I recently published my e-newsletter for the “other” part of my creative passion, nature and wildlife. I keep these two categories kind of separate so that I don’t completely overwhelm everyone with how much I have to share. Since Earth Day is right around the corner I thought I’d share that information with you along with the discount I offer in the newsletter.
I have been publishing my Nature and Wildlife newsletter far longer than The Creative Cat preview e-newsletter, and about once a year for the first few years one issue really was a mailed piece, post card or flyer. In fact, it extends back to the time when I began to participate in art exhibits and sell merchandise in addition to my artwork, some time in the mid 90s when I first got an email address and set up my first website, probably just a little over 20 years ago, and was called “What’s New in Bernadette’s Studio?” I always included a few commercial design and illustration projects, some of my community development and organization/volunteer activities, and always my new feline artwork and animal portraits. Some of my art and portrait customers have been following me since then and still receive it. I branched out The Creative Cat preview e-newsletter a few years ago when The Creative Cat itself became popular enough to carry its own audience and I had fun offering new items and special discounts to the feline audience who follow me here each day.
I publish my Nature and Wildlife e-newsletter quarterly, on the first day of each season, and feature seasonal artwork, merchandise and thoughts. I always offer a discount on seasonal artwork on my website. This quarter, because I missed the Winter Solstice issue, the discount covers all art and prints regardless of subject—and that includes feline artwork as well. You are more than welcome to use the code: SPRINGINTOSUMMER25.
Here is a link to the e-newsletter, and below is a little bit of what was in this issue.
Nature and Wildlife Sampler Box, Single or Subscription
You are probably more than familiar with my Feline-themed Sampler Boxes, which have been available for a year. Nature and Wildlife Sampler Boxes are distributed quarterly at about the same time as the e-newsletter. Above is the selection of items for the Spring 2017 Sampler Box: a matted print of “Pear Trees on Main Street”, a photo print of “Nodding Trillium”, “Tea for Tulips” Fine Art Card, “You’re My Best Frond” flower greeting card, and at least one Flowery Gift Bag, plus an item not pictured because I want it to be a surprise. Just as it is with my Feline Sampler Boxes, this is typically a new item offered first in the sampler box, and often handmade and unique. You’ll note that the weather would not cooperate with Mimi and me to take a nice photo of these items.
All boxes will contain:
- a 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10” print matted and ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a photo
- an alternate print of any size, unmatted, different from the main print in media, style, subject, etc.
- several greeting cards: a fine art card and a photo greeting card and two or more note cards, current designs and new designs
- a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance
- the “boxes” are not boxes at all because they vary so much in content so they are carefully wrapped with wrapping paper made from my designs that you can reuse
These can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to a fundraiser. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer. Visit the Nature and Wildlife Sampler Box Program page to sign up.
You can also visit the Feline Sampler Box page if somehow you’ve never visited them.
Flowers and Gardens Keepsake Boxes
I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing. Each is unique though I may make a popular one more than once. Keepsakes range in price from $10 to $20 each, including shipping. On the Handmade Gift Items page scroll down to the Keepsakes section.
Flowery Gift Bags
You know I love my gift bags! I currently create these bags with medium-size commercial gift bags and adhere a print of the art to the front of the bag. I created bags from my flower and garden paintings and photos first so I could include them in the e-newsletter, and I just finished a huge batch of feline bags that I’m still listing on my site. They are all listed in the same place so you can browse and buy them both. Gift bags are $4.00 each, including shipping, with discounts for purchase of three or six. On the Handmade Gift Items page scroll down to the Gift Bags section.
Four Spring Paintings as a Grouping or in Pairs
I love that bright spring green and the way shadows are shaped as the leaves begin to fill out the trees. I painted these four small pastels en plein air, in my back yard and walking around Carnegie. From the top they are: From the Ground Up, Spring Sidewalk, Bench in Spring and Spring Grass. From the Ground Up is one that Mimi led me to see and paint.
They are framed in identical white painted wood frames with a tiny white mat, with glass, of course. They look nice as a grouping of four paintings, or in pairs.
I have them listed individually for $100.00 each, but sold as a group of four would be $350.00, and in pairs $175.00.
An Incredibly Beautiful Morning on the Panhandle Trail
Back to winter for a moment. When I saw the snow that morning, just an inch or two carefully blanketing each branch and twig in the tree outside my window I knew what my destiny would be if the snow stopped and the sun came out. It did, and I headed for the Panhandle Trail, on foot just planning about an hour of photos in the first half mile of the trail. Mission accomplished.
As I drove there, looking at the sun and shadow play across the frosted hills and glow down into valleys I had an idea for two photos I wanted to capture. Here they are, and as a bonus I got 37 others that I love too. These two and others will definitely be a part of my Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail this coming August.
I usually try not to plan ahead for photos because it’s possible to miss others while focusing on a goal that may not even be possible. I was lucky this particular morning and not only captured the ones I wanted, but many, many more I would never have imagined.
The vertical photo is called Frosted and the horizontal one is called Dramatic Light. Click the photo or the text link to read more. You can see the whole gallery of photos on my photography website Today in Exceptional Snow Day on the Trail.
Custom Artwork as Gifts
Whether to remember the home you grew up in, give a gift to your parents as they move from the family home, or remember a special shared place in a way that a photo can’t convey, a painting can create an atmosphere and a gift that is completely unique.
Sometimes I’m fortunate to meet a family who appreciates this ability of art to convey something special, and trusts me to create the artwork they have in mind. I painted two holiday presents that were indeed very special, connected with family on many levels.
The painting above is of Les Invalides in Paris, France, where my customer met with her brother last year in memory of their father. She felt that a painting of the park-like grounds were the best way to share that day forever with her brother.
Below is her own home and yard, a gift to her husband, an expression of how much they love the life they’ve created and wanting to remember this moment of beauty. Read Custom Artwork as Gifts for more information.
30 Paintings in 30 Days January Painting Challenge
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do a painting for each of the 30 days, but I did 14 new paintings, and they were 14 ideas I’d been wanting to paint for a while, so I consider that a success. My goal was to include a lot of variety in medium and subject, size and style.
Two of the paintings are sold and one was a commissioned illustration that I painted during that period, but the others are available. This review gives more information about the challenge and lists each painting with a link to its listing. If you are interested in a painting that isn’t offered for sale, please ask. I listed the ones that got the most response when I shared them and showed them to friends.
A Few Articles to Enjoy
A Poem and an Essay Celebrating Spring
The dogwoods are blooming up and down my street.
The breaking of the cold,
The unusually warm, brilliant spring day
Has brought my neighbors out to wash cars and cut grass.
Like the returning birds
Their conversations drift and circle from yard to yard
And cross the street on capricious breezes;
We have been put away all winter
Like articles of summer clothing
Our potential at rest,
Yet now, even at night,
Pale, airy clouds of blossoms
Hover in the darkness all over the neighborhood.
poem “Dogwoods” ©2005 Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Read more about the poem and my poetry readings on my writing website Paths I Have Walked.
We Are Still Here
I watched the late afternoon light moving across the back yard at that hour when it begins to turn golden and shadows develop a violet hue. The neighbors’ houses funneled it through the tall standing pine trees into long, bright beams moving more quickly as the sun began its descent below the houses, the hill, the horizon.
Like a spotlight a few of those beams quietly searched across my back yard…
Read more of this essay on my writing website Paths I Have Walked.
Again, You are more than welcome to sign up to receive my Nature and Wildlife e-newsletter or to use the code: SPRINGINTOSUMMER25.
Even in the great outdoors Mimi can’t resist taking a break in a nice box while I was photographing the gift bags.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Marketplace is a feature on The Creative Cat to share the latest coming out of my studio with my readers. Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”.
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!