Category Archives: desktop calendar

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.



September Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: “Milling”

pastel sketch of cats on black paper

“Milling”, pastel on black paper, 9″ x 11″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

For some hokey reason in September I get all up about a chalkboard theme for “back to school”; must be all those years spent designing advertising and planning months ahead for promotions that are burned into my memory. And where I usually move among style and medium to keep it interesting, in autumn I kind of break that cycle because holidays come along that suggest other reasons to choose images.

This sketch was in the running for August because of the vibrant colors of the pastel, but one of the reasons I disqualified it was that the cats looked as if they’d been drawn in chalk on a black chalkboard. So now it’s finally time! (A little past time I might add as I post this in the early hours of September 3, considering I had it ready for September 1.)

So though I featured a pastel last month that was looser and more colorful, certainly not photorealistic, I am doing so again this month, but it’s a totally different style of pastel. And while I realized last month that my monthly calendars to date have featured only one cat at a time and chose one with three cats for last month, this month we’ve moved up to the full five!

Here’s what I had to say about “Milling” the day I painted it.

I watched them milling around my legs like koi in a pond, waiting for some action on a day when I was up and down and all over the house and they followed me, anticipating my next move. I pictured them, colorful, on a dark background, loose and active, a moving pattern with a slight lighter shade in the background to further isolate them from the floor. I drew them from memory later, in my studio.

They are in their colors: Mewsette is magenta, Giuseppe is green, Bean is blue, Sunshine is yellow-orange, but Mimi is usually purple and the purple in this set just wasn’t bright enough so she is, instead, orange. That fit with the composition. Unfortunately the slight texture of the paper showed when I scanned it and I find it distracting from my lines; I may photograph to see if that will eliminate the pattern.

I rescanned and adjusted the image to eliminate the distracting pattern I’d mentioned above.

They are so close, physically and emotionally, and I can never describe in words the way it feels to be close to all five of them when they are functioning together as a group, when they seem like one central point with rays, like the ripples from a drop fallen to the surface of water, how the ripples form from the center and travel outward. Sketches like this come closer than words.

Again, because this was strongly horizontal I had to do some fancy copying and pasting and cloning patterns in Photoshop to make it work on a vertical device. I had copied the initial layout from last September’s monthly desktop calendar, “Stanley With Apple”, but discovered the chalk font I’d used for it was not available on my computer, nor could I find it, strange for a font, but I had to look up a new one. Last year I’d used pale yellow for text and the little piece of chalk because it reminded me of the chalk our teachers used through the later part of school. This time I used all the colors in the sketch. Autumn is colorful, and contains all these colors! That wasn’t something I noticed when I decided on this sketch but once I was designing I thought of painting autumn landscapes, and it certainly worked out well.

As always, I will miss the prior month’s desktop calendar, but I also hope that you enjoy looking at this month’s selection as much as I do.


This month’s desktop calendar

I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month. Looking at the downloads from previous months and averaging out which dimensions fit which devices, I have reduced the number of variations from 12 to three. It was very time-consuming to create all the variations with new devices arriving all the time, so I have one for horizontal monitors/screens, one for square monitors/screens, and one that should fit the dimensions of nearly all mobile devices.

If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.

 

How to download and use your desktop calendar

  1. Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
  2. For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
  3. For mobile devices, download the image to your gallery then choose it as your wallpaper—this is slightly different on all devices.

Horizontal and HD monitors and screens

"Milling", 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

“Milling”, 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

. . .

Square monitors and screens

"Milling" desktop calendar, 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monitors

“Milling” desktop calendar, 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monitors

. . .

Small Mobile Devices and Tablets

"Milling" desktop calendar, for 600 x 800 for iPad, Kindle and other readers

“Milling” desktop calendar, for 600 x 800 for iPad, Kindle and other readers

Click here to subscribe to The Creative Cat on your Kindle.

. . .

Cell Phones and Smartphones

Milling-480x854

“Milling” desktop calendar for 480 x 854 for mobile devices

 


Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.

Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.


Click here to see daily sketches, click here to see daily photographs

click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat

or visit Fine Art and Portraiture on my main website.

If you are interested in a print of this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


 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 to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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

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March Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar

watercolor of two cats
“Mother and Daughter, Sun and Shadow”, watercolor on paper, 6″ x 4″, 2012 © B.E. Kazmarski

The soft mixed pastels of this watercolor sketch welcome spring for me, and I hope they do for you as well for this month’s featured artwork and desktop calendar.

These two were curled up together on the rug on the landing, in very diffuse sunlight, not the bright morning light we often have, but it reflected off the white walls and created some interesting color combinations in their fur as well as reflected areas. Nice composition they made, and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with it at first, but I’m glad I chose watercolor for its opacity.

“Mother and Daughter, Sun and Shadow” is one of my daily sketches from last June when I was still experimenting with my watercolor pencils, mixing my love of simple sketches with the ability to blend colors, though not with my fingers as I am accustomed with my other familiar dry media of pastel, pencil, charcoal and the like. I sketched the basis of this, Mewsette and Mimi curled together on that pink flowered rug in a patch of sun on the upstairs landing, then ran a wet watercolor brush over it, just water, and let the colors blend as they would, magically turning my sketch into something I had not visualized.

How fun! Unplanned colors and textures blended to enhance the sketch, the shapes and open spaces, the reds, blues and yellows mingling just enough to add to the spectrum of colors and softening to a gentle pastel. Stopping after that first wash, I let it dry, then decided to reinforce the outlines of the two cats in a color I had not initially used, a dark green. And there I stopped. That’s often the most difficult part.

For me, this is the fun and the importance of creating my daily sketches. I don’t get the opportunity to experiment as often as I’d like, it’s best for me to use a subject I’m familiar with. When I was learning calligraphy and mastering the different pen tips and inks, I used my name, all 25 letters of it and including some atypical shapes and combinations, lettering it over and over so that I could focus on just the skill. Years ago, when I’d decided I was finally going to learn to draw I decided to use my cats as models for the same reason, and today it is the same; rendering things I see all the time in my familiar space I am able to focus on the medium and explore its capabilities without worrying if my subject is correct.

This month’s desktop calendar

And just as it’s entertaining and instructive for me to create daily sketches, in my life as a graphic designer it’s also fun for me to design something just for me, and to work out creative ideas with these desktop calendars each month.

I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy during the month of March. Reading statistics and knowing that more than half of my readers view this site on a mobile device, I also offer the dimensions for desktop images for mobile devices from iPads to Smartphones.

Visit The Creative Cat to download the desktop calendar for your electronic device.



Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

BaxterBailey-icon


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!

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know
image of cat calendars
2013 desk and journal calendars on sale!

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