar of its own someday, but don’t worry—I have a special little gift book I’ll introduce next week.

And there are actually 13 sketches if you count the cover, but because covers see more wear I’m keeping the title at 12. The art included in the calendar is:

Cover: Mimi’s Sunbath

January: Winter Light

February: Shades of Gray

March: Catamount Brushmore

April: Two Cats After van Gogh

May: In Afternoon Sun

June: Lazy Saturday Afternoon

July: Stanley with Geraniums

August: Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol

September: Three Warm Cats on a Cool Ground

October: Two in a Basket

November: Vigilant Nap

December: World Cat

This calendar costs a little more than the typical calendar because of the size and quality, and the value of what’s in it—I generally sell my prints for $10.00 to $25.00 each depending on the size, but in this calendar you get 12 prints, or 13 if you count the cover,  for one price.

Most important, each calendar purchase also generates a $10.00 donation to an organization that benefits cats.

Order a calendar now

Calendars are $45.00, and from now until the end of December 2013 I will donate $10.00 of each sale to FosterCat, Inc. Not only has FosterCat been doing it’s typical wonderful work in rescuing and finding forever homes for cats of all ages through its foster home-only all-volunteer organization, they have also been helping kittens and cats find home who have been rescued by Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement, which allows all those who volunteer as a rescue to foster more cats and kittens.

Click here to order a calendar through my Etsy shop.

Click here to order a calendar through PayPal

NOTE: I will continue to sell this calendar until all I printed are gone, but because of the value of the art within it I will not discount it after the beginning of the year as I do others. The purchase price will always generate a $10.00 donation to a specified cat rescue or assistance organization.


Compositions in Black and Green 2014 Calendar

calendar with black cat

Compositions in Black and Green 2014

I’ve been collecting photos for this calendar since I finished last year’s calendar! These five wonderful black cats will show the world that everyone needs to have at least one black kitty in their life, and, at least in my house, the more the merrier! Again, it includes a collection of silly, cute and artful photos in equal measure, just the thing to show others what black cats can bring to your life.

Again in 2014 Jelly Bean is on the cover, and rightly so—he spends the most time in there and is the most beguiling where the faucet is concerned, and he also does some of the most interesting things…

Each month includes one main photo which was likely taken during that particular month so the lighting is right. On the right a monthly calendar includes basic holidays, moon phases and room for notes at the bottom, and thumbnail photos of the Five from other activities in green and white decorate open areas on the calendar page.

And Emeraude makes an appearance in this calendar since, not only is she a black cat in a green and white bathroom and she has spent most of her time in this house in that room and enjoyed it just as much as the Five, but her eyes are the greenest too! And even Lakota, though he was not black, appears as well.

The calendar is a 5.5″ x 8.5″ spiral-bound calendar printed on 100# matte-finish text paper so it’s easy to write on but the art still looks bright and crisp, and I have it available in both a journal and wall calendar style; I had been planning to choose only one style but last year’s orders were divided just about equally between the two styles so I decided to print both again.

The convenient size is either coil-bound across the top so that it hangs like a wall calendar, or down the left so that it opens like a journal. I have both variations available for sale, so be sure to choose Wall Calendar or Journal Style when you purchase.

images of black cats calendar

Compositions in Black and Green, journal and wall style, two spreads from the 2013 calendars.

Throughout 2013 I created handmade and printed items such as wood-mounted art, keepsake boxes and the set of greeting cards of the same name using images from the 2013 calendar. As a complement to the 2014 calendar I will be doing the same, and any image can be ordered as a print. You’ll see them throughout 2013. Sign up for my e-newsletter at the bottom of this page to be sure you don’t miss any special offers.


Order Compositions in Black and Green 2014 Calendar

You can purchase this calendar in my Etsy shop if there are also things you’d like to purchase there.


In the Kitchen with Cookie 2014 Calendar

cat calendar

“In the Kitchen With Cookie 2014”

Just as I had a request to create a calendar featuring Cookie and her antics in the kitchen, I’ve had requests for another for this year.

Because I used just about every photo of Cookie in the kitchen I had, I can’t really create a new calendar, but I am working on another related project—a book and calendar set that combines so much of what Cookie and all my garden cats shared with me: the backyard wildlife habitat, the organic garden, cooking, and photographing and painting all of it.

That’s an ambitious project to say the least! I didn’t think I’d get it done in time for 2014 so I asked of those who requested what they thought of simply issuing the same calendar with new dates. Most said that was fine, so that’s what I’ve decided to do for 2014, and I hope the second time around everyone can try more recipes and experiment a little!

A little bit of background

If you’ve followed my daily photos on The Creative Cat you may be familiar with my photos of Cookie interacting with properly-warmed pasta bowls, enamel pots and glass salad bowls in the series called “In the Kitchen With Cookie”. I was lucky enough to catch her in the act through the years photographing a dozen amusing images of Cookie exploring alternate uses for these items. A number of readers requested a calendar which sounds like a wonderful idea to me, especially as a tribute to a part of Cookie’s unforgettable curiosity that still makes me laugh.

About the calendar

The calendar is a 5.5″ x 8.5″ spiral-bound calendar printed on 100# matte-finish text paper so it’s easy to write on but the art still looks bright and crisp, and I am offering it as both a wall and journal style calendar.

Each month includes one main photo of Cookie caught in the act which was either taken during that particular month or is themed for that month food-wise, plus a bit of the text from the original post on The Creative Cat with a background pattern of blue gingham that so matches my kitchen—and Kelly even makes an appearance with Cookie in two of the photos! I’ve also included a simple recipe of my own that corresponds.

images of calendars with cat

In the Kitchen With Cookie, journal and wall style open to spreads from 2013.

On the right a monthly calendar includes basic holidays, moon phases and room for notes at the bottom, and other photos of Cookie from the same and related explorations decorate open areas on the calendar page.

The recipes celebrate winter days in my kitchen and the seasons of my garden, long enjoyed with Cookie’s supervision, including my special “Cheesecake”, “Healthy Multi-fruit Crisp”, “Easy Lemon Vinaigrette” and my best advice for cooking fresh sweet corn…after you’ve extricated it from Cookie’s paws.

The convenient size is coil-bound either across the top so that it hangs like a wall calendar, or down the left so that it opens like a journal. I have both variations available for sale, so be sure to choose Wall Calendar or Journal Style when you purchase.

Throughout 2013 I created a number of products such as wood-mounted artwork and plaques using images in this calendar, and will continue in 2014, and any image can be ordered as a print. I’ll offer these through 2013. Sign up for my e-newsletter at the bottom of this page to be sure you don’t miss any special offers.

Below is a handy slideshow from 2013 so you can flip through the pages like a book, and below that you’ll find ordering information.

Order In the Kitchen with Cookie 2014

You can purchase this calendar in my Etsy shop if there are also things you’d like to purchase there.


Great Rescues Day Book

cover of book

Great Rescues Day Book

I released this earlier this year, but had an issue with the ISBN and barcode…it was my own fault! After resolving it I had the back covers reprinted and rebound all the copies with the correct ISBN and barcode.

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 originally wanted to do this as a day book, but was uncertain enough at the reception I decided instead to go with a calendar. I was certain about one thing: I wanted to share those stories and the lovely kitties I’d painted, and a calendar works fine for me. But compiling each one is such an effort because as I’d found with the original Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, I have to rephotograph nearly every painting, a tricky and time-consuming endeavor, one that would be difficult to pull off each year. This day book still shares the stories and art, but as I publish the variations including other cats and dogs and even animals and people I know the work I’m doing will be in use for much longer.

cat peeking out from under bed

Waiting for Mom, pastel © 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.

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. 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.

black and white notebook paper featuring a collage of cats

Award-winning 22 Cats Notebook Paper

As a complement to the day book, I am also designing from the images in this book a number of complementary products such as placemats, pet bowl mats and memo pads. Sign up for my e-newsletter at the bottom of this page to be sure you don’t miss any special offers.

For now, scroll down a little farther to find the Add to Cart button. If the book is a gift to someone, or you have a particular cat or cats in mind, I would be glad to add an inscription in the front of your book.

Here are images of the other portraits in the book—perhaps you’ll recognize a kitty you know!

collage of portraits

All the portraits except Fawn.

Purchase through my Etsy shop

Click here to purchase from my Etsy shop.

Please also see “Calendars” for other dated calendar products.


Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

two tortoiseshell cats in studio

The girls are ready for work.

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.

Generations of cats have had to supervise me in my studio to make certain what I produce is acceptable—Cookie watched over me beginning in 1992 and Kelly beginning in 1997! Here they are, telling me to settle down and get to work.


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.normalcy.


Click here to find out how you can help homeless cats this holiday season!

Sophie-HolidayCheerForHomelessPets-300


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

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



Donated Art, and an Event

pastel sketch of trail

Christmas Day on the Trail, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I took a walk on the Panhandle Trail on Christmas Day 2011, a lovely sunny day and even fairly warm, no snow, but no rain either. Of course, there were many photo opportunities and one of my pleasures of being on the trail is also doing a sketch or two. Above is my sketch from that Christmas Day, just a nice spot on the trail where the sun angled across the hills, touching certain trees and not others, throwing sunny splashes across the limestone chip surface. I remember the sycamores were very, very white, even in the shadows, and the oak trees on the hill a warm bright bronze in the sunlight.

I most often bicycle Panhandle, and though I am also on other trails this is the most familiar to me for how often I am on it. I always have my camera equipment and art materials; sometimes I am less about bicycling for the day than I am about painting and have easels and drawing boards and then some, pulling my bike along like a two-wheeled pack horse. But whether I am set up for a day of en plein air (“in the open air”) painting right there on the trail or just a quick sketch before I pedal on, I’m glad the trails are there for me.

Small sketches, affordable art and donations

I have a house full of small sketches I’ve done of my cats, my garden, my neighborhood and especially local trails and conservation areas. Usually pastel but sometimes pencil or charcoal or pen and ink, I’ve organized the originals into exhibits such as Winter White and printed them as notecards like My Home Town, Feline Sketches and Eye on the Sparrow.

I try to frame the originals as soon as possible, cutting my own mats and framing them with repurposed frames which people have given me or I’ve found at thrift shops and yard sales and cleaned up and refinished. They always come together in a nice, neat and unique piece of artwork. Because they are small and quick and I recycle materials, I also keep their prices affordable for someone who wants a piece of original artwork. I sell them myself and in other places—for instance, a number of these are now at Distinctively Different Decor & More and in my Etsy shop—but I also donate a certain number of these auctions to benefit animal shelters and other organizations; I’m gratified to find that bidding is often higher than what I would charge, so I’ve been able to benefit an organization I support with something I’ve created.

The Montour Trail Council is hosting the Pittsburgh Cycling Expo on Sunday, March 25 to benefit the Montour Trail. I’ve donated prints for their events in the past, and this time I offered a selection of recent trail sketches I’ve done on the Panhandle Trail and they chose the sketch above, “Christmas Day on the Trail”. I originally wrote about it on Today the day after I visited the trail, and you’ll see I added to it after I finished it—in order to make it fit the frame that matched it perfectly out of my stock of extras! But I so appreciate the presence of these trails which I use as often as possible for exercise, for art, for inspiration that I’m glad I can offer this for their benefit.

I’m also donating a framed photo, below, which is not from the trail, but it includes a bicycle, “Commuter”, taken in Pittsburgh’s Strip District; I’ve always liked this photo and it’s sold well at outdoor events, so I hope this earns bids for them as well.

Visit the website to read about the event which is sponsored by AeroTech Designs, a local clothing manufacturer in Coraopolis, PA that makes cycling clothing. In a roundabout way, I’m glad to be supporting a local business and employer as well.

framed photo of bicycle leaning against building

Commuter, photo © B.E. Kazmarski


Donate to WPHS in Honor of Penny the Angel

sample feline art card

Sample Feline Greeting Card.

I’m so excited Penny was adopted from WPHS, and the whole story of her rescue and the people who adopted her just warms my heart.

calico cat in carrier

Here's Penny.

I used to be angry with people who “dumped” pets at shelters, but you can’t generalize reasons why pets end up there nor the people who surrender them, and you do much more good helping the shelter that has taken them in. Instead of getting angry I put my energy into helping people keep their pets, helping people adopt pets and creating things that help people love animals all the more, helping shelters find good and loving permanent homes for the animals in their care.

box of cards

Feline Art Cards set of 12

Please make a donation to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to help support what they do for other cats and dogs all year round. I’ll give you a gift if you do: Visit my Friendraiser page for WPHS and order a dozen Feline Greetings cards in honor of Penny, and $10 of every purchase will be donated to WPHS. Use the link on the Friendraiser page to go to my Etsy shop, and make sure you enter the code WPHSPENNY in the notes section when you order!

You can read about the inspiration for the cards here.

western pennsylvania humane society logo

WPHS logo

About the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

While Penny was at WPHS, they spayed her and treated her for an upper respiratory infection, and of course they fed her and supplied litter for her personal use. This is not free, and the medical care can get expensive. WPHS is an open-door shelter, charged with accepting any animal brought to their door—a little over 14,000 cats and dogs last year.

The WPHS is an “open-door” shelter helping animals in need in Pittsburgh and Allegheny county since 1874.

I prefer the term “open door” for a shelter which will take in any animal in need at any time because I know the alternative to a shelter is a drop off in a park or isolated woods or some lonely back road for a cat or dog or rabbit—I’ve rescued plenty of them. I have also seen WPHS through the years find every new and ingenious way of getting their animals out in front of the public and into a permanent home, and I know the costs of running a shelter that serves over 13,000 animals per year is huge, only accomplished with the help of donations large and small. And they are apparently wise with their money; Charity Navigator has designated the Western PA Humane Society as a Four-Star charity, its highest ranking for efficient use of donations, five years in a row!

If not WPHS, please support your local shelter in any way you can. And if you are looking for an angel kitty, there are many more kitties who have stories as well. Adopt if you can, foster if not, or donate to your local shelter in time, goods or money this coming year.

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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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Donate to WPHS With Every Purchase

cat-themed holiday cards

"Star of Wonder" and "Can We Get That Thing?"

For every purchase of one dozen “Star of Wonder” or “Can We Get That Thing?” holiday cards for $20, I will donate $10 to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society so that the dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets, birds and any other animal can have a brighter holiday season with your help!

For details, visit my Friendraising page for WPHS.

And read about the inspiration for the cards here.

I used to be hard on people who “dumped” pets at shelters, but you can’t generalize reasons why pets end up there nor the people who surrender them, so now instead of getting angry I put my energy into creating things that help people love animals all the more, helping shelters find good and loving permanent homes for the animals in their care.

western pennsylvania humane society logo

WPHS logo

About the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

The WPHS is an “open-door” shelter helping animals in need in Pittsburgh and Allegheny county since 1874.

I prefer the term “open door” for a shelter which will take in any animal in need at any time because I know the alternative to a shelter is a drop off in a park or isolated woods or some lonely back road for a cat or dog or rabbit—I’ve rescued plenty of them. I have also seen WPHS through the years find every new and ingenious way of getting their animals out in front of the public and into a permanent home, and I know the costs of running a shelter that serves over 13,000 animals per year is huge, only accomplished with the help of donations large and small. And they are apparently wise with their money; Charity Navigator has designated the Western PA Humane Society as a Four-Star charity, its highest ranking for efficient use of donations, five years in a row!

________________________

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Senior Pet Adoption Donation Program

pastel painting of a cat on a table with peonies

Peaches and Peonies, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I pledge to support senior adoption programs at shelters by making a donation from the sale of every full-size or half-size gicleé print of “Peaches and Peonies.”

I’ve told many stories about Peaches on this site so you know her story of losing her person and entering my life when she was fifteen as a foster, and that we shared a very fulfilling five years before she passed though others were afraid to adopt her for fear she’d die soon. That was not in Peaches’ plan, and not in the plan for most older pets who need homes!

For Adopt a Senior Pet Month I’m featuring this donation offer involving prints of the portrait I painted of her. She’d like the idea that she’s still helping people adopt senior pets and helping shelters help senior pets, and I like the idea that I help to spread her memory through my artwork.

I actually began this program in 2008, when I finished this painting and had it professionally reproduced to make the highest-quality gicleé prints in addition to lower-cost digital prints. The idea flourished as I worked on the painting and I couldn’t wait to get the word out—wouldn’t everyone want to adopt a senior kitty if they saw one as beautiful as my Peaches?

Read on for Peaches’ story and the details of the program.

detail of painting

detail of painting

About Peaches

Peaches came to my home at age 15, and despite my efforts to place her in a new home, she ended up staying with me. Most prospective adopters were concerned that Peaches was older and might not live long, but my point was that Peaches needed a home no matter what age she was. At the time this painting was done, she’d been with me three years, her petite prettiness, pleasant personality and simple friendliness providing much joy for me, and she was a big favorite of most visitors to my home. And then, she’s also the subject of not only this painting, but several other paintings and sketches as well as photographs, so in three years she provided a good bit of inspiration, not to mention wake-up duties and not-so-gentle reminders about it being dinnertime.

Peaches came to be homeless because her owner died; she was nearly euthanized because no one could figure out what to do with her, not wanting to take her to a shelter. Often, older pets come from situations like this, or where the owner has to enter the hospital or a care home, and no one can take the animal left behind. They are euthanized by the family or end up in shelters and are most often passed by, even though a “seasoned” pet usually makes the best companion.

Three years or three decades or three weeks, every adoptable animal like Peaches deserves a good and loving home. Especially now, during Adopt a Senior Pet Month, consider helping those who are most vulnerable.

detail of painting

detail of painting

Purchase a print and choose your senior pet adoption program

Giclée prints are printed on heavyweight acid-free archival paper using light-fast archival inks using a direct liquid printing process so fine that my prints are often indistinguishable from my originals. Each print is signed by me, the artist. I prefer this process not only because of its clarity and precision but also because I can order only one print at a time instead of ordering dozens or hundreds, and it costs the same per print no matter how many I get. For that reason, I order them from my printer as I receive orders

  • Full-size, 23″ x 16″, $150.00
  • Half-size, 13″ x 9″, $75.00 (see “framing” below)

You pay for the print and give me the name of the senior pet adoption program of your choice. I process your order and send a donation to the program in your name or the name of your choosing, and either ask them to send you an acknowledgement or send you one myself. I usually make the donations through PayPal since most shelters use it now, and I can send you a acknowledgement through PayPal.

detail of painting

detail of painting

Shipping

I can ship the smaller prints flat for $10.95, but need to ship the full-size prints rolled for economy at $15.95 since the package is slightly oversized when shipping flat. However, I can ship flat for $25.95, or a surcharge of $10.00. I’m not fond of rolled prints, but I don’t like bent ones either.

Framing

Framing is often more expensive than the art itself. Custom framing is available for an estimate; I custom frame all my own things. To save a little bit on framing, I chose 13″ x 9″ for the the smaller print so that it would fit into a pre-made 16″ x 20″ frame that comes with an 11″ x 14″ mat leaving white space around the print, which is typical in framing a high-quality print. The larger will fit into a pre-made 24″ x 30″ frame, though you may need to purchase a mat since most larger frames don’t come with a mat.

detail of painting

Detail of painting

Ordering

Visit the Portraits of Animals Marketplace on my website, choose “Cats” under “Original Art and Prints”, or click here to go directly to “Peaches and Peonies” in my Marketplace. In your PayPal shopping cart you’ll be able to give special instructions, and you can add that you’d like to donate through the program and give me the contact information for the shelter of your choice.

You can also visit my Etsy shop, and when you order through PayPal you’ll be able to enter instructions about your chosen donation program.


We Really Are Helping Our Friends in Japan!

So far six Torti Girls tees sold to help animals in Japan! That’s a donation of $75! I still have six tees left, and it would be so nice to make a donation of $150! I’m donating to either Animal Refuge Kansai (if I can convert dollars to yen correctly), or to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.

Painting by Kuniyoshi Utagawa

The Japanese people are legendarily fond of cats, have been through history. In every stage of art in their culture you’ll find felines of all stripes and spots and solids depicted in paintings happily ensconced in homes, walking about the estate, in sculptures curled in sleep and famously with one paw lifted welcoming you to the garden. More than a few of these kitties are calico or tortoiseshell as “red” is a favorite and highly symbolic color.

And, often, in the background of the painting you’ll see the ocean, as it is in the background of their lives every day. Obviously, being a chain of islands, the ocean, what it gives and what it takes, is a constant presence in the lives of the Japanese, and with it the cultural knowledge of the ocean’s destructive power. (See a little more art like that at left here).

We witnessed that power on March 11 as an earthquake shook the land at Sendai, creating a tsunami that slammed into the eastern coastline. Remembering from the 2004 tsunami and the Haiti and Chile earthquakes as well as other natural disasters, we won’t know the full toll for days or weeks.

In Japan, wherever there are people, there are cats, beloved pets, and where pets are not allowed there are Cat Cafes where cats live to be visited by customers who drink tea and pet kitties. And tragically the earthquake’s epicenter was about 60 miles from Cat Island, a haven for the elderly and for many stray cats who are fed and cherished by all residents. To date we’ve heard that Cat Island had a good bit of damage and supplies are needed, but the island also has a good bit of high ground so hopefully people and cats could escape the tsunami.

My Tortie Girls Go to Japan

detail of "the goddess" face

Detail of "The Goddess"

detail of the roundest eyes block print

Detail of "The Roundest Eyes"

Through one of my wholesale customers, many of my Tortie Cats t-shirts have shipped off to customers in Japan. Considering their love of cats, this is not surprising.

Also considering the tradition of block printing, or relief printing with wood, in Japan, especially hand-colored prints, this seems like a natural combination. After all, where do you think I first saw this technique, and years later decided to render my girls’ portraits in this medium?

Donate to Animal Refuge Kansai for the Animals of Japan

I will donate half of the selling price to Animal Refuge Kansai from sales of my t-shirts and framed block prints sold in a set or individually. I have limited stock, in part because I always wait for warmer weather to print these shirts and prints:

Read below more about block printing and about these prints, and visit my Etsy shop to purchase. Also visit The Conscious Cat to find other opportunities to donate and help all animals in Japan after this devastating disaster.

Inspired by my felines

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos. I print these by hand from a hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-painted in watercolor.

“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”.

“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.

framed block print of tortoiseshell cat

The Goddess

framed block print of tortoiseshell cat

The Roundest Eyes

Each image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 14″ x 18″, horizontal or vertical as shown in the photo.

Find the girls in my Etsy shop under “Prints”.

I have also printed the girls on white t-shirts. You can also find these in my Etsy shop under T-shirts or in the Marketplace on my website under Apparel>Block Printed Tees.

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.

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 will sometimes add color to them with watercolor or dyes to give them extra interest. The resulting work, even though they are all printed from the same block, is a unique print, still handmade by the artist.

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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