Tag Archives: christmas cards

“Peace” on “Earth”, and Other Holiday Card Designs

christmas card with dog and cat

“A Cat Named Peace, A Dog Named Earth”, Pen and Ink Illustration • 1997

Look a little closer at those markings…what do you see?

For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever.

Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it! Don’t know why…

I decided to bring this design back out this year!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. And you can choose white, red or brown kraft envelopes; if you don’t choose one I’ll ship them with white envelopes.

The card is blank inside, but with a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo, but please ask soon—time is running out for custom printing!

Scroll down or browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop. You may order directly from there for single cards and sets of six or a dozen and use your discount. For larger orders and for customized orders, please e-mail me so we can discuss and I’ll send you a customized invoice that reflects your order.

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat
Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Inside card.

Inside at left.

With a minimum order of two dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Star of Wonder

holiday card cat looking at star
Star of Wonder

This card features a simple, wordless illustration of a cat looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside it reads: “May the wonder of the season bring you peace and joy through the year.”

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

Using a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth, I created his silhouette including all those lovely long whiskers and fur tips. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Can We Get That Thing?

holiday card featuring kittens looking at star
Can We GetThat thing?

This card features a wordless illustration of the Curious Quartet looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside the card reads: “…they look-ed up, and sa-aw a star …
…and they WANTED it!

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

For this illustration I used reference photos I’d taken of the Curious Quartet when they were just little kitties watching birds. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen (please convo on Etsy).

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

holiday card with cat
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

Sophie was a little goofy, and did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…for my holiday card in 1999 I decided to illustrate that memory in a quick little sketch!

On the back:

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself
Pastel • 1999

The message inside reads: “Hope your Christmas is full of wonderful surprises!”

Inside card.

Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


An Old Memory

cat-themed holiday card
An Old Memory

This card is based on a photo I took years ago…

An Old memory
Photo • 1983

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Inside card.

This card has a message inside: Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.

With a minimum order of four dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop



Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.
Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. It’s printed in red ink on smooth cream-colored card stock.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 1996 I decided I’d revive my love for block printing (and it was one of the creative things I did in the aftermath of losing Kublai and Allegro).

The design is derived from hand-lettering and playing around with fonts, plus tiny cat silhouettes I had designed for various projects; I added a border just to be decorative.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on cream card stock, hand trimmed and folded and includes a matching envelope. I also have a limited set on brown kraft card stock but matching envelopes have been hard to find; you will find these on Etsy if I find enough envelopes. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home. This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 2001. It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, then overprinted with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 2001 decided to take my block prints a step further by adding a glittery finish, but it didn’t work well until newer glitter-based finishes were available. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, but it doesn’t photograph or scan well enough to see the actual finish.

The design is based on coming home at night from work for years and seeing one or another of my cats in this very window, usually Sally, watching for me as I came from the driveway.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Nature and Wild Birds

These sets inspired by nature are designed from my paintings and photographs from my backyard and the trails I enjoy in winter. Each set includes four or more designs. Click on any image to read more about it on Etsy.

Backyard Birds in Winter
Unexpected Berries
Winter Beauty
Cardinals Brighten a Snowy Day

cat and art materials on table

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Usually 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.

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.


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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 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.normalcy.

.


Click here to find out how you can help homeless cats this holiday season!

Sophie-HolidayCheerForHomelessPets-300


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

© 2013 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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Holiday Cards from Portraits of Animals

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat
Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Holiday Greeting Cards and Customization

It’s time to order holiday cards for personal use or for your professional practice, and of course, I offer holiday cards featuring my cats! I also offer holiday cards featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography. All cards are designed from my photographs and paintings which you can purchase individually, as a mixed set or a set of all the same design. In addition to my commercially-printed cards I also have two designs which are hand-printed as block prints for a completely unique card which becomes original art.

Customized messages inside the card…
Some designs have a message inside, others are blank, but I can custom print a message for you for $2.50 per dozen for a minimum of two dozen of the same design, but for Holiday cards ordered before November 30 you may have your cards customized inside with black text or logo at no extra charge. Please allow two weeks for delivery for special orders.

Browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop. You may order directly from there for single cards and sets of six or a dozen and use your discount. For larger orders and for customized orders, please e-mail me so we can discuss and I’ll send you a customized invoice that reflects your discount.

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Inside card.

With a minimum order of two dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Star of Wonder

holiday card cat looking at star
Star of Wonder

This card features a simple, wordless illustration of a cat looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside it reads: “May the wonder of the season bring you peace and joy through the year.”

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

Using a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth, I created his silhouette including all those lovely long whiskers and fur tips. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Can We Get That Thing?

holiday card featuring kittens looking at star
Can We GetThat thing?

This card features a wordless illustration of the Curious Quartet looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside the card reads: “…they look-ed up, and sa-aw a star …
…and they WANTED it!

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

For this illustration I used reference photos I’d taken of the Curious Quartet when they were just little kitties watching birds. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen (please convo on Etsy).

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

holiday card with cat
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

Sophie was a little goofy, and did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…for my holiday card in 1999 I decided to illustrate that memory in a quick little sketch!

On the back:

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself
Pastel • 1999

The message inside reads: “Hope your Christmas is full of wonderful surprises!”

Inside card.

Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Peace on Earth

holiday card with dog and cat
A Cat Named Peace, a Dog Named Earth

Look a little closer at those markings…what do you see?

A Cat Named Peace, A Dog Named Earth
Pen and Ink Illustration • 1997

For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever. Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it! Don’t know why…

I decided to bring this design back out this year!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

The card is blank inside, but with a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).7″ card is printed on 14 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


An Old Memory

cat-themed holiday card
An Old Memory

This card is based on a photo I took years ago…

An Old memory
Photo • 1983

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Inside card.

This card has a message inside: Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.

With a minimum order of four dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Feline Gifts

Afternoon Nap
Winter Window
A Rosy Glow
Warm Winter Sun

This set of cards features four pastel sketches which may be quite familiar to you. I painted them of my cats from life—while Kelly sat and looked out the window, I was behind her with my sketchpad and pastels, and the same with Moses, Namir and Stanley.Through the years I’ve used each design as my seasonal greeting card, and this year I offer them as a set in a special new design: “Feline Gifts”, because our cats truly are gifts to us!

Inside Card.

Cards have a message inside: Wishing you and your fine felines a peaceful holiday and a happy new year

With a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

These 5″ x 7″ cards are printed on 14 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, 3 each of the four designs shown, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.
Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. It’s printed in red ink on smooth cream-colored card stock.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 1996 I decided I’d revive my love for block printing (and it was one of the creative things I did in the aftermath of losing Kublai and Allegro).

The design is derived from hand-lettering and playing around with fonts, plus tiny cat silhouettes I had designed for various projects; I added a border just to be decorative.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on cream card stock, hand trimmed and folded and includes a matching envelope. I also have a limited set on brown kraft card stock but matching envelopes have been hard to find; you will find these on Etsy if I find enough envelopes. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home. This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 2001. It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, then overprinted with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 2001 decided to take my block prints a step further by adding a glittery finish, but it didn’t work well until newer glitter-based finishes were available. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, but it doesn’t photograph or scan well enough to see the actual finish.

The design is based on coming home at night from work for years and seeing one or another of my cats in this very window, usually Sally, watching for me as I came from the driveway.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Nature and Wild Birds

These sets inspired by nature are designed from my paintings and photographs from my backyard and the trails I enjoy in winter. Each set includes four or more designs. Click on any image to read more about it on Etsy.

Backyard Birds in Winter
Unexpected Berries
Winter Beauty
Cardinals Brighten a Snowy Day
Winter Walks

If you order a custom product I will create your invoice to reflect that discount, and if you order directly from me in person I will discount at purchase.

I only have PayPal to use for credit card acceptance (you can use PayPal without having a PayPal account), and I also accept personal checks and cash. Also, local friends can let me know I don’t need to ship their order. I will deduct the shipping cost from their order and we’ll make arrangements for pick up or delivery. Feel free to contact me if you have any problems or questions.


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.


Donate to WPHS With Every Purchase

cat-themed holiday cards

"Star of Wonder" and "Can We Get That Thing?"

For every purchase of one dozen “Star of Wonder” or “Can We Get That Thing?” holiday cards for $20, I will donate $10 to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society so that the dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets, birds and any other animal can have a brighter holiday season with your help!

For details, visit my Friendraising page for WPHS.

And read about the inspiration for the cards here.

I used to be hard on people who “dumped” pets at shelters, but you can’t generalize reasons why pets end up there nor the people who surrender them, so now instead of getting angry I put my energy into creating things that help people love animals all the more, helping shelters find good and loving permanent homes for the animals in their care.

western pennsylvania humane society logo

WPHS logo

About the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

The WPHS is an “open-door” shelter helping animals in need in Pittsburgh and Allegheny county since 1874.

I prefer the term “open door” for a shelter which will take in any animal in need at any time because I know the alternative to a shelter is a drop off in a park or isolated woods or some lonely back road for a cat or dog or rabbit—I’ve rescued plenty of them. I have also seen WPHS through the years find every new and ingenious way of getting their animals out in front of the public and into a permanent home, and I know the costs of running a shelter that serves over 13,000 animals per year is huge, only accomplished with the help of donations large and small. And they are apparently wise with their money; Charity Navigator has designated the Western PA Humane Society as a Four-Star charity, its highest ranking for efficient use of donations, five years in a row!

________________________

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Holiday Cards: Winter Beauty, My Favorite Season for Painting

painting on card

Solstice, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Winter is my favorite season for painting. These paintings were inspired by winter in pastel, watercolor and pen and ink from the trails to my backyard, completed en plein air and indoors—often standing on my deck or sitting in the front seat of the car—illuminated by the stark light of winter. Many of them were just small sketches while others were large, detailed studio paintings in an attempt to capture the essence of a winter scene.

Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.” With a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

These 5″ x 7″ cards are printed on 14 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, 1 each of the eight designs shown, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

dusk in the woods

Dusk in the Woods, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Dusk in the Woods
Pastel • 2006
The last moment of true daylight when the eye can still perceive color; “that blue time”, lasting only moments, but full of the magic of the reality of day and the spirits of night.
A spot near Robinson Run in Collier Township, PA

 

winter pastel painting

After the Snow Squall, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

After the Snow Squall
Pastel • 2003
A fresh snowfall, just as the clouds part and the sun appears.

 

pastel painting of winter

Morning Snow 1, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Morning Snow I
Pastel • 1998
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. This scene and Morning Snow II are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows.

 

pastel painting of winter

Morning Snow 2, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Morning Snow II
Pastel • 1998
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. This scene and Morning SnowII are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows.

ink and watercolor painting of winter

Sticks and Slopes, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Sticks and Slopes
Ink and Watercolor • 2006
One of our many hillsides reduced to lines and shadows by the afternoon sun.

pastel painting of winter

Tracks in the Snow, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Tracks in the Snow
Pastel • 2004
Someone sheltered under my spruce in the storm.

pastel painting of winter

Solstice, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Solstice
Pastel • 2003
The moment when the sun stands still, as it seemed to at this frigid, snow-covered winter dusk,
spruces standing dignified sentinel to the moment of transition. (This is another of those beautiful places that isn’t there anymore.)

pastel painting of winter

Winter, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Winter
Pastel • 1996
A cold and snowy winter sunset on a friend’s farm.


Holiday Cards: Nature’s Peaceful Beauty

crabapples on a branch

Little Apples, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Walking in the quiet of a winter day I see some of the most beautiful scenes, from my own back yard, to my neighborhood, town, trails and woods. My joy is to bring not just the scene but the entire milieu back to my studio in an image—a tall order for a photograph or painting, but now and then I manage to capture the essence.

These two sets of four designs based on photography are more “seasonal” than “holiday”, and evoke the two concepts I pursue with my nature photography.

Unexpected Berries

“Unexpected Berries” is a careful study of surprising details others may not notice, the splash of color in the muted landscape of winter that holds my gaze for as long as my tired eyes will enjoy its gift as “nature provides a respite for the weary eye.

Above is “Little Apples”, small wild apples hang like brightly-colored ornaments on wild trees whipped bare from winter winds, decorating the gray branches on an overcast day.

Below is “Icy Berries” decorating one of the trees on Main Street in Carnegie, iced over by a winter storm, their brilliant, rich color preserved.

small red crabapples on icy branches

"Icy Berries", photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And one of my long-time favorites, “Crabapples” decorate bare branches in a cluster of trees growing by railroad tracks; who would think to look here for such beauty?

crabapples on branches

Crabapples, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

From my own backyard is “Unexpected Berries”, found on Christmas morning after a heavy snow, the bright red hulls clinging to my burning bush while the seeds withing long gone to my avian visitors.

red berries in snow

Unexpected Berries, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Outside they advise “nature provides a respite for the weary eye”. Inside the cards reads, “Wishing you color on the coldest day of winter, and an astonishingly beautiful new year.” All cards are 5″ x 7″ and come with a matching envelope, three each of the four designs in a clear-top stationery box. You can find this set in my Etsy shop.

Winter Walks

card design with snowy scene

Homeward Bound, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Of all the inspiring scenes I’ve found on my “Winter Walks”, these are the ones that stayed with me afterward as I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau: “Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. ~Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author”.

Above is “Homeward Bound”, found after a major ice storm in Settler’s Cabin Park in Collier Township, PA.

Below is “Arching Branches”, a scene along Chartiers Creek near Bridgeville, PA.

branches arching over creek

Arching Branches, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Walking through the local woods after a snow I found a wonderful “Snowy Abstract”.

branches with snow

Snowy Abstract, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And visiting the Panhandle Trail near Oakdale, PA I found these delicate branches “Encased in Ice”.

icy branches

Encased in Ice, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

And on the inside, “May your spirits be lifted by the beauty of nature this holiday season and in the new year.” You can find this set in my Etsy shop.

See also:
Holiday Cards: Greetings From Our Backyard Birds
Feline-themed Holiday Cards


Holiday Cards: Greetings From Our Backyard Birds

pastel painting of blue jays in tree

Jammin Jay Blues, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

“That would make a great card!”

That’s usually how I decide which of my paintings or photos will end up as a greeting card or note card, following the advice of someone’s suggestion.

When it comes to my birds, many of the paintings and photos are from winter, when the birds are simply easier to see, but also one of my favorite seasons for painting and photography. So this year, I decided to make up two sets of cards for the holidays—and possibly beyond—from the paintings and photos that received the most comments.

Backyard Birds

I truly love winter paintings because the light is wonderful without the shadows from trees, the reflections from the snow illuminating shadowed areas with soft purples and blues, and the patterns made by bare branches are mesmerizing. This set of four paintings of birds are ones I’d done “from life”, actually standing at a window inside or at my back door rather than en plein air, but I wanted to catch that moment of light and color.

Above is “Jammin’ Jay Blues”, my impression of a bunch of noisy blue jays making a racket in the bare branches of the mulberry. In the winter light, their blue feathers have an extra glow that I don’t notice in summer, and between the color and the sound they occasionally fill my backyard with what feels like a celebratory parade, when all they are celebrating is the sliced apples I’ve stuck on twigs in the tree.

Below is “Snowbird”, the common name for a dark-eyed junco, as it clings to along branch of the forsythia in heavy snowfall, apparently living up to its name. They appear in my backyard each year in October and stay until April, and I love their simple little silhouettes, tiny rounded bodies, short beaks and tails, and that white spot on their bellies that looks as if they’d been dipped in white paint before they left the factory.

pastel painting of junco

Snowbird, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

This is “Birds in Snow”, inspired by the sparrows and doves that feed on the ground under the feeder outside my front door. To one side of the feeder is a huge spruce, providing cover and safety for many, many birds, and watching them twittering on the branches, then dropping down for seeds one by one and pecking around in the snow in a big crowd, then suddenly all of them flapping back up into the spruce as if signaled by something only to begin the process again is like watching waves on the beach.

pastel painting of birds in snow

Birds in Snow, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

And here is “Accent”, a single cardinal in the branches and brambles touched with snow at the end of the yard. This is the “safe spot” for birds and small animals as I’ve let the wild grapevines, rapberries and blackberries and Roses of Sharon grow into a dense tangled mass which is excellent protection from predators. A heavy snowfall with layer each branch with white and the play of light and shadow in the mass of branches creates one of nature’s lovely patterns. Where most of my drawing surfaces have some texture, for this one I added marble dust and grit and gave the surface a rough brushed appearance which turned out to be perfect for capturing the feeling of branches and snow.

pastel painting of cardinal in branches

Accent, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.” While I’m offering these for the holidays, they are wonderful all-purpose greeting cards as well and I’ll keep them available through spring in my Etsy shop.

Cardinals Brighten Up a Snowy Day

Of all the birds that visit my backyard, the male American Cardinal is the showiest, and my photos of these have had the most comments—especially, “That would make a great Christmas card!” One of these days I’ll get a few of the girls in the snow—though they aren’t as showy they are still colorful and very dignified, but don’t position themselves in the same way as the guys. So, here we are, a set of cards designed with a little red and green flair that makes it look like a Christmas card as well. Inside they all say, “May your holiday season be merry and bright!”

I think this guy was posing because he sat there for the longest time in the same position. Okay, I get it, I’ll take your picture!

photo of cardinal in forsythia

Cardinal in Forsythia, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

I had wanted a photo that had a significant amount of green along with the red of the cardinal and the snow, and this cardinal obliged.

photo of cardinal in snow

Cardinal in Yew, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Just the cardinal’s red color against an overcast sky and very little else.

photo of cardinal on branch

Cardinal on a Branch, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Five male cardinals were flitting all over the yard during the snowfall. I only managed to catch three in one shot, but it was a favorite.

photo of cardinals in snow bush

Three Cardinals, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Since I added the red and green decorations, these are pretty much limited to the holiday season.

You can find all of these in my Etsy shop.

See also:
Holiday Cards: Nature’s Peaceful Beauty
Feline-themed Holiday Cards


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