Tag Archives: wildlife

On the Wild Side

pastel painting of wolves

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

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

portraits of animals logo

My official logo for Portraits of Animals.

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

Backyard Birds in Winter

Snow Bird

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

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

. . . . . . .

Wolf Howl

pastel painting of wolves

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

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

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

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

. . . . . . .

Bison Shadow

detail of painting of bison grazing in sunset prairie

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . . . .

pastel painting of cardinal in snow

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

Accent

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

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


Other Wildlife Art

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


Marketplace

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

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

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

Read about creating custom items

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

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

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

Donations

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

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

Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


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

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“Taking Flight”, Original Pastel and Prints

detail of whopping crane painting“Taking Flight”, pastel on Canson pastel paper, 18.25″ wide x 12.25″ high

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

detail of whopping crane painting
Detail, cranes.

And I read about them and discovered their plight, having no idea they were so imperiled. Visiting what had once been their habitat on Assateague Island, Virginia, I imagined what they might have looked like in the whispering marshes.

detail of whopping crane painting
Detail, marsh grasses.

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

detail of whopping crane painting
Detail, water, “Taking Flight”.

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

This painting is 18.25″ wide x 12.25″ high using Rembrandt pastels on Canson pastel paper because, again, I wanted to use the texture of the paper to break up the image, loosen up the edges to capture that feeling of constant movement on a breezy day in a marsh, the marsh grasses waving, the water lapping, the cranes splashing through the water. Though I wanted it loose it ended up being looser than I’d intended; I was still working in a fairly detailed style then and had pictured the birds with more detail, but I reached this point and stopped, then decided this was it.

This is an original pastel painting of two whooping cranes taking off in a marsh on a summer afternoon, 18.25″ wide x 12.25″ high using Rembrandt pastels on Canson pastel paper.

ORIGINAL PAINTING

The painting is 18.5″ wide x 13″ high, matted with a 4″ warm cream acid-free mat with 1/4″ burnished gold wood fillet edging and 1-1/4″ burnished gold frame. The backing is acid-free foam core and the glass is premium clear glass. You can find the original and prints made from it in my Etsy shop.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship.

I offer giclees of this painting in two different sizes: the full size of 18.25″ wide x 12.25″ and a roughly half-size of 8″ x 12″.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on acid-free matte-finish natural white 100# cover using archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I, as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. Digital prints are available up to full size of 18.25″ wide x 12.25″, which is printed on 13″ x 19″ paper and so has very little white border. Other sizes have at least a 1″ white border, 2″ if possible. All are countersigned by me.

CANVAS PRINTS

Because the standard size canvas prints are not proportional to the original painting, canvas prints of this painting will have a portion cropped off of each side.

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

SHIPPING

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope.

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Other Wildlife Art

You can find other wildlife artwork in my Etsy shop.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

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

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


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

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Blue Tuna, original painting and 12 oz. mugs

three mugs with painting

Blue Tuna mugs with the original painting.

These are 12 oz. glazed ceramic mugs with the my painting “Blue Tuna” dye-sublimated into the surface. I am selling them individually, but will also a set of two or all three; see below. I photographed them with the framed original painting that was used to create the artwork.

mug with blue tuna painting

Section 1 of the mug.

This painting was an experiment on a “velour” style of pastel drawing paper. I wanted to get both the smooth transitions of light and dark in water, and the clarity of the reflections without really hard edges. Because the tuna are in fairly deep water, the ripple reflections are a little soft on the edges, and the velour helped to carry that.

mug with blue tuna painting

Section 2 of the painting.

The reproduction on the mugs is a little deeper and more vibrant than the original painting, but after seeing the proofs of these mugs I decided I liked it even though it wasn’t accurate to the original painting.

mug with blue tuna painting

Section 3 of the painting.

All three mugs are identical, but the design wraps around so I photographed it in three sections. Hope there’s no confusion!

If you would like a set of two mugs for $18.00 or three for $25.00, please let me know. I will fill your order if enough mugs are left.

Find them in my Etsy shop.

Original Painting

The original painting is also for sale in my Etsy shop. The painting is 18″ wide x 12″ high with a 6″ wide double slate-blue mat with blue core and 1″ wide silver metal frame with a beaded inner edge.

 

frame and mat on painting

Frame and mat on Blue Tuna.

If you’d like the painting and the mugs, please let me know and I’ll give you a deal on the whole thing!

And you can also purchase this painting as a print in various sizes and formats, and as a 5″ x 7″ greeting card in my Fine Art America gallery.


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.


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

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“Taking Flight” and the Fall Migration Festival with Wildbird Recovery

print of whooping cranes in wetland

“Taking Flight”, pastel, 12.25″ x 18.25″, 2002 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’ll be attending the Wildbird Recovery Fall Migration Festival Sunday, September 22, 2013, and a print of the work above is my donation. If you’re local, join us—the rain promises to clear up for a lovely autumn afternoon!

Back in May I found a bird that had obviously been injured on the street in front of my house and knew it needed medical assistance. I called around and eventually took this bird to Wildbird Recovery, and promised that for their kindness and all the work they do rehabilitating wild birds I’d donate a piece of artwork when I could, and this is my chance.

This is an archival-quality full-size giclee printed on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of two whooping cranes taking off in a marsh on a summer afternoon.

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

And I read about them and discovered their plight, having no idea they were so imperiled. Visiting what had once been their habitat on Assateague Island, Virginia, I imagined what they might have looked like in the whispering marshes.

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

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

The print image is 24″ wide x 16″ high with 1/4″ of white around the outside edges, countersigned by the me. This print is a little larger than the original painting—the printer simply printed it the wrong size. I also have an actual size giclee of this painting, as well as a quarter-size giclee.

I also have the original painting, matted and framed and ready to hang.

If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.


Wolves and Bison and Polar Bears, Oh My!

pastel painting of wolves

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

“Wolf Howl”, above, is an archival-quality 26″ x 18.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of wolves howling in a twilight snow. It’s easy to personify what animals do, but when I saw this picture I pondered what made these wolves stop at that point and howl while the rest of the group moved on, and what they had to say. The range of dusky earth tones and the textures inspired me to render it in a looser and more sketchy manner than usual, much as our eyes perceive things at dusk, letting the texture of the paper add to the image, and allowing rough edges to show some of the actual natural paper tone.

His Majesty, Gray Wolf, Framed Original Pastel

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

pastel painting of bison at twilight

We go from snowy mountains to the hot and arid Great Plains.  “Shadow of Bison” is an archival-quality 26.5″ x 17.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of bison in a western twilight. I saw a photo in a magazine and remembered historical and fictional novels I’d read about Native Americans (wearing my long hair in two braids my entire childhood) to the “Little House on the Prairie” series and the settlement of the Great Plains and put together what I saw in photos and what I’d visualized while reading of a countryside I’ve never seen. This looks like a lot of bison, but considering how many populated this country just 200 years ago, this herd is just a shadow of what it once was, and in this orange twilight even their shapes are reduced to shadows. I also have quarter-size digital and giclee prints of this image as well as the original painting which is not listed, but ask if you are interested.

pastel painting of whooping cranes

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

Asleep in the Snow, Polar Bear Family, Giclee

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

pastel painting of cougar

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

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

 


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


Wildlife Artwork

pastel painting of cougar

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

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

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

pastel painting of wolves

“Wolf Howl” is an archival-quality 26″ x 18.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of wolves howling in a twilight snow. It’s easy to personify what animals do, but when I saw this picture I pondered what made these wolves stop at that point and howl while the rest of the group moved on, and what they had to say. The range of dusky earth tones and the textures inspired me to render it in a looser and more sketchy manner than usual, much as our eyes perceive things at dusk, letting the texture of the paper add to the image, and allowing rough edges to show some of the actual natural paper tone.

pastel painting of bison at twilight

I’ve only flown over the Great Plains, but read so much about it and can visualize from a good manuscript. “Shadow of Bison” is an archival-quality 26.5″ x 17.5″ signed giclee print on acid-free hot press art paper from an original pastel painting of bison in a western twilight. I saw a photo in a magazine and remembered historical and fictional novels I’d read from the “Little House on the Prairie” series to the settlement of the Great Plains and put together what I saw in photos and what I’d visualized while reading of a countryside I’ve never seen. This looks like a lot of bison, but considering how many populated this country just 200 years ago, this herd is just a shadow of what it once was, and in this orange twilight even their shapes are reduced to shadows.

pastel painting of whooping cranes

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

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

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

Black Cat Friday

Small Business “Cat”-urday Specials

Shop Cat Sunday Deals


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


Blue Tuna, original painting and 12 oz. mugs

three mugs with painting

Blue Tuna mugs with the original painting.

These are 12 oz. glazed ceramic mugs with the my painting “Blue Tuna” dye-sublimated into the surface. I am selling them individually, but will also a set of two or all three; see below. I photographed them with the framed original painting that was used to create the artwork.

mug with blue tuna painting

Section 1 of the mug.

This painting was an experiment on a “velour” style of pastel drawing paper. I wanted to get both the smooth transitions of light and dark in water, and the clarity of the reflections without really hard edges. Because the tuna are in fairly deep water, the ripple reflections are a little soft on the edges, and the velour helped to carry that.

mug with blue tuna painting

Section 2 of the painting.

The reproduction on the mugs is a little deeper and more vibrant than the original painting, but after seeing the proofs of these mugs I decided I liked it even though it wasn’t accurate to the original painting.

mug with blue tuna painting

Section 3 of the painting.

All three mugs are identical, but the design wraps around so I photographed it in three sections. Hope there’s no confusion!

If you would like a set of two mugs for $18.00 or three for $25.00, please let me know. I will fill your order if enough mugs are left.

Find them in my Etsy shop.

Original Painting

The original painting is also for sale in my Etsy shop. The painting is 18″ wide x 12″ high with a 6″ wide double slate-blue mat with blue core and 1″ wide silver metal frame with a beaded inner edge.

 

frame and mat on painting

Frame and mat on Blue Tuna.

If you’d like the painting and the mugs, please let me know and I’ll give you a deal on the whole thing!

And you can also purchase this painting as a print in various sizes and formats, and as a 5″ x 7″ greeting card in my Fine Art America gallery.


Taking Flight, a Summer Afternoon in the Marsh

pastel painting of whooping cranes

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

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

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

detail of whooping cranes painting

Detail of cranes.

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

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

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

detail of painting

Detail of marsh grasses and sky.

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

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

detail of painting

Detail of water.

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

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

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

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


Another Place for My Art: Distinctively Different Decor…

framed print of cat looking through lace curtain

Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things, photo © B.E. Kazmarski

Interior designer—and fellow cat rescuer—Bonita Farinelli and I met yesterday to consign a number of pieces of my artwork and prints to her Boutique at Distinctively Different Decor & More in Carnegie.

framed pastel of two borzoi dogs

Borzois, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

And you can have the chance to see it at her March Open House on Sunday, March 25, 2012.

framed print of doves

Biding Time, print © B.E. Kazmarski

I’m so glad when my artwork can be out in the public, and when I’m not there with it I especially appreciate when it’s in the hands of a person who understands and respects it. Bonita is a fellow business owner in Carnegie and has converted a solid but sad unused building into a lovely place to look at, and plied her many skills and inspirations with fabrics, patterns and colors into works from handmade pillows to entire houses of unique colors, furniture and draperies.

print of whooping cranes in wetland

Taking Flight, print © B.E. Kazmarski

I learned she was a cat lover when in her display for an event at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall last year she included a pair of breathtaking modern-styled feline-themed lamps. At that event and subsequent events and mixers we began trading cat stories and creative ideas and knew a partnership would work.

pastel of black cat on floor

Are You Looking at Me? © B.E. Kazmarski

Got art? How much do you want? You have the space, I can fill it up with many different styles and sizes and subjects from abstract black and white photography to highly detailed realistic paintings to whimsical layered and textured “white collages”.

framed collage

Gateway Center, Pittsburgh, white collage © B.E. Kazmarski

I have a number of cat and dog works there as well as landscapes and photography, a mix of originals and prints, small and large, all framed and ready to hang.

portrait of two dogs

Sophie and Ellie Being Very Good, print © B.E. Kazmarski

I hope to see you there at some point on Saturday! And soon I will be writing about Bonita’s animal-inspired creations as well!

pastel painting of sunset on lake

Burnished Waves, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Bonita also has need of a framer so we’ll be working together on a number of things.

watercolor of beach houses on the bay

Sunset on the Bay, watercolor © B. E. Kazmarski

See you there!


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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