I took a sweet but very typical photo of Jelly Bean and Mewsette napping on my desk, one of a series I’d used, and did a little filtering and coloring to see what came up. I had actually wanted a totally different filter that looked like embossed paper, but too much detail was lost. I used “graphic pen” instead, but first, because they are so dark, I lightened the photo way higher than I normally would have so nearly all of it was a mix of midrange tones with a few deep darks and complete whites, then used the filter and added a tone of yellow so it looked a bit sepia.
But something was just not complete enough and I knew it looked flat. Mewsette, on the right, had enough detail, but Bean was just a blob, which he is, but he also had some cute details. So I chose a purple I liked and brushed it in the midrange areas at a 5% opacity, layering a bit in darker areas and fading out in lighter areas, then chose a yellow and brushed that on the highlights. Now they look like my kitties!
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We are part of the Caturday Art Blog Hop
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What other photos did I feature around this date?
Four cats were totally rapt at whatever was happening out the back door. Mimi’s silhouette is at the top right on top of a shelf next to the door, Mewsette’s silhouette is below her, on the stool by the door. On the left you can just see Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe’s silhouettes. I couldn’t see what they were looking at until I walked around behind them, and then I walked all around the kitchen. Not a move, not a chirp from any of them, just a lot of very focused feline eyes…
It was just Buddy, our squirrel! Though I don’t know why he didn’t spontaneously combust with all those feline death rays headed his way. In the background, in the window of the blue house, you can see my neighbor’s kitty who I’ve photographed and sketched as part of my “neighborhood cats” series.
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A Two-cat Basket, 2011
Mr. Sunshine and Giuseppe cuddle in my market basket, filled with all my empty canvas bags. Anything makes a comfortable bed when a sibling is willing to be your pillow! And Mr. Sunshine isn’t one to tuck in his tail—it’s curled around behind Giuseppe outside the basket.
This basket goes way, way back, and has known many cats.
There actually is a traditional basket called a “Two-pie Basket” which is rectangular with a flat bottom big enough to hold two pies side by side with a squared-off arched handle across the center that balances the weight. I learned to make baskets years ago, first from store-bought materials, mostly inexpensive round vine and flat pieces of the same material in various widths and thicknesses. I made the market basket they are in, oh, nearly 30 years ago out of those materials using a pattern in a book of traditional basket patterns I’d found in order to shop in Pittsburgh’s Strip District where you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of other goodies directly from the wholesalers. This pattern is called an “Egg Basket” because the divide in the bottom of the basket holds the eggs in two groups so they don’t roll around and so that they don’t stack up all their weight in one central point in the bottom of the basket.
This basket is a little large to carry eggs safely without breaking unless you’re collecting goose eggs, but it’s just right for two cats! So in honor of the baskets I learned to make and the traditional patterns and their names, and all the cats who’ve slept in this basket, its honorary name is The Two-cat Basket. It has seen every generation of cats who have ever lived with me.
And I can tell you that, store-bought materials or traditional vine and oak splits, kitties do love to help you construct your basket! I remember making many a basket with Kublai grabbing one end of the weaver and trying to run off, or Sally hopping in when the basket was just a bunch of empty ribs and a handle.
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Cookie the Receptionist, 2011
I’m going to help Mom at her desk today. I’m going to answer the phone when it rings so Mom can get her work done. After all these years I’ve spent hanging around Mom’s desk, I should know how to work a phone! And I can be courteous and polite and most people who meet me like me. Then maybe we can eat dinner a few hours earlier!
[LATER THAT MORNING...]
OMG, I’ll never do that again! Can we just eat dinner now so I can go to bed?!
[Sorry, Cookie, it's not even lunch time...]
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!