Wednesday, May 29, 2024
bloggingthe artist's life

The Artist’s Life: Dates and Times and Art and Images

black cat sleeping
Jelly Bean taking a rest after figuring out the rules.

First of all, I have to laugh because I knew I’d be preoccupied today and away from my computer until later in the day, so I set up today’s feature post last night, but forgot to actually publish and share it. The joke’s on me!

. . . . . . .

invitation to exhibit
The invitation to my first solo exhibit.

The title of my very first solo art exhibit in June 2000, just a little over ten years ago, was “The Extraordinary in the Ordinary”, and I subtitled it “Celebrating the art in everyday life: In every moment of every day, everywhere I go, I see something extraordinarily beautiful and inspiring.” That fascination with the moment and my urge to share it was where my need to create on paper and to photograph were born and still reside, and capturing that extraordinary moment is still the seed in each of my major finished paintings, my plein air sketches, my photos on another blog I maintain entitled Today, and much of the images I post here on The Creative Cat.

Sometimes you get what you ask for, and I’ve asked a number of things of myself through The Creative Cat and have been happy with the results. First, I wanted a venue to both share stories and set up a writing portfolio, and second I wanted a place to share not just my art, but the making of my art. I felt I’d accomplished those a while ago and have continued to build on this beginning.

photo of apples in a basket
“Shadow Patterns” on today

But outside of what I get to do here, in my studio and home office as a commercial artist much of what I do is very planned and very little is spontaneous. I knew this when I bought into self-employment, using the very planned stuff to pay the bills and having more time for the spontaneous stuff for the ease of managing my schedule at home. But I have so many ideas and few places to share these spontaneous things. So, in addition to Today I raised the stakes for myself by adding a daily photo in August 2010, not just any photo, but a photo from that very day, downloaded, edited, posted with a headline and story off the cuff, and through those introducing my feline family and daily life around the house as well as a number of story lines of intrigue among the felines. Not only is this fun, but it also helps to perk up my everyday work just by reawakening creative thoughts that kind of went to sleep in the regularity of everyday work.

Then in December 2011 was another challenge to myself—my daily sketches. I had a portrait to paint that fall, the first portrait in a while and I realized it had been a while since I’d done any art at all. I had a difficult time even getting started with that portrait after the complications for several years of illnesses in my family and among my cats, and I realized I had always done just sketches in between the big paintings that kept me in shape, but I had stopped that. So I decided I was going to start sketching again, and just to make sure I followed through I would keep my sketches quick and simple, no daily masterpieces to get all worked up about, and I’d post them immediately, just being honest about my abilities, and knowing that if I only did this when I had the time it would never get done, and I’d still have trouble creating portraits not to mention painting en plein air. It also added to recording the daily activities in my household which was fun in its own way.

One of the other reasons for the writing and the daily sketches was to discipline my daily schedule to leave time for the activities even if they weren’t assigned by a customer so that I could follow through with some of the short- and long-term ideas I have, and I’m pretty firm in this time nearly every day.

oil pastel sketch of cat
Mewsette As a Sunny Spring Morning, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

New Styles of Feline Artwork

Now I have another idea. I’ll still be sketching and posting my daily sketches, but some of those days the sketches may be reprises of past sketches as they have been, and they may be new works that go beyond quick sketches but aren’t full-blown paintings. Now that I’m fairly confident with my materials, I have ideas that are a little more complicated that are based on daily images, or they may just be from my imagination. Now that I’ve spent a year and a half experimenting with media, I get to get a little deeper experimenting with style. July is a time I’m a little slower in my everyday commercial art business, so I’m looking forward to beginning a few of these new small works during July.

Photos of Other Fine Felines

One of the other new things I’ve been planning for a while is to feature photos of cats other than my own. Whenever I visit people who have cats I always photograph them, but I don’t always get a chance to show the photos just for the time of day I’ve taken them, but I’ll be happy to be featuring some lovely photos of “Other Fine Felines” starting very soon. Eventually some of these fine felines will be adoptable kitties at shelters and rescues. And…some won’t be kitties at all. Imagine doggies and bunnies and ferrets and birds. I like to photograph them all when I get the chance. No doubt I’ll sketch them as well!

And while I’d begun two categories of photos of my own that aren’t from “today”, “From the Archives”, featuring images from my digital archives back to 2002, and “Vintage Photo”, featuring images from my own prints from film back to 1983 or even family photos, some of my current photos won’t necessarily be from “today” but may be from last week, but they’ll still be current enough.

I had also considered putting all my daily photos into one post so I didn’t have so many posts each day, but, even without my asking for a preference, enough readers remarked didn’t like that, preferring the different categories of photos to all have their own posts. That’s fine with me, and it’s even easier than taking the time to write one big long post, and ultimately they are easier to search.

Posting and Sharing

And while I’ll post them each day before midnight, I’ll share the latest ones on social media the following day instead of in the evening. for people who read my posts through social media, this seems to work best.

One of the best results of all this posting of images and stories is that I am busier with commissioned art and writing, and often don’t end my “work” day until mid-evening or later, which pushes my evening posts to late evening. I’m not going to complain about the work, I’m just going to rearrange my schedule a bit.

I look forward to all the new things I’ll be offering. There is no end to beauty in each day, and sharing it helps build beauty in the world.


Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

cats for adoption

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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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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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