Kelly pauses in the stark pastel light of a winter afternoon through the big north window in my studio, absolutely still in contemplation as she watches birds flit about at the feeders or Buddy the squirrel making a fool of himself. Kelly is petite for an adult cat, making the window seem vast, and the light is so diffuse that nothing has a hard edge. It is a scene I remember even in the heat of summer.
“Winter Window” is an original pastel on drawing paper I prepared myself, image size 8″ x 8″ painted in 2002 right in my office while Kelly looked out the window, and as often happens capturing that moment of inspiration also catches something essential that more planned paintings don’t. Though only I would recognize this as Kelly and she is facing away I will always feel I captured something very deep about her personality and about our relationship with this simple image.
In 2002 I was casting about for a holiday card image, saw little Kelly quietly looking out the window as she often did; silently so not to startle her I grabbed my pastels and a piece of my “experimental” drawing paper and got to work, standing right in the middle of the room to quickly capture the essence of the scene I visualized in that instant: the pastel winter light different in each pane of the window, the view softened by falling snow, the muted shadows inside, the softness of the bright overcast snow light. But it was all inspired by Kelly’s particular quiet and contemplative nature, I just loved her little shape, her petite figure in the midst of that vast light, and even then I remembered her early history living outdoors with a stray/feral colony; I had always wondered, in these moments, if she thought about those experiences that had so marked her cheerful and affectionate nature with timidity. For me, this has always been a portrait of the Kelly I knew who lived in her happy world with me and her feline siblings, but with part of her still in that other life, and separate from me. Who would know that in one quick visual and a 15-minute sketch I would be able to capture all that? But as always, I’m glad I took the time, and now I have this wonderful memory.
“Winter Window” was purchased by a Creative Cat reader who knew Kelly through my articles, and understood how I might feel about letting go of this painting soon after I’d lost Kelly in 2012, but just as I have always been more than happy when a beloved foster cat went to a loving forever home, so I am with my artwork, that it finds a home where it will be admired and cherished. Read more about her here.
Find this image on cards and merchandise
“Winter Window” can be found in two of my sets of cards.
- “Winter Cats” is a collection for Christmas and the winter holidays and includes four designs.
- As a single greeting card and as part of my “Feline Greetings Art Cards” is a collection for everyday greetings and includes 12 designs.
I also offer a variety of digital and canvas prints, find this on Portraits of Animals.
Each week on Wednesday I feature a piece of artwork, sometimes a current or historic portrait, sometimes an illustration or an art project from years ago, usually cat-themed, but sometimes wildlife or even non-animal subjects, and even projects from my commercial art life. Read other Featured Artwork posts.
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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.
© 2016 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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!