Category Archives: new designs

Hand-printed “Tabbies” Summer Notecards

set of hand-printed notecards

Set of five “Tabbies” Bright note cards.

So what were Mewsette and I printing this weekend? A few more sets of my block-printed “Tabbies” notecards! Bright-colored card stock and bright-colored inks, I’ve been having fun experimenting with the “Tabbies” series in different styles and colors.

Above is the “Brights” set, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards printed on five different Astrobright flourescent paper colors, green, blue, pink, yellow and orange, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple; each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise. Find the Brights sets here in my Etsy shop.

Below is the “Summery” set, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards printed on six different summery paper colors, yellow, pink orange, blue, green and violet, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple; each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise. Find the Summery set here in my Etsy shop.

Set of six "Tabbies" Summer note cards.

Set of six “Tabbies” Summer note cards.

Cards are stamped inside with “Meow” using a commercial stamp, and on the back with my information. Matching envelopes with fuzzy pawprints stamped in the lower right corner are included.

Inside and outside the cards


sample of note card
Sample of Brights set, orange stock with red ink.
"Meow" printed inside each card!
“Meow” printed inside each card!
back printing on note card
The information stamped on the back of each card.

Matching envelopes


colored envelopes
Coordinating Brights set envelopes.
coordinating envelopes for summer brights notecards
Coordinating envelopes for Tabbies Summer set of notecards.

cat and art materials on table

ABOUT THE ART: TABBIES LINOLEUM BLOCK PRINTS

The stripes made me do it! The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs.

These cards were block printed, 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.

You can read more about block printing in this article on The Creative Cat, and find more block-printed merchandise on The Creative Cat, on  Portraits of Animals Marketplace and in my Etsy shop under both Linoleum Block Prints for framed art, Block Print Household for textiles and housewares, and Greeting Card Sets for these and other cards.


photo of five cats in studio

Special orders and requests

If you see a daily sketch on The Creative Cat you’d like to have, please tell me. Likewise, if you have a custom item in mind contact me to describe it, or if an item is out of stock and you’d like to know when I’ll be making that item again, please ask!. Send me an e-mail.

I couldn’t do it without my studio cats!

My feline inspirations and I thank you for browsing and for purchasing handmade goods and supporting a small business! Click here or on the photo to read about the studio cats in the photo.


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.

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More Wood-mounted Artwork, Photos and Prints

black caton art table
Giuseppe takes a shift guarding the new stuff as it dries.

I’m working my way through the ideas everyone suggested and the ones I’d collected for these wood-mounted prints. The last group were mostly art and daily sketches, and this next group is mostly favorite photographs.

two tortoiseshell cats
A Tangle of Torties 6″ x 8″ wood-mounted print

These wood blocks are also new, made in Canada with non-imported woods and non-toxic adhesives which I much prefer to the others that were made in China. They also come in a much larger variety of sizes and also the depth of the cradling on the back, either a little under 1″ or a generous and attractive 1.5″ (can you tell I like that style?) so they accommodate a greater number of images.

Out of necessity, I need to create these in groups of roughly as many as I can fit on my table. Below, I have them all laid out with their coat of paint drying, each with its own paint jar or tape roll beneath so they dry evenly without touching anything. It may look like wood blocks to you, but to Bean it looks like a table covered with kitty-sized pedestals and he really really really wants to get up there and sit on one!

He tried, and when it fell over he fled. No one was hurt, but I thought I’d let him learn his own lesson—I certainly wasn’t convincing him!


wood blocks ready for artwork
What does this look like to you?
black cat looking at art stuff
But what do they look like to Jelly Bean? A bunch of kitty-sized pedestals!

black cat watching art
That brush contains glue! But Mimi is mightily unhappy she is not permitted on the table when I’m working.

First they are sanded then painted. When that dries I adhere the art, let it dry and trim to the exact edges of the block. Then a coat of clear matte finish and it sits for a day to make sure it’s dried completely.

This means that a prime feline hangout is off limits while I’m making these…just imagine the mix of paints and glues and finishes…and black cat hair. But you can be sure they manage to tiptoe among them. All has worked out well so far.

Here is a gallery of the new images–click on one to go to Etsy and read more about it.


hand-colored linoleum block print of cat
Tortie Girls wood-mounted hand-colored 9″ x 12″print set.
 hand-colored linoleum block print of cat
The Roundest Eyes wood-mounted hand-colored 9″ x 12″print.
 hand-colored linoleum block print of cat
The Roundest Eyes wood-mounted hand-colored 9″ x 12″print

two tortoiseshell cats
A Tangle of Torties 6″ x 8″ wood-mounted print.
 photo of cat sleeping on books
Kelly in the Cat Library 8″ x 10″ wood-mounted print.
 print of cartoon with cat
“Being Used As a Fort” cartoon 6″ x 8″ wood-mounted print.

five black cats at the door
Five at the Door “8” x 10″ wood-mounted print
photo of five black cats
Five Black Cats in a Line black and white “8” x 10″ wood-mounted print.
 color photo of five black cats
Five Black Cats in a Line color “8” x 10″ wood-mounted print

black cat in the midst of stuff
A stern Mimi tells me to get to work.

Mimi has been a pretty stern taskmaster, sitting in my studio and indicating that I should stop fooling around and photographing her children or whatever other frivolous activity I’ve indulged in until I come in and get to work.

Once again, Mimi upstages my art and I have to change plans.

But there are times when she thinks she should have all the attention, as when she upstages my photography as she’s done before. Mimi is famous for her photobombs, but I also know she enjoys my company when I’m working.


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

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

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.


Wood Mounted Art and Photos

photo of art mounted on wood blocks

I love matting and framing my artwork, and even visualize a piece in mat and frame while I’m working, yet I’ve been finding ways to break free from the complications of mat, frame and glass for wall and display art for years—and I’m really happy with the way these wood blocks turned out!

The blocks, originally intended for painting, are 1/8″ birch wood panels “cradled” with 1″ x 1″ wood added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging. And because they have wide sides the smaller ones can even stand up on a tabletop or shelf. I’ve painted the sides either black or natural white and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish. I love the clean lines and modern look, and can’t wait to work with other colors and sizes.

I began with several images from which I had plenty of feedback and which would also work in this medium. Because my daily sketches are often 5″ x 7″ or smaller, these blocks are ideal especially the smaller square format. I’ll be taking better photos of each of these and posting them on Etsy, but I couldn’t wait to get them out there. Most of the blocks are 4″ x 4″, in front you see “The Eye Model” and behind two small ink sketches, “Looking Out the Window” and “Three After Dinner Baths”. I’ve also included “Everyone’s On My Desk” and “Spooked on Halloween” in the small blocks.

And because “First Light” was so popular the other day I’ve included it on an 8″ x 10″ along with “A Sunny Room”, and “World Cat” on an 8″ x 8″ panel.

They range in price from $12.00 to $25.00 and come in a variety of sizes that will accommodate many photographs and sketches—including a 6″ x 8″ panel that will perfectly fit my cartoon “Being Used as a Fort”. See them all on Etsy. I can’t wait to make more!


Tortie Girls Trays Are Here!

wooden trays with tortoiseshell cats
Tortie Girls wooden trays!

I’ve found another place to show off my tortie girls! As another selection of designs in the keepsake items I’m creating with my artwork, I found wooden trays that fit these prints perfectly.

I can only work on so many items at a time in my studio, so I decided to create all the smaller keepsakes first, then laid out all my materials for these trays. I prefer to photograph outdoors and waited for the time on a sunny day to photograph them in natural lighting to capture the vibrance of the orange and yellow, and enough direct and reflected light to show the details in the black areas.

Today when I stepped out to feed the birds it reminded me so much of the mornings I had spent out there with Cookie and even this year with Kelly, and I knew this was the time and place. I held off feeding the birds, got my stuff before the sun moved any higher, and was especially gratified when, in photographing the trays together, a little chickadee joined us, perching on the deck railing to be a part of the photo.

And what a way to honor the memory of my two senior girls during Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

About the trays

These are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, decoupaged in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray.

two black cats with painting
Hand-coloring prints with lots of feline supervision.

I usually print about a half-dozen of each block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow them to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors so I have them on hand. Of course, I am carefully observed in this operation by my feline studio supervisors. I sign each print when the embellishment is complete and store them in an acid-free sketchbook for framing or whatever else I may use them.

pawprints, white paint and white painted item
Pawprints, paint and white object.

Then I give each tray a light sanding and paint each tray with acrylic paint. Sometimes kitties add their marks to this process, as you see at left.

I trimmed down the finished, colored print to fit inside the tray and decoupage it into the bottom of the tray and let it dry, then put two coats of finish on the entire tray, inside and out.

The trays are good for decoration on a tabletop or wall, or to use to actually carry lightweight items but are not suitable as a hotpad or to carry heavy dishes or other items (though I am searching for an available and affordable wooden tray among woodworking friends and otherwise). If kept in direct sunlight the watercolors will fade in time but the inks and paints will not. They can be easily cleaned with mild detergent or diluted all-surface cleaner but not immersed in water, even though all surfaces are covered with finish.

The trays are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.


About the artwork

hand-painted and printed wooden tray the goddess
“The Goddess” wooden tray.

“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”.

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.

hand-painted and printed wooden tray the goddess
The Goddess tray on my table on the deck.

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.

hand-painted and printed wooden tray the roundest eyes
“The Roundest Eyes” wooden tray.

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.

hand-painted and printed wooden tray "The Roundest Eyes"
“The Roundest Eyes” trays on my table on the deck.

You may see some paper wrinkling in these prints in the trays; the rice paper tends to pucker up when the ink dries with printing, then again when I watercolor them. I actually iron them to stretch them, but they are never entirely flat. I had originally wanted the prints to look as if they were printed on the trays themselves though that is impossible with the block printing technique, but I think the paper wrinkles adds an interesting element of texture to the trays.

“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.

Where to find these trays available on Portraits of Animals on Etsy:

Set of two trays

“The Goddess” tray

“The Roundest” Eyes tray


Pair them up with handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted Tortie Girls textiles

I’ve always offered my block print designs on a variety of textiles, from tees to tablecloths, one of the reasons I love that medium. I had wanted to find a washable alternative to the oil-based inks I’d been using, and the cold-set fabric dye I’d long used to paint the Tortie Girls designs was no longer available. Beginning last summer I experimented with various inks and fabric paints and came up with a combination of materials that are easy to use and washable, widely available and non-toxic and in addition to the tees I have a line of textiles.

block printed tablecloths with tortoiseshell cats
Tortie Girls Tablecloths!

Tortie Girls Tablecloths and Runner

I keep a bolt of unbleached cotton muslin on hand for these little accent tablecloths. Each 36″ x 36″ tablecloth has the same image printed four times, one on each edge. The Roundest Eyes table runner is 11″ x 36″. Each is signed and dated below the design and has my handwritten “label” reading “handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted” and the year. Washing instructions are included on a separate tag. I have only one of each tablecloth and one table runner—for now!

“The Roundest Eyes” 36″ x 36″ tablecloth

“The Goddess” 36″ x 36″ tablecloth

“The Roundest Eyes” 11″ x 36″ table runner

hand-printed placemats with tortoiseshell cats
My tortie girls Cookie and Kelly on canvas placemats!

Tortie Girls Placemats

I made these extra-large 15″ x 19″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with the edges stay-stitched and fringed. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table! I have six of “The Goddess”, left, and four of “The Roundest Eyes”, right, and they are for sale in sets. You can find them in my shop on Etsy and see more detail shots of them as well.

“The Goddess” placemat, set of four

“The Goddess” placemat, set of two

“The Roundest Eyes” placemat, set of four


And here’s the whole line of keepsakes and more

photo of keepsake boxes and coasters and trays
Keepsake boxes, coasters and trays.

I’ve long pictured my artwork and sketches on items I see in gift shops. I pursued ceramic coasters earlier this year to no avail for smaller quantities, but also began working out the details of creating keepsake boxes and other similar items. In the process I found wooden plaques, wooden trays, picture frames and more and got to work on the details.

Here is the whole line of things, each one-of-a-kind, though I can always create more than one item or more than one set for items that are popular, and I can also create custom items featuring other images of mine or even images of your own fine felines, other pets or loved ones.


And Now For Your Discount

For your patronage and support of my business and my art, I’m offering a 10% discount on anything you order from me during the month of November. During the month of November 2012, take 10% off any item in the two shops listed above. In Etsy, use the coupon code FRIEND10 to automatically deduct 10% from your order before shipping. Click the coupon at left to download a PDF which you can print out or e-mail to bernadette@bernadette-k.com and I’ll send you a customized invoice for your payment or refund 10% after your purchase using PayPal.

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.


This month’s desktop calendar

ink watercolor sketch of tortoiseshell cat download wallpaper calendar
“Kelly With Grapes and Apple” November 2012 downloadable wallpaper calendar.

I’ve been waiting for this one to come around—when I sketched this back in MayI thought it would make a nice piece of artwork for autumn. It started with the warm golds and oranges and creams in Kelly’s fur, and her contentment in one of her happy spots.

Click here or on the image to go to the link on The Creative Cat where you can download calendars for many different computer monitors and mobile devices.


black cat looking at dispaly of stuff
Mimi checks my arrangement and lighting.

Thank you

Mimi wants you to know that she has properly supervised all the activities in this creative process. She was with me every step of the way, all day and sometimes all night. I could not have done it without her.

And don’t forget that each purchase supports rescuing cats through my own personal efforts, through helping others and also my donations of goods to shelters and rescues for their benefit.

And this holiday season, consider at least one handmade gift or piece of original artwork from one of the thousands of artisans who stay up all night dreaming up and making by hand totally unique stuff. We can’t compete with the department stores, but they don’t do a happy dance when something sells. You’re also supporting a small business, and that’s important to all of us.

Back to work!


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 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.


Hand-printed “Tabbies” Summer Notecards

set of hand-printed notecards

Set of five “Tabbies” Bright note cards.

So what were Mewsette and I printing this weekend? A few more sets of my block-printed “Tabbies” notecards! Bright-colored card stock and bright-colored inks, I’ve been having fun experimenting with the “Tabbies” series in different styles and colors.

Above is the “Brights” set, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards printed on five different Astrobright flourescent paper colors, green, blue, pink, yellow and orange, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple; each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise. Find the Brights sets here in my Etsy shop.

Below is the “Summery” set, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards printed on six different summery paper colors, yellow, pink orange, blue, green and violet, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple; each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise. Find the Summery set here in my Etsy shop.

Set of six "Tabbies" Summer note cards.

Set of six “Tabbies” Summer note cards.

Cards are stamped inside with “Meow” using a commercial stamp, and on the back with my information. Matching envelopes with fuzzy pawprints stamped in the lower right corner are included.

Inside and outside the cards


sample of note card
Sample of Brights set, orange stock with red ink.
"Meow" printed inside each card!
“Meow” printed inside each card!
back printing on note card
The information stamped on the back of each card.

Matching envelopes


colored envelopes
Coordinating Brights set envelopes.
coordinating envelopes for summer brights notecards
Coordinating envelopes for Tabbies Summer set of notecards.

cat and art materials on table

ABOUT THE ART: TABBIES LINOLEUM BLOCK PRINTS

The stripes made me do it! The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs.

These cards were block printed, 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.

You can read more about block printing in this article on The Creative Cat, and find more block-printed merchandise on The Creative Cat, on  Portraits of Animals Marketplace and in my Etsy shop under both Linoleum Block Prints for framed art, Block Print Household for textiles and housewares, and Greeting Card Sets for these and other cards.


photo of five cats in studio

Special orders and requests

If you see a daily sketch on The Creative Cat you’d like to have, please tell me. Likewise, if you have a custom item in mind contact me to describe it, or if an item is out of stock and you’d like to know when I’ll be making that item again, please ask!. Send me an e-mail.

I couldn’t do it without my studio cats!

My feline inspirations and I thank you for browsing and for purchasing handmade goods and supporting a small business! Click here or on the photo to read about the studio cats in the photo.


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.


June Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar

pastel painting of calico cat with peonies

“Peaches and Peonies”, pastel, 23″ x 16″, 2008 © B.E. Kazmarski

It was at the beginning of June five years ago that I took the reference photos, and at the beginning of June in 2008 that I finished this painting of my little Peaches in her moment of glory.

There it is, that moment that turns on all the lights for me…one of my cats in the sun, the conditions that have inspired most of my portraits. Cats are creatures of habit, and Peaches chose this spot to have her after-dinner bath every day for a few weeks when the sun was right; I knew it was a keeper whether a photo or a painting, so I photographed it several times over a period of several days, knowing I’d use at least one photo or all the photos as reference to create one painted image. A painting this size and level of details is a significant investment of time, so I had to wait until my schedule allowed the night-after-night sessions with tiny sections of detail. It’s one of those paintings I still look at and can’t believe I painted; Peaches and Peonies hangs in my studio watching over my work and providing constant inspiration.

detail of painting

detail of painting

Senior Pet Adoption Donation Program through prints of “Peaches and Peonies”

I would make a big donation to the shelter or rescue of the person’s choice who chose to purchase the original of Peaches and Peonies, but I also have a Senior Pet Adoption Donation Program regarding the purchase of a giclee of this painting, and this also ties in to Adopt-a-Cat Month because you should always consider a senior kitty! Through the purchase of a full-size giclee of “Peaches and Peonies”, $25.00 of your purchase price will be donated to the senior pet adoption program in your name or the name of your choice.

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.

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.

Download a desktop calendar featuring Peaches and Peonies

And to give you something inspiring and beautiful to look at for all the month of June, and to remind you how special senior kitties are and the importance of finding homes for all cats, I’ve designed a simple desktop wallpaper calendar featuring Peaches and Peonies. It’s too darned difficult to create one that fits everyone’s desktop, so I’ve created three basic shapes—full size, wide and square—that will probably adjust to fit most desktops; I can give you some help with this if it’s not working quite right.

  1. Click on one of the images above to pull it up in a new page.
  2. Click on the image on that page to pull up a full-size version of just the image.
  3. Right-click on that image and choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this.

Other New Products and Specials for Adopt-a-Cat Month

framed pastel painting of two cats at window

“The Sunny Upstairs Window”, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

This month I have several of the daily sketches you liked best for sale and I’ve been busy with block prints for note cards and textiles, and I’ve compiled two new sets of greeting cards for you to choose from. I’m also experimenting with a monthly desktop calendar featuring one of my paintings for you to download!

I firmly believe that looking at beautiful images fills our hearts with a special sort of peace, and also promotes love for the subject of the image, and so I always hope with every image I share that I am helping to promote a peaceful world in even a tiny way and a love of cats in all their beautiful shapes and colors and ways of being. Because June is Adopt-A-Cat month, I’ll be offering specials to help promote adopting cats from shelters—if you’re not convinced already, I hope this will!

Favorite Daily Sketches

At left is “The Sunny Upstairs Window” from May 11, 2012. The original is for sale in my Etsy shop along with many other original and prints of daily sketches in my Daily Sketches section.

You can also visit The Creative Cat in the category Daily Sketch to see more sketches and to read an article which displays and describes each one, or visit the Daily Sketches gallery in my Etsy shop to see which other sketches are available.

Handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted Tortie Girls textiles
hand-printed placemats with tortoiseshell cats

My tortie girls Cookie and Kelly on canvas placemats!

block printed tablecloths with tortoiseshell cats

Tortie Girls Tablecloths!

Hand-printed “Tabbies” Summer Notecards

Bright-colored card stock and bright-colored inks, I’ve been having fun experimenting with the “Tabbies” series in different styles and colors.

colorful hand-printed notecards

“Tabbies” handmade block-printed notecards for summer.

Compositions in Green and Black

Who knew that vintage mint green sink would photograph in such a rich tone, especially when filled with a black cat? From the time I installed the new bathroom, the black cats owned it and the contrast of their black fur with the mint green fixtures and white walls and floor has been stunning and created some of the most favorite photos in my cat collection.

set of four cards with black cats

Compositions in Green and Black

Victoriana Cats

Though these photos may look antique and sepia-toned, they are neither. My cats are perfect models and knew to pose in the bright yellow morning sun in front of my round antique mirror and the narrow casement window with the lace curtain. I applied a few Photoshop filters to the original photos to make them consistent in tone and style.

set of four sepia images of black cats

Victoriana Cats in dreamy semi-sepia tones

photo of five cats in studio

My studio cats are ready for a creative day.

Special orders and requests

If you see a daily sketch on The Creative Cat you’d like to have, please tell me. Likewise, if you have a custom item in mind contact me to describe it, or if an item is out of stock and you’d like to know when I’ll be making that item again, please ask!. Send me an e-mail.

I couldn’t do it without my studio cats!

My feline inspirations and I thank you for browsing and for purchasing handmade goods and supporting a small business! Click here or on the photo to read about the studio cats in the photo.

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Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches.

And read about purchasing them and requesting them as a donation item for your shelter or rescue group in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation.


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.


Valentine Cards Featuring the Fantastic Four

two black cats with red background

Nuzzles and Purrrrrs for Valentine's Day!

Here are four more designs to finish out my set of Valentine note cards and greeting cards, as always inspired by and based on images of my household of felines!

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos. Each of the cats depicted here is one of mine. My cats have no choice but to be models, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes.

Nuzzles and Purrrrrs

The operatically romantic Giuseppe and the French-Canadian belle femme Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite have been carrying on a long-distance affaire since the summer of 2011; they always conclude their correspondence with “nuzzles and purrrrrs”.

I photographed Mewsette and Giuseppe cuddling on my desk while I worked at my computer and posted them as a daily photo on The Creative Cat. So many readers immediately said “Valentine” that I thought I’d oblige with a design! And even though it’s Mewsette and not Mlle. Daisy, Mewsette still knows when her brother needs a hug.

These greeting cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 14 pt. matte-coated stock. The message inside is “NUZZLES AND PURRRRRS” in a really fun font. Each card comes with Autumn Red 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. They are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box. I sell them as a set of six in my shop on Etsy.

two black cats with heart on yellow background

Heart Cats, featuring Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette.

Heart Cats

The siblings of the Fantastic Four often cuddle and hug, cheek to cheek, but this design adapted from the original heart-shaped cats photo of Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette is still my favorite; the background color of the card is adapted from the color of their eyes.

I photographed these two in the bathroom at night in poor light, but no matter, such a sweet photo I’d do my best. Since then I’ve adapted the two into many different designs and colors. Here, for Valentine’s day, they are solid black with the solid cerise of their eyes, and just one red heart as they hug.

These are note cards at 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ and are printed on matte-coated stock. The message inside is “YOU ARE MY HEART CAT” in a really fun font. Each card comes with Autumn Red 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. They are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

They are available as a set of 12 in my shop on Etsy.

black and white photo of cats

Steal a Moment With a Kitty You Love

Steal a Moment

This photo was originally an unfocused mistake but I liked it better than the focused version, and so did many readers of The Creative Cat!

These greeting cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 14 pt. matte-coated stock. The message inside is a simple “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY”. Each card comes with Autumn Red 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. They are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box. I sell them as a set of six in my shop on Etsy.

card with moon and silhouette of two cats

Silhouettes for Valentine's Day.

Silhouettes for Valentine’s Day

I originated this design as a Halloween card using autumn shades in autumn 2011, but with a little color change it suits Valentine’s Day! It features my photograph of the Harvest Moon and the silhouettes of two of my five black cats.

These greeting cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 14 pt. matte-coated stock.

This card is blank inside, ready for your message.

Each card comes with Autumn Red 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. They are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

They are all on Etsy

In addition to the four cards featured here you’ll find other designs on Etsy. Read about them here on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

Purple Cats Valentine Note Cards

Block Print Valentine Note Cards

And a special issue of a block print matted and framed for Valentine’s Day:

Awakening, a Special for Valentine’s Day

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All images and text used in this article 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.


Block Print Valentine Note Cards

block print Valentine cards

Linoleum block-printed Valentine cards inspired by Valentine Candy hearts!

I usually print these little linocuts in earth tones or “tabby colors”, but I’ve been itching to use brights and pastels and all sorts of combinations with them. Considering the designs, what better time to start with this than Valentine’s day to create hand-printed cards in magenta on pink, violet, magenta and red card stock, embellished with magenta or purple stamp ink, just saturated with color for Valentine’s Day!

This set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards features two designs combining my hand-cut block prints with commercial rubber stamps on smooth uncoated 70 lb. cover stock.

I offer them in sets of single color cards with matching envelopes and in one big set of all four colors.

block-printed note cards

Magenta on pink set.

PINK, VIOLET AND MAGENTA CARDS
A single kitty entitled “Sunshine and Flowers” printed in magenta says “MEOW!” stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “You’re PURRRFECT” is stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp.

Two kitties cuddling for a bath say “You’re PURRRFECT” stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “MEOW!” is stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp.

magenta on red

Magenta on red with purple stamp ink.

RED CARDS
A single kitty entitled “Sunshine and Flowers” printed in magenta says “MEOW!” stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “You’re PURRRFECT” is stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp.

Two kitties cuddling for a bath say “You’re PURRRFECT” stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “MEOW!” is stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp.

violet cards

Violet cards printed in magenta.

On the back of all the cards I’ve stamped in purple ink the name of the series of block prints, my logo and my name and contact information.

Each set comes with Soft Pink 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. The set of six, including three each of the two designs, are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

Individual color sets come with matching envelopes, and use these links to find each of these sets in my Etsy shop:

Pink cards come with Soft Pink envelopes.

Violet cards come with Soft Violet envelopes.

Magenta cards come with Autumn Red envelopes.

Red cards come with Autumn Red envelopes.

three black cats with printed note cards

Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

ABOUT THE ART: TABBIES LINOLEUM BLOCK PRINTS

The stripes made me do it! The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs.

These cards were block printed, 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.

These two designs are from a set of four, and have always had a sweet and cuddly feel to me. I’d always printed these in natural earth tones but have been planning to print them in bright colors on brightly-colored paper as well.

Please explore my greeting card collections in my shop on Etsy to see all the designs and others too.

three black cats with cards

"These cats are all covered with funny markings," say the three perfect black cats.

I photographed the process as I printed these—of course, with feline supervision—and I’ll be posting my article soon to explain how block prints are made.

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All images and text used in this article 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.


Purple Cats Valentine Note Cards

note cards with purple cats and red blanket

Purple Cats Valentine Note Cards

You may recognize this little painting—it was one of my most popular daily sketches, “Purple Cats, Red Blanket”, and just lends itself to a Valentine theme.

These note cards are 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ and printed on uncoated cover stock, rather than the matte finish stock I usually prefer for cards, to mimic the original watercolor paper I used for the illustration.

The message inside is “Purr Hearts”, which I drew by hand in pen, a message that can be given to a friend or to someone who is a little more than a friend!

hand-drawn purr hearts

Purr Hearts, my own little doodle in ink

Each card comes with Autumn Red 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. They are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

I will have these small note cards available in my Etsy shop until Valentine’s Day; after Valentine’s Day I will be offering the design as part of my “Feline Greetings Art Cards” selection as a 5″ x 7″ card.

painting of two cats

Purple Cats, Red Blanket, ink and watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

ABOUT THE ART

This daily sketch was done in felt-tip ink technical drawing pen with watercolor washes, signed and dated 1/6/12, and pictures Jelly Bean and Mewsette using a red blanket I’d tossed to the landing for the laundry as a comfy impromptu cat bed.

Black cats, like white cats, have all sorts of colors in their fur, and in the day’s filtered sunlight their fur glistened with all sorts of highlights and shadows. The randomly shaped and wrinkled red blanket heightened the range of colors in their fur and even the neutral wood floor held random combinations in its old unfinished grain. Mostly, the composition was what attracted me in the first place: two similar heavy rounded shapes, the random soft shape and the smooth shape brought elements together in a very pleasing way.

I think cats are very aware of how they can create beautiful compositions simply by being in them.

The original painting, matted and framed, is also available in my Etsy shop.

DAILY SKETCHES

I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day as a warm-up to my aesthetic senses, so I have a small pouch of art materials and a few various sized sketchbooks available in the house and out. Usually, these are done in pencil, my first and favorite medium, though sometimes it’s charcoal, ink, colored pencil, ink and brush, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, the greatest challenge to keep it quick and not get caught up in details, let the idea flow onto the paper.

Most often, the subjects are my cats because they are such willing models, though sometimes I’ll also wander afield, literally, and sketch in my yard or anywhere I go for errands. Medium and especially style vary just so I get a chance to do something new. I post my feline daily sketches on The Creative Cat each day.

Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I’ve designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using other daily sketches of my cats, and even of backyard birds and scenes in nature. Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I’m designing.


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!

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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.


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