Daily Photo Reprise: Kelly the Studio Cat

cat with paintbrushes
Kelly, the Art Cat.

I’ve been waiting for this one to come around.

Of all the photos I have of Kelly from the 16 years she lived with me—and there were very, very many—this photo is my favorite, and can you believe she is 17 years old in this photo? Kelly never seemed to age all the years she lived with me.

She loved the studio even from her first frightened days here, and it was her room of refuge until she adapted to living in a home with so many other cats in 1997. All through the years she enjoyed the windowsill, and after I “cleaned it up” in June 2011 she was a permanent resident of my studio, watching over my drafting table and easel as I worked. In this summer scene her eyes echo the green of the leaves in our maple tree, her orange and black tortie spots the bright sunspeckles and deep shadows. Though Kelly was excessively sweet and could be very silly she was typically very serious and reserved, and for me the whimsical flowers painted on the vase and my collection of old paintbrushes used mostly for decoration capture that fanciful side of her personality. Most of all, she is relaxed and happy. This photo has been my desktop image on my studio computer since last August because it’s like having Kelly here with me again. And it’s not only one of my favorite photos of Kelly, but for many reasons one of my favorite of all the photos I’ve ever taken.

I’m remembering Kelly this month of August, a year after her passing, but not with sadness because she lived to be 19, and for the 16 years she was here with me we had much more to share than the sadness of her loss. Kelly walked a long and difficult path from fear to love, and each of her successes in confidence was an achievement to be celebrated.

While I’d intended to do a painting of this photo from the time I’d taken it, a watercolor, when I actually sat down to study the image and plan my painting I ultimately decided against it. I usually decide to paint an image because there is something I can add to it in my style and medium of choice. The more I studied this image the more I thought the photo was a more appropriate—my skills weren’t going to add anything to what the image had to say.

And of course, the day I’d taken this photo I’d also taken a number of others, and I’d published the photo below, which I also like because it’s all of Kelly in her tortie beauty. You can see this post here along with other photos of Kelly.

tortoiseshell cat on windowsill with paintbrushes
“Kelly the Studio Cat”, digital photo, July 27, 2011

Today I remember Kelly, the day she transitioned from her life here with us in 2012.

August is getting pretty full of memories.



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.


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Weekly schedule of features:
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Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
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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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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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