Almost 20 years ago a couple won a commissioned portrait certificate I’d donated to a local shelter for their benefit event. The couple volunteered in accounting as well as fostering for the shelter. This was the portrait that resulted from that certificate, but we’ve since become good friends, and three portraits later they are also regular customers for merchandise, and very supportive of my artwork. They moved from that original shelter to another, and still volunteer and foster.
They wanted to include all the cats in the house at the time plus a cat who’d passed a few years before but who was the childhood cat for one of the family. This was actually another interesting composition because they wanted the kitten, Wally, playing, but it was difficult to fit them all in so we could see more of each of them.
They had a slew of photos, neatly catalogued, and I took photos as well. Heidi, the cat on the right in this detail of the portrait, was the childhood cat. The photos were on film and most showed her tiny, but there was one good detail photo of her face.
All of the other cats were shelter adoptions, either because they developed a bond with the cat while volunteering, or the cat was somehow hard to adopt for medical or behavioral reasons.
Effie, the cat in the middle, was nearly blind by that time. She could see some movement and would focus on it, that was how I got her to look at me long enough to see her face clearly. Louie had been adopted from the shelter.
There was a theme of long-haired tuxedo cats, and Archie was another they adopted from the shelter.
And SiGreen was named for a favorite college basketball player, and also a shelter adoption.
In 2016 I painted a portrait of their current household in that year, one I’d featured here at that time. I kept it as similar to the original portrait as I could.
Then in 2018 I painted a portrait of Oscar, a rescue from the same shelter who had come in through animal control after possibly being hit by a car, with a few neurological issues.
They lost Oscar the next year, and I decided to try out my idea for a custom memorial votive on them. They loved it, and still do, and encouraged me to offer the votives for sale to others. I’m grateful for that and for all the support and friendship, and artwork, we’ve shared through the years. The creative life may have its wild ups and downs, but also many gifts.
I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.
Take a look at other portraits and read other stories
Read articles on The Creative Cat featuring current and past commissioned portraits.
Read about how I create commissioned portraits.
|Commissioned Cat Portraits||Commissioned Dog Portraits||Portraits of My Cats|
Visit my website to see portraits of my cats, commissioned cats, commissioned dogs, people and a demonstration of how I put a portrait together from photos.
Download a Brochure
My brochure is an 8.5″ x 11″ two-page full-color PDF that half-folds when it’s all printed out, showing examples of portraits with an explanation of my process and basic costs.
Purchase a Gift Certificate
I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $50.00, which is the basic cost of a small monochromatic portrait.
The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards.The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.
I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.
Certificates are good for up to one year after issue.
You can purchase gift certificates here or from Portraits of Animals if you are also purchasing other animal-inspired merchandise.
I prefer to look over the work and price the portrait according to how much work will go into it, as described above, but you can either set a budget or get started by purchasing a certificate for yourself or as a gift.
How to Order
- “Certificate A” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 black and white or monochromatic portrait with one subject.
- “Certificate B” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 color portrait with one subject.
- Choose “A” or “B” depending on whether your portrait is black and white or color.
- If your portrait will be larger or have more subjects, add $50 or $100 or more to your certificate value with the drop-down below.
CERTIFICATE A $50.00
- Size: 8 x 10
- Subjects: One
- Color: black and white media such as charcoal, pencil, ink, or monochromatic media such as one color of pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
- Background or objects: none but shading or colored paper
CERTIFICATE B $100.00
- Size: 8 x 10
- Subjects: One
- Color: full color media such as pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
- Background or objects: none but a color or colored paper
Add to your certificate purchase
You can use the second drop down to add $50.00 or $100.00. For amounts over this we’d probably have a conversation and I can set up a custom certificate for your purchase.
You only need to enter an address if it is different from the address I’ll receive when you order. These are often surprise gifts and need to be shipped away from the home address to make sure they are a surprise.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book
Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.
Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.
The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.
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:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!