I was very honored and excited when Deb Barnes, then president of the Cat Writers Association, contacted me at the end of March 2020 with a very special commission, to create the artwork for the thank you note that would be given by the organization to the many sponsors, donors and others who helped their annual conference be a success. That painting is Mimi in the Formal Garden, which won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse™ Medallion in last year’s CWA Communications Contest.
I was possibly more honored and excited when, in September, as immediate past president, she again contacted me for artwork for a thinking of you, get well, all-purpose greeting card to be used by CWA for correspondence with members.
Creating the image
Her idea this time was again to include little Mimi cat with flowers in a very colorful composition. Another opportunity for a cat painting that I’d been wanting to do! And which would also go into the hands of cat lovers who, like me, were members of this organization (more about CWA below).
We discussed a few of the photos I’d posted over the summer which included colors we both wanted to use, including one that I’d wanted to create a painting from, but it just wasn’t coming together no matter how I tried to visualize the finished work. So I took the elements we wanted, worked my way through ideas as I organized my studio spaces, and came up with a combination of the colors we both liked and which I’d been wanting to paint: Mimi at the window watching birds.
I have always had a windowbox at my dining room window, and for most years I had geraniums in that box until the shade became too dense. I had plenty of photos, and red was one of the colors we wanted. Also, years ago, I had grown morning glories around that window, and while they never looked like this, that was my aspiration, plus I’ve got plenty of photos of morning glories since I photograph them wherever I see them.
My current window wasn’t really good for this painting, too dark brown and not enough of a “window” look without too many muntin bars. Of course, I have photos of windows I like and slipped one in. And then there had to be a covering of some sort behind Mimi so you could actually see her. Originally I had wanted a vase of flowers indoors, or perhaps some pretty glassware in the sun, and a patterned or lace curtain. But with the flowers all those patterns and objects were just too much and distracting, so I made it a simple white curtain.
And then the bird, which one or ones would that be? I have feeders outside all windows, and we attract all sorts of birds. Of course, my first thought was a sampling of all those colorful little friends. But then I thought I was channeling a lot of similar art I’ve seen all my life and I wanted something a little different, and perhaps more accurate and appropriate. I’ve also always had hummingbird feeders, and those little hummers have come right up to the screen to look at Mimi! Plus, they are attracted to the red geraniums so of course they’d be around outside the window. And I have photos of hummingbirds and the feeder, of course. Then I had to add a couple of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies because they visit us too, and they also visit morning glories. Then finally Mimi’s silhouette shape, her tail curled in a circle, her alert ears and eyes intent, the red collar with the jingle bell, that’s my girl.
Thank goodness Deb was patient while I worked my way through all these ideas last autumn, completely distracted by all the physical work of renovating my basement for studio space and reorganizing nearly the entire house in the process, until some painting area in the house was ready for me to work. I didn’t actually finalize the idea until November, and painted the painting in December. Normally I jump right on things, but by the time I could finally sit down and paint again I was so ready for this painting it practically painted itself. I chose watercolor for all the details and contrasting light and shadow, and enjoyed every stroke.
About the CWA
Conceived on November 21, 1992, the Cat Writers’ Association is a worldwide, 300 members plus organization comprised of a wide variety of talent, supporting evolving mediums and platforms such as Fine Arts, Journalism, Social Media, Graphic Design, Writing, Radio, Television, Videography, Podcasts, Websites, Blogs, Photography, Illustration, Cartoons, and so much more! Their goal, whether through humorous and lighthearted pieces, to serious, highly technical information is to improve the quality of cat information for the general public and to inspire, educate, and inform.
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 “Mimi’s Little Visitor” 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 watercolor “Mimi’s Little Visitor”. Prints are made in archival inks on Epson Silky Photo Paper. This print is 8″ x 11″ and double matted an 11″ x 14″ 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
The original painting is available, framed.
Or choose another style or size of print of “Mimi’s Little Visitor” on the product listing. 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
You may soon find this image on several gift items
You can find this art and more on Portraits of Animals. Search “Mimi’s Little Visitor” to find what’s currently available—I just designed a garden flag with this image and that will be available soon!
This month’s desktop calendar
I’ve worked this image into a desktop calendar for you to enjoy and use for the entire month.
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!