Tag Archives: animals

Wolves and Bison and Polar Bears, Oh My!

pastel painting of wolves

Over the years I’ve done a number of wildlife paintings because I love those animals too: bison and wolves and whooping cranes and other wild birds, and even a “big cat”. It’s what “Portraits of Animals” is all about, not just my commissioned portraits, but animals of all species. Some originals are still available, highest-quality giclees are available for nearly all, and smaller prints are available upon request. Follow the links to the “wildlife” section my Etsy shop to read more about them and see what’s available.

“Wolf Howl”, above, is an archival-quality 26″ x 18.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of wolves howling in a twilight snow. 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.

His Majesty, Gray Wolf, Framed Original Pastel

Now there’s a look that will put us mere humans in our places. I combined images of wolves and their habitat to do a quick sketch, focusing on the unworried, unhurried expression. Wolves know they are near the food chain, and we don’t really worry them. This is worked in pastel on acid-free Canson drawing paper in one of the threaded dusky green shades that reminds me so much of leaf litter in the woods, and the matted, framed original is still available, painted in 1994 and I’d love to find a home for this guy. The mat is 2-1/2″ on all sides in slate blue black core to pull the cool tones from the snow, and the frame is solid cherry with a gray wash to pull the warm tones from the wolf.

pastel painting of bison at twilight

We go from snowy mountains to the hot and arid Great Plains.  “Shadow of Bison” is an archival-quality 26.5″ x 17.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of bison in a western twilight. I saw a photo in a magazine and remembered historical and fictional novels I’d read about Native Americans (wearing my long hair in two braids my entire childhood) to the “Little House on the Prairie” series and the settlement of the Great Plains and 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. I also have quarter-size digital and giclee prints of this image as well as the original painting which is not listed, but ask if you are interested.

pastel painting of whooping cranes

“Taking Flight” is an original pastel painting of two whooping cranes taking off in a marsh on a summer afternoon. Many years ago I saw two captive whooping cranes, likely at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I marveled at their size–they were nearly as tall as me! But it was when one of them spread its wings that I was truly enchanted by the pure white body, neat brown wing tips and tiny touches of yellow highlight here and there, and the grace of that huge bird. And I read about them and discovered their plight, having no idea they were so imperiled. Visiting what had once been their habitat on Assateague Island, Virginia, I imagined what they might have looked like in the whispering marshes. This original is available as well as full-size and smaller giclee and digital prints; click here to see more.

Asleep in the Snow, Polar Bear Family, Giclee

I have always seemed to be inspired by polar bears, and it might be that I love snow and their white fur, neither of which is truly white and that becomes the beauty of the scene. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has an excellent polar bear exhibit, and combined with all the images seen on the news, even a decade or more ago, I was moved to paint them.  I saw a photo in a wildlife magazine of the family settling down in a snowdrift for a night’s sleep, keeping warm with their own fur, the insulation of the snow and cuddling together. This painting was drawn from many photos of snow, of Alaska, of polar bears, but the basic composition was from that one photo I had seen and somehow remembered, wondering at the stark, quiet, even threatening beauty of the Arctic that the polar bears endured on a daily basis. In this case, the original is sold so I have full-size giclee prints; when the purchase ordered the art they had a mat and frame for it so I retained the mat and frame I’d prepared and can use it for your giclee if you’d like. Read more for details.

pastel painting of cougar

Yes, a big kitty! “Practice”, well, big cat, small cat, in many ways they act the same, and this cougar, obviously practicing a stalk and pounce is doing what all cats do in their spare time, when they aren’t sleeping. This is a small print, 8″ x 10″, of a larger piece because I sold the original before I could take an adequate photo of it; the small print is fine, but larger and it loses detail, though I’ve contacted the original purchaser about rephotographing it as an original.

You’ll find several more paintings plus a few pencil drawings and linoleum block prints in my gallery of wildlife art and prints on Etsy. As always, I can create custom-sized digital and giclee prints, and I also offer custom framing for your print. Just follow the link for “Ordering Custom Artwork”, below, or send a conversation when you visit my Etsy shop.

 


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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Wildlife Artwork

pastel painting of cougar

Yes, a big kitty! And other wild creatures too!

I haven’t run out of feline-themed ideas, but I also want to include other animal-inspired artwork in my holiday deals—and “Cyber-tooth Cat Monday” lends itself to this. It’s what “Portraits of Animals” is all about.

Over the years I’ve done many wildlife pieces because I love those animals too: bison and wolves and whooping cranes and other wild birds, and even the cougar above. “Practice”, above, well, big cat, small cat, in many ways they act the same, and this cougar, obviously practicing a stalk and pounce is doing what all cats do in their spare time, when they aren’t sleeping. This is a small print, 8″ x 10″, of a larger piece because I sold the original before I could take an adequate photo of it; the small print is fine, but larger and it loses detail.

pastel painting of wolves

“Wolf Howl” is an archival-quality 26″ x 18.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of wolves howling in a twilight snow. 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.

pastel painting of bison at twilight

I’ve only flown over the Great Plains, but read so much about it and can visualize from a good manuscript. “Shadow of Bison” is an archival-quality 26.5″ x 17.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of bison in a western twilight. I saw a photo in a magazine and remembered historical and fictional novels I’d read from the “Little House on the Prairie” series to the settlement of the Great Plains and 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.

pastel painting of whooping cranes

“Taking Flight” is an original pastel painting of two whooping cranes taking off in a marsh on a summer afternoon. Many years ago I saw two captive whooping cranes, likely at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I marveled at their size–they were nearly as tall as me! But it was when one of them spread its wings that I was truly enchanted by the pure white body, neat brown wing tips and tiny touches of yellow highlight here and there, and the grace of that huge bird. And I read about them and discovered their plight, having no idea they were so imperiled. Visiting what had once been their habitat on Assateague Island, Virginia, I imagined what they might have looked like in the whispering marshes.

You’ll find several more in my gallery of wildlife art and prints on Etsy.

Please visit my other posts about Black Cat Friday Weekend too:

Black Cat Friday

Small Business “Cat”-urday Specials

Shop Cat Sunday Deals


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.


Getting Ready for Black Cat Friday Specials!

black and white photo of five black cats
All five waiting in line for their dinner.

Support small home-based black cats and small home-based businesses, conserve air quality, save money, shop in your jammies and pet your kitties all at the same time. Friday, November 23 through Monday, November 26, The Creative Cat is offering 25% off all black cat-themed items already available and custom-made—and a few things I’m working on right now!

matted framed sketch of cat
A Dozen Shades of Gray, matted and framed © B.E. Kazmarski

I find it imperative to create things that will benefit the adoption of black cats, so often left behind in the shelter by using the five wonderful black cats who live with me. They’ll show the world that everyone needs to have at least one black kitty in their life, and, at least in my house, the more the merrier! I strive to include silly, cute and artful photos and sketches in equal measure, just the thing to show others what black cats can bring to your life.

In preparation for Black Cat Friday (and Saturday and Sunday and Monday) browse my black cat-themed items on Etsy, and a few easy suggestions I have below for things you’ll find there and here on The Creative Cat.

Or use your imagination to create a special gift—a piece of original art which I can custom frame like “A Dozen Shades of Gray”, at right, with a molding that matched the customer’s pressed tin ceiling which had been painted white. Or create a custom print, set of greeting cards, or other totally unique, handmade gift item from an image you find here. Visit the page “Ordering Custom Artwork” to get an idea of what you’d like, then start looking for images.

Browse for black cat images here on The Creative Cat in daily sketches, daily photos, or to see sketches or photos of the Fantastic Four all together search Fantastic Four and also Mimi, or search their individual names in the categories. I have created items from many of these images and review a few popular ones here.


calendar cover with black cat
Compositions in Black and Green

Compositions in Black  and Green

Shop for sets of items beginning with “Compositions in Black and Green 2013 Calendar” and related items such as keepsake boxes, coasters, mounted images for wall or tabletop, and greeting cards for an all-around gift.

The calendar features 12 popular images of the Fantastic Four and their Mama Mimi in the mint green and white bathroom. Each calendar page also features other smaller images as well, so it’s a feast of black cats containing about four dozen images.

The calendar is a 5.5″ x 8″ spiral-bound and is bound two ways: across the top so that it hangs like a wall calendar, or  down the left so that it opens like a journal.

photo of cat looking in mirror
“God, I’m Cute” greeting card set.

Click here to browse some of the images included in this calendar. To order, please visit the Calendars page on The Creative Cat.

You can also choose from the set of cards featuring four of the images that inspired this set on Etsy or you can just find the most popular image, “God, I’m Cute”, also on Etsy.

Some of the things I’m—oops!—still making are the individual and sets of keepsake boxes, coasters, and 5″ x 7″ images mounted on plain wood blocks for wall or tabletop.


Victoriana Cats

set of four sepia images of black cats
Victoriana Cats in dreamy semi-sepia tones

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

Use them for all-purpose greeting cards, sympathy, thinking of you, friendship, or find some shabby chic frames for 5″ x 7″ images and frame them for your walls. Find these in my Etsy shop in sets of four or a dozen.

And following this theme I am also designing from the images in this calendar keepsake boxes, coasters and trays for wall or tabletop.


Black Cats with Yellow Round Keepsake Box Set

Set of keepsake boxes with black cats
Black Cats with Yellow Keepsake Box Set

I hand-painted these papier-mâché boxes in yellow with black trim, with prints of three daily sketches decoupaged to the lid.

For these keepsake boxes I choose a color that coordinates with the artwork and 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.

In the order above the names of the sketches are: “Looking Closely “, “In Afternoon Sun”, and “Mimi en Silhouette”, all done in brush pen with marker and watercolor embellishment.

Find this set and others on Etsy.


Your 25% Discount

Click on the image to download your coupon.

BUY FRESH, BUY LOCAL, BUY HANDMADE!

I honestly believe in supporting local businesses, small businesses, and people who offer unique, handmade goods, and I encourage all shoppers to do the same. Meet the person who made what you’ve bought knowing that what they do isn’t just a job, it’s their life, a life they love, and know where your money is going—and which cats it’s going to feed!

If you are shopping on Etsy, use the code BLACKCATFRIDAY at checkout—and remember that you can use Etsy’s Direct Checkout with your credit card and not if you don’t care for PayPal. Just choose Etsy when it asks how you’ll pay.

If you’re shopping on The Creative Cat or requesting a custom item, click on the coupon at left and download it to your computer. You can e-mail it to me or just mention it when you order.

Happy shopping!


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.


Taking Flight, a Summer Afternoon in the Marsh

pastel painting of whooping cranes

Taking Flight © original pastel painting, B.E. Kazmarski

Above is “Taking Flight”, an original pastel painting of two whooping cranes taking off in a marsh on a summer afternoon. Visiting what had once been their habitat on Assateague Island, Virginia, I imagined what they might have looked like in the whispering marshes as I watched the other cranes and egrets as I enjoyed the quiet rustling breezes of the marsh.

Studying a wild animal in its natural habitat is a reminder that the world does not revolve around us, that these creatures have their own lives and are not primarily subjects for our entertainment or sport. 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 as domestic pets—animals are so un-selfconscious and don’t care what the artist does with them. Add to that the beauty of a natural landscape and you’ve got a perfect recipe for visual pleasure.

detail of whooping cranes painting

Detail of cranes.

I have traveled too little to see any real wildlife aside from the critters who inhabit my suburban garden, but the Pittsburgh Zoo and National Aviary in Pittsburgh are quite impressive places of natural habitat, and we also have conservation sites to visit in the western part of Pennsylvania where endangered species are kept in hopes they’ll breed enough to carry on their species, so I do get to see these species in life aside from the many magazines and visit websites I learn from.

Many years ago I saw two captive whooping cranes, likely at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I marveled at their size—they were nearly as tall as me! But it was when one of them spread its wings that I was truly enchanted by the pure white body, neat brown wing tips and tiny touches of yellow highlight here and there, and the grace of that huge bird.

And I read about them and discovered their plight, having no idea they were so imperiled, I remembered again that visit to Assateague Island.

detail of painting

Detail of marsh grasses and sky.

What would their afternoon have been like? Using my photos of those marshes and many images of whooping cranes plus another visit to the Zoo, I painted this in pastel, trying to capture the details that had stayed with me at seeing them, and also the feeling of movement in the marshes I had visited, the waving sedges, lapping water and constant breeze from the ocean.

And those summer colors, blue sky reflected on the water, reflected on the cranes.

detail of painting

Detail of water.

The painting is 23″ wide x 15″ high, matted with a 4″ warm cream acid-free mat with 1/4″ burnished gold wood fillet edging and 1-1/4″ burnished gold frame. The backing is acid-free foam core and the glass is premium clear glass.

You can find the original painting, “Taking Flight”,  along with a number of other wildlife paintings.

Prints are available, both a full-size high-quality giclee: www.etsy.com/listing/104435028/taking-flight-whooping-cranes-giclee, and an 18″ x 12″ digital print.: www.etsy.com/listing/104435800/taking-flight-whooping-cranes-digital.

I’m happy to be donating a print of this painting to Operation Migration, the non-profit that teaches Whooping Crane chicks the migration route from Wisconsin to Florida, for their benefit in September. Read about the difficult but rewarding effort this organization puts forth to help reintroduce this endangered species to their original lifestyle and pattern of migration.


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