Sunday, April 14, 2024
black catscat artworkcat portraitcatscharcoaldaily sketchessayfawngiuseppemy household of felinespastel painting

Filling the Spaces With Inspiration

charcoal sketch of cat sleeping
“A Vigilant Nap”, black and white charcoal pencils on gray toned paper, 4.5″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Deadlines looming and more to be met, the phone rings and another deadline is planned. Through the day, work is to be done in the office, in the studio, even work-related projects in the kitchen and basement, and all day I start this and finish that, run up and down steps and stand and sit and plan and decide and design and paint and pack, and even non-work-related projects with paperwork and appointments, and cats in need elsewhere, and future events to plan for, and paintings and poems and prose I’d love to find the time for.

But I can always find the time to pet a cat, because there has always been one near me, conveniently within reach, on call for me without regard to their intent at the moment. Giuseppe rests on my worktable but he is not asleep; I say his name and he gets up and stretches and takes the few steps to reach me, purring. But this is only after I have had the necessary distraction of inspiration from that everyday flow that I love, I turn from my computer and find him, my eyes filled with highlights and shadows and pencil strokes as I envision his silhouette, his whiskers, his nose and ears, the muscles along his back, on paper and I quietly pull the appropriate sketchpad and charcoal pencils from their spots and spend a few minutes in creative bliss with one of my favorite subjects.

My day, my life, would not be what it is without the intervention of this lifetime of feline spirits, so quietly and gently fitting themselves into the empty spaces that not a human nor any other species could fill, to make my life complete, even when they playfully lead me away from my own pursuits to greater aspirations and inspirations. I wonder sometimes when they pile up around me or even on my lap if I am in such need of distraction that they need to work so hard, or if the overflow of inspiration some days is their intent for what I need in that moment or just their natural being. Every sketch, every painting, every poem, every photograph, every essay, transports, advocacy, is all in thanks for what they have all given me each day. Even back to my beginnings as an artist, they have always been there, just within reach.

pastel portrait of cat under bed
Waiting for Mom, pastel, 16″ x 23″, 1988 © B.E. Kazmarski


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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.

11 thoughts on “Filling the Spaces With Inspiration

  • Pingback: The Creative Cat - Daily Sketch: In My Face

  • I love “waiting for mom.” It’s so sweet!

    • Rumpydog, that was my very first pastel portrait, way back in 1988! After all that practice I wanted to see what I could do if I let myself go. I was totally shocked and couldn’t believe I’d done it. If you click the picture you can read about it.

  • Anita

    Beautiful! Both the sketch, and the prose! Is the original sketch available, by chance?

    • Anita, thank you! Every once in a while I need to say it again, though I’ve been saying it for about 20 years. Yes, the original sketch is right here. Let me know if you are interested.

  • maxwellnfaraday

    “Vigilant Nap” is stunning! And we agree – cats have the ability simply to…center you.

    • Maxwell n Faraday–and Allie, thanks so much! They keep my skills in top shape just by their inspiring qualities. And they don’t hesitate to tell me when I need some help.

  • Beautiful pics and wonderful post.

    • Thank you so much, Marie, and we can see what Athena has done for you in this department as well!


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