Peaches was rescued as a kitten from a feral colony, socialized, and adopted, and lived 17 years with one person who adored her. Now nearing 80, losing Peaches was very difficult for her, and as she struggled with being alone after 17 years of feline company her daughter commissioned a portrait for her mother’s birthday present. She sent a number of photos, and as soon as I saw this photo, showing Peaches in her favorite bed and at an angle to show a good many of her most familiar features, I knew this would be the one. I could visualize her fur and the bed at once. Below is that photo.
One detail in that photo that wasn’t optimal for a portrait was that Peaches wasn’t looking at the viewer. That’s not necessary in a portrait, but in this case it would be most fitting. I used another photo to see her eye color and approximate the shape of her eyes in this position.
The portrait was to be 8 x 10 and mostly filled with Peaches, but I always cut a larger piece of pastel paper and so ended up drawing the entire bed. I could test and change colors in the areas I knew wouldn’t show, and drawing the whole thing helped me keep the shape at the right angle.
She also wanted me to frame the portrait, but the molding I had in mind after her suggestions wasn’t available. I used a premade frame that was more decorative than I had had in mind, but I really like it, and it sounded good to the daughter.
The daughter is the woman who trapped that kitten all those years ago, Lorraine, one of the founders of Freya’s Cat Rescue in New Jersey, and she still manages that licensed and microchipped colony. Over the years Lorraine and others have trapped many cats and kittens from the colony and returned the ones who were truly feral but found homes for the frightened strays and the kittens. Unfortunately, after all those years, she was forced move that colony, including all their houses and feeding stations, during the winter. Peaches was a very early rescue from that colony, and losing her during that time made moving the colony especially sad.
Lorraine let me know that her mother was impressed with the portrait, and it brought her happiness in a dark time. I’m happy I could help her with her grief.
After I framed Peaches and set her up to take a photograph, Mewsette went over to commune with her. A little love from my kitties goes with each of my portraits, and likely more than a few cat hairs too.
I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.
Take a look at other portraits and read other stories
Read articles on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.
Read about how I create commissioned portraits.
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Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.
Download a Brochure
My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.
Purchase a Gift Certificate
I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $50.00, which is the basic cost of a small monochromatic portrait.
The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.
I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.
Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.
You can purchase gift certificates here or from Portraits of Animals if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.
I prefer to look over the work and price the portrait according to how much work will go into it, as described above, but you can either set a budget or get started by purchasing a certificate for yourself or as a gift.
How to Order
- “Certificate A” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 black and white or monochromatic portrait with one subject.
- “Certificate B” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 color portrait with one subject.
- Choose “A” or “B” depending on whether your portrait is black and white or color.
- If your portrait will be larger or have more subjects, add $50 or $100 or more to your certificate value with the drop-down below.
CERTIFICATE A $50.00
- Size: 8 x 10
- Subjects: One
- Color: black and white media such as charcoal, pencil, ink, or monochromatic media such as one color of pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
- Background or objects: none but shading or colored paper
CERTIFICATE B $100.00
- Size: 8 x 10
- Subjects: One
- Color: full color media such as pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
- Background or objects: none but a color or colored paper
Add to your certificate purchase
You can use the second drop down to add $50.00 or $100.00. For amounts over this we’d probably have a conversation and I can set up a custom certificate for your purchase.
You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive when you order. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.
Art and Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Give the gift of art, and a portrait of a beloved pet
Is there an animal lover on your list who has every cat or dog-themed t-shirt and handbag, and even their pets have every toy they can use for the rest of their natural lives? Consider a Commissioned Portrait Gift Certificate. Whether it’s for someone else or yourself, a custom portrait is different from a professional photograph because we can create the scene that you remember even if you never had the chance to photograph it. Your household of animal companions can be grouped in a natural setting even if their lives didn’t overlap. Purchase a certificate here or on Portraits of Animals.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals 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! —