Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Custom-framed Daily Sketches

matted and framed watercolor
Lazy Saturday Afternoon, matted and framed watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

I love to see my artwork go home to a good family, just as much as I love to see my foster cats find a forever home. And while the main objective for the daily sketches is to keep me in top creative shape, ready for any assignment, a secondary objective is to have a variety of small, simple works that are also affordable. Matted and framed, they range in price from $50 to $100 plus shipping.

watercolor of three cats
Lazy Saturday Afternoon, watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Above, Lazy Saturday Afternoon, original sketch 8″ x 11″, frame size 11″ x 14″, at left, the original painting; click here or on the image to go to the original post.

I had the idea for a white frame for it, but wanted something a little less formal than the flat 2″ wide flat plain white style I’d grown so fond of and found a pre-made white rough/barnwood frame, above, which had just enough natural wood color showing through to pull natural tones from the painting. I don’t typically like mats this small, only 1-1/2″, because it can often make the art look crowded into the frame so I also purchased custom molding made from actual barnwood painted with whitewash with a larger opening, 13″ x 16″.

In the meantime a reader asked if it was for sale and I mentioned the dilemma about the frame. She left it up to me and I chose this, which I don’t think looks too crowded, and I like the smaller, compact size.

I shipped this piece off just this week, but I also have a perfect hi-res scan—better than what you see at left, for sure—so that I can make prints of all different sizes, plus I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of fun textile projects with this for release in August, placemats, pillows, even possibly some garments. I grew to love this piece as soon as I finished it, not typical for me, I usually have to go through some initial disappointment that it didn’t turn out the way I’d imagined…

I think everyone should have some original art in their home along with a variety of other images, something that’s been created by the hand of another individual, but it’s often out of reach financially or socially—I even hesitate to walk into a gallery and look at the prices sometimes, and even at shows and festivals items can be expensive because we all have to cover our costs. Galleries take an average of 50% of a sale, which I have always thought was fair because it gave me exposure to a targeted audience I’d never have had, a spot in a festival can cost several hundred dollars not to mention time and travel and preparation of merchandise, and even a solo show in a gallery can cost over $1,000 once all the promotional costs are counted in.

matted framed sketch of cat
A Dozen Shades of Gray, matted and framed © B.E. Kazmarski
pastel silhouette of cat
Shape, gray shades of pastels © B.E. Kazmarski

But that’s one benefit of the internet, and social networking—I do a share of exhibits and sales through galleries and retailers, but being able to exhibit on the internet certainly reduces my cost, so I can reduce the cost of selling a piece, and still follow through with the other part of creating a painting or 2-D work which I enjoy, custom matting and framing.

Above, A Dozen Shades of Gray, original sketch 6″ x 9″, frame size 11″ x 14″, at right, the original painting; click here or on the image to go to the original post.

In this case a reader expressed interest the day I posted the sketch. I always have an idea how I’ll mat and frame them, and I was picturing the mats you see above, but a fairly sedate matte-finish deep charcoal frame; it’s hard to see here but the bottom gray mat also has a darker gray edge.

However, the reader is also a friend who has purchased several other things and also recently moved to an apartment in an historic building, telling me about the incredible painted tin ceilings. I could just picture it—and remembered a custom moulding that would be just perfect! I sent her a JPG of it and she agreed.

I discovered I had misjudged how wide the moulding was and it might look a little overwhelming on this sketch, but I put it together and decided it would be fine in her apartment with the 12-foot ceilings.

I also have a hi-res scan of this one for prints and future uses. And yes, the name became a rip-off on the book that was so popular at the time I sketched this, except that I used the set of pastels which is “a dozen shades of gray”.

framed photo of four black cats
The Big Four at Four, matted and framed photo.

I’ve also custom-framed a print of a daily photo for another customer; read about The Big Four at Four, a photo taken of them on their fourth birthday last year.

On seeing the post, a friend said he’d like a print of that photo, and I was thrilled he was interested and also had a few ideas. I’d also seen this person’s home and remembered a lovely retro scheme of 1950s bold pastels like pink and yellow and sky blue and mint green along with brushed and bright chrome (especially that totally cool chrome chandelier with the pastel ceramic cups and saucers as the light fixtures), and along with asking what size he’d like it I offered to mat and frame it. I was picturing the photo in black and white instead of color, a bright or brushed chrome frame in a particular retro style, and a white mat with a colored liner, mint green—for the Four and their favorite sink—or pink since the color was often used in the room. Read more in the original post…

Other original daily sketches

It’s been my pleasure to send a few other daily sketches off to good homes in the past few months as well. Even though they weren’t custom-framed for the customer, I chose a special frame for each of them, often refinishing the frame to match the painting. Click on the images to go to a post where you can read more about them.

oil pastel sketch of two cats
Two Cats After van Gogh
framed oil pastel sketch of cat
Grape Jelly Bean
framed pastel sketch of cat
Kelly in Warm Colors
watercolor of two cats on a blanket
Purple Cats, Red Blanket

Each of the above sketches is available as a print alone, or matted and framed, in the Daily Sketches section of my Etsy shop.

two black cats in picture frame

Custom framing

And I’d be thrilled to custom frame an original or print for you. I frame all my own small pieces and portraits. Years ago when I painted “Waiting for Mom” and decided it needed something better than a poster frame, I took it to the art supply store where I’d been purchasing my pastels and got an estimate on framing. Even in the late 80s it was way more than I could afford, especially when I was at that time working on purchasing a house, but I also realized that if I pursued a career as an artist, as I hoped to do, I was going to have to do something about the cost of framing.

That turned out to be getting a part-time job on the weekend (I still worked my full-time job) at that very same art store. They also sold craft supplies, and because I was also skilled in needle arts, crochet, knit, hand-tying bows, flower-arranging and such, I could work in any part of the place. Best for me, I got 75% off art supplies, and at that time I had a few pencils and a few cheap pastels. I stocked up in the year I worked there, and best of all learned the principles of framing, about materials and equipment, and after I purchased my house I set myself up for framing. Aside for a few years just prior to my studio remake last year, I have always done my own framing and taken in small things for others as well, and thoroughly enjoy it as the finishing touch to a painting.

Mostly, I just love knowing that my cats are out there being enjoyed by other people.

So if you see a daily photo—or sketch—that you particularly like, just ask and we’ll plan something special.

tortoiseshell cat with palette
Cookie is ready to supervise.

Read about more of the things I create that are inspired by my cats in the category “Marketplace”.

To see more daily photos and sketches go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or “Daily Sketches” or choose from the categories below that to see photos and sketches of black cats or tortie cats.

Special orders and requests

If you see a daily sketch on The Creative Cat you’d like to have, please tell me. Likewise, if you have a custom item in mind contact me to describe it, or if an item is out of stock and you’d like to know when I’ll be making that item again, please ask!. Send me an e-mail.

I couldn’t do it without my studio cats!

My feline inspirations and I thank you for browsing and for purchasing handmade goods and supporting a small business! Click here or on the photo to read about the studio cats in the photo.


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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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


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