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September Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: “Milling”

pastel sketch of cats on black paper

“Milling”, pastel on black paper, 9″ x 11″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

For some hokey reason in September I get all up about a chalkboard theme for “back to school”; must be all those years spent designing advertising and planning months ahead for promotions that are burned into my memory. And where I usually move among style and medium to keep it interesting, in autumn I kind of break that cycle because holidays come along that suggest other reasons to choose images.

This sketch was in the running for August because of the vibrant colors of the pastel, but one of the reasons I disqualified it was that the cats looked as if they’d been drawn in chalk on a black chalkboard. So now it’s finally time! (A little past time I might add as I post this in the early hours of September 3, considering I had it ready for September 1.)

So though I featured a pastel last month that was looser and more colorful, certainly not photorealistic, I am doing so again this month, but it’s a totally different style of pastel. And while I realized last month that my monthly calendars to date have featured only one cat at a time and chose one with three cats for last month, this month we’ve moved up to the full five!

Here’s what I had to say about “Milling” the day I painted it.

I watched them milling around my legs like koi in a pond, waiting for some action on a day when I was up and down and all over the house and they followed me, anticipating my next move. I pictured them, colorful, on a dark background, loose and active, a moving pattern with a slight lighter shade in the background to further isolate them from the floor. I drew them from memory later, in my studio.

They are in their colors: Mewsette is magenta, Giuseppe is green, Bean is blue, Sunshine is yellow-orange, but Mimi is usually purple and the purple in this set just wasn’t bright enough so she is, instead, orange. That fit with the composition. Unfortunately the slight texture of the paper showed when I scanned it and I find it distracting from my lines; I may photograph to see if that will eliminate the pattern.

I rescanned and adjusted the image to eliminate the distracting pattern I’d mentioned above.

They are so close, physically and emotionally, and I can never describe in words the way it feels to be close to all five of them when they are functioning together as a group, when they seem like one central point with rays, like the ripples from a drop fallen to the surface of water, how the ripples form from the center and travel outward. Sketches like this come closer than words.

Again, because this was strongly horizontal I had to do some fancy copying and pasting and cloning patterns in Photoshop to make it work on a vertical device. I had copied the initial layout from last September’s monthly desktop calendar, “Stanley With Apple”, but discovered the chalk font I’d used for it was not available on my computer, nor could I find it, strange for a font, but I had to look up a new one. Last year I’d used pale yellow for text and the little piece of chalk because it reminded me of the chalk our teachers used through the later part of school. This time I used all the colors in the sketch. Autumn is colorful, and contains all these colors! That wasn’t something I noticed when I decided on this sketch but once I was designing I thought of painting autumn landscapes, and it certainly worked out well.

As always, I will miss the prior month’s desktop calendar, but I also hope that you enjoy looking at this month’s selection as much as I do.


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

"Milling", 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

“Milling”, 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

. . .

Square monitors and screens

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

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

. . .

Small Mobile Devices and Tablets

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

“Milling” 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

Milling-480x854

“Milling” 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

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May Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar: Mimi’s Sunbath

    "Mimi's Sunbath" 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monitors

“Mimi’s Sunbath” 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monitors

Mimi enjoys the warmth of the sun on her one side, and the reflection of it from the cabinet on her other.

ink and watercolor pencil cat on widowsill

Kelly on the Windowsill, ink and watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Yes, this was yesterday’s Daily Sketch Reprise, but even as I posted it I knew I’d made up my mind what would be my May featured artwork and desktop calendar. I’d been undecided, choosing among six possibilities out of daily sketches that seemed to explore the color and feel of a sunny morning in may when leaves are sprouting and flowers are blooming and even the rain falls, and I was even considering coming up with a totally new piece of artwork.

The debate came down to this sketch and “Kelly on the Windowsill”, both reminiscent of this time of year in color and style, the flowers, the sun, the sky, the leaves, and even the bare branches in some cases echoed in the ink lines. I love to remember Kelly whenever I can, but looking them over I decided I’d actually featured Kelly no fewer than four times in desktop calendars, and that in only two years; someone else could have a chance.

There are many things I like about this sketch. Mimi’s nose, ears and whiskers, for instance, I just like the way they worked out, I feel I captured something essentially Mimi in that nose and, especially, her whisker pad with its almost angular shape, and her tiny ears. Her shape in general and the patterns of shadows and light, what was that you said about a black cat? Hmm. And I just like the way I handled the ink lines and watercolor pencil lines and washes, the patterns of lines on her back that described her fur, and the interesting angle of the foreshortened cabinet as well as all the exaggerated colors that really do work. I can tell you that the cabinet was much more difficult than the cat! Really, though it looks complicated, and it is, I guess I was warmed up that day because I visualized, I sketched, and there it was. I am rarely that lucky.

Detail of my favorite parts of "Mimi's Sunbath".

Detail of my favorite parts of “Mimi’s Sunbath”.

I really liked this as an ink sketch and almost left it with just Mimi, but when I had looked at Mimi in this very spot I envisioned an ink drawing with watercolor washes. I began the sketch on watercolor paper, and so I finished it. I like it just as much.

This has both deep shadows and bright highlights, and both direct and reflected light, a challenge for me in ink, for sure! But while Mimi did move her head to face front, look up at me and look behind herself, she sat for long enough for me to get the light and shadow on her torso sketched in with pen, then a bit of watercolor pencil scribbled on top.

And occasionally I like to use a piece of artwork that captures the texture of the paper. One of the things we miss in digital art and viewing images on the computer is texture and dimension, and it’s one of the things that, for me, makes art done by hand on paper feel so real. I hope you get the feeling of depth and dimension in looking at the texture from the watercolor paper, along with my sketchy lines, in this month’s featured artwork.

When I begin with a new medium I often visualize in that medium for days as I grow accustomed to it, so I’m not surprised to have two sketches in a row in the same medium and style, after Kelly on the Windowsill. I had grown accustomed to these watercolor pencils, later began to allow myself a wider brush than the No. 4 round to dissolve and spread the paint from my sketchy pencil lines. I have two more in this set which I did in the month of May 2012 for a total of four sketches that capture the brilliant sun and deep shadows, the light and the colors of spring days (read more about these below, as well as other art), and not long after this I went on to use this illustration style for a couple of commercial projects and then offered it as a commissioned portrait medium. Thanks, once again, to my fine felines for leading me somewhere I didn’t realize I’d needed to go.

As always, I will miss the prior month’s desktop calendar, seeing Sophie peeking at me from the lace curtain with the forget-me-nots blooming underneath her on a fine early spring evening, but I will enjoy exploring the lines and colors of “Mimi’s Sunbath” for an entire month to come.


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, please let me know.

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

"Mimi's Sunbath" 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

“Mimi’s Sunbath” 2560 x 1440 for wide and HD monitors

. . .

Square monitors and screens

"Mimi's Sunbath" 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monotors

“Mimi’s Sunbath” 1280 x 1024 for square and laptop monitors

. . .

Small Mobile Devices and Tablets

"Mimi's Sunbath" for 600 x 800 for iPad, Kindle and other readers

“Mimi’s Sunbath” 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

"Mimi's Sunbath" 480 x 854 for mobile devices

“Mimi’s Sunbath” 480 x 854 for mobile devices

. . . . . . .

Where to find “Mimi’s Sunbath”

This sketch, matted and framed, is available for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as three others in the same style, Kelly with Grapes and Apple, Kelly on the Windowsill, and Top of the World. These are also available as a set; if you are interested in purchasing two or more, or purchasing a print, please ask.

12 Sketches of Cats Calendar

"12 Sketches of Cats Calendar"

“12 Sketches of Cats 2014 Calendar”

I’ve always admired oversized “art calendars”, the ones where the art is foremost and the calendar just an incidental means of presenting it. Calendars are printed on quality text or cover stock and are only printed on one side of the page with plenty of clear space around the artwork because the image is intended to be framable with nothing printed on the back.

And so 12 Sketches of Cats is digitally printed in the same archival inks and acid-free natural 100# smooth cover stock I use for the digital art prints I sell. Each page is 11″ x 17″ so there is plenty of space to have the art at or near its native size with room for the name and information about the art with the calendar at the bottom. The calendar is spiral-bound at the top with a hole drilled just beneath the spiral so you display one page at a time.

In addition to keeping art near its native size I’ve also sized most of the artwork so it will easily fit a standard frame size. Some images, such as “Shades of Gray” and “World Cat” are smaller than the originals to fit the page. I chose sketches for popularity and narrowed them down for a variety of style and medium. All of the images but one are in color; none of the pencil, charcoal or ink sketches seemed to fit with the color art in the calendar, so of course that might be a calendar of its own someday.

And there are actually 14 sketches if you count the cover, and there’s a bonus sketch on the title page that’s the one pencil sketch, but because covers see more wear and the title page image is a little small I’m keeping the title at 12. The art included in the calendar is:

Cover: Mimi’s Sunbath

Title page: A Tangle of Cats at the Door

January: Winter Light

February: Shades of Gray

March: Catamount Brushmore

April: Two Cats After van Gogh

May: In Afternoon Sun

June: Lazy Saturday Afternoon

July: Stanley with Geraniums

August: Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol

September: Three Warm Cats on a Cool Ground

October: Two in a Basket

November: Vigilant Nap

December: World Cat

This calendar costs a little more than the typical calendar because of the size and quality, and the value of what’s in it—I generally sell my prints for $10.00 to $25.00 each depending on the size, but in this calendar you get 14 prints if you count each image, for one price—$2.50 for each of 14 prints plus $10.00 to help FosterCat, Inc. house and support the cats in their system of foster homes, find homes for the cats they’ve rescued and help sponsor many cats rescued by Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement.

Order a calendar now

Calendars are $45.00 and as mentioned above I will donate $10.00 of each sale to FosterCat, Inc. Not only has FosterCat been doing its typical wonderful work in rescuing and finding forever homes for cats of all ages through its foster home-only all-volunteer organization, they have also been helping kittens and cats find homes who have been rescued by Pittsburgh Feral Cat Movement, which allows all those who volunteer as a rescue to foster more cats and kittens.

Click here to order a calendar through my Etsy shop.

 


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 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

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

HOME


March Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar

watercolor of two cats
“Mother and Daughter, Sun and Shadow”, watercolor on paper, 6″ x 4″, 2012 © B.E. Kazmarski

The soft mixed pastels of this watercolor sketch welcome spring for me, and I hope they do for you as well for this month’s featured artwork and desktop calendar.

These two were curled up together on the rug on the landing, in very diffuse sunlight, not the bright morning light we often have, but it reflected off the white walls and created some interesting color combinations in their fur as well as reflected areas. Nice composition they made, and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with it at first, but I’m glad I chose watercolor for its opacity.

“Mother and Daughter, Sun and Shadow” is one of my daily sketches from last June when I was still experimenting with my watercolor pencils, mixing my love of simple sketches with the ability to blend colors, though not with my fingers as I am accustomed with my other familiar dry media of pastel, pencil, charcoal and the like. I sketched the basis of this, Mewsette and Mimi curled together on that pink flowered rug in a patch of sun on the upstairs landing, then ran a wet watercolor brush over it, just water, and let the colors blend as they would, magically turning my sketch into something I had not visualized.

How fun! Unplanned colors and textures blended to enhance the sketch, the shapes and open spaces, the reds, blues and yellows mingling just enough to add to the spectrum of colors and softening to a gentle pastel. Stopping after that first wash, I let it dry, then decided to reinforce the outlines of the two cats in a color I had not initially used, a dark green. And there I stopped. That’s often the most difficult part.

For me, this is the fun and the importance of creating my daily sketches. I don’t get the opportunity to experiment as often as I’d like, it’s best for me to use a subject I’m familiar with. When I was learning calligraphy and mastering the different pen tips and inks, I used my name, all 25 letters of it and including some atypical shapes and combinations, lettering it over and over so that I could focus on just the skill. Years ago, when I’d decided I was finally going to learn to draw I decided to use my cats as models for the same reason, and today it is the same; rendering things I see all the time in my familiar space I am able to focus on the medium and explore its capabilities without worrying if my subject is correct.

This month’s desktop calendar

And just as it’s entertaining and instructive for me to create daily sketches, in my life as a graphic designer it’s also fun for me to design something just for me, and to work out creative ideas with these desktop calendars each month.

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

Visit The Creative Cat to download the desktop calendar for your electronic device.



Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

BaxterBailey-icon


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

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know
image of cat calendars
2013 desk and journal calendars on sale!

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