Working on my pastel paintings is often like fingerpainting for me—blend a lot of pastel onto the paper, then swirl it around with my fingers. Often each finger is responsible for its own color, coated and caked with a solid layer of pastel. So what do I do with the pastel on my fingers, and that’s dropped onto a piece of paper to catch the dust before it hits the floor? Giuseppe was conveniently sleeping in the doorway, I picked up my sketchpad in my very pastel-covered fingers and went to work. Tracing his shape with my fingertips was a unique and very deep experience in my connection with Giuseppe, unlike using a brush or pencil or pastel stick or anything else that creates even a bit of a distance between me and my subject.
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What was I sketching on this date?
Watching, From Above, 2012
Mewsette and Giuseppe are actually watching Jelly Bean, who is doing nothing. Actually, Bean is sitting behind a small pile of crumpled packing paper on the landing, pretty certain no one can see him. His sister and brother are trying to disabuse him of his misconception. He is not invisible, they are looking right at him. The simple statement and response made via body language last long enough for me to sketch their shapes and outline the dark areas before they look away, look at me, greet each other, and go off to do something else, while I finish their sketch, mostly, from my outlines and visual notes.
Uncertain about the shadows on faces I’ve outlined, I need to try to coax Giuseppe into a similar position and see the white areas I’ve left open are actually the two black cat bald spots right in front of his ears. Mewsette will have none of modeling in the position I want, but she will swat playfully at my charcoal pencil and attempt to bite it while walking in little circles and waving her tail.
And that’s the way it is.
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Under the Kitty Keep-warm Lights, 2012
They were immobile under the kitty keep-warm lamps at my computer. I couldn’t get any work done, all I could do was sketch them.
Jelly Bean watched me because my drawing things make neat little scratching noises on the paper. Mewsette simply napped.
Giuseppe couldn’t decide on his position, starting out crouching in front of me, then suddenly sitting up. I waited, sketched a basic sketch of him crouching, then worked on finishing it. Then he sat up, indicating he’d prefer being in that position. I did too, but he had decided against it and I sketched him crouching. He insisted. I told him I’d sketch him as one big black scribble and what would Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite think of that? He immediately dropped back to a crouch.
Love, what it does to cats.
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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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