Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Featured Artwork: Don’t Wake Me Up

Don't Wake Me Up, 6 x 6, pencil, 1989 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Don’t Wake Me Up, 6 x 6, pencil, 1989 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Years ago the owner of the veterinary hospital I used suggested he’d like to have customized sympathy cards. The project never came to be but I kept the ink and monochrome drawings I did in working out ideas for those cards and printed my own first set of note cards in 1992.

A soft sketch of a pensive kitty is always a suitable memorial, and it helps that its color and even markings are non-specific. That’s why I chose this kitty for that project, but I also knew I really wanted to sketch this, I immediately had a visualization of a sketch when I saw the image, softening all the edges, using positive and negative space, and using all the assets of pencil on paper as part of it with sketching, blending, drawing, using the side and the tip of the pencil, and leaving some areas of the paper completely untouched. That’s what you see here. At the time I was thrilled with being able to reproduce my visualization, and that I didn’t overwork the simple scene. I would be happy with it today too.

The one thing I don’t know is where the reference image came from. Typically, once I’d finished a sketch or painting, I kept the reference image in an envelope with others. In time I had too many and had to sort them out but I can usually remember at least which cat they were and where the image came from. When I began drawing cats, people gave me their favorite photos of their cats for me to draw someday. At the time the drawings had to be my cats for me to be as emotionally involved as I needed to be to produce a good piece of artwork. This reference may have been a photo from someone else that I gave back after I finished. It might have been one of those early short-term fosters and someone gave me the cat’s photo to get me to foster, or it might have been one of my own short-term fosters that I photographed. And it could also be a sketch of Sally in the summer when her ruff shed out, or Allegro at aby time, both of whom slept like this. As I’ve been digging through those old photos from the 80 and early 90s I’ve found some of these reference images.

Sometimes the simplicity of a single color line or tone on a beautiful paper stock tells the story more expressively than a full-color, scenic rendering. The expressions and close-cropped scenes of cats just being the individuals they are inspired me to create these little cameos.

Where to find this artwork

I gave the framed original sketch as a thank you gift to a friend who cared for my cats when I was away, but prints and notecards are available.

Feline Sketches Fine Art Correspondence

This image is one in my Feline Pencil Sketches set of note cards.

You can also purchase a print or a single notecard on Portraits of Animals.

They are still very special to me, along with Kitties Being Kitties, the first set of notecards I had printed from my artwork.

Featured Artwork

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.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals

Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals!

Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Feline Note Card and Greeting Card sets on Portraits of Animals

sets of cat note cards
“Kitties Being Kitties” in two different sets.

I often see a theme in art I’m creating and either gather together four images or intentionally create images that fit together as a set. Two of these sets range all the way back to my beginnings as an artist, before four-color printing, patterned on the note cards I’d seen growing up. Read more here.


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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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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!



Friendship Friday.



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.

One thought on “Featured Artwork: Don’t Wake Me Up

  • Whelp, here’s something that’s going on my Christmas list! I love notecards, especially ones with kitties…and your’s are lovely!


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