Category Archives: wood-mounted artwork

2013 Calendars 25% Off

image of cat calendars
Desk and journal calendars for 2013, “In the Kitchen with Cookie” and “Compositions in Green and Black”

This discount applies only to purchases from The Creative Cat, details below.

Love black cats? Need a little more tortie in your life? I still have calendars available for 2013, and now they are 25% off!

One design features Cookie and the other features the Fantastic Five. I designed them using photos you’ve seen on The Creative Cat in a compact size that won’t take up too much space on your wall or your desk.

You can read about them, including a few reviews and comments from recipients, on The Creative Cat, flip through the pages in a virtual bookflip slideshow and purchase right on that page.

Discounted price

For the 25% discount, please purchase using the PayPal “buy now” button on my Calendars page which will automatically give you a 25% discounted price of $7.50 for each calendar. On Etsy the calendars are still $10.00. Etsy permits only one coupon code per purchase, and it applies to the entire purchase. You can use your VALENTINE10 code on Etsy to get a 10% discount on a calendar purchase there. Sorry—I know it’s confusing but each of these selling places has their rules…

Complimentary products to coordinate with your calendars

I’ve been working on decorative and useful items incorporating the images used in both calendars—these are the first of many as I find which images are most popular and test products like coasters, hotpads and trivets.

Cookie in the Kitchen

wood-mounted print of cat
“Cookie in the Pasta Bowl” 6″ x 6″ print mounted on wood.

Cookie in the Pasta Bowl 6×6 Wood Mount Photo

The 6″ x 6″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with 1.5″ x 1.5″ pine 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 black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Good thing I checked the bowl before I filled it with the mellowed fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette!

I warmed my big round pasta bowl in the over, then set it on the counter while I ran outside to get a couple branches of basil to finish off my dinner, maybe ten seconds, and when I returned Cookie was just settling into the bowl as if she’d been in it all day. I tossed the basil in with her and grabbed my camera for a straight-on shot (below) then stepped up Cookie’s footstool for the above shot. Amazing how cats can fit themselves comfortably into just about anything, but this is a natural.

You can see the original photo and read the rest of the story on The Creative Cat.

print of tortoiseshell cat with parsley
“Cookie Parsley Eyes” 6″ x 6″ Wood Mount Photo

Cookie Parsley Eyes 6×6 Wood Mount Photo

The 6″ x 6″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with 1.5″ x 1.5″ pine 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 black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.

Though this photo isn’t in the calendar, I always associate it with Cookie and me in the kitchen, and will be featured in the future.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

You can see the original photo and read the rest of the story on The Creative Cat.

This photo won a Certificate of Excellence for Single Color Photograph in the 2012 Cat Writers’ Association Communications Contest.


Compositions in Black and Green

keepsake boxes with black cats
Compositions in Black and Green keepsake box set

Compositions in Black and Green Keepsake Box Set

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.

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and mint green with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″ x 4″ and 5″ x 3″ and the tallest is 3″ high. Only one is available!

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural trim color for “Compositions in Black and Green”, and while I avoid mixing colors because they are difficult to repeat later I mixed the shade of green to work coordinate with the famous mint green sink. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

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

"Compositions in Black and Green" greeting card set.
“Compositions in Black and Green” greeting card set.

Compositions in Black and Green Greeting Cards

These tonal composition cards are 5″ x 7″, blank inside and printed on 12 pt. card stock with matching pure white envelopes and packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen. On the back is the story of each photo.

The set includes two familiar images, but really focuses on one kitty—Jelly Bean! “God, I’m Cute” pictures Jelly Bean admiring himself in the mirror long offered as a greeting card, and “Drink Straight From the Tap” shows the Fantastic Four all drinking from the sink faucet at the same time. The new designs are “Composition in Green and Black”, offered by request but one of my favorite atmospheric images of Jelly Bean dozing in the sun on the edge of the sink, and “Toe Cleaning in Green and Black”, the Bean once again in a close-up capture of activity with the mint green sink reflecting on Bean’s black fur and paws.

"God, I'm Cute" 5" x 7" wood-mounted print
“God, I’m Cute” 5″ x 7″ wood-mounted print

“God, I’m Cute” Wood-mounted Print

The 5″ x 7″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1″ canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

That’s my Jelly Bean demonstrating his most absolute cuteness in the mirror.

“Mirror, mirror on the sink

I’m the handsomest kitty, I think!”

Perhaps instead he’s practicing his most seductive expression in the mirror.

Jelly Bean is about as cute as cute can be and he knows how to use it. Moreso than any of the other Big Four, Jelly Bean was always the cutest, it’s just part of his nature, and now that he’s maturing he’s also developing those feline-seductive “bedroom eyes”, the squinty, blinky look that makes them impossible to resist.


Inspired by felines you know!

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

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

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


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

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January Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: Darling Clementine

watercolor of cat in kitchen
“Darling Clementine”, watercolor, 12″ x 9″ © B.E. Kazmarski

January light is so beautiful, the sun still at a low angle streaming into windows and doors, the days often overcast and the brilliant warm yellow sunlight a respite, and this is what has Namir transfixed in the stream of sun that washes in the back door in winter—and probably a few birds bobbing about on the deck chasing stray bird seed.

photo of cat with kitchen items
Reference photo for “Darling Clementine”.

The reference photo for this is at left, one of many I took over the course of nearly three months of occasionally sunny mornings January through March 2007 when Namir would finish breakfast then go bathe,  sit and nap in the sun. Namir’s posture and cattitude as well as items in the box and the box itself changed each day as it does in the course of my housekeeping; the angle of the sun changes as I took photos earlier and later and from different angles. I love them all and knew, as I had known with Peaches and Peonies, that I’d do a painting from this as well as having this series of photos.

But it wasn’t until the morning of Darling Clementines, as I call it in my own shorthand, with its mix of color, glass and Namir’s intent expression that my fingers got all twitchy as they do when they want to paint, and I immediately visualized a watercolor, clear and detailed, those clean edges and translucent colors carrying what I saw, better than my pastels. I pictured my palette, my fine liner brushes, applying the Prussian blue around the letters “D” and “A”, the clementine itself already painted in place, and then Namir’s profile, his rounded nose with its gray spots, his satellite-dish ears completely facing forward, the details of eyes and fur and whiskers I studied all the time. When I start watching myself paint something that’s not even begun, I know I have no choice but to paint the thing or it will be constantly in my vision like a song that won’t go away—but in this case, not an annoying one.

detail of cat in painting
Detail, just Namir.

Still, I knew another image I liked even more might come up since the lovely mornings continued, and rather than confuse the issue with starting one and seeing another I wanted to paint even more, I waited. And I also added things intentionally after that, baskets, other jars, jars of beans, my gardening clogs, you name it—even other cats, including Namir’s biggest admirer, not Kelly, but Lucy.

And as a part of our daily lives then, Stanley was still with us, 25 years old, enjoying what he could of each day until January 25 when he finally decided he was ready to transition to the next existence. We all surrounded ourselves with beauty for that month and afterward and I have a truly lovely series of photos infused with memories which I will share here through the spring, but still, “Darling Clementines” won.

I did have the opportunity to paint it fairly soon after, which is really not typical in my usual schedule but probably saved my sanity once it got a start. I gave myself a very light pencil outline of the main objects, then some of the details like the lettering, applied a few light washes of color to give myself a sense of direction. I was really looking forward to the lettering on the containers, the patterns in the wood, Namir’s ears and that lovely white area with highlight and shadow. I had a good feel for how I’d paint everything but those canning jars and figured I’d work it out when I got there. After a lot of visual study of other artists, that’s generally how I learn, just get the brush to the paper.

detail of painting
Detail, bread crumbs and wood.

This type of a watercolor, for me, is very time-consuming, so I planned it smaller than many of my other extremely detailed works, only 12″ wide by 9″ high. After the initial sketch and washes I plan my work sessions for at least two hours, preferably four, and try to make them at the same time each day so that I am either working with daylight or my work lights and can keep my colors consistent. I also prefer to work on consecutive days until I’m done, but even every other day is okay; it’s difficult to stay consistent when too many days go by between sessions. Each session, I choose an area or an object to work on so that I keep the colors and style consistent, working on Namir’s face, for instance, then working my way back in successive sessions.

But how do you paint glass? You see through it, so…what do you paint? It’s one of the times when you apply the lesson of “painting what you see” instead of “painting what you know”. I know what glass looks like, what it feels like and other properties of it as an object, but I had to study the glass and “see” the effect of the jars on what was behind them in order to paint what was really there. That was easy once I grew accustomed to it, but the highlights on the glass really had me confused. With pastels I paint the area with a base color then work my highlights up to their relative brightness and apply the lightest highlights as one of the last things I paint. With watercolors, you usually leave your highlights open to show the color of the paper as the lightest area, and work down from that level to the relative colors around it. Many was the time I had to stop, study, visualize and then, finally, paint what I saw. I used this lesson again the next spring when I painted the vase in “Peaches and Peonies”.

detail of painting
Detail, canning jars and lettering.

I have often received gifts bearing cat art and kept them all, and as I moved through learning to draw and paint I studied everything that was available commercially, from calendars to coffee mugs to accent rugs for style and composition. I still have my day book featuring paintings of Lesley Anne Ivory with her lovely furballs on highly decorative and patterned backgrounds, which worked their way into portraits such as “Tibbie” with its Oriental rug and leather-bound books. When I began framing I discovered Charles Wysocki through framing limited-edition prints of “Ethel the Gourmet” and “Frederick the Literate”. And years ago I studied the art of a feline artist Wendy Christensen whose images on Christmas cards I kept through the years to study (and still have), only to find years later that she is a fellow Cat Writers’ Association member and who I’ve since had the chance to meet. What a thrill to meet one of my idols and have her compliment me!

And we are also thrilled that “Darling Clementine” is Cat of the Month in the January 2013 Catnip Chronicles!

You can read more about Namir in “Who Was That Namir, Anyway?”

black cat looking at painting
Mr. Sunshine remembers Namir.

Where to find this painting

I donated this painting to the art exhibit at the first BlogPaws conference, so the original has been sold. I offer prints of this painting as a full-size highest quality giclee, and archival digital prints both full-size and 8×10, as an 8×10 wood-mounted print and a matted and framed 5×7  in my Etsy shop. Click here to see all the options listed here in a gallery on Etsy.

You can also find “Darling Clementine” as part of my “Feline Greetings” series of cat-themed art cards.

This month’s desktop calendar

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

  1. Click on one of the links below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
  2. 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. I’m not entirely sure how this is done on a mobile device, but I’ll bet it’s not too different.

Desktop and laptop computers

2560×1440 (16:9 for large monitors)
1920×1200 (16:10 and HD monitors)
1920×1080 (16:9 monitors)
1280×1024 (4:3 monitors)

Mobile Devices

240×320 (smartphones, texting phones)
480×320 (Blackberry, HTC)
640×960 (iPhones)
600×1024 (Nook Color, Blackberry Playbook)
768×1024 (iPad)
720×1280 (Android phones)
800×1280 (Samsung Galaxy, etc.)

“Darling Clementine” January Desktop Calendar.

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 Portraitsportrait of black cat in wicker chair Commissioned Dog Portraitspastel portrait of dogs

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.


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 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.


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