Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Featured Artwork: “Gallery Cat Caper” Book Cover

book cover cat on stool looking at art
Gallery Cat Caper cover.

This time Rags showed up at a place I know pretty well—an art gallery! Author Patricia Fry has published her eighth novel in the mystery series “Klepto Cats”, Gallery Cat Caper.

In this story Rags attends the gallery opening of a local artists who paints very detailed landscapes that have images hidden in the art, and somehow he finds clues to the current crime he’s fighting. There’s a shell necklace with blood spatters near him that’s part of the evidence he’s investigating.

This was another cover I visualized as is the moment Patricia sent the title and synopsis to me. I remembered photos I’d taken at a gallery opening a decade before.

gallery opening
A photo I’d taken at a gallery opening years before.

I could picture Rags on a stool looking intently at a painting so I chose the one above because I could add him in profile and fairly large. I did a pencil sketch to show Patricia what I had in mind.

pencil sketch cat on stool looking at art
Pencil sketch of idea.

From there I went to the illustration itself. Adding the landscapes to the image area inside the picture frames was fun being a landscape painter myself; Rags is looking at a field of poppies, and I included other flowers, beach scenes and mountain scenes as well. I added the bright window at the end of the gallery letting sunlight stream in just like the gallery it is modeled after.

Adding the shell necklace was a little complicated as we decided what the necklace would look like and where it would go. I started out with a loop of puka shells—who remembers those?—around Rags’s shoulders but it was hard to tell what they were so I changed them to entirely clam shells. We decided to drape it off the edge of the stool so the stool developed a square seat instead of a round one. Patricia mentioned she’d had the little shells that look like small conch shells which are cowrie shells, so I changed it those but kept a few clam shells since the cowries looked like big beads, and left the blood spatters on the clam shells.

For this sketch I was back to my Amersand sanded panel and pastel pencils because the art wall had so many tall narrow details, easier in pencil. I finished this in December and I’m working on a new one right now. Whew! That woman can write!

I’ve illustrated six other covers for Patricia: Catnapped , Cat-Eye Witness, Sleight of Paw, Undercover Cat, The Colony Cat Caper, Celebrity Cat Caper. and Corral Cat Capers. All books are available in electronic format and most for print on

About the illustration materials

A two-sided bookmark for the four books in the series so far.

I don’t use paper for most of these illustrations but chose Ampersand brand Pastelbord, which is a piece of Masonite with a very fine clay and marble-dust coating that has very little texture but holds layers of pastel so I can both do my finger-painting thing with blending softer pastels and sketch with harder pastels and pastel pencils, and it stand up well to multiple changes.

The original illustration is actually 8″ x 10″ so it fits in my scanner. I began the painting with soft pastels to cover the major areas with layers of color. I finished up the details and edges with pastel pencils.

You can find these books and more by Patricia Fry on Reviews have been good, and a few reviewers have even mentioned the covers! I hope you enjoy these books, and Patricia and I are already beginning the cover for the fifth book in this series. That woman can write!

We also designed a two-sided bookmark that includes all four books so far which Patricia can hand out at book signings and book shows.

. . . . . . .

Read more about book covers I’ve designed. Also, click here to read more about the Purrs of Wisdom cover and bookmarks, and also about books I’ve designed on my blog, What’s New?

Are you interested in illustrations or a book cover, or book design? Please contact me, I’ll be happy to discuss your project.

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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 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.

© 2015 | | 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!





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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