Tag Archives: cats

Inscrutable Patterns and Other Feline-themed Art Papers

Inscrutable Patterns Art Paper

Inscrutable Patterns Art Paper

Yes, I went ahead and did it, in part because I have some projects for Valentine’s Day that use this paper! So here it is, available:

  • 11×17 on 80# gloss text
  • 11×11 on 100# matte cover

I’ve added them to the post for text-weight art papers in my Etsy shop and the post for cover-weight art papers in my Etsy shop so you can choose from all four.

cat pattern

“Inscrutable Pattern”, colorized line art, 8.5″ x 11″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, making a colorful pattern using line art. When I first did this sketch I thought it would be a good candidate for a repetitive pattern, and it’s been on my mind the past few days so I decided to finally see how it would work out. I began with a palette of about eight colors, which is more than I’d wanted, and then I kept adding more! Never too many colors.

Initially I liked all the cats’ eyes to be different colors when the color beneath showed through each cats’ eyes. Then I began shuffling the pattern so both eyes were not on the same color. Not sure I like that, it may be a little too random, so I think on another attempt I’m going to make all the eyes one color for a little bit more symmetry and see if it holds it together.

Above is a “full sheet” of pattern. Coloring the art was easier in my graphic design program so that was what I used to put this together, and I’m so accustomed to designing printed materials I always start out with a letter-size page, so that’s the base size of that layout. Below is a half-page, I just cropped off the top half.

"Inscrutable Pattern, half sheet", colorized line art, 8.5" x 5.5" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Inscrutable Pattern, half sheet”, colorized line art, 8.5″ x 5.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Yes, fabric, yes, wrapping paper, yes, art paper. What have I started?! It’s going to be really fun.

Other Feline-themed Art Papers

art papers with cat prints
Three initial designs of art papers.

Art Papers With Cat Art!

papier mache box with cat design

I’ve had this idea in mind for several years trying to find the best way to put it together. Seeing text-weight and cover-weight art papers for scrapbooking and creative crafts I decided this was a good way to give it a try. These papers are designed from my portraits and sketches and printed digitally.

Use these papers for scrapbooking, wrapping gifts, decorating keepsake boxes or any creative project you can think of that needs a bunch of cats on it! I ship them flat between sheets of cardboard. I’ve included a photo of keepsake box I made as an example–this box is not for sale.

I’ve started with three different designs and two different paper stocks, text and cover, to see how popular they are. I have many more ideas in mind for these papers—consider the number of daily sketches and portraits I have, plus holiday designs, and artwork yet to come!


22 Cats Art Paper

art paper with collage of cat portraits
“22 Cats” Art paper

This pattern is a collage of all 16 portraits—22 cats in all—included in my Great Rescues Day Book. I’ve painted portraits of pets since 1992 and I’d always wanted to publish them somehow, and since most are rescues I always wanted to share their stories as well, and this came together in Great Rescues. The pattern repeats six times on the paper so you are sure to be able to fit all the cats on one project or just cut out the cats you want. This text-weight pattern is printed on one side of 70# gloss text weight paper, the cover-weight pattern printed on 100# Lynx Uncoated Bright White Cover.

. . . . . . .

Just Fits Art Paper

art paper with sketch of cat in basket
“Just Fits” art paper.

Any cat who gets in my way gets sketched. Giuseppe decided to nap in the basket I’d had merchandise orders in, and he would not get out of it, even though he did not exactly fit in it. He really scrunched himself too, but he made for a nice solid subject. This is drawn in brush pen which actually has shaped bristles at the tip and the ink flows from a cartridge so it’s almost like a brush dipped in ink. The brush is very graceful and I can make all sorts of lovely lines, wide and flat or narrow and wandering. I designed this pattern when I decided to play around with the sketch as a repeating pattern and colored Giuseppe a different color each time. This text-weight pattern is printed on one side of 70# gloss text weight paper, the cover-weight is printed on 100# Lynx Bright White cover.

. . . . . . .

Brush Kitties Art Paper

art paper with ink sketches of cats
“Brush Kitties” art paper

This pattern is a collage of all the kitties I’ve drawn in this same style with the above-mentioned brush pen, singles, multiples, smooth lines, sketchy lines, just a bunch of busy kitties in black on white. On either text or cover stock, you can even color in the kitties yourself! The text-weight paper is printed on one side of 60# uncoated text weight paper—in case you want to add color yourself—the cover-weight is printed on 100# Lynx Bright White cover.

. . . . . . .

Cover weight art papers, 11" x 11". with cat artwork

Text weight art papers, 11" x 17"., with cat artwork.

Text or Cover, and Pricing

All three patterns are printed on one side of the page, and come in two text or cover stock with corresponding sizes:

These are priced singly for $2.00 per sheet and in sets of three for $5.00. I’ve listed the most likely sets on Etsy, but if you’d like a different combination, please send your description in a conversation.


black cat walkding on art papers

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.

It’s all done under the close and careful scrutiny of my studio cats! Jelly Bean, my supervisor and product inspector for this project…

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


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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Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package

day book and greeting cards

The full kit: Great Rescues Day Book and 70 greeting cards.

Some people don’t send cards anymore, and many people keep journals of their days electronically, but still some of my most popular products are greeting cards and calendars.

This is a gift package that can last all year long—and possibly even longer! You can even give some of it away and still have enough for yourself. One of the things that most inspired me was the stories of the cats I’d rescued, the rescued cats I’d met, and the people who rescued them, and the art I’d created through the years from my own cats and all the others I’d met. Being able to share those stories and art encouraged me to do even more with the art and the stories resulting in dozens of greeting cards, calendars, prints and handmade and unique items.

Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package

So what’s in this package anyway? All the materials for you to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, events and any other noted or annual life event for yourself, family and friends in Great Rescues Day Book, and 70 greeting cards to meet the occasion in a mix of feline-themed cards and cards inspired by nature.

The combined value of Great Rescues and all the greeting cards would be just about $132.00. I offer this package of correspondence in my shop for $60.00.


Great Rescues Day Book

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

New format, same great kitties! If you’re familiar with Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, this book carries on the idea in a way that’s much more permanent. This book is not dated for one year, but has all the dates in a month for you to fill in the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and social and personal events in your life.

I’ve used a day book for over 20 years and have all the arrivals and, sadly, departures of each of my cats along with my friends’ weddings, my nieces’ births and the births of their children, the day I first registered a business name, all that sort of stuff, conveniently included in one place. Below is a sample two-page spread for the month of January.

On the left is the featured portrait with the kitty’s story, below that the monthly fun quote of something feline. On the right is the month name with enough lines for all possible dates in that month. The holidays that are celebrated on a certain date are marked on that date, but ones that float, especially those Monday holidays, are explained at the bottom just to remind you that they also happen in that month. If animal-themed holidays are celebrated on a certain date, like Spay Day USA, they will also be included, but just the same if they are ones that float like Pet Memorial Sunday they will be explained at the bottom. The book is 8″ x 10″ and spiral-bound on the left edge, still small enough to be easily carried around.

great rescues day book

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

I had long wanted to share those stories and the lovely kitties I’d painted. Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book brought these stories and portraits to people who love animal rescue and feline art, but as a calendar it had a limited time to share its message. This day book still shares the stories and art, and can do that for years to come.

portrait of black and white cat

“Bandit”, pastel, 18″ x 14″, 2004 © B.E. Kazmarski

Although Great Rescues Day Book is a 12-month book I am still featuring from the original calendar all 15 portraits of rescued cats I’ve been commissioned to paint in the 20 years I’ve been an animal portrait artist, plus the portrait of my own which I consider my first. These portraits won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, is what compels me to share them with you. Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.

black and white notebook paper featuring a collage of cats

Award-winning 22 Cats Notebook Paper

And while each cat has an individual story, each rescuer has a story as well of reaching out to an animal in need to bring it in from the streets—because rescue is really about the rescuer as well as the rescued. In many cases they helped heal physical and emotional wounds and gave that cat a lifetime of love, in return receiving love and devotion; often those humans received some healing in return they weren’t aware they needed.

Great Rescues is spiral-bound and measures 8″ x 10″ to easily fit on your desk or in a purse, briefcase or backpack. While the original Great Rescues had a die-cut cover with the title stamped in gold foil, this has a solid 12 pt. printed cover for durability.

Following the calendar section is a section of stories of the rescuers and their feline families today and notes on the design and rendering of each of the portraits, followed by a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings. I’ve also redesigned my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits, to fit the new size, as seen below.


Greeting card sets in this collection

Most likely you’re familiar with my feline-oriented greeting cards for sympathy, holidays, and all-occasion. For nearly as long as I’ve photographed and painted cats, I’ve photographed and painted flowers, gardens, the woods and fields, the essences of nature that I love, and once I’d begun offering feline greeting cards I also designed and printed greeting cards inspired by nature. At one time they were all different sizes but at one point I made them all 5″ x 7″ so they could assort with each other, and I didn’t have to have eight different styles of envelopes on hand! In addition to the feline cards you’ll expect in this package, I’m also offering two sets non-feline cards for those occasions as well. All cards come with matching envelopes, and each set of cards will be packaged in an individual greeting card box.

I’ll start with those since they are likely all new.

Inspired by Flowers, 12 cards

two young ferns

“You’re My Best Frond”

greeting card with two pink tulips

“Because You Are My Friend” greeting card.

These are designed from my own photos of my garden and yard and my walks along trails and natural areas. Each photograph inspired a sentiment and thus became this line of simple greetings, so unlike most other cards I design which only feature the image, these actually have a message on the outside of the card including sympathy, birthday, get well, inspiration and friendship. All cards are blank inside.

At left, two pink tulips bring a warm and cheerful message for friendship, sympathy, support or just a hello, “Because You Are My Friend”. At right, two young ferns in the woods along the trail where I regularly walk sprout, unfurl and become BFFs—”Best Ferny Fronds”—in “You’re My Best Frond”.

Click here to see all the designs and read a little more about each in my online Marketplace.


In the Garden, 8 cards

greeting card showing pink and red roses

“Small Roses” greeting card.

greeting card with tulips in teapot

“Tea for Tulips” greeting card.

These cards feature my favorite paintings of gardens and still lifes, many scenes from my own yard and home. They have only the art outside and are blank inside, and I think just as many people have framed them as have sent them as greeting cards.

At left a still life of the really old-fashioned roses in my yard, a fragrant old deep red tea rose and a bright pink pasture rose in a little daily sketch I did in my dining room in “Small Roses”, because the sketch was about 4″ x 6″.

At right a watercolor of tulips in an old rusty teapot on a sunny windowsill, put together from photos I’d taken in “Tea for Tulips”.

Click here to see all the designs in the set.


Animal Sympathy Cards (13)

image of cat with shadow

Quiet Moments

Each of the cats depicted here was or is one of mine and the dogs are ones I’ve come to know through friends and art customers. I am currently working on more dog images; I take the use of an animal’s image in one of my designs very seriously and while I have many lovely photos and have been offered many more, I feel I need to know my subjects before I use their image.

I have also found that people use these cards for human sympathy or even for “thank you”, “thinking of you” and even romance, especially for those who share a love for animals. Loss is about love, and when I designed these I focused on that love instead of the pain.

Click here to read a little more about each of the cards.


Feline Greetings Art Cards (12)

greeting card with tuxie cat

“Buster Lookin’ at His Toes” greeting card.

I find people use these cards for all sorts of greetings, from invitations to parties to friendly hellos and thinking of yous to sympathy at the loss of a pet or even a person. Others have taken their favorites and slipped them into 5″ x 7″ frames for their wall.

These greeting cards are created from paintings of the cats with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life—and that includes a few friends’ cats as well. I’ve included a mix of pastel and watercolor and a mix of styles, from realistic detail to loose impressionistic scenes so you have a choice for all occasions. Cards have only the image on the front, are blank inside, and carry the title of the painting and information about it on the back, you can write inside it whatever you want.

Click here to read a little more about each of the cards.


Feline Valentines (6)

valentine cards

“Two Yellow Cats”, Valentine card based on a daily sketch!

You’ve seen this set over and over recently! This set includes a mix of photos, sketches and illustrations, some with a greeting inside and some without, and some can even be used as all-occasion cards. These cards come with red envelopes.

Click here to see the designs and read more.


Feline Halloween Greetings (7)

halloween design featuring four black cats

“Happy Meow-lo-ween from The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse!”

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on The Creative Cat for my daily photos during 2010, and from the feedback decided I needed to have Halloween cards! I added a new one this year from a daily sketch. Each of the cats depicted here is one of mine except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo!

Click here to read more.


Victoriana Cats (4)

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.

Click here to read more about Victoriana Cats.


Compositions in Black and Green (4)

"Compositions in Black and Green" greeting card set.

“Compositions in Black and Green” greeting card set.

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


Feline Christmas Greetings (2)

cat christmas cards

“Star of Wonder” and “Can We Get That Thing?”

Because I have sooo many feline holiday cards, this will only include the two most popular, “Star of Wonder” and “Can We Get That Thing?”.


Favorite Photos (2)

cat with lace curtain

A few steps closer, there it is.

You’d think I’d have a bazillion cards in this category, but I have only three that aren’t used in other designs: “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things” and “A Sunny Room”.

. . . . . . .

That may sound like a lot of cards, but believe it or not, it’s not all the cards I offer! I also have wildlife cards, and cards made from my nature paintings, and a set called “My Home Town” that is my paintings and sketches of Carnegie! But I love giving others a means of sending a message.


 Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package” is available in my Etsy shop!


ink sketch of cats on boxes

“Free Cat Hair With Every Order”.

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.

 

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.


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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A Great Rescue and Commissioned Portrait: “Sooty”

pastel portrait of chinchilla persian cat

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

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

. . . . . . .

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

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

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

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

. . . . . . .

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

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

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

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


Here is Sooty’s page in Great Rescues:

great rescues day book

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

. . . . . . .

And here is the quote for Sooty:

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

. . . . . . .

About the Portrait

detail of pastel cat portrait

Detail of portrait: Sooty’s face.

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

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

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

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

detail of pastel portrait of cat

Detail of portrait: toes.

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

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

detail of pastel portrait of cat

Detail of background and fur.

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


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

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

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

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

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

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

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


Read other stories in my Rescue Stories series.

~~~

Also read about other Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

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


 

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

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

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair

Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs

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

Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table

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

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


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My Portraits Brochure

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


Purchase a Gift Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

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

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

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

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

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

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

 


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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

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

HOME

 


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!

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Daily Sketch: “Clash of Titans”

sketch of two cats wrestling, vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, white charcoal, black and white conté

“Clash of Titans”, vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, white charcoal, black and white conté on sanguine Canson Mi-tientes pastel paper, 11″ x 8″ © Bernadette E.Kazmarski

The studio wrestling champions, brothers Giuseppe Basil Verdi and Sir Jelly of Bean, engage in the kitchen but it’s all in fun. It started out when Giuseppe said his brother was a dirty mess and needed to be cleaned up and wavered between a bath and a rock ’em sock ’em boxing tournament, then flat out, literally flat out, wrestling, on the cabinet in the middel of the kitchen.  I had such fun watching them wrestle and did a quick light sketch in vine charcoal then later enhanced it with more vine charcoal to blend their movements.

I outlined it in compressed charcoal and then conté when that wasn’t dark enough, and used both white charcoal and then white conté for the highlights I remembered seeing as they threatened each other and acted fierce with they ears pinned back. I needed a mid-range tone of paper to make both the black and white show up, but my pad of this paper has limited darker colors and I wasn’t fond of most of them for this. Then I decided this sanguine tone worked well with the tones in their fur.

. . . . . . .

framed sketch of cats

“Clash of Titans”, pastel and charcoal.

Where to find this artwork

This sketch has been adopted by a loving forever home! Prints of this sketch are available in my Etsy shop.

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


Click here to see daily sketches, click here to see daily photographs

click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat

or visit Fine Art and Portraiture on my main website.

If you are interested in a print of this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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Subscribe to 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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Daily Sketch: “Blending”

watercolor of cat looking out window

“Blending”, watercolor, 6″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Jelly Bean watches out the upstairs window, streaming with winter morning sun. The white light glares and introduces all sorts of colors where they don’t normally appear, in Jelly Bean’s black fur, on the pine tabletop, in the lace curtain.

. . . . . . .

watercolor of cat

“Blending”, watercolor.

Where to find this artwork

I have this artwork available in many different print forms—on paper and canvas and as a highest-quality giclee both smaller and larger than the original, and I also offer a framed print as I had framed the original, seen at left.

Click this link to find all the various prints of this artwork I have in stock in my shop Portraits of Animals on Etsy, and simply search the title, “Blending” to find anything else I might have on hand at the moment (note that you can search only my shop from my shop’s front page, searching from a product or category page will search all of Etsy).

 


Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.

Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.


Click here to see daily sketches, click here to see daily photographs

click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat

or visit Fine Art and Portraiture on my main website.

If you are interested in a print of this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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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Fifteen Years

pastel painting of the aurora borealis

“Aurora Borealis”, pastel, 18″ x 12″, 2000 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Aurora Borealis”, a sketch I did for an illustration for a book about two polar bears who…I don’t remember the story line, but I do remember checking my voice mail at home while I was at work that last autumn I was at my day job, and listened to the message from the small press publisher who’d found my art online. He had an idea for a book that incorporated text and art, and he liked the style of my pastels and how I treated animals in my paintings, and he also saw that I was a graphic designer and freelanced as a book designer. He wanted me to illustrate and design the book.

That one call was “it”. I had been freelancing full time nights and weekends as well as carrying a schedule of new paintings and art exhibits monthly and was still working full time, but knew the time was near. I could live on what I made from the book publishers and the other customers I had at the time, one of them a home builder who had me create artist’s renderings of his house plans and flyers from that. The art sales were gravy. My office was set up, my car was paid off and the only other debt was my mortgage, money in the bank, health insurance and retirement set up. But was I really ready? I only needed on good nudge. That call was it.

In fact, I suddenly felt a little panic. Had I waited too long? Should I be home right now? Was I missing calls? That was why I checked my voice mail during lunch, but without caller ID, how would I know if someone had called and not left a message? I had to be at home!

January 1 is the anniversary of the day I began working at home and it’s very easy to remember what year I’m celebrating because that day was January 1, 2000. I still remember that first day, going to sit at my desk in the room downstairs even though it wasn’t really a work day. I’d been freelancing and working at that desk in the corner for a few years already, and looking out the two big windows to watch birds at the feeders and observe the neighborhood, my desk and the windowsills lined with my family of felines, happy I’d be sitting still for a while so they could get in a good bath and nap on me and my papers.

I had done the sketch during the evenings while still working, but photographed it to send a print to the publisher on pretty much my first day working at home, along with photographing some other artwork, and some other photos on that same roll…

cat in sunshine

Reference photo for “Warm Winter Sun”.

Look somewhat familiar? Yes, it’s the reference photo for the art that’s in the header for The Creative Cat, “Warm Winter Sun”. Only in January does the light stream all the way into the kitchen like that, not even in December is the light that color. And another photo next to that one…

cat sleeping in sun

“Contentment”, photo of Moses sleeping in the sun.

That’s Moses sleeping in about the same spot as Namir in the other photo, but she had been there earlier. The sun is a little higher on the bookshelf. I remember debating between the two and I had intended to paint both, but only painted Namir. Fifteen years later, I can’t tell you why, but I do know that one of my goals was to focus on photography generally, photograph my cats more often so I had lots of reference photos, and get around to painting them way sooner than before, like paint them as soon as I got the photos back. And so I did, because instead of waiting a decade as I had with other photos I entered the painting of Namir and won Best Pastel in South Hills Art League’s 2000 Annual Juried Show. I’ve sold framed prints of the photo of Moses, but I think this spring I’ll paint the one this photo and we’ll see what 15 years of experience in painting has done to my style.

Another photo on that roll…

tortie cat on back

Reference image for “The Goddess” linoleum block print.

Yes, Cookie really did lie about on her back like this, and I decided to take her photo. The image stayed with me, and a little later that year I suddenly visualized the hand-colored block print you’ll see by clicking on this link. I decided making a block print, something I could reproduce but was still an “original”, would be ideal for donating to shelter events and to sell at animals events I attended, and so it was. I didn’t get to do it right away but waited until 2001 when I had the time and the idea for a set including “The Roundest Eyes”.

And also because my brother had suffered a traumatic brain injury in April 2000 and became my responsibility as he moved through his recovery, and then my mother developed lung cancer and had surgery and barely recovered, both of them incapacitated with multiple medical conditions and in care for the next decade as I was legal guardian for my mother and POA and representative for my brother. We never know what will happen to change our plans, and those two medical emergencies certainly changed the business plan and list of objectives I had spent a decade determining.

But my felines were there for me, unconditionally, at the end of a long day at the computer; below, my desk in summer 2006 featuring Stanley curled next to Sophie, Kelly bathing, Namir and Cookie curled in front of me and Peaches having a good scratch on the file cabinet, six cats and not one of them black….

desk with six cats

Desk with six cats, taken in 2006, but typical of my desk at any given time.

…or an all night project, or when I came home from a long day at one hospital or another, or a day of doctor appointments.

It’s 3:00 a.m., do you know where your human is?

Over the years my customers and work projects have evolved as has my family of felines, though lying all over my desk never went out of style, even in the wee hours when I was up with a project as in the photo above from 2010 with Peaches on a box, Mimi on the windowsill, Dickie on my desk, Cookie having a good bath right in front of me, and Giuseppe  on the right. It really was 3:00 a.m.—there were plenty of times in my mother’s last years that I was off at a hospital unexpectedly for hours to see to her care that I just worked whenever I could, and my cats took it all in stride.

And yes, Stanley and Moses and Cookie and Sophie and Namir and Kelly and Nikka were very glad I just quit going to work one day, and we’ve never looked back. I’m so glad I was home for their last years.

Yesterday I repaired the keyboard shelf on this desk and I remembered that, including the time I’d spent freelancing in the 1990s, I’d been working in this same corner of the room for 20 years and at this desk for 15, and as much as I love the views out the windows, the convenience to the kitchen and outdoors and all the memories, I was really tired of that spot! When my keyboard shelf fell off my desk a few months ago, rendering it unusable for me because of where I need to have my keyboard positioned to avoid repetitive motion strain injuries, I temporarily abandoned the desk and set up shop in my studio, and currently do nearly all my work up there, design as well as art. But that would not be permanent, I am simply pleased now to have two computers networked and two equally suited workstations.

But I also enjoyed the change in scenery and found the room conducive to writing as well, and began moving more and more of my work up to my studio. As my work has included more fine art, writing and creating gift items and less commercial graphic design, I’ve been spending more time in the studio and enjoying every minute. For many years it was the “spare kitty room”, holding many memories of sitting in that room and looking out that window while trying to tame or comfort or treat a rescued cat, and may still serve that purpose again if it’s ever necessary, but I think I’ve moved that operation to the bathroom for now. I think my family of felines appreciates the change in scenery too, or they just like to make sure I am properly supervised as you see Jelly Bean, Mewsette, Giuseppe, Sunshine and Cookie on the chair.

five cats in studio

The Curious Quartet joins Cookie in getting ready for a day of work.

Many things changed in my commercial art life even from just last year, the printers I use, the projects I work on, and things changed in my art life too as I’ve loosened up and feel much more free in my work through the practice of my daily sketches, and I’m looking for more opportunities to market and sell my art and merchandise. I’ve also continued to find more places to publish my articles and stories.

When I talk to students about being self-employed I tell them two things I’m sure they don’t listen to: learning to run a business is more important to performing your skill, and expect everything to change on a regular basis.

You can read more about my background in my 13-year anniversary post from a previous year and about my education in my ten-year anniversary post and on my About page. Also visit my blog What’s New in Bernadette’s Studio? to see current commercial projects and visit my main website in Graphic Design and Illustration to see projects by product and by customer.

 


Read more Essays on The Creative Cat.

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Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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A Great Rescue and Commissioned Portrait: “A Wonderful Gift”

pastel portrait of cat with flowers

“A Wonderful Gift”, pastel, 12″ x 14″, 2010 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

SOMETIMES A CAT has so many connections to other cats or people or circumstances or places, but then this Peaches’s life was intertwined with her rescuer’s before she was even adopted. Sometimes the cat and the person are simply meant to be together.

. . . . . . .

Here’s how Peaches was rescued…

Peaches’ rescue includes a number of mysterious and exciting coincidences. First there was another cat, Wally, who Peaches’ mom was to adopt from her eight-year-old niece as the girl’s parents divorced and Wally couldn’t move with her. When Wally died unexpectedly the niece insisted they find another kitty and in searching found a kitty whose owner was very ill and could no longer care for her. While the ill woman’s name was auspiciously connected with the names of both Peaches’ eventual mom and the soul mate cat she had recently lost, Peaches also looked identical to Wally, and not only had the same birthday as the niece but was also the same age as the niece.

. . . . . . .

I created this portrait in 2010 to be given as a Christmas gift to a special friend. I’m always honored to be trusted with another’s gift, and so happy to be a part of its giving. With this slight distance from the animal’s person I need to be certain the giver has clear materials and knows the person and the animal well in order to be able to portray the animal correctly, and in this case I was given an excellent and meaningful photo, and a touching story.

My customer told me: “She’s the cat of … my closest friend, and she just turned 18. … is going through a lot of stuff right now, her mother is very ill and even though we’ve been saying this for the last few years, it feels as though the end is probably not that far away. Peaches has some mild kidney issues, but is otherwise doing well for her age. When … father died, her then soul mate cat Prince died within days of her father, so even though she’s trying to not give this any energy, she sometimes has a sense that her mother’s death and Peaches’ may be happening in a similar fashion.

“And not that this has anything to do with Peaches, but it gives you an idea of what … is about: Prince was diagnosed with FIP, but lived for fifteen more years post diagnosis. … made a promise to the universe when he was diagnosed that if he beat it, she would start a pet loss support group. She’s been running three pet loss support groups for the county at no charge for the last fifteen years.

“Anyway, it’s why I thought a painting would be a wonderful Christmas gift either way – of course I’m hoping that Peaches will still be with us at Christmas, but even if, God forbid, she’s not, it will still be a perfect present for … .

amaryllis bud.

The amaryllis bud.

“Peaches is … only cat, and they’re very connected. … comes home for lunch each day, and she sits with Peaches in her lap for half an hour or so. It’s her form of meditation. The story behind the photo is pretty amazing. For a period of several months last year, Peaches became very withdrawn, she stopped sleeping with …, and spent most of her time in a guest bedroom. At the time, we thought this was it. Then a friend of … gave her this flower (I think it’s an Amaryllis?), and Peaches became fascinated with it, and would check progress every day. As the flower started to bloom, Peaches ended her phase of withdrawing. I thought it would be a nice starting point for a painting because it will always remind … of the happy time when Peaches became herself again.”

Could there be a more touching story, or a better gift for a friend?

Peaches had the chance to give her human more years of love after she recovered from this, and lived to January 2013.

About the portrait

I typically name the portraits after the names of its subjects, but in this case it might have been a little confusing for others, and emotional for me. You’ve read about my dilute calico Peaches, this kitty dilute tortoiseshell kitty has the name name, but I had recently lost Peaches in October 2010 when I painted this portrait; in fact, I delayed this portrait because of my Peaches’ death, finishing it in December. For that reason I called it “A Wonderful Gift” because of the gift of the subject’s healing, above, and because the portrait was a gift for a special friend.

You can read the progress articles about this portrait to see it in its initial sketch and then in its middle stage, just before the final details in A New Portrait and The New Portrait, Second View. At the final stage of a portrait I add textures where necessary, even out the highlights and shadows, make sure the color palette hasn’t shifted and make sure all subjects are the right shape and proportion. It’s surprising how easily these details can throw things off if I’m not careful, and you can see in comparing the first and second images where things went a bit awry. Up to the final passes for details, I was working over the entire portrait each time, mostly to work out the palette and settle the details of shape and proportion and keeping an overall vision for the portrait.

The most important detail, the sweetest part of the whole image, was Peaches’ face where she has it happily pressed into the flower, her eyes closed, the sunlight shining through the flower petals coloring her fur. That had to be perfect, not photographically so, but in spirit. I enjoyed working many other areas of this portrait, but capturing the gentle shadings and gentle details of her face, her chin and neck and her ear were my favorite part of this portrait.

detail of portrait

Detail of Peaches and amaryllis

I clarified the flowers to see each of the petals, and went back and forth with the shade of pink. I had originally used a brighter pink which was not accurate and was too bright for the painting, so I toned that down with a slightly browner pink. I also shifted the blanket from the original bright blue to more of a teal shade to coordinate with elements in the curtains, which would also be in the person’s room, and the blanket’s highlights are blended so it looks fuzzy and soft. The highlights on the vase had made it look very shiny though it wasn’t, and those extreme reflections were also a little harsh for the soft tone of this portrait, so they got toned down.

But two of my favorite areas were the bare branches outside the window which you can see in the detail of the amaryllis buds, above, and the books on the table next to the window, especially in detail below.

detail of portrait

Detail of portrait, books on the shelf.

A little more about this portrait

“A Wonderful Gift” was the December 2011 kitty in my first Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book because her portrait and the story had a strong connection to Christmas. She is included in my current version, Great Rescues Day Book, but is not featured at a month; the original book had 16 months, this only has 12, so I have the extra four portraits grouped together in the center of the book. This portrait will always be a part of December for me, though.

Note, also, that the plant Peaches is visiting is an amaryllis, grown from a bulb, one of the class of plants that can be highly toxic to cats. Peaches was not a plan nibbler, and it seemed to play such a complete role in her life.

As a greeting card

And I was also thrilled when Peaches’ person approved my publishing of a feline art card bearing Peaches’ portrait and story. Read about the card and find a link to it on Portraits of Animals Marketplace blog. This has inspired me to create a few subsets of my feline art cards, and one of those would be the calicoes and tortoiseshells!


Here is Peaches’s page in Great Rescues:

portrait of cat in day book

Peaches’s page in “Great Rescues Day Book”

. . . . . . .

And here is the quote for Peaches:

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. ~ Jean Cocteau


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

day book with cat portraits

Great Rescues Day Book

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

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

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

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

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


Read other stories in my Rescue Stories series.

~~~

Also read about other Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

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


 

Take a look at other portraits and read other stories

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

Read about how I create commissioned portraits.

Commissioned Cat Portraits

portrait of black cat on wicker chair

Samantha, pastel, 1994 © B.E. Kazmarski

Commissioned Dog Portraits

portrait of two dogs

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

Portraits of
My Cats

pastel painting of cat on table

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

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


Download a Brochure

cover of brochure

My Portraits Brochure

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


Purchase a Gift Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

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

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

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

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

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.

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

 


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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

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

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A Year in Memories, My 2014 Fosters

sketch of six cats

“A Year in Memories: Emeraude, Kennedy, Smokie, Bella, Ernie and Bert”, Brush markers, 9″ x 5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A Year in Memories: Emeraude, Kennedy, Smokie, Bella, Ernie and Bert

It’s been some year with fostering.

We lost Emeraude on February 3.

Kennedy arrived on June 16 and left us on August 6.

Smokie arrived on August 27.

Bella arrived on September 17.

Bert and Ernie arrived on November 26.

Thanks to each one of you who arrived out of the universe and brought your unique gifts and challenges.

Lady Emeraude with 19 years of wisdom and wear and tear, we were glad to give you a few months of being the absolute star of the household and our purrs and energy when you were ill, and to grieve you when you left. We know you were happy. You radiated happiness. We still feel it where you slept. We will never forget you.

Kennedy, our brother, we recognized you the moment we saw you, and though you only had weeks left in your journey we were glad you made it before your travels were over. You belonged here, and you are a part of this family, the fifth spirit sharing our age and our furs, forever.

Smokie, Bella, Bert and Ernie, with your great need and desire to learn to trust the human and let go of your fears, we are glad to show you how to be happy housecats, how to play and wrestle and love, and cast you on your journey to a long and happy life.

A year from now, who knows?

Just as I finished this sketch and began my post listing the dates above, watching the ball drop in Times Square on my computer just now, I heard the familiar big band Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians’ “Auld Lang Syne” which reminds me of my parents and growing up, followed by Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” which makes me cry no matter what, and by the time Iz Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over the Rainbow” started I was done.

Happy New Year everyone, health and love to us all in the new year, people and cats and dogs and all animals and living things everywhere, all over the earth.

Auld acquaintance shall ne’er be forgot, nor days of auld lang syne.


Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in Three Years of Daily Sketches, Awards and Collections.

And download your free desktop wallpaper calendar for computer or mobile, usually based on a daily sketch.

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

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

 


"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

A collection of 34 images of feline artwork

Feline Style Sampler

Daily sketches, illustrations, commissioned portraits all in a small coil-bound gift book.

Click here or on the image to read more

or find this book in my Etsy shop and on Amazon.com.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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

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

HOME


January Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: “Rolling Around”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . . . .

"Rolling Around" framed.

“Rolling Around” framed.

Where to find this artwork

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

 

 


This month’s desktop calendar

I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month. Looking at the downloads from previous months and averaging out which dimensions fit which devices, I have reduced the number of variations from 12 to three. It was very time-consuming to create all the variations with new devices arriving all the time, so I have one for horizontal monitors/screens, one for square monitors/screens, and one that should fit the dimensions of nearly all mobile devices.

If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.

 

How to download and use your desktop calendar

  1. Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
  2. For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
  3. For mobile devices, download the image to your gallery then choose it as your wallpaper—this is slightly different on all devices.

Horizontal and HD monitors and screens

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

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

. . .

Square monitors and screens

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

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

. . .

Small Mobile Devices and Tablets

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

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

Click here to subscribe to The Creative Cat on your Kindle.

. . .

Cell Phones and Smartphones

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

“Rolling Around” desktop calendar for 480 x 854 for mobile devices

 


Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.

Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.


Click here to see daily sketches, click here to see daily photographs

click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat

or visit Fine Art and Portraiture on my main website.

If you are interested in a print of this image, check my Etsy shop to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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

HOME


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