You may have seen these already if you follow me on www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net or click links to items there from The Creative Cat. If so, this is an update to that first post with the other two finish variations. If not, here’s the story.
On February 11 I published a post about these items as my creative work for that day in my February 2020 Personal Creative Challenge.
“In addition to other creative activities, I also design and make handmade goods which I sell to be used as decorations and gifts. I’m counting this activity toward my creative challenge too. In addition to these items today, I also designed a 20-page course catalog for a local community’s quarterly parks and recreation activities. That may not have been the most creative thing I did today, but it pays the bills really well. And then there were some photos on black and white film which we’ll see someday, a little writing and a few other designs I spent some time thinking about, Quite a busy day!”
This year I’ve been designing and creating keepsake items to be used as memorials to pets. I designed animal sympathy cards in 2009 and have always wanted to add to gifts to what I offer. In 2018 I made my first votives including “Star of Wonder” intended as holiday items, and to my surprise people purchased “Star of Wonder” to give as a gift, or to use themselves, to remember beloved pets. That confirmed for me that my idea for memorial gifts was valid.
This particular design was based on a chance photo from a June morning in 2009 when Cookie and Namir and I were out in our back yard, each doing our thing, they smelling and tasting and stalking, me racing from flower to glistening dewdrop with my camera. They often followed or preceded me as I wandered, and I happened to see the stepping stone at the bottom of the steps with my wet footprint and two pawprints. Seeing the position of my foot and only to pawprints, it’s likely I reached down and picked up the kitty and walked on. We lost Namir a few weeks later, and when I reviewed the photos from that morning I found this one, and immediately knew it had to be one of the set of sympathy cards I was designing and what text I’d use.
The card has continued to be popular and I’ve also sold a few prints of it. It’s one of three in the dozen that are non-species-specific, so can be used for any pet with paws; in some cases those distinctive pawprints stand for animals in general.
These items are called “shelf-sitters” today, but ten years ago when I made a series of them with just my art I called them “wood-mounted art”. They can sit on a shelf or table, or because the “cradles”, or wooden frame backing, can be used for hanging like a canvas print, they can also hang on the wall.
I’ve wanted to make more of them, some with just images and some with inspirational or humorous text, so over time I gathered a variety of cradled wood panels intended for painting. I have such an abundance of ideas but lack of space so I didn’t manage to make any for last holiday season. But I’ve been organizing the panels into size and shape and organizing what ideas would work best on what I have. This was my strongest idea, and because I’d already started offering pet memorial gifts I thought I’d start with this design. I prepared things yesterday and put three of them together today. I’m very pleased with how they turned out.
I had intended to make the sides look like faux stone mimicking the stone from the design. I added a soft cool gold transparent glaze to the wood, then sponged on a shade of lighter green around the edges of the top and around the top of the sides, intending to add a bit of darker brown and copper toward the bottom, then finish with shadows and highlights, so the rectangle would resemble a stone memorial.
But as soon as I finished the first one, I liked it with just the light green, and thought it looked natural, mossy. I looked at it over a few hours while it dried and decided I’d wait on any additions. And then I decided to share it as that day’s creative challenge entry.
Two days later I had looked at the three of them long enough to go ahead with my other two ideas for the finishes on the sides. Using only my cell phone and not much natural daylight on a dark winter day made accurate photos quite difficult, but I think you’ll get the idea.
The first idea is just what you saw above: the light green around the edges with the pale gold glaze beneath. The light green is actually a little darker.
On the second one I added coppery detailing on the sides, then glazed the sides and edge around the top with the pale gold glaze. The copper isn’t quite as bright as you see here.
To the third I added dark green and dark brown detailing along with the copper and a pale gold glaze overall.
My fine felines helped me stage the initial photos.
If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear it! So please post in the comments below or email me at bernadette at bernadette-k dot com. I look forward to your feedback!
And on to tomorrow, another creative day.
I began this year with a pledge to myself and my art: To be certain I won’t let ideas pass me by I’m setting myself up for a personal painting challenge in February, similar to the painting challenges I’ve participated in in past years. I aspire (but don’t expect) to create a painting or sketch every day in the month, to be posted on my blog each day.
Giuseppe helped me with the photography today.
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.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
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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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!
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