Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home, snow is falling outside but kitty is safe and warm inside.
I’m preparing to hand print the holiday card designs I offer, so it’s time to feature them. In the past I’ve printed them in my studio and could only print a dozen at a time because I had so little space for them to dry. This year I am set up to print in my basement and can hang them up to dry on my clotheslines. I also have much more space to lay things out to do the finishing. I have to be careful not to spend too much time on my feet, but with all the advantages of more space I’m already ahead on that account.
About this artwork
I designed this linoleum block print for my holiday card in 2001. The design is based on the actual scene that met me many snowy nights when I came home from my day job and seeing one of my kitties in silhouette, Sally for many years, then Sophie, then Kelly, sitting on the windowsill at the big casement window facing north, the light falling across the snow on the ground below.
Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock that becomes the yellow light from the window. The ink wraps completely around the back, and when the ink is dry I roll a light coat of very fine iridescent glitter over the entire outside of the card to simulate the sense of falling snow at night as you move the card. Each card is unique.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t scan or photograph well, you’ll just have to use a little visualization…
I like to design cards that are versatile. This design can be used as a general note card as well as a greeting card for winter holidays.
I had no reference photos for this image, but drew the illustration I used to cut from the block freehand just by working with what I was visualizing.
This entire design, the window and the light on the “snow” all fits in a 4.25″ x 5.5″ area, and it’s so tiny it was difficult to cut well. I had to make sure I cut out the windows deeply enough so they wouldn’t fill with ink, and the little kitty shape is nearly abstract when you look at it.
Here’s another view of that area that may give you a better idea of the size and placement of everything.
I had initially used all sorts of other glitter to achieve the effect, dusting it on when the ink was wet, but it either obscured the design or just fell off in the envelope when it was mailed. Each year for four or five years I experimented with another type of glitter, unsuccessfully. The design still looked attractive with the cobalt blue of a winter night and the yellow light, but I wanted that last detail, the fine airy glitter of snow falling on a very cold night. I put it away for several years until 2012 and decided I’d revive the design somehow, even if it just meant printing the design on the paper in blue. I realized there were many new glitter paint products since I’d designed the card and tried all I found, ending up with the one that actually works. So it took over a decade to achieve that final idea, but it was well worth it.
I have the blocks carefully wrapped with a sample of the design taped to the outside, below. And here you can also see one of the other glitter possibilities, and while I really loved it for its rainbow effect and the fact it looks like nice big snowflakes, it was one of the ones that obscured the design a little too much. I considered recutting the design a little larger to use this, and to have a 5″ x 7″ card, or larger, but in the end decided to stay with the original block.
As with the “Meowy Cat’s Mess” card, I trim each by hand, stamp my information at the bottom of the back panel, then finally fold it.
This card is an A-2, or 4.25″ x 5.5″ and includes a matching envelope in your choice of yellow or white on Portraits of Animals. It’s blank inside and can also be framed. A few times I made wood-mount versions of this, and am considering adapting the design as an ornament.
Just in case you haven’t read this in prior posts, block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique. You read more about it and can see a little slideshow of the process in a recent post, “The Artist’s Life: About Linoleum Block Printing”.
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Other holiday cards
I have a large selection of other holiday cards featuring cats, of course, pets, birds and nature.
Mewsette tells me to take a break to pet her.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.
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!
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:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!