Category Archives: christmas

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.


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“Peace” on “Earth”, and Other Holiday Card Designs

christmas card with dog and cat

“A Cat Named Peace, A Dog Named Earth”, Pen and Ink Illustration • 1997

Look a little closer at those markings…what do you see?

For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever.

Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it! Don’t know why…

I decided to bring this design back out this year!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. And you can choose white, red or brown kraft envelopes; if you don’t choose one I’ll ship them with white envelopes.

The card is blank inside, but with a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo, but please ask soon—time is running out for custom printing!

Scroll down or browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop. You may order directly from there for single cards and sets of six or a dozen and use your discount. For larger orders and for customized orders, please e-mail me so we can discuss and I’ll send you a customized invoice that reflects your order.

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat
Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Inside card.

Inside at left.

With a minimum order of two dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Star of Wonder

holiday card cat looking at star
Star of Wonder

This card features a simple, wordless illustration of a cat looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside it reads: “May the wonder of the season bring you peace and joy through the year.”

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

Using a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth, I created his silhouette including all those lovely long whiskers and fur tips. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Can We Get That Thing?

holiday card featuring kittens looking at star
Can We GetThat thing?

This card features a wordless illustration of the Curious Quartet looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside the card reads: “…they look-ed up, and sa-aw a star …
…and they WANTED it!

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

For this illustration I used reference photos I’d taken of the Curious Quartet when they were just little kitties watching birds. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen (please convo on Etsy).

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

holiday card with cat
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

Sophie was a little goofy, and did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…for my holiday card in 1999 I decided to illustrate that memory in a quick little sketch!

On the back:

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself
Pastel • 1999

The message inside reads: “Hope your Christmas is full of wonderful surprises!”

Inside card.

Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


An Old Memory

cat-themed holiday card
An Old Memory

This card is based on a photo I took years ago…

An Old memory
Photo • 1983

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Inside card.

This card has a message inside: Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.

With a minimum order of four dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop



Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.
Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. It’s printed in red ink on smooth cream-colored card stock.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 1996 I decided I’d revive my love for block printing (and it was one of the creative things I did in the aftermath of losing Kublai and Allegro).

The design is derived from hand-lettering and playing around with fonts, plus tiny cat silhouettes I had designed for various projects; I added a border just to be decorative.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on cream card stock, hand trimmed and folded and includes a matching envelope. I also have a limited set on brown kraft card stock but matching envelopes have been hard to find; you will find these on Etsy if I find enough envelopes. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home. This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 2001. It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, then overprinted with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 2001 decided to take my block prints a step further by adding a glittery finish, but it didn’t work well until newer glitter-based finishes were available. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, but it doesn’t photograph or scan well enough to see the actual finish.

The design is based on coming home at night from work for years and seeing one or another of my cats in this very window, usually Sally, watching for me as I came from the driveway.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Nature and Wild Birds

These sets inspired by nature are designed from my paintings and photographs from my backyard and the trails I enjoy in winter. Each set includes four or more designs. Click on any image to read more about it on Etsy.

Backyard Birds in Winter
Unexpected Berries
Winter Beauty
Cardinals Brighten a Snowy Day

cat and art materials on table

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Usually 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.

Mewsette may look like she’s sleeping, but she is ready to get up and give instructions or even a helping paw at any moment.


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



Two Hand-printed Holiday Card Designs

    Hand-printed linocut holiday cards.
Hand-printed linocut holiday cards.

Years before I really went into business at home and I’d just begun freelancing, I designed and printed my own cards each year. This initially meant in the 80s I created a design in black and white and copied it…then when I got a computer in the early 90s I printed them on my black and white laser printer, then my color printer as the years marched on, and then finally had them digitally printed as I do with most of my cards today.

But every so often I want to print a card by hand and I go back to my love of block prints—in fact, my first block print designs outside of classes in school were for holiday cards, not for wall art. One of these days I’ll pull out and reprint the half-dozen non-feline designs I have and still enjoy, but for the past few years I’ve printed a limited number of two designs featuring cats.


Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.

I designed this linoleum block print  for my holiday card in 1996. Back in the day, if you were a graphic designer using clip art, the “wood cut” look was really popular, and it also helped to really revive my need to create block prints. At first I was drawing illustrations that incorporated the signature patterns of long and short incised lines for both decorative pattern and dimension and shading, then decided to take it to the real thing.

Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

My hands have always had a little touch of arthritis and tendon issues, even before heavy computer use, and while I love wood blocks and the exceptionally fine details you can achieve, I decided to go with linoleum blocks since they were easier to cut and that put less stress on my hands.

I’ve earlier referenced losing two of my cats in 1996, Kublai and Allegro, and all the things I’d done to work my way through my grief that autumn. This was really my final big project in that process, and while I’d initially decided to try to avoid the subject of cats in my holiday cards, I could take joy in them again, watching them in their everyday play and activities, and thought I’d celebrate them instead, my whole household at once.

Meowy Cat's Mess in red on brown kraft.
Meowy Cat’s Mess in red on brown kraft.

In brainstorming a clever visual or verbal “headline”, I like to twist words and “Meowy Cat’s Mess” came up as I thought through all the phrases connected with Christmas and other winter holidays. I worked my way through a few sketches with the text and the cats and pretty quickly came to this, with all these happy busy kitties making a mess of my design!

I took the little feline silhouettes I’d designed years earlier, then stylized them for block printing in 1993 when I designed the “Tabbies” series. In this case, however, I wanted each of the cats to be a little different and more or less representative of the cats in my household at the time including a few prior fosters, so I designed them with stripes, spots, specks, white paws and solids dark and light.

The design is derived from playing around with fonts then hand-lettering. I liked the design, but it looked to be floating on the card so I added a border with a bow because I liked how the cut lines in the bow and ribbon used for shading looked.

Meowy Cat's Mess in green on brown kraft.
Meowy Cat’s Mess in green on brown kraft.

Just in case you haven’t read this in prior posts, block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique. You can see a little slideshow of the process in a recent post, “Featured Artwork: “Fawnball”.

I’ve also recently found an economical little Speedball printing press which enables me to print cards faster. I usually print only a dozen cards at a time because I have to have a place for them to dry for at least a day, out of the reach of curious paws…and that means hanging clotheslines in my studio and bathroom and clothes pinning them to hang to dry before I stamp my information on the back and fold them.

This card is 5″ x 7″ and is printed in water-based acrylic ink on card stock in four variations, with several choices of envelope:

  • cream card stock with red ink, cream or red envelope
  • cream card stock with green ink, cream or green envelope
  • kraft card stock with red ink, red or kraft envelope
  • kraft card stock with green ink, green or kraft envelope

Cards are blank inside and can also be framed. You can find all the cards here. In addition, this year I made a set of 5″ x 7″ wood-mount prints of just the prints.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home.

I designed this linoleum block print for my holiday card in 2001.The design is based on the actual scene that met me many snowy nights when I came home from my day job and seeing one of my kitties in silhouette, Sally for many years, then Sophie, sitting on the windowsill at the big casement window facing north, the light falling across the snow on the ground below.

It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, and the ink wraps completely around the back. It’s then lightly rolled with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night as you move the card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t scan or photograph well, you’ll just have to use a little visualization…

I had initially used all sorts of other glitter to achieve the effect, but it either obscured the design or just fell off in the envelope when it was mailed. Each year for four or five years I experimented with another type of glitter, unsuccessfully. I put it away for several years until 2012 and decided I’d revive the design somehow, even if it just meant printing the design on the paper, which is nice on its own, though I really felt the need for the extra dimension of glitter. So it took over a decade to achieve that final idea, but it was well worth it.

As with the “Meowy Cat’s Mess” card I print these cards one dozen at a time, let them dry, then roll on the iridescent finish and let that dry, add a little label to the back with my information, then finally fold it.

This card is also 5″ x 7″ and printed in water-based acrylic ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper as described, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope in your choice of yellow or white. Card is blank inside and can also be framed, though I haven’t made any wood-mount versions of this, but only for lack of space!

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


cat and art materials on table

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Usually 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.

Mewsette may look like she’s sleeping, but she is ready to get up and give instructions or even a helping paw at any moment.


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



Yes, I Will Have Halloween Cards, and Christmas Cards, and Hanukkah Cards…

    Holiday cards from Portraits of Animals!
Holiday cards from Portraits of Animals!

People have been asking! It’s time to order holiday cards for personal use or for your professional practice, and of course, I offer cards for Halloween—with six black cats and two former torties that’s a natural—and a big variety of holiday cards featuring my cats! All of my cards are designed from my photographs and paintings, and often you’ve seen these works as they appear in my daily posts. Here is a preview of what I have to offer, but just wait until October—I’ll have special offers for both individuals and animal professionals to stock up on these designs, plus other fun products that incorporate these designs and others! You will be able to purchase cards individually, as a mixed set or a set of all the same design.

In addition to my commercially-printed cards I also have a few designs which are hand-printed as block prints for a completely unique card which becomes original art.

Customized messages inside the card…

Some designs have a message inside, others are blank, but I can custom print a message or logo for you for $2.50 per dozen for a minimum of two dozen of the same design, allowing an extra two weeks for delivery for special orders.


For Halloween Fun…

Halloween greeting card
Madame Mewsette will tell your For-tuna

You see my daily photos, sometimes several each day, all the time, and I often receive suggestions for how they could be used as greeting cards and merchandise. Much like I turn my daily sketches into merchandise, I listen to those suggestions and also keep my eyes open for daily photos that can become something new and exciting.

So what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season?

“Madame Mewsette” began as a daily photo like the ones you see every day, first posted on October 31, 2010; another, in the design below, was posted on October 30, 2010. They were completely unposed—I got out the pumpkins, but my black cats organized the creative compositions and it was all I could do to get a good clear photo in challenging lighting because surely they would never pose like this again! From the moment I took these photos, posted them and received the feedback about it, I’ve held onto a creative idea for those images: Halloween cards!

I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons so I actually tried to avoid this, but from the combination of looking at cards in shops whenever I get the chance, and, last year, compiling my holiday card designs, I decided I really did want to create a few Halloween cards—especially with the first two images.

And it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday. I so love to see my cats in my design work and share them with others.

Click here to preview the other designs!


For Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Seasons

I also offer Christmas, Hanukkah and winter holiday cards featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography.

Since the late 1980s I’ve handmade my holiday cards or designed and printed them from my art, and eventually began offering the designs for sale to others. Then after my exhibit “Winter White” I decided to branch out to offer my artwork from that show, other artwork as well, and then my photos too, and last year designed cards with cats and nature for all the winter holidays.

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat
Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

Inside card.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Click here to see more samples!


And Featured Today on The Conscious Cat

animal sympathy card for cat
A new sympathy card, dedicated to Lakota.

Ingrid King has featured my Animal Sympathy Card selection on The Conscious Cat today! You may not think of sympathy cards for persons who’ve lost their animal companions at all, or until the time comes to purchase one. You’ve read my story about how I came to design my own because I knew how difficult it was to find an appropriate card. Whether you are an individual or an animal professional, every once in a while the need arises for a sympathy card, and as you browse the fun and lovely Halloween and holiday cards, also browse my Animal Sympathy cards.

Every custom order for Halloween or holiday cards can also include cards from this assortment. Whether you are an individual or an animal professional, sending a card through the mail is still an important custom.


Ordering Information

 . . . . . . .

Ordering Single Cards

You can purchase individual cards from any of my shops, and I will generally mail them them out the same day in first-class mail.

Custom Sets

Right now custom ordering is done by contacting me directly, but all 5″ x 7″ cards in my Etsy shop and on my websites can be mixed and matched for your own custom set. If you’d like a few regular sympathy cards and a few other cards to complete your order, you can simply list them and send me an email, I’ll return a PayPal invoice. You can choose cards from anywhere on my website or in my Etsy shop.

Wholesale for Animal Professionals

All cards are available for wholesale prices and quantities to animal professionals, and likewise you can also assort all cards for your order. Please contact me for details.


Cookie and Kelly are ready to supervise my work!
Cookie and Kelly are ready to supervise my work!

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!Click here to 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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Select Christmas Cards by the Dozen 50% off until January 31!

"Unexpected Berries" set of 4 holiday cards.

“Unexpected Berries” SET OF 4.

"An Old Memory" Christmas Card

“An Old Memory” SINGLE CARD.

"Winter Birds" paintings holiday cards

“Winter Birds” paintings SET OF 4.

"Star of Wonder" holiday card.

“Star of Wonder” SINGLE CARD.


Stock up now with these four and more—and give me less to store away for the next eight months! Order holiday cards at a discount for personal use or for your professional practice featuring not only my cats and feline-inspired images but also other pets, natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography. All cards are designed from my photographs and paintings. Browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop.

Note on ordering discount holiday cards…

Please order holiday cards separately if you are going to use your 10% discount—they are already marked 50% off the original price. Customized messages inside the card are not available for this sale.


Inspired by felines you know!

Click on the banner below to visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy for more of my designs inspired by the cats you read about each day.

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

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.


Holiday Cards from Portraits of Animals

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat
Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Holiday Greeting Cards and Customization

It’s time to order holiday cards for personal use or for your professional practice, and of course, I offer holiday cards featuring my cats! I also offer holiday cards featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography. All cards are designed from my photographs and paintings which you can purchase individually, as a mixed set or a set of all the same design. In addition to my commercially-printed cards I also have two designs which are hand-printed as block prints for a completely unique card which becomes original art.

Customized messages inside the card…
Some designs have a message inside, others are blank, but I can custom print a message for you for $2.50 per dozen for a minimum of two dozen of the same design, but for Holiday cards ordered before November 30 you may have your cards customized inside with black text or logo at no extra charge. Please allow two weeks for delivery for special orders.

Browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop. You may order directly from there for single cards and sets of six or a dozen and use your discount. For larger orders and for customized orders, please e-mail me so we can discuss and I’ll send you a customized invoice that reflects your discount.

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Inside card.

With a minimum order of two dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Star of Wonder

holiday card cat looking at star
Star of Wonder

This card features a simple, wordless illustration of a cat looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside it reads: “May the wonder of the season bring you peace and joy through the year.”

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

Using a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth, I created his silhouette including all those lovely long whiskers and fur tips. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Can We Get That Thing?

holiday card featuring kittens looking at star
Can We GetThat thing?

This card features a wordless illustration of the Curious Quartet looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside the card reads: “…they look-ed up, and sa-aw a star …
…and they WANTED it!

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

For this illustration I used reference photos I’d taken of the Curious Quartet when they were just little kitties watching birds. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen (please convo on Etsy).

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

holiday card with cat
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

Sophie was a little goofy, and did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…for my holiday card in 1999 I decided to illustrate that memory in a quick little sketch!

On the back:

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself
Pastel • 1999

The message inside reads: “Hope your Christmas is full of wonderful surprises!”

Inside card.

Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Peace on Earth

holiday card with dog and cat
A Cat Named Peace, a Dog Named Earth

Look a little closer at those markings…what do you see?

A Cat Named Peace, A Dog Named Earth
Pen and Ink Illustration • 1997

For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever. Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it! Don’t know why…

I decided to bring this design back out this year!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

The card is blank inside, but with a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).7″ card is printed on 14 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


An Old Memory

cat-themed holiday card
An Old Memory

This card is based on a photo I took years ago…

An Old memory
Photo • 1983

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Inside card.

This card has a message inside: Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.

With a minimum order of four dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Feline Gifts

Afternoon Nap
Winter Window
A Rosy Glow
Warm Winter Sun

This set of cards features four pastel sketches which may be quite familiar to you. I painted them of my cats from life—while Kelly sat and looked out the window, I was behind her with my sketchpad and pastels, and the same with Moses, Namir and Stanley.Through the years I’ve used each design as my seasonal greeting card, and this year I offer them as a set in a special new design: “Feline Gifts”, because our cats truly are gifts to us!

Inside Card.

Cards have a message inside: Wishing you and your fine felines a peaceful holiday and a happy new year

With a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

These 5″ x 7″ cards are printed on 14 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, 3 each of the four designs shown, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.
Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. It’s printed in red ink on smooth cream-colored card stock.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 1996 I decided I’d revive my love for block printing (and it was one of the creative things I did in the aftermath of losing Kublai and Allegro).

The design is derived from hand-lettering and playing around with fonts, plus tiny cat silhouettes I had designed for various projects; I added a border just to be decorative.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on cream card stock, hand trimmed and folded and includes a matching envelope. I also have a limited set on brown kraft card stock but matching envelopes have been hard to find; you will find these on Etsy if I find enough envelopes. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home. This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 2001. It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, then overprinted with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 2001 decided to take my block prints a step further by adding a glittery finish, but it didn’t work well until newer glitter-based finishes were available. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, but it doesn’t photograph or scan well enough to see the actual finish.

The design is based on coming home at night from work for years and seeing one or another of my cats in this very window, usually Sally, watching for me as I came from the driveway.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Nature and Wild Birds

These sets inspired by nature are designed from my paintings and photographs from my backyard and the trails I enjoy in winter. Each set includes four or more designs. Click on any image to read more about it on Etsy.

Backyard Birds in Winter
Unexpected Berries
Winter Beauty
Cardinals Brighten a Snowy Day
Winter Walks

If you order a custom product I will create your invoice to reflect that discount, and if you order directly from me in person I will discount at purchase.

I only have PayPal to use for credit card acceptance (you can use PayPal without having a PayPal account), and I also accept personal checks and cash. Also, local friends can let me know I don’t need to ship their order. I will deduct the shipping cost from their order and we’ll make arrangements for pick up or delivery. Feel free to contact me if you have any problems or questions.


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.


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.


Holiday Cards: Winter Beauty, My Favorite Season for Painting

painting on card

Solstice, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Winter is my favorite season for painting. These paintings were inspired by winter in pastel, watercolor and pen and ink from the trails to my backyard, completed en plein air and indoors—often standing on my deck or sitting in the front seat of the car—illuminated by the stark light of winter. Many of them were just small sketches while others were large, detailed studio paintings in an attempt to capture the essence of a winter scene.

Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.” With a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

These 5″ x 7″ cards are printed on 14 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, 1 each of the eight designs shown, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

dusk in the woods

Dusk in the Woods, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Dusk in the Woods
Pastel • 2006
The last moment of true daylight when the eye can still perceive color; “that blue time”, lasting only moments, but full of the magic of the reality of day and the spirits of night.
A spot near Robinson Run in Collier Township, PA

 

winter pastel painting

After the Snow Squall, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

After the Snow Squall
Pastel • 2003
A fresh snowfall, just as the clouds part and the sun appears.

 

pastel painting of winter

Morning Snow 1, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Morning Snow I
Pastel • 1998
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. This scene and Morning Snow II are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows.

 

pastel painting of winter

Morning Snow 2, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Morning Snow II
Pastel • 1998
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. This scene and Morning SnowII are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows.

ink and watercolor painting of winter

Sticks and Slopes, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Sticks and Slopes
Ink and Watercolor • 2006
One of our many hillsides reduced to lines and shadows by the afternoon sun.

pastel painting of winter

Tracks in the Snow, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Tracks in the Snow
Pastel • 2004
Someone sheltered under my spruce in the storm.

pastel painting of winter

Solstice, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Solstice
Pastel • 2003
The moment when the sun stands still, as it seemed to at this frigid, snow-covered winter dusk,
spruces standing dignified sentinel to the moment of transition. (This is another of those beautiful places that isn’t there anymore.)

pastel painting of winter

Winter, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Winter
Pastel • 1996
A cold and snowy winter sunset on a friend’s farm.


Holiday Cards: Nature’s Peaceful Beauty

crabapples on a branch

Little Apples, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Walking in the quiet of a winter day I see some of the most beautiful scenes, from my own back yard, to my neighborhood, town, trails and woods. My joy is to bring not just the scene but the entire milieu back to my studio in an image—a tall order for a photograph or painting, but now and then I manage to capture the essence.

These two sets of four designs based on photography are more “seasonal” than “holiday”, and evoke the two concepts I pursue with my nature photography.

Unexpected Berries

“Unexpected Berries” is a careful study of surprising details others may not notice, the splash of color in the muted landscape of winter that holds my gaze for as long as my tired eyes will enjoy its gift as “nature provides a respite for the weary eye.

Above is “Little Apples”, small wild apples hang like brightly-colored ornaments on wild trees whipped bare from winter winds, decorating the gray branches on an overcast day.

Below is “Icy Berries” decorating one of the trees on Main Street in Carnegie, iced over by a winter storm, their brilliant, rich color preserved.

small red crabapples on icy branches

"Icy Berries", photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And one of my long-time favorites, “Crabapples” decorate bare branches in a cluster of trees growing by railroad tracks; who would think to look here for such beauty?

crabapples on branches

Crabapples, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

From my own backyard is “Unexpected Berries”, found on Christmas morning after a heavy snow, the bright red hulls clinging to my burning bush while the seeds withing long gone to my avian visitors.

red berries in snow

Unexpected Berries, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Outside they advise “nature provides a respite for the weary eye”. Inside the cards reads, “Wishing you color on the coldest day of winter, and an astonishingly beautiful new year.” All cards are 5″ x 7″ and come with a matching envelope, three each of the four designs in a clear-top stationery box. You can find this set in my Etsy shop.

Winter Walks

card design with snowy scene

Homeward Bound, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Of all the inspiring scenes I’ve found on my “Winter Walks”, these are the ones that stayed with me afterward as I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau: “Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. ~Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author”.

Above is “Homeward Bound”, found after a major ice storm in Settler’s Cabin Park in Collier Township, PA.

Below is “Arching Branches”, a scene along Chartiers Creek near Bridgeville, PA.

branches arching over creek

Arching Branches, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Walking through the local woods after a snow I found a wonderful “Snowy Abstract”.

branches with snow

Snowy Abstract, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And visiting the Panhandle Trail near Oakdale, PA I found these delicate branches “Encased in Ice”.

icy branches

Encased in Ice, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And on the inside, “May your spirits be lifted by the beauty of nature this holiday season and in the new year.” You can find this set in my Etsy shop.

See also:
Holiday Cards: Greetings From Our Backyard Birds
Feline-themed Holiday Cards


Holiday Cards: Greetings From Our Backyard Birds

pastel painting of blue jays in tree

Jammin Jay Blues, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

“That would make a great card!”

That’s usually how I decide which of my paintings or photos will end up as a greeting card or note card, following the advice of someone’s suggestion.

When it comes to my birds, many of the paintings and photos are from winter, when the birds are simply easier to see, but also one of my favorite seasons for painting and photography. So this year, I decided to make up two sets of cards for the holidays—and possibly beyond—from the paintings and photos that received the most comments.

Backyard Birds

I truly love winter paintings because the light is wonderful without the shadows from trees, the reflections from the snow illuminating shadowed areas with soft purples and blues, and the patterns made by bare branches are mesmerizing. This set of four paintings of birds are ones I’d done “from life”, actually standing at a window inside or at my back door rather than en plein air, but I wanted to catch that moment of light and color.

Above is “Jammin’ Jay Blues”, my impression of a bunch of noisy blue jays making a racket in the bare branches of the mulberry. In the winter light, their blue feathers have an extra glow that I don’t notice in summer, and between the color and the sound they occasionally fill my backyard with what feels like a celebratory parade, when all they are celebrating is the sliced apples I’ve stuck on twigs in the tree.

Below is “Snowbird”, the common name for a dark-eyed junco, as it clings to along branch of the forsythia in heavy snowfall, apparently living up to its name. They appear in my backyard each year in October and stay until April, and I love their simple little silhouettes, tiny rounded bodies, short beaks and tails, and that white spot on their bellies that looks as if they’d been dipped in white paint before they left the factory.

pastel painting of junco

Snowbird, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

This is “Birds in Snow”, inspired by the sparrows and doves that feed on the ground under the feeder outside my front door. To one side of the feeder is a huge spruce, providing cover and safety for many, many birds, and watching them twittering on the branches, then dropping down for seeds one by one and pecking around in the snow in a big crowd, then suddenly all of them flapping back up into the spruce as if signaled by something only to begin the process again is like watching waves on the beach.

pastel painting of birds in snow

Birds in Snow, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

And here is “Accent”, a single cardinal in the branches and brambles touched with snow at the end of the yard. This is the “safe spot” for birds and small animals as I’ve let the wild grapevines, rapberries and blackberries and Roses of Sharon grow into a dense tangled mass which is excellent protection from predators. A heavy snowfall with layer each branch with white and the play of light and shadow in the mass of branches creates one of nature’s lovely patterns. Where most of my drawing surfaces have some texture, for this one I added marble dust and grit and gave the surface a rough brushed appearance which turned out to be perfect for capturing the feeling of branches and snow.

pastel painting of cardinal in branches

Accent, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.” While I’m offering these for the holidays, they are wonderful all-purpose greeting cards as well and I’ll keep them available through spring in my Etsy shop.

Cardinals Brighten Up a Snowy Day

Of all the birds that visit my backyard, the male American Cardinal is the showiest, and my photos of these have had the most comments—especially, “That would make a great Christmas card!” One of these days I’ll get a few of the girls in the snow—though they aren’t as showy they are still colorful and very dignified, but don’t position themselves in the same way as the guys. So, here we are, a set of cards designed with a little red and green flair that makes it look like a Christmas card as well. Inside they all say, “May your holiday season be merry and bright!”

I think this guy was posing because he sat there for the longest time in the same position. Okay, I get it, I’ll take your picture!

photo of cardinal in forsythia

Cardinal in Forsythia, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

I had wanted a photo that had a significant amount of green along with the red of the cardinal and the snow, and this cardinal obliged.

photo of cardinal in snow

Cardinal in Yew, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Just the cardinal’s red color against an overcast sky and very little else.

photo of cardinal on branch

Cardinal on a Branch, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Five male cardinals were flitting all over the yard during the snowfall. I only managed to catch three in one shot, but it was a favorite.

photo of cardinals in snow bush

Three Cardinals, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Since I added the red and green decorations, these are pretty much limited to the holiday season.

You can find all of these in my Etsy shop.

See also:
Holiday Cards: Nature’s Peaceful Beauty
Feline-themed Holiday Cards


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