Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Featured Artwork: The Evolution of the Bella Design

Bella models her towels.

If you had any doubts that the real Bella’s eyes were as big and round and pale green as buttons, she is here to prove to you that yes, they really are. She was the inspiration for this design, and when I created this design I got as close to the real thing as I possibly could. While I sit here sewing more eyes on more dishtowels, I thought I’d share that genesis.

The artwork began like so many of my other designs, as a daily sketch, a watercolor I painted of Bella just a week or two after she arrived here as a six-month-old foster to hang out with Basil.

black cat
The reference photo for Bella’s painting

“Pretty Bella, she is so slender and graceful! She loves to curl up on the toilet tank and lean against the tissue box, and as soon as I saw her, especially when I saw the photo below, I had an idea for an illustration of her. Just simplify the background with a green level she is lying on and a pattern on the left, not even the tissue box, in colors to match her eyes, the tank and then a darker green–the tissue box had black, but I just didn’t like it when I tried it out, too much competition with the star.

Got to have those beans on the bottom of her foot, and the curled hind foot! And of course those round eyes!”

painting of black cat
“Bella”, watercolor, 8″ x 6″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I had an idea about a cat silhouette, but with those round eyes, and I wanted the cat shape to be at the bottom of things, like a tote or even a tee. I pulled out the scan of the little painting and refined the design in Photoshop.

The test print on paper.
The test print on paper.

It wasn’t her silhouette so much. Bella’s eyes were the real inspiration for this little illustration. Buttons, of course, and the thread would be her pupils! They aren’t yellow green, they are a cooler blue-green, and I found pretty close to a good color for her.

Bella! Tote bag.
Bella! Tote bag.

And there we are! I just received several hundred lime green buttons in two sizes for more Bella things in the coming months. Find all things Bella on!


Join us for an Open House!

My open house tent.

October Open House

Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This will be my first round of all the merchandise for general shopping and early holiday gift shopping, including greeting cards and commissioned artwork certificates.

Above is my tent in the back yard from my July open house with the originals and prints sale. I’m including this tent and artwork in my upcoming open house, and also my regular festival tent with my “Last Autumn” photo exhibit. A portion of it will also include favorite photos from all seasons and genre. And as before I will also have displays on my front porch—garden flags, general greeting and note cards—and deck—the holiday shop—as well as in the house. Don’t worry if you’re nowhere near. I will have parts of the displays online for you to browse too.

I may expand my open house days to Monday. If you’ve been following me, you know the process—sign up for my enewsletter in order to get:

For local friends

  • updates on content, activities and dates and times leading up to the open house
  • my address and phone number so you know where to go

For distant friends

  • the open house discount code to use on my website
  • online displays of what’s available at my home.


Where to find this art

You can search “Bella!” on to find all the things, and even more I haven’t thought of yet!

Take a look at other featured artwork.

Each Wednesday I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and often set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.A collection of 34 images of feline artwork

The award-winning* Feline Style Sampler

Now in its third printing, and its sixth anniversary!

Daily sketches, illustrations, commissioned portraits all in a small coil-bound gift book.

Click here or on the image to read more or find this book on Portraits of Animals.

*Certificate of Excellence, Cat Writers’ Association 2014 Communications Contest

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know!

Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals!

Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork


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.

Subscribe to my e-newsletter

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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!




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: The Evolution of the Bella Design

  • 15andmeowing

    I love it. The buttons are a cool touch.


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