I usually print these little linocuts in earth tones or “tabby colors”, but I’ve been itching to use brights and pastels and all sorts of combinations with them. I decided they made cute valentines and that’s a great reason to create hand-printed cards in magenta on pink, violet, magenta and red card stock, embellished with magenta or purple stamp ink, just saturated with color for Valentine’s Day!
Because these are handmade, I have a limited quantity of each card!
About the art: Tabbies Linoleum Block Prints
The stripes made me do it! No, we have not always been a household of solid-color cats. The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs beginning with Fawn, Stanley and Allegro.
These cards were block printed, 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.
These two designs are from a set of four, and have always had a sweet and cuddly feel to me. I’d always printed these in natural earth tones but have been planning to print them in bright colors on brightly-colored paper as well.
I photographed the process as I printed these—of course, with feline supervision—and below you can see how block prints are made.
Find these cards and other Valentine cards and gifts
All designs are available on Portraits of Animals. Individual cards are mailed first class, sets a first class parcels.
And please explore my greeting card collections on Portraits of Animals to see all the designs and others too.
A little bit about block printing
I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artist’s 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.
Despite the fact I’ve been trying to video a little block print demonstration, all I have are a few photos taken as I was printing the “Tabbies” cards for Valentine’s Day last year. Here’s a brief slideshow:
The resulting work isn’t a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple times–and I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but they’ve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I nearly always add color to The Tortie Girls with watercolor or dyes since that was part of the original design, and I’ll often add color to other designs to give them extra interest.
Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.
I’ve always intended to do others with tabbies and spots and even solids as I did with “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, and did start branching out to wildlife with “Yes?”, but soon after this four-color digital printing became widely available for a reasonable price and I focused on note cards and greeting cards featuring paintings I’d done and moved to larger block prints. I’ll have to get back to these little ones—they are so much easier to print!
This set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards features two designs combining my hand-cut block prints with commercial rubber stamps on smooth uncoated 70 lb. cover stock.
I offer them as singles, in sets by color and design, and in sets of four and eight that include all four colors.
PINK, VIOLET AND MAGENTA CARDS
A single kitty entitled “Sunshine and Flowers” printed in magenta says “MEOW!” stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “You’re PURRRFECT” is stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp.
Two kitties cuddling for a bath say “You’re PURRRFECT” stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “MEOW!” is stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp.
A single kitty entitled “Sunshine and Flowers” printed in magenta says “MEOW!” stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “You’re PURRRFECT” is stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp.
Two kitties cuddling for a bath say “You’re PURRRFECT” stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “MEOW!” is stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp.
On the back of all the cards I’ve stamped in purple ink the name of the series of block prints, my logo and my name and contact information.
Each set comes with Soft Pink 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. The set of six, including three each of the two designs, are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.
Browse all my Valentine Cards
My commercially printed cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 12 pt. gloss cover, uncoated inside, and nearly all have a message inside. Orders of a half dozen or more are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.
Envelope Options with Valentine Cards
Red or white? No, not your wine choice! All cards come with a 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible, but for Valentine’s Day you can choose red or white. Browse my commercially printed cards on Portraits of Animals.
The reference photo for the Valentine card, “Nuzzles and Purrrrrs”.
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!
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.
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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!
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