Tag Archives: animal artwork

Follow Me! Portraits of Animals Has Moved

Portraits of Animals new website!

Portraits of Animals new website!

Several new followers have signed up recently, and I don’t want you to be disappointed—I don’t post on this site anymore because I’ve built a brand new website that includes a blog where I post all the inspirations from my felines, my backyard and garden and the beautiful world around me. Maintaining this blog plus my Etsy profile, Fine Art America account and a few other profiles where I displayed and sold my things and decided to invest the time to combine them all into one completely new site.

Please visit Portraits of Animals and follow!

Please visit Portraits of Animals! I moved all the posts from this site to that blog, so to be sure you see the latest I’ve created and have to offer you can go to Portraits of Animals and subscribe to “Notes and Stories” there.

May Feline Sampler Box from Portraits of Animals

May Feline Sampler Box from Portraits of Animals

That’s what you see above, a screen shot for the home page. Finally, this plan I’ve visualized for the past five years has been put into action. I found a template I liked, I’ve planned out my new products and I set up my Sampler Box Program and a free gift for those who register for an account on the site. I have features on the new site that I couldn’t have here, including setting up an account with a free gift when you do, member rewards programs and a sampler box program!

The New “Portraits of Animals”

January had originally been my deadline to have this website ready, but the holiday season doesn’t permit focus on too many things other than the holiday season, so I didn’t get too far. And then I ran off to Savannah to deliver a couple of kittens and visit family. But before I did I decided to stop building that site and decide which way to go: continue with the site or look for a template that better represented my work.

The new menu.

The new menu.

I found the perfect template, designed by an artist for artists. Next, I needed to find three or four days to set it up and get all the parts in there and start adding merchandise. Designing websites has always been a process of not only putting your visualization on a computer screen but also fixing all the little issues, bugs and conflicts that come up, and at this point in my life I like to stake out some time to just focus on it.

At left is what the new menu looks like, always accessible on the left, with drop-downs for extra pages to keep merchandise grouped and organized.

The site includes not only my feline inspirations but my nature and wildlife art as well. How wonderful it is to have it all in one place!

Below are some samples of what the merchandise looks like when you visit!

Handmade Feline-themed Gift Items from Portraits of Animals.

Handmade Feline-themed Gift Items from Portraits of Animals.

I love the way I can set up the galleries so that you can see a whole screen full of images and read the headlines, click on the item and read the details and order. Here is a sample section of animal sympathy cards.

The display of sympathy cards.

The display of sympathy cards.

And here is a detail page, what you see when you click on a product.

Detail page.

Detail page.

A signing bonus!

I like to thank each person who signs up for an account on Portraits of Animals. Each new member receives a thank-you gift not only as an honest thanks from me for signing up, but also so that you can see a sample of my art and the quality of my merchandise, even if you’ve been a customer already and purchased from me in other places.

You don’t need to purchase anything to get your thank you gift, you can just register an account and get your free print.

The thank you gifts always include matted digital prints of art and photos that I usually sell for between $20.00 and $40.00. The selection includes the current month’s featured artwork and several of the more popular images I sell. Sizes vary according to the size of the art itself—some of my more popular sketches are as small as 3″ x 5″—but they are always matted to fit a standard frame size so you can use a frame you have on hand or easily purchase one without the cost of custom framing. Below is the current selection of prints you can choose from. Visit Current New Member Gifts to read more about the size and matting for each print.

The current selection of new member gifts.

The current selection of new member gifts.

About that Sampler Box

November Feline Sampler Box Program from Portraits of Animals

November Feline Sampler Box Program from Portraits of Animals

I’m offering a sampler box with a single box or a three month box subscription which will include the following items:

  • a 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10” print matted and ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a new one
  • an alternate print of any size, unmatted, different from the main print in media, style, subject, etc.
  • several greeting cards: a sympathy card, feline art card, feline photo card, non-feline greeting card and two or more note cards, current designs and new designs
  • a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance—which is exclusive to box recipients and not shared with the public for a week or so after boxes are sent
  • the “boxes” are not boxes at all because they vary so much in content so they are carefully wrapped with wrapping paper made from my designs that you can reuse

These can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to shelter or rescue or other fundraisers. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer.

You can order a single sampler box or a subscription of three boxes. Shipping within the US is included.

$25.00 for one box, value about $47.50

$75.00 for a three box subscription, value about $142.50

You can read more about the content in the gift boxes on the page on Portraits of Animals, and don’t forget to go and visit the rest of the site too! I add new items and post on the blog every day, and now that I have a comprehensive website I can spend much more time actually creating new things instead of maintaining four or five selling sites.

 

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Don’t miss any new items or opportunities!

“Follow” the Portraits of Animals blog.
Sign up to receive posts in email, or in your favorite reader using the links in the right-hand column.

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You can also sign up for my monthly e-newsletters to receive special discounts and find out where I’ll be with my artwork.

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for feline and animal-specific products and information.

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© 2017 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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 to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “Custom Orders” for availability and terms.



“Stripes on Stripe”, a Favorite Photo

Stripes on Stripe, photo

Stripes on Stripe, photo

An image of Stanley in his last summer…we always visited the back yard in the morning, and afterward he loved to nap on the deck in the morning sun in warm weather. Stanley always had a way of arranging himself in interesting compositions, such as this one. One of my nicknames for him from way, way back was “Stripe” because he was the first tabby cat I rescued.

SHIPPING

Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.

Stripes on Stripe, 4" x 4", white frame

Stripes on Stripe, 4″ x 4″, white frame

FRAMED PRINTS

The photo is matted with Arctic White acid-free mat and a white solid wood frame. Frames are available in white or black and may vary in style and finish, but are always about 1″ wide. Prints are signed on the photo and on the mat.

I also have a black option for this frame as well as a silver metal options that fall in the same price range. Also, other custom framing options are also available for a special quote. Please ask if you’d like another option.

Stripes on Stripe, 4" X 4", black frame

Stripes on Stripe, 4″ X 4″, black frame

PHOTO PRINTS

Digital prints are made on acid-free gloss photo paper using archival digital inks. I usually leave an inch or two of white around the print for easier frame fitting. All prints are countersigned by me.

Larger sizes are available than what I have listed, so please ask if you want a special size.

CANVAS PRINTS

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2″ in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is wraps around the sides.

MOUSEPADS

Mousepads are 8″ x 7″, always horizontal, 1/4″ black foam rubber with the image printed on a flexible fabric on top.

It’s in my Etsy shop!


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

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My Feline- and Nature-themed Stuff at “The Outlet Barn”

Display from the other side.

Display from the other side.

So who would think a drafty old unheated honest-to-God barn from a long-time farm would be a hot spot for unique art and decorative items?

The Outlet Barn Garden and Art Center has been in business in this very same old barn for the past 20 years, with a list of loyal customers and new people stopping every day. They close on Christmas Eve and reopen on April 1, weather permitting. I’ve had a display of greeting cards and art there since 2011 when the Agway closed, but at that time I was the only artist. This year they’ve set up an area for many artists to display in this open and rustic setting, so I have a nice space with an antique entryway piece and and wall space to hang things.

Display from one side.

Display from one side.

Because the barn is just that—an old wooden and unheated barn—I have chosen things that can be easily dusted or cleaned, or are in packaging. That makes it perfect for my handmade keepsake boxes and wall art, trivets and garden flags as well as a selection of framed and packaged prints of feline, flowers and nature photos. I’m excited to be expanding my selection of floral and landscape gift items in addition to my feline gift items. I will have a small selection of note cards and greeting cards, but because the place is open I often have difficulty with the envelopes sealing shut, even in packaging.

Gift items.

Gift items.

I began visiting there because the place looked like the sort of place I’d like to check out, not carefully coiffed or neatly arranged, but artfully arranged and colorful outside, and inside just crowded enough in the semi-darkness of the old barn that I could take my time to peruse without feeling overwhelmed.

Garden flags.

Garden flags.

I ended up moving things into there because the former manager of the Agway I had been selling at was friends with Kathy, The Outlet Barn’s owner, and simply went to her and said I’d be over with my things, she’d like them and me. Life should be filled with such friends. Kathy herself is the one who artfully arranges things in a way that makes people passing on the road find it hard to resist, and is also a master with ribbon and grapevines and such and creates all the wreaths and swags sold throughout the year, often custom-making them for long-time customers. She also makes beaded jewelry for sale in the shop.

Packaged, matted and framed prints.

Packaged, matted and framed prints.

She also holds events with local musicians playing jazz and folk and alternative in among the gargoyles and gazing globes, or out back in one of the sample gazebos or on the deck.

Canvas prints.

Canvas prints.

And I can’t forget the enthusiastic rescued chocolate lab named Irish Malarkey, named so because his eyes were green when he was a puppy, who rides in with his human every day. He carefully checked each of my boxes for treats, in between trotting around the place with that huge destructive lab tail without overturning as much as a small terra cotta flowerpot.

Irish Malarkey.

Irish Malarkey.

Supporting a local small business is important from both standpoints, from buying and selling, so in addition to placing my things there on consignment, I also promote the places where my things are consigned. I’ll share notices of events, which will be of greatest interest to local friends, and also of things I find there that you might enjoy—feline-themed of course But there plenty of animal-themed things about the place, plus really cool gargoyles.

Feline-themed planting pots.

Feline-themed planting pots.

I have a love-hate relationship with retail. I love to create my artwork and even to create the derivative items from it like cards and notepads and prints, and the best way to get my artwork known is to create and sell these things, but it takes time to drive around and visit shops, introduce myself, deliver the goods and maintain a display; if I seem to have disappeared now and then, this is why—calling and driving around, following up suggestions from friends to visit and introducing myself and showing a few representative pieces of what I have for sale. The actual sales from this might break even for expenses and time, but the real benefit is in finding new customers and making new friends, and just sharing my inspirations. Finding a shop where I also have other reasons to visit just makes it better.

And there’s another constant—animals and animal rescue. One door closes and another one opens as our friends share us with their friends. It is not a loss and a gain, but simply a change.

Where to find The Outlet Barn

The Outlet Barn

The Outlet Barn

The Outlet Barn Garden Center

4577 Campbells Run Rd Pittsburgh, PA 15205

outletbarn@gmail.com – Phone: 412-494-5190

If you see merchandise pictured here, whether it’s mine or not, that you are interested in, please follow the link to The Outlet Barn website or let me know. The website is not an online store for things in the shop because there’s just too much, but Kathy will be glad to give you a few details and ship something to you if purchase it with the possible exception of a concrete gargoyle.

Handmade furniture and ceramic gift items.

Handmade furniture and ceramic gift items.

Below is a gallery of things in the barn, and another slideshow of other artisans’ items.

Here are a few of the artisans’ displays.


Basil inspects all the new goods.

Basil inspects all the new goods.

Marketplace

Mimi scolds me for not letting the blocks dry properly.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

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

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It’s Tortie Girls Time!

Tortie Girls tote bags.

Tortie Girls tote bags.

The gold and orange and yellow of tortoiseshell cats may seem more of an autumn theme, but for me those bright colors always meant June and sunshine. I love to welcome the summer with my tortie girls Cookie and Kelly on as many items as I can make.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

“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”.

"The Goddess," hand-tinted linoleum block print.

“The Goddess,” hand-tinted linoleum block print.

“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.

"The Roundest Eyes," hand-tinted linoleum block print.

“The Roundest Eyes,” hand-tinted linoleum block print.

I’ve spent a good bit of time in the past month or so printing and painting and sewing and finishing things for this month’s marketplace, and I have more Tortie Girls things than ever before, including a few things I’ve never offered before.

The hand-tinted tees drying all around my deck.

The hand-tinted tees drying all around my deck.

And of course I was duly supervised during the creation and manufacture of all of these items!

Mimi really is supervising me though it looks as if she's napping next to my paints, inks and brushes.

Mimi really is supervising me though it looks as if she’s napping next to my paints, inks and brushes.

Items include the last three Tortie Girls garden flags, tablecloths, place mats, t-shirts, unframed, framed or mounted prints, all listed below with links to my Etsy shop. Shipping cost is included in the prices listed so you don’t need to worry about calculating shipping later. And don’t forget your discount code: JUNE10, to get 10% off your entire order through June 30.

So if Tortie Girls are your definition of summer too, happy shopping!

"Those are my fur sisters' images, take care of them!" Mimi says.

“Those are my fur sisters’ images, take care of them!” Mimi says.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Tees

Jenna and her mom Mary Kay model the new tees and totes.

Jenna and her mom Mary Kay model the new tees and totes.

These white cotton tees are hand-printed with a linoleum block print and then hand-painted with diluted screen-printing ink to resemble the coloring of my tortie girls, Cookie and Kelly. I sign and date each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

The Roundest Eyes tee.

The Roundest Eyes tee.

The Goddess tee.

The Goddess tee.

Mimi gives Jenna a few tips on modeling.

Mimi gives Jenna a few tips on modeling.

Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring a narrow bound edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, and sizes run a little smaller than the typical beefy tee. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL and printed three each of each size and pattern.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. 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 wearable work of art.

Mimi is proud of her student.

Mimi is proud of her student.

Many thanks to Jenna Corso-Gentert and her mom May Kay Gentert for modeling my tees! They look so much better on a human than on a hanger, and Jenna has a definite presence for modeling even though she is only 12, just finishing sixth grade. She studies musical theater, vocal training and dance with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and in school she is excellent in math and science.

Mary Kay is a member of our rescue group and is the person who trapped and rescued our foster Bella and Bella’s brother Butters, who they adopted. Mary Kay can always be counted on to transport any cats or supplies or traps or whatever a foster might need from anywhere to anywhere in the Pittsburgh area, up to an hour away sometimes. And they made time to come over here and model!

As you see, Mimi, an experienced art model and lighting and set designer, had some modeling pointers for Jenna. She also supervised the whole operation. I only wish the lighting had been better.

Mimi supervises the photo shoot.

Mimi supervises the photo shoot.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Totes

The Roundest Eyes tote bag, approved by Mimi!

The Roundest Eyes tote bag, approved by Mimi!

And you know how Mimi likes to photobomb my product photography!

These tote bags are heavy-weight poly-cotton canvas measuring 12.5″ wide x 13″ high with a 3″ deep gusset to open and hold a lot of stuff.

Why the odd size? And poly-cotton? These bags are “repurposed”!

What the bags originally looked like.

What the bags originally looked like.

Several years ago one of my commercial customers told me he had a box of canvas bags that had been printed badly (the four fingerprints are not dark enough) and he just wanted to get rid of them—was I interested? I took them and initially tried to sell them on ebay but no one bought even one. But I had always wanted to print tote bags with my art, and from the time I’d designed the linocuts I’d wanted to see the Tortie Girls on tote bags, and decided this was a great place to start.

Mewsette inspects my materials as I iron the designs on the bags.

Mewsette inspects my materials as I iron the designs on the bags.

I printed and tinted the design on a natural cotton muslin and layered that fabric with a more opaque fabric underneath to completely cover the original design, used fusible webbing to adhere it all together and to the bag, then stitched around the outside edge to keep it in place.

Edge-stitching on the tote bags.

Edge-stitching on the tote bags.

Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your arm!

The Goddess tote bag--and you know how Mimi loves to photobomb my product photography.

The Goddess tote bag–and you know how Mimi loves to photobomb my product photography.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Tablecloths

Tortie Girls tablecloth, The Goddess.

Tortie Girls tablecloth, The Goddess.

Made of unbleached cotton muslin, this little accent tablecloth is approximately 36″ x 36″ and has the same image printed four times, one on each side. It 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. Each tablecloth is signed, just as I would a print on paper. The edge is finished with an overcast stitch.

I can also customize these to a certain extent by adding your cat’s name. Please tell me you’d like to do this and include your cat’s name in the “notes” section when you order.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. 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 wearable work of art. They are also slightly odd sizes because I cut the squares without measuring, and though the fabric is nominally 72″ wide it’s not exactly that size, so…it makes them interesting.

Tortie Girls tablecloth, The Roundest Eyes.

Tortie Girls tablecloth, The Roundest Eyes.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Placemats

Tortie Girls placemats, The Goddess.

Tortie Girls placemats, The Goddess.

I made these extra-large 14″ x 18″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with a folded hem on the top, bottom and left edges and the selvage on the right. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table! I sign each placemat, just as I would a print on paper.

I can also customize these to a certain extent by adding your cat’s name. Please tell me you ‘d like to do this and include your cat’s name in the “notes” section when you order. Please ask about set pricing if you’d like more than one.

Tortie Girls placemats, The Roundest Eyes.

Tortie Girls placemats, The Roundest Eyes.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Prints

The Tortie Girls set.

The Tortie Girls set.

I originally designed these in 2001 before digital and giclee printing were affordable to take with me to smaller art festivals and to donate to shelter and rescue events. These framed prints were the original intent and while they’ve gone so much farther in the past 14 years I still love these prints matted and framed as I’d visualized them before I even purchased the linoleum blocks.

They are a set of hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block prints featuring my tortoiseshell girls. I print them with screen printing ink and then hand tint each one with watercolor. I offer them matted and framed and ready to hang, or you can get them matted only, tinted only with no mat, or just the print, and you can also choose just “The Goddess” or “The Roundest Eyes”. Each image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 16″ x 20″, horizontal or vertical as shown in the photo.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Wood Mount Prints

Tortie Girls wood mounted prints.

Tortie Girls wood mounted prints.

The 9″ x 12″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1.5″ tall canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging, and this size can even stand up on a tabletop. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish. I offer “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes” individually as well as in a set.

The prints are hand-colored and signed block prints of “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes” decoupaged on the surface. I first print the block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow it to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors. Then I paint the block with acrylic paint, black on the sides and white on top. I adhere the finished, colored print onto the block and let it dry, then put a coat of matte-finish acrylic on the top and sides.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Prints Hot Pads

Tortie Girls hot pads, The Goddess.

Tortie Girls hot pads, The Goddess.

This product is an 9″ x 12″ cork-backed wood panel with feline art on the front that you can use as a hot pad or a decorative item to protect your countertop–or any surface, not just the kitchen counters!

The print is a hand-colored, hand-tinted and signed block print decoupaged on the surface. I first print the block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow it to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors.

I used an 9″ x 12″ hardboard panel 1/8″ thick originally intended for oil or acrylic painting and adhered a high-quality digital print of one of my paintings to the front. I covered the front and edges with several thin coats of satin-finish acrylic varnish, the same one that’s lasted 15 years on my kitchen counters, for protection from moisture and heat, and easy clean-up. It is backed with a thin sheet of cork to keep it in place.

The surface will withstand the occasional heat of items from a moderately hot oven such as glass casseroles or pie pans, and also will resist water and other liquids so you can use it under glasses or mugs. I don’t recommend completely immersing it in water to wash, but wiping it with mild detergent and then rinsing.

Tortie Girls hot pads, The Roundest Eyes.

Tortie Girls hot pads, The Roundest Eyes.

. . . . . . .

Tortie Girls Prints Garden Flags

Tortie Girls garden flags, The Goddess.

Tortie Girls garden flags, The Goddess.

I’m a little sad that I won’t be able to offer these garden flags anymore unless I come up with another way to create small quantities of them. And I only have two of “The Goddess” and one of “The Roundest Eyes” left!

These “garden flags” are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finish by adding the rod pocket. (Bracket is not included.) Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s “The Goddess on both sides, one side with a white background and one side with a yellow background. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area.

Tortie Girls garden flags, The Roundest Eyes.

Tortie Girls garden flags, The Roundest Eyes.


Mimi scolds me for not letting the blocks dry properly.

Mimi scolds me for not letting the blocks dry properly.

Marketplace

Mimi scolds me for not letting the blocks dry properly.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

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

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Little Wood-mounted Photos and Sketches

"Mimi" wood-mounted photo.

“Mimi” wood-mounted photo.

It’s when I see Mimi like this, relaxed, quietly happy by a sunny window, breeze ruffling her ears, her delicate features so lovely with the lace curtain, that I deeply sense she and I are both having a moment of appreciation for her life here, indoors, spayed, well-fed; often after one of these moments she turns and looks right at me, aware we are sharing the same sentiment, as she did some time after I took this photo when I’d simply stood admiring her.

These 4″ x 4″ blocks, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with 1″ x 1″ 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 white and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish. You can find this one in my Etsy shop!

"Looking Out the Window" wood-mounted ink sketch.

“Looking Out the Window” wood-mounted ink sketch.

In this ink sketch Jelly Bean peeks through the cafe curtains as I sit at my desk working after dark; what he can see out there is probably something I would never be able to see, but he is raptly attentive. You can see the original sketch in the last image in this gallery or on The Creative Cat at http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-looking-out-the-window-2/#.ULJrDGcZ9o0.

The 4″ x 4″ 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. You can find it in my Etsy shop.

 

"Studying Something" wood-mounted photo

“Studying Something” wood-mounted photo

I have no idea what disturbed Bean’s bath and held him and Mewsette with rapt attention, but it took an enormous number of whiskers and individual hairs to accomplish it, a few toes too.

The 4″ x 4″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with 1″ x 1″ 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 white and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish. It’s in my Etsy shop!

And below is a little suggestion of how a customer arranged her wood-mounted art.

How a customer hung her wood-mounted art.

How a customer hung her wood-mounted art.

 It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!.


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

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Two New Garden Flag Designs for Spring and Summer

Two New Garden Flag Designs

Two New Garden Flag Designs

It’s time for a little spring and summer! Here are two new garden flag designs I’m happy to introduce.

These will unfortunately be the last two garden flags I introduce for a while. I have more on that subject after the descriptions of these two pretty flags.

Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things

"Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things" garden flag.

“Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things” garden flag.

Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s the same on both sides, but mirrored. This art is the only one in my set of garden flags that is not a sketch or painting, but a photograph–and a very favorite photograph called “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things”, taken in 2005.

You can find this flag in my Etsy shop, and read more about the image, below.

Sophie could use any prop to dramatic effect, and the lace curtains were her favorite. Of course, you can’t see her. But if you look closely you might see a cat’s face through the lace that might have Sophie’s big green eyes with heavy eye-liner, and her tabby babushka and outlined nose.

I took a number of other photographs the same day I took “Sophie Keeps and Eye on Things”, all with the lace curtain filled with early evening sun. I was preparing to leave the house on my bike and had my original little 2MP digital camera, and because Sophie always fussed when I was leaving she got extra attention, inside and out. Never sorry for spending that time!

In the evenings I closed my curtains before I left. Sophie always watched me leave the house and she took the opportunity to play around with the curtains—often I had to inspect the lace to see her white fur through the mesh, or she dramatically appeared from between the panels, around the edge or underneath, but she was always there with her big round eyes.

On this day, in the late afternoon, the warm spring sun angled into the window imparting a creamy tone to the lace, and the forget-me-nots I’d planted in pots in the windowbox were in full flower. Before I left I closed the curtains because I’d be gone after dark, and Sophie began her little game while I was still indoors, so I stopped and captured a few images of her silhouetted and peering through the curtain at me.

Then I finally went out the door and, as I always did, stopped to look back at both my front windows and the door to see which kitties were bidding me farewell, or sending me on a guilt trip, depending on their attitude. I don’t remember who was at the other window or the door, but Sophie managed to find an open spot to peer through the lace at me in several different ways. I had my bike and my hands full of things, and only my little 2MP digital with no zoom, and wished I had my Pentax film camera at least, knowing the shot would be difficult with the tiny digital. I considered stepping back in to get the film camera, but knew she’d move and I’d never see this particular shot again. So I put everything down, kicked out the kickstand on my bike, pulled the digital out of its little wallet, pointed and clicked, several times, and hoped for the best. And I got it.

I lost Sophie at the end of 2006 and hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Her rescue story is also one of the funniest of all my rescue stories, so take time to read “The Housewarming Cat”.

So in photographing your cats, let that be a lesson to you! Do your best with what you have, and don’t hesitate, just take the photo. If you don’t capture the shot you wanted you may get something else entirely, and you may come up with something fantastic.

You can find “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things” garden flag in my Etsy shop.

Mimi in the Garden

"Mimi in the Garden" Garden Flag

“Mimi in the Garden” Garden Flag

Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s the same on both sides, but mirrored. This art is “Garden Sketch With Mimi”, originally 5″ wide x 7″ high on 90 lb. watercolor paper signed and dated 6/27/13.

This was not what I’d intended but I like it anyway. It’s Mimi napping in the shadow on the cool bricks among the geraniums, near the vintage aluminum tub where I grow pole beans. Mimi was so happy to be outside she only rested in each position for less than a minute, and the sun was in and out behind the clouds. The temperature was in the 90s and we weren’t doing much but looking for a comfortable spot.

I had wanted something a little tighter in detail, but I like the details this one has. I did a light pencil sketch underneath because it’s so small I knew I’d run out of space if I didn’t give myself some guidance about Mimi, the geraniums and the barrel, but aside from that I just painted.

In part I was using the quick and easy eight-color grade-school set that’s easy to carry and use I really need to get a set with a greater color range if I’m going to paint outdoors.

But what was my purpose with this painting? Sometimes I sit down to capture the details of the moment, and some day I’d like to do just that with the reference photos from this, but with my actual sketch, and all my daily sketches, my purpose is just to capture the essence of the moment and share what moved me to render the scene. In this case it was a relaxed Mimi in the shade on a hot morning, stretched on those familiar bricks next to the cool anodized aluminum tub where I’ve always planted pole beans and surrounded by my geraniums saved from year to year. It was a scene I loved for my love of my garden, my appreciation of Mimi relaxing in a place she’d once hunted for food to feed her kittens, and the memory of the generations of cats before her who enjoyed that very spot, this little patio and the verdance of my garden.

You can find “Mimi in the Garden” garden flag in my Etsy shop.

About the flags

I love this product, and I’ve enjoyed developing and designing it, combining my skills as a commercial artist, print buyer and fine artist. They are printed on a special paper stock which one of my regular printers had introduced to me several years ago and I knew as soon as I saw it that I could finally have the garden flags I’d been envisioning imprinted with my artwork. I had proofs made, sewed pockets in the top, and off I went.

Below I describe how I designed them, tested them and finish them. Each flag takes a number of steps to produce, and that can add complications to any product, but last year I introduced a dozen different designs, then added holiday designs. They sold well so I continued developing new designs and planned reprints.

Though all initial designs are sketches or paintings in knew I wanted to use “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things” as my April featured artwork and desktop calendar, and also thought it would make a beautiful garden flag. I designed it and ordered it as I had ordered the others the previous year, but March went by, then April, the printer hadn’t seen my order, then hadn’t had a chance to get to it, I knew they had been bought by a new owner and were busy with new things, and so I waited. It would still be pretty no matter when it was done. In May I knew I wanted to use “Garden Sketch With Mimi” as my featured artwork and desktop calendar, and designed and ordered that flag with the promise of proofs very soon.

But by June I hadn’t received anything, and had run out of other popular flags. I asked two other printers I work with if they’d like to try the paper stock. One did try it and agreed to print these flags for me on a regular basis if I bought the paper. No problem, it would be a little more expensive than before, but I could still manage that. I finally got these flags in August, but decided to wait to introduce them because the holiday season would be starting soon, and I was ordering “Star of Wonder” holiday garden flags in September. The “Star of Wonder” flags were ultimately printed incorrectly, twice, and I had to buy more paper. By the time I bought the paper, it arrived, and the flags were printed we were into November; I shipped off the first few orders and a customer who had very patiently waited through it all sent me photos showing the flags were not waterproof on both sides as they had been. The manufacturer had reformulated their paper and the slightly different toner in the new printer’s machine meant I had to spray each flag with waterproofing spray. I went back to the flags I’d had printed in the summer and tested for colorfastness. Not. I was lucky to have a nice warm November day to spray all the flags with silicone outdoor waterproofing, but decided that, with this new complication, my costs were nearly my selling price and the process was just too complicated. I didn’t want to increase the price, nor did I want the hassles I’d met with producing them. One of my other ideas had been to offer custom garden flags for home and business as well as my original designs, so I’m looking into other options and hope to have a replacement product soon.

I guess you might say at this point that these are “Limited Edition”!

black cat with garden flag

Mimi poses with her favorite design, featuring her, of course.

At left Mimi models her favorite design, I presume, since this was when she chose to saunter over and rub herself on the bracket even though she is featured in three other designs. Mimi is not included with your order, I need her here to model for more art, supervise their design, and especially act as art director for our back yard photo shoots.

These are digitally printed on a product called digital satin, a woven product intended for outdoor as well as indoor use. It’s heavier than the nylon most other flags are made of, but if I’m judging by the the survival of the ones I have outdoors now this is tough and durable material, no fading, scratches in the finish, fraying or wrinkling of the flag in any way. I’m sure, like any other product, if the flag is in direct sun for more than four hours per day it will eventually fade, but the testing worked better than I’d thought. You can read about the development of these flags as well as backyard testing and a photo shoot with Mimi and me in Backyard Product Development and Testing With My Assistant, Mimi.

black cat with sewing machine

Mewsette inspects the threading of a bobbin.

The flags are printed flat and, after an inspection by either Mr. Sunshine, my engineer cat as shown below, or Mewsette as seen here, I fold over an stitch the pocket on each. They are then inspected by one or more felines prior to packaging.

I ship the garden flags flat at this point—the fabric holds a curl really well and some flags I had stored never wanted to completely flatten out. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, seen here and sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area. You can order on through me, but with their weight and size it adds to the shipping cost.

Current designs

black cats and garden flags

Finished flags are inspected.

I have eleven garden flag designs now with three holiday designs now available in my Etsy shop, each one a completely different style and theme to suit any garden—fine art, Impressionist, Warhol-esque and “after van Gogh”, black cats, pink cats, tabby cats and calico cats, and of course, those tortie girls! Three are holiday designs, but the rest are summer and colorful.

These eight summery flags actually feature twelve images. All are two-sided, and most have two different designs so you can turn them around and show something different, or you can put them along a walk and see both sides as you move in each direction. I began with the most popular and requested images, and from those chose and ones that fit well on the shape of the flag while the image was still easily recognizable from a distance. Colors can be a little unpredictable with digital printing, and this digital fabric is a new product, but the colors and detail are astonishing.

The designs below are currently available in my Etsy shop—click the image to go to the product on Etsy, or scroll down for links to the images to read more about the original sketches here on The Creative Cat.


"Cats After Van Gogh"

“Cats After Van Gogh”

cat garden flags

“Mimi Amng the Geraniums”

cat garden flag

“Fine Art Cats”

garden flag with cats

“Impressionist Cats”


cat garden flag

“The Roundest Eyes”

cat garden flag

“The Goddess”

cat garden flag

“Kitty in Pink:

cat garden flag

“In Afternoon Sun”


Following is a list of links to the daily sketch or painting:

Cats After van Gogh: Two Cats After van Gogh/In Window Light

Mimi Among the Geraniums 1/Mimi Among the Geraniums 2

Fine Art Cats: Peaches and Peonies/After Dinner Nap

Impressionist Cats: Stanley With Apple/White Cat Reflecting

The Roundest Eyes (white background)/The Roundest Eyes (yellow background)

The Goddess (white background)/The Goddess (yellow background)

Kitty in Pink/Kitty in Pink

In Afternoon Sun/In Afternoon Sun

Below, just my favorite photo of my first proofs in my yard! Of course, I’ve moved them around, but this is what I was envisioning last year when I first had the idea to create these.

garden flags with cats

Garden flags are here!


black cat with sewing machine

Mr. Sunshine inspecting my sewing machine.

Marketplace

Mewsette checks to make sure my sewing machine is threaded properly and ready to go.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

.


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

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My Studio Assistants, Supervisors and Inspirations

two black cats with package

Brother and sister have supervised the packaging…

What would I do without the assistance, guidance and support—and inspiration—of my family of felines? We’ve been busy lately preparing for my upcoming exhibit as well as making several custom orders and packaging orders and shipping them out. So this week, instead of featuring a new product, I’m featuring the diligence and generosity of Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine on a long day in my studio.

A customer had ordered a set of Tortie Girls prints, matted only. I print a dozen or more at a time and let them dry, then hand-tint them later one at a time, either when I frame them or when someone purchases a print. Mewsette supervised the tinting process to ensure her tortie fur sisters are accurately represented. An artist herself, I value Mewsette’s aesthetic judgement.

black cat with block print

Mewsette inspect my hand-tinting of the print.

Then I trim down the mat board and my engineer Mr. Sunshine specializes in product testing to ensure proper size and color. You can see by his starfish paws that he has approved.

black cat on mat board

Mr. Sunshine approves of the mat board.

Mewsette has her own special process with each Tortie Girls print, as she patiently waits until all is ready and I tell her it’s okay to…

black cat with block pritns

Mewsette arrives to add her special touch to the Tortie Girls prints.

…impart her own special brand of joy onto the matted prints. Mewsette rolls in utter happiness on the table, rubbing her face on the mat or on the print, with each print I send.

black cat with block prints

Mewsette imparts feline joy onto the prints.

The prints are wrapped for shipping, with a little special gift from Mewsette and Sunshine, the promised “free cat hair with every order”.

black cat hair on package

…and added a little something special for the recipients.

“This package is ready to go to its forever home!”

two black cats with package

Brother and sister have supervised the packaging…

Next, brother and sister settle down for some dull activities—package inspection. Yes, the package is sealed and labeled, and ready to be shipped.

two black cats and priority mail package

Mewsette checks the package to ensure it is finished and ready for shipping.

An order for sympathy cards required some support with the paperwork.

two black cats and package

While they supervise, they make good props for paperwork.

Brother and sister indulge in a well-deserved nap after a long afternoon of work.

Two black cats asleep

A well-deserved nap!

I couldn’t do it without my studio cats!

All the way back to the first year I lived here and even before, my family of felines, including fosters, were working with me to ensure that everything was of top quality, and gave me love and support in all I chose to create. My feline inspirations and I thank you for browsing and for purchasing handmade goods and supporting a small business!

Below, Cookie at one year old assisting me in photographing artwork—in 1993!

tortie cat with painting

Cookie as my photo and lighting assistant–at one year old!


Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

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

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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Hand-printed Valentine Cards Purr-sonally Inspected By Discerning Black Cats

linocut cat vaentines in pink and purple

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. I decided they made cute valentines and that’s a great reason 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 as singles, in sets by color and design, and in sets of four and eight that include 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.

Because these are handmade, I have a limited quantity of each card!

three black cats with printed note cards

Meet my quality control team: Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

About the art: Tabbies Linoleum Block Prints

The stripes made me do it! No, we have not always been a household of solid-color cats. 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 beginning with Fawn, Stanley and Allegro.

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.

three black cats with cards

“These cats are all covered with funny markings,” say the three perfect black cats. They are very serious about their job.

I photographed the process as I printed these—of course, with feline supervision—and below you can see how block prints are made.

Find these cards and other Valentine cards and gifts

All designs are available in my Etsy shop. Individual cards are mailed first class.

To find my entire Valentine collection including cards and gift items, search “Valentine” in my Etsy shop.

And please explore my greeting card collections on Etsy to see all the designs and others too.


A little bit about block printing

I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artist’s 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.

Despite the fact I’ve been trying to video a little block print demonstration, all I have are a few photos taken as I was printing the “Tabbies” cards for Valentine’s Day last year. Here’s a brief slideshow:

The resulting work isn’t a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple times–and I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but they’ve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I nearly always add color to The Tortie Girls with watercolor or dyes since that was part of the original design, and I’ll often add color to other designs to give them extra interest.

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.

I’ve always intended to do others with tabbies and spots and even solids as I did with “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, and did start branching out to wildlife with “Yes?”, but soon after this four-color digital printing became widely available for a reasonable price and I focused on note cards and greeting cards featuring paintings I’d done and moved to larger block prints. I’ll have to get back to these little ones—they are so much easier to print!


Browse all my Valentine Cards

valentine cards with cats

Valentine cards available all year round!

My commercially printed cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 12 pt. gloss cover, uncoated inside, and nearly all have a message inside. Orders of a half dozen or more are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

Envelope Options with Valentine Cards

Red or white? No, not your wine choice! All cards come with a 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible, but for Valentine’s Day you can choose red or white when you order your cards on Etsy. “You Are My Heart Cat” above is shown with the red envelope, while the white envelope is bright white.


cat and art materials on table

All materials ready to start printing.

Marketplace

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

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

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

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

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On the Wild Side

pastel painting of wolves

“Wolf Howl”, pastel, 23″ x 17″, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

Something about bright autumn days and the colorful woods makes me think more of wildlife than other times of the year. I see more animals at this time of the year as all are migrating or scurrying around getting ready for winter, though it’s generally the winter season where I create paintings of them.

portraits of animals logo

My official logo for Portraits of Animals.

Even though I began my art career sketching and painting my cats, once the door to my creative abilities had been opened I soon found other animals to be my subjects as well, including other animals considered pets and, of course, wildlife. That’s why my business name which encompasses all my art is “Portraits of Animals”, and you can see by my logo that it includes “pets and wildlife”. Fur, feathers, fins, animals are fascinating and beautiful and not self-conscious in the way that humans are, in fact it’s probably their differences from the humans I see each day that make them such an exciting challenge.

Backyard Birds in Winter

Snow Bird

I have traveled too little to see any real wildlife aside from the critters who inhabit my back yard, so I began my wildlife excursions from pictorial resources such as magazines and calendars and eventually moved to photos I took at our local zoo as well. Nonetheless, after being accustomed to seeing domesticated animals in the relative comfort of my home and neighborhood, it is almost a shock to see an animal which has never known a human and cares nothing for human companionship. Studying a wild animal in its natural habitat is a reminder that the world does not revolve around us, that these creatures get along just fine (and probably better) without us, that we are really only one more species carrying out our lives on Earth. And while, for me, the inspiration to put an image on paper is always primarily a visual inspiration, wild animals carry the same emotional inspiration for me as domestic pets. Add to that the beauty of a natural landscape and you’ve got a perfect recipe for visual pleasure.

I regularly write about my “Registered Backyard Wildlife Habitat”, and even though small and in a regular old neighborhood near Main Street, it is host to plenty of native species of all sorts, especially songbirds hence my quantity of bird art, but I have a series of photos I’ve taken at the Pittsburgh Zoo and intend to go there in good weather to sketch and paint. Here is a little review, and you can click on any title or image to find the art in my Etsy shop, or simply visit my Wildlife gallery there.

. . . . . . .

Wolf Howl

pastel painting of wolves

“Wolf Howl”, pastel, 23″ x 17″, 1996 © B.E. Kazmarski

This pastel painting of wolves howling in a snowy dusk is 22″ wide x 16″ high, and I used Rembrandt pastels on Canson pastel paper, leaving the rough edges.

It’s easy to personify what animals do, but when I saw this picture I pondered what made these wolves stop at that point and howl while the rest of the group moved on, and what they had to say.

The range of dusky earth tones and the textures inspired me to render it in a looser and more sketchy manner than usual, much as our eyes perceive things at dusk, letting the texture of the paper add to the image, and allowing rough edges to show some of the actual natural paper tone.

. . . . . . .

Bison Shadow

detail of painting of bison grazing in sunset prairie

“Bison Shadow”, pastel on 26.5″ x 17.5″ on Hahnemuhle sanded watercolor paper.

I saw a photo in a magazine of bison grazing on the plains and remembered historical and fictional novels I’d read from the “Little House on the Prairie” series to the settlement of the Great Plains.

I put together what I saw in photos and what I’d visualized while reading of a countryside I’ve never seen.

This looks like a lot of bison, but considering how many populated this country just 200 years ago, this herd is just a shadow of what it once was, and in this orange twilight even their shapes are reduced to shadows.

The original pastel painting, 26.5″ x 17.5″, was done in Rembrandt pastels on Hahnemühle sanded watercolor paper. You can see a lot of ambient textures in the paper in this painting, and even, just above in the lower right corner, you can see the actual color of the paper. This is a sturdy German-made 300# watercolor paper with deckle edges which has the sanded finish used for pastel and charcoal layered onto it, tinted various colors. This was my preferred paper for pastels in the 90s and early 2000s in part because of the colors in which it was available. I rarely begin a painting with white paper, when when I saw the photos of the bison and envisioned this painting it begged to be painted on this shade of this paper, knowing I’d be able to use that ambient texture to enhance the feel of the prairie grass.

I have the original painting alone or matted and framed, and I also have giclee and digital prints available in my Etsy shop and I even have one last 12 oz. mug available too.

. . . . . . .

pastel painting of cardinal in snow

“Accent”, 6″ x 12″, pastel on self-prepared board © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Accent

Cardinals brighten my back yard all year round, and are especially brilliant on a snowy day. My back yard is a registered Backyard Wildlife Habitat and I have let brush and brambles fill in at the corners; this cardinal is in a tangle of wild grapevines with a fresh fall of snow. This was done en plein air–but not outside so I wouldn’t cause the birds to fly off, but from my back door.

This is one of a series of four backyard bird sketches that I also offer as a set of holiday greeting cards, just the paintings on the outside, entitled “Backyard Birds”.


Other Wildlife Art

Below is a slideshow gallery of more of my wildlife artwork in my Etsy shop. You can also find these and more on my original website under Wildlife and in my Marketplace purchase greeting cards with most of the images.


Marketplace

Kennedy sits behind my chair in the studio to make sure I stay focused on my work.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

Donations

I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

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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The TNR Story Print or Poster

marker illustration of 63 cats

“The TNR Story”, 8″ x 14″, Sharpie markers © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“The TNR Story”

63 spayed and neutered cats in two paragraphs of cat shapes

“and no one ever had any more kittens, and they all lived happily ever after.”

THE END

CWA Certificate of Excellence badge.

CWA Certificate of Excellence badge.

This art was inspired by working in post op at the May Homeless Cat Management Team TNR clinic. I’m pleased to say that it won a Certificate of Excellence for Illustration in the Cat Writers’ Association annual communications contest this year, and is therefore in the running for a Muse Medallion. I would say the cats at this clinic were certainly muses for me!

I study cats all the time but it’s not too often I get to handle that many cats, especially when they are still pretty much under anesthetic, aside from a few ambitious ones. Cat after cat, large and small, male and female, solid, striped spotted, I cleaned ears and checked toes and combed fur for fleas and other parasites and finished off their ear tips, applied flea treatment and in passing studied their fur and their markings.

In that state they all look pretty much the same as far as where they came from and where they will be returned, whether it’s to a human and a loving home or to a human and a parking lot where they’ll be fed and watched over by a colony caretaker, regardless of whether their paperwork says they are stray or feral or owned by a caring human, at that moment, as I always say, they are all just cats.

All the fur colors and patterns and textures, the way they felt as I handled them, each of them soft and warm and relaxed, and then later as they awoke in recovery and began to get up and bathe a little and find a comfortable spot and position in their carrier or trap, stayed with me and I envisioned this artwork as I drove home, all those cat shapes together in simple marker sketches, simple colors, clearly visual, telling the story of TNR.

I began to plan it out that evening, but especially since it’s far from my usual daily sketch I knew it would take extra time. The idea stayed with me and each day after I worked out a few more details of medium, style, the actual shapes of all the kitties and how I’d represent their spots.

I decided I’d do it for “Just One Day” day, June 11, when shelters are encouraged to stop any voluntary euthanasia for just one day and instead photograph and actively promote the animals in their care for adoption, making the United States a no-kill nation for just that one day. Spaying and neutering companion animals regardless of whether or not they are actually a pet is a big part of reducing the amount of killing that happens in shelters, both by reducing populations being born and populations living on the streets by removing kittens and rescuing friendly cats for adoption, and by keeping these cats, considered unadoptable, out of shelters altogether.

We served 63 cats at the May 25 clinic, so there are 63 little cats in the art. I don’t know if the balance of coat colors and patterns and fur types and sizes represent what was actually there, but I let the choices rise from my subconscious so it’s no doubt in part from memory and in part from my design sense of a visually interesting layout of colors and shapes. I tried to capture each cat in a very simple representation so they were seen as a group, the way I remembered them all.

I also intentionally kept the colors limited. In part that’s the way I visualized it and I honor those visualizations. Each cat is outlined in black and the coat patterns and colors, built from a light orange and a dark orange and a gray to shade the black. As I continued to visualize I decided it could also easily be reproduced by screen printing so I planned it out with clear edges that could be easily color separated.

I had planned how I would draw the grid of cat shapes and laid out a physical grid in pencil on a piece of semi-transparent layout bond way back on clinic day, leaving space top and bottom for the text, then spent the intervening time thinking about cat shapes and how I’d represent the stripes and spots and such, letting the layout of colors and patterns work itself out in my mind. I watched my cats in sleep and at rest to derive the positions of the cats and drew a little cat shape in pencil inside each of the blocks where a cat would appear. I then laid another sheet of the layout bond over top and began coloring them in starting with the lighter orange and determining which would stay solid light orange and which would have stripes and which would have spots—and which would become dilute calico and dilute tortoiseshell—then moving to the light blue to represent the gray and dilute kitties, adding black stripes to some and building tuxedo cats and cow spotted cats and tortoiseshell cats and even a few Siamese-patterned cats, outlining them after finishing each coat pattern.

I actually used my set of colored Sharpie markers for this because it gave me the line quality I wanted, but I didn’t have a gray marker the right shade in any of my marker sets. I used a light blue intending to desaturate it in Photoshop after I’d scanned the art so that the blue appeared gray, which I did but I decided I really liked it better with the original light blue. Gray cats do have a bluish cast, and it simply looks more colorful and eye-catching with the blue, plus blue and orange are color complements and I think that visual is at work here as well.

I’d love to screen print this art just for the sake of screen printing, but for now I am offering this print as an archival digital print and as a poster on a lighter weight non-archival poster board. I was glad to share this inspiration for Just One Day” and now for Feral Cat Day we can still work to reduce the numbers of animals killed in shelters every day.

You can purchase this poster in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

Another Opportunity to Donate With Purchase

sketch of black cat

“Kennedy”, white and black charcoal on gray toned paper, 5″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

If it hadn’t been for an organized group of rescuers Kennedy would never have found his way to my home. He would never have been rescued, and I would never have known him and been able to share him with you. Now that he is gone and the original will soon be on its way to Australia, I’m offering prints of the sketch and your opportunity to make a donation of $5.00 with each print purchased to the cat rescue I work with, Pittsburgh CAT, or to the Homeless Cat Management Team to help spay and neuter more cats so there won’t be so many to rescue.

I’m sure Kennedy is familiar to you now if you’ve been reading The Creative Cat, but if not you can read about this sketch when I first posted it, and the auction of the sketch to raise donations for his care, and read all the articles about Kennedy from when he arrived on June 16, 2014. Visit the post about the donations to learn more about the sketches and the donations.

You can find this print for sale in my Etsy shop.


black cat on floor

Kennedy looks up at me, sitting behind my chair.

Marketplace

Kennedy sits behind my chair in the studio to make sure I stay focused on my work.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

Donations

I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

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

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

HOME


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