Perhaps it’s their colors, orange and yellow with black, or perhaps it’s that I remember how much my tortie girls loved the summer, the open windows, and even visits out to the yard, but for me the tortie girls are always a summer theme.
As you know, I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially my Tortie Girls. I initially designed these in 2001 because I wanted art I could print myself on a variety of things to offer inexpensively for sale and for donation, combining my love of hand-cutting and printing with linoleum blocks and hand-coloring into the black with watercolors or with cold-set dyes depending on the paper or fabric.
About the artwork
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.
“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.
You can read more about how I developed both designs, and about block printing in the post “Tortie Girls Block Print T-shirts”
Here is a collection of all the housewares and art with my tortie girls printed on them—enjoy!
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Tortie Girls Trays
These trays, featured above, are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, decoupaged in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray.
Find these in my Portraits of Animals shop on Etsy:
Handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted Tortie Girls textiles
I’ve always offered my block print designs on a variety of textiles, from tees to tablecloths, one of the reasons I love that medium. I had wanted to find a washable alternative to the oil-based inks I’d been using, and the cold-set fabric dye I’d long used to paint the Tortie Girls designs was no longer available. Beginning last summer I experimented with various inks and fabric paints and came up with a combination of materials that are easy to use and washable, widely available and non-toxic and in addition to the tees I have a line of textiles.
Tortie Girls Tablecloths and Runner
I keep a bolt of unbleached cotton muslin on hand for these little accent tablecloths. Each 36″ x 36″ tablecloth has the same image printed four times, one on each edge. The Roundest Eyes table runner is 11″ x 36″. Each is signed and dated below the design and has my handwritten “label” reading “handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted” and the year. Washing instructions are included on a separate tag. I have only one of each tablecloth and one table runner—for now!
Tortie Girls Placemats
I made these extra-large 15″ x 19″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with the edges stay-stitched and fringed. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table! I have six of “The Goddess”, left, and four of “The Roundest Eyes”, right, and they are for sale in sets. You can find them in my shop on Etsy and see more detail shots of them as well.
Tortie Girls Garden Flags
- “Tortie Girls” garden flags.
These “garden flags” are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finish by adding the rod pocket. (Bracket is not included.) Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s “The Goddess” or “The Roundest Eyes” on both sides, one side with a white background and one side with a yellow background. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area.
Tortie Girls Wood-mounted Prints
- Tortie Girls wood-mounted hand-colored 9″ x 12″print set.
The 9″ x 12″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1.5″ tall canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging, and this size can even stand up on a tabletop. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.
The prints are hand-colored and signed block prints of “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes” decoupaged on the surface. I first print the block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow it to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors. Then I paint the block with acrylic paint, black on the sides and white on top. I adhere the finished, colored print onto the block and let it dry, then put a coat of matte-finish acrylic on the top and sides.
Matted and Framed Tortie Girls Prints
A set of hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block prints featuring my tortoiseshell girls,matted and framed and ready to hang. Each image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 16″ x 20″, horizontal or vertical as shown in the photo.
Click here if you’d like to see all the Tortie Girls goods in my Etsy shop together.
If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and at assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, each week I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Choose the category for featured artwork.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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.
Read more about the Petties in this post.
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