I was very honored and excited when Deb Barnes, president of the Cat Writers’ Association, contacted me at the end of March with a very special commission. She wanted to know if I could create the artwork for the thank you note that would be given by the organization to the many sponsors, donors and others who helped the conference be a success.
Wow, what an opportunity! To not only be able to create art to support the organization but which would also go into the hands of pet food and product manufacturers and services, sure, even though the conference was about two months away and the art had to be designed, finished and cards printed and delivered, I could do that. She asked for a few quotes, and I mentioned a printer I regularly use who she had used as well.
Then we talked about what she had in mind for the image, and she said she’d like a cat in a garden, maybe painting “thank you” on a canvas or something that brought the words into the image. She mentioned a few of my paintings in styles she liked, and when she said “a cat in a glorious English garden” I was ready. Who would know I’d been planning to start a series of paintings and sketches of Mimi and other of my cats in my gardens over the years? I started to visualize what it might look like, but I immediately knew I’d have Mimi on the bench that’s out in the back yard. From there I looked at paintings of English gardens, like Victorian interiors so full and colorful and detailed and always paths and such, and went from there. I decided to build it from sections of my own yard, and began pulling my favorite photos of flowers and bushes and groundcovers and started fitting them together like a puzzle. It turned out to be a spring theme because that happened to be when most of the bushes and trees bloomed. And then, the flagstone path curled around into the image and right up to Mimi on the bench.
The painting had to be small in order for me to get it finished in time, so it’s 8 x 10. I created a layout for it in Photoshop, just mashing all the things in the right place to show off a variety of colors and shapes and heights, and then I blocked it out with watercolor, and not washes but heavy coverage since that would help me along in completing it faster.
To include the words “thank you” I didn’t want Mimi painting but at first had a big “thank you” sign on the bench behind her. But when I started working in the wrought iron scrolls on the bench I thought how cool it might be if I made that form the words “thank you”…? I thought it might be a little too cute, but when I blocked it in, I liked the whimsy of it. Of course, I also decided I really wanted to use the art with Mimi as the first of hopefully several garden cat paintings. I created the “thank you” design for the Cat Writers’ Association, below, and I also made a print of the original and drew on top of it, replacing the words with the actual scroll work in the bench, so as a notecard or a print, you have the choice of design.
Not all the plants that are in it are in my yard now, but they were at one time. All those that are still here are either still blooming now or have just finished. The list of plants that are in it, starting at the top center, are wild black cherry, dogwood, rhododendron, rudbeckia, lamium, ajuga, golden iris, multiflora rose, tangerine azalea, bishop’s weed, cranesbill geranium and clematis on the bench.
The original “Thank You” version
I am honored
This painting was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Fine Art by the Cat Writers’ Association in the 2019 Communications Contest. Click here to read more about the CWA, the contest and the awards.ogether.
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Where to find this artwork
A New Member Thank You
Register for an account on Portraits of Animals and get a free matted print of “Morning at the Window” or choose from several other sketches, paintings or photos of cats and other subjects.
The New Member print is a signed digital print of my oil pastel sketch “Morning at the Window” made in archival inks on Epson Velvet Art Paper. This print is 5″ x 7″, double-matted in white black core with a red liner for an 8″ x 10″ frame.
This print is only available as a new member gift during this month while it’s the featured artwork and desktop calendar, so make sure you sign up before the end of the month!
Or purchase another size print or greeting card
I offer prints as:
- digital prints on matte-finish art paper
- giclees on art paper
- on canvas in standard sizes
- as framed prints, as shown, and custom framing is available
I also offer both designs as a 5 x 7 greeting card with a white envelope. The thank you cards have been popular, and I’ve used a few myself!
You can find this art and more on Portraits of Animals.
And you can bet that you’ll soon be seeing Mimi in the Formal Garden on a bunch of other gift items too! Seeing how popular my ink and watercolor tiles and coasters and placemats were this image is in that group.
This month’s desktop calendar
I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month. Looking at the downloads from previous months and averaging out which dimensions fit which devices, I have reduced the number of variations from 12 to three. It was very time-consuming to create all the variations with new devices arriving all the time, so I have one for horizontal monitors/screens, one for square monitors/screens, and one that should fit the dimensions of nearly all mobile devices.
If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.
How to download and use your desktop calendar
- Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
- For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
- For mobile devices, download the image to your gallery then choose it as your wallpaper—this is slightly different on all devices.
Horizontal and HD monitors and screens
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Square monitors and screens
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Small Mobile Devices and Tablets
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Cell Phones and Smartphones
Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.
Each month I feature a piece of feline artwork from the archives to the present day, discuss its history and process, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.
click here to see other artwork featured on The Creative Cat
or visit Feline Artwork on my main website.
If you are interested in a print of this image, check 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.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
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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© 2021 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | 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!