Daily Sketch: A Good Scratch on the Deck Rail

charcoal sketch of cat
“A Good Scratch on the Deck Rail”, charcoal pencil, 9″ x 6″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mimi exercises just about every muscle in her body having a really good scratch on the deck rail this afternoon.

My cats have always loved to scratch wood, especially dry, old unfinished wood. They can really get their claws down into the grain of an old pine board and it must feel pretty satisfying.

Generations of kitties who visited the outdoors with me have loved my deck steps and railing. The entire deck is made of untreated lumber, and I’ve been careful to keep the wood clean and treated with a water-based environmentally-safe waterproofing treatment. It’s lasted me over 20 years, not counting the time before I moved in when the deck had no finish on it whatsoever, and in time the top surface of the deck rail, which sees the most weather, has begun to split between the grain.

Mimi stops to scratch at several places along the railing, but this is her favorite, possibly because it’s always been the most weathered—the cut end of the top board. She can really dig in and wrap her paws around that one!

Of course, she was very busy and moving around quite a bit so I had to fill in some of the details later, but a quick charcoal sketch captured just some of her energy. Though I sketch my cats indoors all the time, I actually associate sketching and painting outdoors with landscapes and felt myself move into that mode while working, drawing a larger image on the paper, looking at the larger picture, literally, and just feeling more free with my lines, interesting, perhaps I just felt like I had more room to move. Perhaps one of these days I’ll sketch Mimi outdoors.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

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Read about the reason for the daily sketches in One Year of Daily Sketches.

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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.

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2 thoughts on “Daily Sketch: A Good Scratch on the Deck Rail

  • April 24, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Cats with claws. It’s a good thing. —
    Martha Stewart (if she really liked cats)

    • April 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

      We definitely hear more about Martha’s dogs! But cats with claws are definitely the way to be.


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