Category Archives: pastel

March Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: Black and Light

scratchboard of two black cats

“Black and Light”, scratchboard, 6.5″ x 6″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’ve been planning to use this art as a monthly calendar since I created it last August. But when I associate most of the months with colors, when would be the best time? Late winter/early spring, I decided, after we’d moved past the lovely January light and winter sun to March, the month of contrasts, going in like a lion and going out like a lamb, we hope, but full of undecided weather, snow one day and spring the next.

Here is what I wrote about this art when I created it last summer…

I’ve been thinking about scratchboard for quite some time. It’s a natural with a bunch of black cats, don’t you think? However, I kept insisting that I ink my own boards and I just wasn’t getting around to it. When a saw a package of pre-inked scratchboard sheets on sale, I bought them.

Scratchboard, at least the last time I did the technique some time in high school, is black India ink painted evenly on a smooth and/or glossy surface so that when you scratch the surface with a sharp instrument it removes the ink in the manner you’ve scratched it, as if you were drawing with a fine white pen. You are, then, drawing in white on black, and in a reductive manner instead of an additive manner as we are accustomed to—instead of making marks on paper to build the image you remove material to build the image. This can be disorienting as you try to draw something in like the little hairs along Giuseppe’s back when what you really need to do is just leave them there and remove the unnecessary inked area from around the hairs. Easier said than done. Kind of like Michelangelo saying he took the block of marble and removed everything that wasn’t the sculpture he saw inside, it’s a different approach to what you want to accomplish. When I create block prints I work in the same manner since I am cutting away all the areas that won’t be covered with ink to print and leaving those that will.

So I have been thinking of scratchboard since my cats are black, and thinking ever more heavily about it since I’ve had these papers, two or three weeks. Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine were cuddling on my drafting table the other day, the sun streaming in the window onto the white surface, and I decided right then that the figures silhouetted against the table, and Mr. Sunshine’s features, furs and whiskers alight against Giuseppe’s black fur, would be my first scratchboard subject. I could see it as I looked at them. I took a reference photo and prepare to do the sketch.

But last week was the week that was and every time I settled in to do the sketch it was late, I was tired, my hands were tired, my wrists hurt, and I didn’t want to give it a try until I could give it my best. That gave me more time to decide what I would use to scratch the board and visualize exactly how I would deal with certain individual hairs and whiskers. And people wonder why I’m late for things. With such important things to consider, how do I ever get anywhere?

I opened the photo in Photoshop and lightly sketched the basic outlines in pencil so I’d have something to go by. Normally I simply enjoy just sketching onto the surface in whatever medium I’d chosen and letting my hand-eye coordination work it out so that I’m not constrained by guidelines that don’t permit my sketch to grow organically. In this case, however, with my first experience with a medium since high school, and even after practicing on the corners with a few test scratches unsure of how it would work with different angles and pressures I thought I’d give myself a little guidance and sketched on the outlines of Sunshine’s head and Giuseppe’s back and face. You can “erase” unwanted marks with a black marker, but that changes the surface of the paper and this would have a lot of delicate areas that I didn’t want to be disturbed, and a lot of subtlety. Where I typically like my sketchy lines that build an image, I only wanted the essentials here.

The background would be solid white as well, since that was partly what had inspired me about this—their silhouette against the white drafting table reflecting full sunlight. Highlights and textures are built with patterns of lines and dots with scratchboard, but when I finished with my series of fine white lines very close together and even added some cross-hatching in the “white” area I just wasn’t happy and wanted that contrast. I used the flat edge of the blade instead and, especially with the help of all those lines and crosshatches, completely cleared the surface of any black so that it was solid white. Perfect! Well, almost. I had scratched a little vigorously and the smooth surface was also scratched, and a bit of the ink residue from what I’d scratched off tinted those scratched areas. I decided on a little help from Photoshop for this and after I’d scanned it I went over the white background and erased all the smudges. But it’s just what I was picturing.

Now that I’ve done this once I have more ideas about how to do the next one. The tiny wood carving implement I began with was okay but not the best, and the X-acto No. 11 blade was too fine and at a bad angle to clear away the background, the No. 24 worked better for that.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with my first scratchboard in about 35 years, and I can’t wait for my next one. (Six months later, I’m still looking forward to it…better get a move on.)

Where to find this artwork

"Black and Light" 5" x 7" print.

“Black and Light” 5″ x 7″ print.

“Black and Light” can be found in my Etsy shop as a 5″ x 7″ or 8″ x 10″ print.

For now I’m working with other items on paper, like greeting cards. I’ve also applied it to a keepsake box for Valentine’s Day and I’m looking into textiles as well, so to find all that is available with this image, search my Etsy shop for “Black and Light“.


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

"Black and Light" desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.

“Black and Light” desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.

. . .

Square monitors and screens

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

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

. . .

Small Mobile Devices and Tablets

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

“Black and Light” 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

"Black and Light" desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.

“Black and Light” desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.


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.

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Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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“Morning Snow I and II”, set of originals and prints

painting of snow under trees

“Morning Snow 1″, pastel 8″ x 8″, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is a pair of paintings of identical size and mat and frame, original pastels, 8″ x 8″, on sanded pastel paper, framed originals as well as full-size giclee prints as well as digital and canvas prints.

painting of snow under trees morning

“Morning Snow 2″, pastel 8″ x 8″, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

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. These two scenes 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.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping within the US is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope.

FRAMED ORIGINALS

The frame is 1″ dark walnut scoop with antique gold decoration frame, top mat 2-7/8″ pacific blue, middle mat 1/8″ forest green, bottom mat 1/4″ medium blue, frame size is 15″ x 15″.

I might consider selling them individually for $300.00 each.

set of winter paintings

Set of paintings.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship. All are countersigned by me.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on Epson Velvet fine art paper, acid-free matte-finish white 100# cotton rag archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. In fact, I make the prints myself as ordered and ensure each one is as close to the original as my printer can get.

CANVAS PRINTS

The larger canvas print is twice the size of the original because that’s a standard size with the company which makes my canvas prints. The actual size canvas is actually a custom-order item and the print is made and stretched by the same small local company as my giclee prints. Because I have limited space, I order canvases as they are ordered. The larger canvas is 1-1/2″ in depth, the smaller is 3/4″, and I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge; on these canvases the sides are black.

Find this set of paintings in my Etsy shop.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.

painting of snow under trees

“Morning Snow 1″, pastel 8″ x 8″, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski


“Hemlocks, Snowy Morning”, original and prints

    "Hemlocks, Snowy Morning", pastel on Coulourfix sanded pastel paper, 7.5" x 10.5" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Hemlocks, Snowy Morning”, pastel on Coulourfix sanded pastel paper, 7.5″ x 10.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The painting is an original pastel, 7.5″ x 10.5″, on Colourfix sanded pastel paper, framed original as well as full-size giclee prints as well as digital and canvas prints.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

The view out my side window of my neighbor’s hemlock trees with the hills far beyond and the morning sky with clouds and sun and snow. In this sketch, I not only wanted to capture the sun streaming through the hemlock and the cool colors of a snowy morning, I also wanted to capture the nature of the hemlocks, their shape and growth habit, the straight trunks with the branches that tend to break easily, the bare little twigs inside the tree, and the tufts of needles at the ends of the branches. At one time there had been another hemlock that completely blocked the view, and the sun, hence the bare insides of these trees. I hate to see a tree go down but when that one was lost in a storm it literally opened up a new view for me, and much more sunlight. I stood at the window and sketched this.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping within the US is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope.

FRAMED ORIGINAL

The frame is 1.5″ white painted wood frame, the mat 1″ slate blue with black core, frame size is 9″ x 12″. I purchase the frames randomly from my frame supplier so the style may vary a little from what is shown.

This would make a nice set with “Tributary” as they are the same size and matted and framed similarly. Please ask for details if purchasing the pair.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship. All are countersigned by me.

Though the print is an odd size, it fits well enough into a 12″ x 16″ frame with a mat; see my framing option below.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on Epson Velvet fine art paper, acid-free matte-finish white 100# cotton rag archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. In fact, I make the prints myself as ordered and ensure each one is as close to the original as my printer can get.

CANVAS PRINTS

The larger canvas print is twice the size of the original because that’s a standard size with the company which makes my canvas prints. The actual size canvas is actually a custom-order item and the print is made and stretched by the same small local company as my giclee prints. Because I have limited space, I order canvases as they are ordered. The larger canvas is 1-1/2″ in depth, the smaller is 3/4″, and I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge; on these canvases the sides are white.

 

Find this painting in my Etsy shop.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“Snowfall”

pastel paitning of snow

“Snowfall”, pastel, 11″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It isn’t always eternal summer on the trail, though memories might make us think so. This is a scene along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township. Winter is my favorite season to paint. I love the subtleties of color and shape with snow in the air and on the ground, and on the trail I am often all alone with the quiet of a winter day, or a gentle snowfall.

In this case, I was glad for the time alone and quiet, and my art materials. This is from several years ago, one of the sketches I’d actually done in the front seat of my car during a late winter ice and snow storm, with a personal connection. I’d moved my mother to a personal care home in a neighborhood adjacent to the trail and often combined visits to the trail and visits to my mother. She didn’t care at all for trails, but she thought it was pretty cool when I would pull up in front of the home on my bicycle in shorts and a tank top to visit and cool off and eat my lunch on a summer afternoon when all the other daughters were in jogging suits driving minivans. Though my mother suffered from a number of heart and lung conditions she was overall well but weak, though she often suffered from mild dementia; visits could be troubling.

So it was this winter day when I had driven there. The roads were cleared but the trail was not, still, I wanted a dose of nature after my visit and knew of a spot close where I could pull up next to the trail. Not a mark was in the deeply fallen snow, and I decided I would not be the one to leave mine, it was just too perfect. The snow was falling too heavily to work outside my car, so I angled my car just right and sat in my font seat and began a sketch, then decided I should leave before the roads grew worse.

I’d always intended to finish this off, adding some bare trees fading into the distance in the heavy snowfall, but I think there was a reason I stopped at this point, and I think it captures this snowy afternoon and my conversations with my mother as it is.

This painting won in the second highest award category, “Award of Excellence”, in the South Hills Art League Juried Exhibit in autumn 2014.

Original painting and prints

The original is still available and I offer a variety of prints of this painting, as digital, giclee or on canvas. Visit my Etsy shop to see the options and purchasing information.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“Tributary”, original and prints

pastel drawing of stream in woods

“Tributary”, pastel on Coulourfix sanded pastel paper, 7.5″ x 10.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The painting is an original pastel, 7.5″ x 10.5″, on Colourfix sanded pastel paper, framed original as well as full-size giclee prints as well as digital and canvas prints.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

On a quiet sunny winter afternoon this little unnamed tributary surely had a lot to say, babbling along over rocks and shelves of slate and limestone on its way to Scrubgrass Creek a distance away. I see a few things I’d still like to do with it but I’m pretty pleased. The light changes quickly at this time of year, and I had to work quickly.

Off in the woods today, I stood in the snow and painted a little pastel sketch as well as took photos of the snowy hollow at Kane’s Woods in Scott Township, PA. I’ve been waiting for a significant snowfall, enough to give good even cover to most of the leaf litter. Much of this conservation area faces north and doesn’t catch significant sunlight, especially in the winter when the sun’s angle is low, but this little hollow and the hill next to it face south. Once the sun gets into the hollow it just fills it up, especially when snow can reflect it in all directions.

A friend took my photo while I sketched in the woods.

A friend took my photo while I sketched in the woods.

The Kane Woods Conservation Area is a place I’ve known since I was a child, before it was conserved and trails were established, but my lifetime of visiting and that of others is what inspired Scott Conservancy to consider the site worth working for.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping within the US is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope.

FRAMED ORIGINAL

The frame is 1.5″ white painted wood frame, the mat 1″ slate blue with black core, frame size is 9″ x 12″. I purchase the frames randomly from my frame supplier so the style may vary a little from what is shown.

This would make a nice set with “Hemlocks, Snowy Morning” as they are the same size and matted and framed similarly. Please ask for details if purchasing the pair.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship. All are countersigned by me.

Though the print is an odd size, it fits well enough into a 12″ x 16″ frame with a mat; see my framing option below.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on Epson Velvet fine art paper, acid-free matte-finish white 100# cotton rag archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. In fact, I make the prints myself as ordered and ensure each one is as close to the original as my printer can get.

CANVAS PRINTS

The larger canvas print is twice the size of the original because that’s a standard size with the company which makes my canvas prints. The actual size canvas is actually a custom-order item and the print is made and stretched by the same small local company as my giclee prints. Because I have limited space, I order canvases as they are ordered. The larger canvas is 1-1/2″ in depth, the smaller is 3/4″, and I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge; on these canvases the sides are white.

Find this painting in my Etsy shop.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.


“Snow at Night”, original and prints

pastel painting of snowy night

“Snow at Night”, 7″ x 10″, pastel on pastello paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The painting is an riginal pastel, 11.5″ x 8″, on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper, in the dark green hue. I offer full-size giclee prints as well as digital and canvas prints.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

From the window at the back of my house I can see out over the valley and the hill beyond. When it snows at night the scene is transformed from black velvet punctuated by rooftops and streetlights and lit windows to a hazy wonderland of blue and creamy white, the familiar rooftops and trees given depth and dimension by the falling snow. Just like “Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, I’d been visualizing this little painting of the snow falling at night, the house with lit windows nestled into the snow-dusted branches and bramble and trees, silhouettes of rooftops beyond, the lights of Carnegie’s Main Street brightening the view behind them, then the haze of snowfall where normally I’d see only darkness. It looks quaint and kind of cliché, but it looks like home to me.

This painting is done in Sennelier pastels on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper, in the dark green hue. I knew that I could get the softness I wanted from the Sennelier pastels on this paper which has a nice soft surface to capture pastel, and though I wasn’t sure I wanted the texture of the laid finish it worked well to break up and soften the edges. I used three tones of Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue and tempered it with violet and gray in the shadows, then added pinks and yellows to the lighter areas. The windows, of course, are several shades of yellow.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping within the US is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope.

FRAMED ORIGINAL

The frame is 1.5″ gray barnwood with a white wash, the top mat slate blue with black core, and the bottom mat pale yellow with white core. Mat size total is 2″, frame size is 16″ x 12″.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship. All are countersigned by me.

Though the print is an odd size, it fits well enough into a 12″ x 16″ frame with a mat; see my framing option below.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on Epson Velvet fine art paper, acid-free matte-finish white 100# cotton rag archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. In fact, I make the prints myself as ordered and ensure each one is as close to the original as my printer can get.

CANVAS PRINTS

The larger canvas print is twice the size of the original because that’s a standard size with the company which makes my canvas prints. The actual size canvas is actually a custom-order item and the print is made and stretched by the same small local company as my giclee prints. Because I have limited space, I order canvases as they are ordered. The larger canvas is 1-1/2″ in depth, the smaller is 3/4″, and I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge; on these canvases the sides are black.

Find this painting in my Etsy shop.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.


January Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: “Rolling Around”

"Rolling Around", black pastel pencil and white charcoal pencil on blue Canson paper, 10.5" x 7.5" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Rolling Around”, black pastel pencil and white charcoal pencil on blue Canson paper, 10.5″ x 7.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

There is still time to enjoy this desktop calendar in the month of January, and even after that you can still order a print on paper or canvas.

I’ve been planning on using this art as a winter month desktop calendar for quite some time, and I’m so glad the time has finally come around!

Here is what I said about it when I posted it as a daily sketch on October 12, 2013:

Giuseppe was having a really good roll around on the floor, for no apparent reason except that it made him happy. I think we should all do that each day!

This was another fun attempt to follow a moving target with my eyes while drawing with my hand and not looking at the paper.

Even though the time of the original sketch was October and Giuseppe was rolling around on the floor, the blue background, the simple black and white, just make me think of Giuseppe on the bed, rolling around in preparation for a long afternoon’s nap on a quiet, snowy winter afternoon. Enjoy!

. . . . . . .

"Rolling Around" framed.

“Rolling Around” framed.

Where to find this artwork

You can find this artwork printed on paper and canvas in various sizes, giclee as well as digital prints, in my Etsy shop. To find other products and handmade goods bearing this art, search my Etsy shop for the title.

 

 


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

"Rolling Around" desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.

“Rolling Around” desktop calendar 2560 x 1440 for HD and wide screens.

. . .

Square monitors and screens

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

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

. . .

Small Mobile Devices and Tablets

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

“Rolling Around” 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

"Rolling Around" desktop calendar for 480 x 854 for mobile devices

“Rolling Around” 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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A Great Rescue and Commissioned Portrait: “Sooty”

pastel portrait of chinchilla persian cat

“Sooty”, 1997, pastel, 11″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

SOMETIMES IT DOESN’T MATTER how much sentiment is attached to adopting a cat, how much people pay for a cat, or how beautiful or sweet it is, that cat is out the door when they no longer want it; sometimes, like Sooty, it is actually headed for its loving forever home and the people who will truly cherish it forever.

. . . . . . .

Sooty was a full-bred Chinchilla-point Persian but didn’t come to his forever home directly from his breeder.

Adopted by a newly-engaged couple as a wedding gift to the bride-to-be, the couple subsequently broke up and Sooty was homeless. Passed along from one unloving home to another, finally housed in a detached garage with the door left open in the hope that he would run into the street…a neighbor kept watch, talked to the family, and finally convinced them to give Sooty to her. She asked her sister-in-law to foster him.

Though her sister-in-law had no pets then, she had always had a cat and a dog growing up. When her mother passed away her father came to live with her along with his dog and cat. They lost the pets and her father passed away soon after and she vowed “no more pets”. She made it clear that she would have Sooty neutered, given all his shots and shaved because he was filthy and had such large hair balls under each limb, but he was a foster, not an adoption.

He arrived in a cage, “frightened to death” and would not come out; she and her husband left the room and pretty soon Sooty came out of his cage and disappeared. Looking everywhere, she finally found him in her father’s old room, all curled up like he belonged there. “That did it,” and he stayed.

. . . . . . .

Animals always know, whether it’s Oscar, the prognosticating cat in the nursing home, or a cat who walked into your home and seemed to have been acquainted with it already, where they are needed most.

I’ve known people who would have taken in Sooty, even as a foster, and rejected him for his distant personality, not understanding that he’d never had a real home, not given him the space to learn to trust. But it’s also a truly wonderful thing to know that a cat came along at just the right time for people who needed him, as Sooty immediately recognized the place of loss and moved to fill it in the best way he could.

Sooty had been deeply hurt by his own experiences. It was months before he would even go upstairs to the bedrooms, let alone sleep on the bed, or even the couch; sadly it was clear he’d been taught those places were not for cats. But he never lost a drop of his natural quiet sweetness, and in time his forever family welcomed him to cuddle up next to them or sleep on their lap.

Tomorrow I’ll write about Sooty’s portrait as this week’s featured commissioned portrait. You can read that article here.


Here is Sooty’s page in Great Rescues:

great rescues day book

Great Rescues Day Book, January featured portrait and day book page.

. . . . . . .

And here is the quote for Sooty:

The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an axe murderer. ~ Paula Poundstone

. . . . . . .

About the Portrait

detail of pastel cat portrait

Detail of portrait: Sooty’s face.

I’ve always loved the way Sooty’s portrait looked, the horizontal layout and simple composition, clear and contrasting colors. In my portfolio of portraits Sooty’s was admired by many, and when I had visualized the Great Rescues calendar and day book series over ten years ago, Sooty’s portrait was one of the first that came to mind.

When I met with the couple who owned him, we looked at a few photos, but this one of Sooty, both his posture and demeanor, was perfect and the three of us knew it, even as Sooty quietly observed our process in much the same position. He was so calm and relaxed I managed to get detail shots of his face, especially his blue-green eyes.

Sooty was in his teens when I met him in the 90s, and he’d been bred so long ago that his Persian face looks little like the Persian cats I meet today. His nose is shorter than the usual cat nose, but not as deep-set as that of modern Persians.

I love the hair between long-haired cats’ toes, but Sooty’s was exceptional—it was so long his paws looked like little dust mops and I remember us joking about it, but when I was painting the portrait I remember questioning myself even though I’d seen it right there on his paws and taken the photos. It wasn’t helped by the contrast between pale silver fur and deep charcoal gray fur that made it look as if it had been attached.

detail of pastel portrait of cat

Detail of portrait: toes.

His fur itself was beautifully unique, each long guard hair ending in a short black tip which gave him the ashy sort of look that led to his name. He had wonderful eyeliner and even his nose was outlined, and most endearing of all his whiskers were black. But that field of fur along his sides and back had so much detail that I got all lost in drawing it.

The background in a portrait like this is a style I developed myself over the years for portraits where there was just a color and no particular object or surface. I base the predominant color on one that complements the subject well and is possibly a color in the subject itself; see Nick where I used the blue from his eyes. In Sooty’s case I looked around the room where the portrait would hang and at Sooty’s cool silver fur, and then at his terra cotta nose and knew that was the color. As you can see in front of him I’ve added a few “wrinkles” as if the background is a cloth, but you can see in the upper left that I’ve mimicked the entrance of a light source from the left and used an olive green shading lighter to a yellowish shade as if it’s sunlight on a wall.

detail of pastel portrait of cat

Detail of background and fur.

I usually frame my portraits in custom mats and molding per my customer. To finish it off, I used a deeper soft terra cotta top mat and silver gray bottom mat, both black core to gently coordinate with Sooty’s eyeliner and other charcoal trim, and a simple wood frame with a brushed silver finish that captured his fur. You can tell his portrait is still one of my favorites nearly 20 years later. Sooty is even included in the brochure I designed and still use today; click the link below.


About Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book and Great Rescues Day Book

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

Sooty is one of the rescued cats in my Great Rescues Day Book, an undated monthly journal to record the dates of birthdays, anniversaries and events featuring sixteen of my commissioned portraits of rescued cats along with their rescue stories.

This book is built from Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, the original 16-month calendar published in 2011 to inaugurate my series of rescue stories related to the portraits I’ve painted over the years.

Click here or on the image of the book at left, or either of the links above to read more.

Also, read more about Great Rescues families, those who appear in each of the two volumes so far. I’ll be featuring one story each month corresponding with the portrait that appears in the book for that month. That means there are four extra, and I’ll slip those in when the story itself feels appropriate.

And click here to see the whole year of monthly posts of featured portraits!


Read other stories in my Rescue Stories series.

~~~

Also read about other Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.


 

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

Read articles here on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair

Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs

Sophie and Ellie, pastel, 2009 © B.E. Kazmarski

Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table

After Dinner Nap, pastel, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My Portraits Brochure

My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.


Purchase a Gift Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $125.00, which is the basic cost of a portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over $125.00.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Portrait certificates are a minimum of $125.00 because that is the minimum cost of a portrait.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

You can purchase gift certificates here or from my Etsy shop if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.

 


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


© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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“Snowfall”

pastel paitning of snow

“Snowfall”, pastel, 11″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I submitted three paintings and learned that I’d won an award in the South Hills Art League annual juried show in October. Above, “Snowfall”, which I’d shown in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”, won in the second highest award category, “Award of Excellence”. Of the three pieces I entered I’m surprised this one was a winner, but I like snow, so why not? The original is for sale, framed, for $250, as well as prints in my Etsy shop.

Below is the story behind the painting, and below that are the other two paintings I entered in the exhibit.

It isn’t always eternal summer on the trail, though memories might make us think so. Winter is my favorite season to paint. I love the subtleties of color and shape with snow in the air and on the ground, and on the trail I am often all alone with the quiet of a winter day, or a gentle snowfall.

In this case, I was glad for the time alone and quiet, and my art materials. This is from several years ago, one of the sketches I’d actually done in the front seat of my car during a late winter ice and snow storm, with a personal connection. I’d moved my mother to a personal care home in a neighborhood adjacent to the trail and often combined visits to the trail and visits to my mother. She didn’t care at all for trails, but she thought it was pretty cool when I would pull up in front of the home on my bicycle in shorts and a tank top to visit and cool off and eat my lunch on a summer afternoon when all the other daughters were in jogging suits driving minivans. Though my mother suffered from a number of heart and lung conditions she was overall well but weak, though she often suffered from mild dementia; visits could be troubling.

So it was this winter day when I had driven there. The roads were cleared but the trail was not, still, I wanted a dose of nature after my visit and knew of a spot close where I could pull up next to the trail. Not a mark was in the deeply fallen snow, and I decided I would not be the one to leave mine, it was just too perfect. The snow was falling too heavily to work outside my car, so I angled my car just right and sat in my font seat and began a sketch, then decided I should leave before the roads grew worse.

I’d always intended to finish this off, adding some bare trees fading into the distance in the heavy snowfall, but I think there was a reason I stopped at this point, and I think it captures this snowy afternoon and my conversations with my mother as it is.

. . . . . . .

A Bend in the Road (sold), prints available

pastel painting of woods on back road

“A Bend in the Road”, pastel, 14″ x 22″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

 The Swimming Hole, $350 (available)

pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole

“The Swimming Hole”, pastel, 17″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Visit my Etsy shop to see more about purchasing the original painting or giclee, digital or canvas prints.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.

Prints of this painting

“Frosty Morning” traveled to its final home over the holidays this year, to a friend “just north of us” in Canada. I offer a variety of prints of this painting, as digital, giclee or on canvas. Visit my Etsy shop to see the options and purchasing information.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise

pastel painting of cold snowy sunrise

“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, 2012, 17.25″ x 9″, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like this out there this morning.

The coldest, frostiest mornings always seem to come in January, right after all the warmth and color of the holiday season. I painted this just one week shy of two years ago in January 2012, standing at my window to sketch the basics but finishing from a photo, the light so fleeting, but I look at this view each day and know the details in all seasons. This morning’s hazy frosty look with the valley in shadow but the bright sky was very inspiring. I decided to finally do this sketch that I’ve been visualizing for years.

Not just the colors of a snowy, frigid morning, but the steam rising from all the chimneys were part of the inspiration. I’m not sure why, but seeing the steam rise over the neighborhoods and town on a frosty morning has always had a sense of both melancholy and security for me. As I watched the sun rise and the day grow light, photographing as it went, it seemed everyone’s furnace turned on at the same time and I knew I had to paint this scene.

The four houses across from me I’ve sketched a number of times before, but in this case I’ve also included what is Main Street in Carnegie off to the left, the little collection of square-cornered things are the buildings there with steam rising just as well.

The one element I did leave out was the row of trees in my back yard which were just featured in a dawn photo the other day. They were just too chaotic and detailed, but really when I visualized the scene I realized my visualization had left them out. There is plenty of interest here without them. You can also see a portion of this scene in a frosty photo from last year before the heavy snowfall and ice knocked down a number of trees on the left, and in another snowy scene from this same vantage point. “Snow at Night”.

This painting is done in hues of only four colors, a Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue, haze blue that is a warmer color with a red tint and has elements of violet, and one shade each of yellow and pink.

This was one of those times when the photograph just wasn’t going to work.

Prints of this painting

“Frosty Morning” traveled to its final home over the holidays this year, to a friend “just north of us” in Canada. I offer a variety of prints of this painting, as digital, giclee or on canvas. Visit my Etsy shop to see the options and purchasing information.

See other art and landscapes

Visit my Etsy shop to see what’s available in my Landscapes and Still Lifes Gallery.

I also have an e-newsletter for non-animal art like my landscapes and photography, which I usually deliver seasonally, click here to add your e-mail address.

. . . . . .

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 “purchasing” for availability and terms.


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