Featured Artwork: “Kelly’s Morning Bath” Block Print on Handmade Papers

"Kelly's Morning Bath II", linoleum block print on handmade rice paper, 4" x 11", 2015 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Kelly’s Morning Bath II”, linoleum block print on handmade rice paper, 4″ x 11″, 2015 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It’s coming around again to spring, and even the little bit of the lilac that’s left outside the big north window has sprouted leaves. The morning sun reminds me of years ago when that lilac was very small and I had an inspiration one morning watching Kelly at her bath in the sun by that window.

Kelly at the Window, Morning.
Kelly at the Window, Morning.

The photo above is from 2011 and the one below from 2012. Watching Kelly bathe enthusiastically every morning in front of this window where the morning sun shines through the leaves at a wonderful angle, silhouetting her and the window itself, I visualized a finished work as a block print to capture the stark dark and light and later using various colored and patterned papers to capture the leafy essence outside the window.

You’re probably familiar with “The Roundest Eyes”, a block print inspired by Kelly. She also inspired another block print—the “Kelly’s Morning Bath” prints were the first feline pictorial block print I designed all the way back in 1998, even before The Tortie Girls duo of block prints in 2001.

Kelly bathed frequently and always had the habit of giving herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast in the sun on the table in front of the big casement window, which was then my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry. At some point in the bath sequence, she would pause and look at me, having been so engrossed in her bath she’d forgotten I was there, one of the habits she maintained from her early life as a frightened stray kitty. I couldn’t decide which of Kelly’s positions was the one I wanted to capture so I decided a print with multiple frames would work best and liked it even better than the original single frame, capturing the process of the bath. I caught a number photos of Kelly in the act, none of them very good, so I pieced the idea together with photos of the window and Kelly in various bath positions. The photo below will give you an idea of the leafy quality, the light and shadow, and Kelly’s little shape.

Kelly on the windowsill.

Once I decided on the three frames I wanted to use I placed them in various orders, but there was only one sequence that I liked best. Here is my first design for Kelly’s Morning Bath.

Kelly’s Morning Bath 1

Above was my initial idea, capturing only the essential parts of the scene. It was just what I’d been visualizing but it looked a little stark. So I designed and cut one with a more decorative border, added more of the window and eliminated the shading across the middle keeping it stark black and white, and I liked that design too!

Kelly’s Morning Bath 2

They officially became Kelly’s Morning Bath 1 and 2.

Printing these two designs on unique papers wasn’t part of the design plan because I love block prints on snowy white rice paper, but when I began finding handmade rice papers with leaves and flowers embedded I knew I’d found the best choices.

Since I’ve been printing them on gift bags and tote bags and other things, I’ve come to use version 1 as a framed and matted print because it has just the essential image and the mat gives it an edge so it doesn’t look so stark, and version 2 as an imprint because it has the decorative border, but both look equally good in a mat and frame.

These prints now capture the memory of sunny mornings as this window in my house faces the side where the cherry tree fell last year, where my lilac and a number of trees filtered the sun, speckling the table with splashes of sun and shadow. They are printed on rice papers with leaves and flower petals imprinted, handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper (could it be any better?) in a dozen varieties of prints with a white or a cream background, and shades of green, rose and rust for spring, summer and fall.

Order a print of “Kelly’s Morning Bath”

You can order prints alone, a matted print, or a matted and framed print as you can see below in the list under “Options for ordering”. The frames are the same on all prints, a matte-finish flat black.

After that you decide whether you want Kelly’s Morning Bath I, without the border, or II, with the border.

Below that you’ll see a gallery of prints with numbers so that you can even choose the paper you want. The colors in the paper determine the mat that goes with it.

Options for ordering:

A. Framed, double matted print, either design, 7″ x 14″, $55.00
B. Double matted print, either design 7″ x 14″, $45.00
C. Print only, either design, $35.00

Choose your design

Choose from either Kelly’s Morning Bath I, without the border, or II, with the border.

Choose your print

Choose the number of the print from the galleries below.

Kelly’s Morning Bath I choices:

Kelly’s Morning Bath II choices:

Choose your framing

Style of frame and tones of mat may vary, but the frame will always be plain matte black and the mats will always be in either pink/green or tan/green to coordinate with the print.

Order your print:

About Block Printing

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique. Kelly was indeed on my work table to supervise the printing of this block print inspired by her daily morning bath in front of our favorite window. You can see a little demonstration of block printing in this post about my hand-printed Valentines.

You can also find these Kelly’s Morning Bath prints and other feline linoleum block prints on Portraits of Animals.


tortoiseshell cat drinking water with watercolors
No project can begin until someone tastes the paint water.

No project can begin until someone tastes the paint water.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

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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.

© 2017 | 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!




Friendship Friday.
Friendship Friday.

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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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