Monday, June 24, 2024
animal artworkcommissioned portraitDaily Featuremarketplacepet portraitThursday

Marketplace: Events and Commissioned Portrait Special

The Johnson family, all the animals they ever lived with.
The Johnson family, all the animals they ever lived with, from a commissioned portrait special.

It’s time already! I always offer a commissioned portrait special for the holiday season so you can have a discount on a special holiday gift.

Getting back to artwork, seriously…

At the end of August I enjoyed my “Seasons on the Panhandle Trail” exhibit on Friday and Saturday, then went to the Carnegie Farmer’s Market on Sunday. I love shows and events in no small part for the community of other vendors exchanging ideas and experiences, and customers who look forward to these events.

art exhibit tent
My tent at Rock the Quarry

I debated my participation in events this year, at first deciding to do only one larger event each month or so, then thinking about the cost, time and effort to get ready for a two- or three-day event I backed down to the local weekly farmers market and a few other events, all small. The farmers market had surprised me last year with sales that certainly added up through the month and, for the minimal cost and so close I can see the street from my house, I decided that was a better idea for my time and goods, and added two or three other small events in each month, May through September.

Sales weren’t as good this year as last, but it still took as much time. At the same time I’ve had more requests for portraits this year, and other commissions, and just this month won “Best of Show” in an exhibit. I considered a few things over the Labor Day weekend after those three days of events.

Art commissions and sales have always waxed and waned, but I decided that, if interest and sales of artwork are waxing, I’m going to go with it. During the months of shows I fell behind with commissions and once again had no time for new artwork, so I also decided that, after those last shows in August, I would attend no more markets this year, and no shows aside from a holiday show, if that. I’ll look into some of the galleries and shops that have art and handmade goods for sale during the holidays and see how that works. And because I already have a number of portraits at this time in the year, I’m going to start my holiday special for commissioned portraits right now—see below.

So I’m looking forward to more time for artwork! And I’m sure my kitties will be happier too, though I think they’ll miss the excitement of climbing over bins and boxes as I get things ready for events. I don’t think I will, though.

Packing for a show.
Packing for a show.


Commissioned Pet Portraits and Artwork

"Stained Glass Feline Family", pastel, 12" x 28", Bernadette E. Kazmarski
“Stained Glass Feline Family”, pastel, 12″ x 28″, Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I always offer a discount on commissioned pet portraits for the holiday season so you can have a discount on a special holiday gift. Pet portraits can be detailed and photorealistic, as in “The Johnson Family” at the top of this article. They can also be somewhat abstract and imaginative as in “Stained Glass Feline Family,” above, in which the commissioner saw my sketch “Stained Glass Cats” and wanted a portrait to look like a stained glass window that included five of her most recent cats, but the effect would abstract them enough to have them stand for the many cats she’d rescued and fostered and lived with.

Pet portraits can include their people too, as in the Fathers’ Day portrait, below.

Keith, Seuss and Munchkin
Portrait of Keith, Seuss and Munchkin

A pet portrait can also be a nice interior or even landscape that happens to have a beloved pet in it as in Tibbie and Buddy’s portraits.

And thinking a little less conventionally, consider a piece of custom art that also includes an animal. For “Veronica’s Tulips”, right, this pet mom wanted both flowers and, after a lifetime of rescued Schnauzers also wanted a Schnauzer in her painting, though not to represent any individual she had lived with. This was the very natural solution.

watercolor still life of tulips and photo of schnauzer
Veronica’s Tulips, watercolor, 16″ x 23″, 2008 © B.E. Kazmarski

And there’s even the possibility of a collage of images to make one portrait.


You can also commission me to paint non-animal subjects. I’ve been commissioned to paint some very special places: the view from a friend’s vacation home, a special place in Paris, a beloved back yard that welcomes you home, your childhood home as a gift to your parents.


A Gallery of Samples

You can click through this gallery of 25 samples of portraits over the years to see composition, arrangement, medium, size and more. You don’t need to have the exact photo for your portrait—in fact, I’ve created the custom image for nearly every portrait I’ve painted out of multiple photos.

Holiday Commissioned Portrait and Artwork Special

NOTE: Please book holiday gift portraits prior to November 1.

I’m offering 25% off the purchase of a portrait certificate or a commissioned portrait that is booked between now and December 30, 2022. Use the coupon code COMMISSIONEDARTWORK25 below or on Portraits of Animals.

Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate
Sample Commissioned Portrait Certificate

How much does a portrait cost?

Visit this page for details and a demonstration.

How do I put a portrait together?

Visit this page to see how I work with photos and create the final image that I’ll paint.

Purchase a certificate

I prefer to look over the work and price the portrait according to how much work will go into it, as described above, but you can either set a budget or get started by purchasing a certificate for yourself or as a gift.

I offer gift certificates for portraits in any denomination beginning at $50.00, which is the basic cost of an 8″ x 10″ black and white portrait; the recipient is responsible for any amount the portrait costs over the amount you’ve paid.

The certificate itself is 8.5″ x 11″ and features a collage of portrait images with the recipient’s and giver’s names, printed on parchment cover stock. The whole thing is packaged in a pocket folder and includes a brochure, a letter from me to the recipient and several business cards. The certificate package can be easily mailed or wrapped as a gift and shipped directly to your recipient.

I can also make it downloadable if you’re in a hurry.

Certificates are good for up to one year after issue, but I’ll usually honor them whenever they come along. It just makes my accounting easier if it’s within the same year.

Certificate Prices


How to Order

  • “Certificate A” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 black and white or monochromatic portrait with one subject.
  • “Certificate B” is for a minimum-size 8 x 10 color portrait with one subject.
  • Choose “A” or “B” depending on whether your portrait is black and white or color.
  • If your portrait will be larger or have more subjects, add $50 or $100 or more to your certificate value with the drop-down below.


  • Size: 8 x 10
  • Subjects: One
  • Color: black and white media such as charcoal, pencil, ink, or monochromatic media such as one color of pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
  • Background or objects: none but shading or colored paper


  • Size: 8 x 10
  • Subjects: One
  • Color: full color media such as pastel, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.
  • Background or objects: none but a color or colored paper

Add to your certificate purchase

You can use the second drop down to add $50.00 or $100.00. For amounts over this I’m working out the easiest way to give options so it’s not too confusing..

Purchase a Commissioned Portrait Gift Certificate


Hamlet and the pencils.
Hamlet and the pencils.

Even Hamlet has learned to inspect the human’s portraiture.

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Marketplace is a feature on The Creative Cat to share the latest coming out of my studio with my readers. Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”.

Read about creating custom items

Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.

Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

Gifts featuring cats 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.

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