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The Artist’s Life: Photos Become Artwork and More, February 25, 2007

calico cat on rocker
Holly on the rocker, the photo.

If you’ve been following The Creative Cat for any length of time, this photo may look familiar. See below.

watercolor portrait of cat on rocker in victorian room
Holly on the Rocker, watercolor, 8″ x 12″, 2008 © B.E. Kazmarski

Yes, there is the reference photo I took, knowing I’d want to make a painting of it, and below is the painting, “Holly on the Rocker”, an elective painting which, later, Holly’s person purchased. You can find this image as a print, and it’s also in my set of Feline Fine Art Cards. And because Holly was a rescue she’s also one of the featurered portraits included in Great Rescues Day Book. I’ve written about this portrait and about Holly a few times here, a totally sweet, gregarious and absolutely photogenic little calico, and you can catch it all in this post. I’ve also used photos of Holly as references in a book cover for Patricia Fry, Revenge at Its Felinest, though they weren’t from this date.

But this photo wasn’t the only photo I took on that day and later used. On February 25, 2007, I visited my friend Judi Stadler about her website and a few other promotional things for her business. As I can see from other photos in that day’s folder, I walked over, not unusual on a crisp, sunny winter day, photographing as I walked. And of course, once I arrived, I also photographed Judi’s other cats, like her old man, Houdini, who had found a new kittenhood when Holly joined the family, so he was napping in the room with us.

gray cat sleeping
Houdini napping

I snapped another photo of him because I liked him sleeping in the little cat bed, but then noticed the decorative birdbath behind him.

gray cat sleeping
Check the decorative birdbath behind Houdini.

Holly was everywhere, knowing she was cute. I got this photo of her on the couch…

calico on couch
Holly on the couch.

…which the next year I used to design an ad in a shelter calendar for another customer, My Three Cats.

advertisement with calico cat
Holly’s photo in advertisement.

I got another good photo of her that I really thought I’d use for something, someday, though I haven’t yet.

calico on newspaper
Cropped photo.

Later in the afternoon, one of the neighborhood cats who Judi cared for, though he was ostensibly “owned”, came by to ask for dinner. Gabby and Holly had a conversation through the window.

orange cat outside calico cat inside
Gabby comes to ask for food.

I photographed Gabby more than once in that neighborhood, and wrote about him in my article “They Are All Simply Cats”.

On the way home I saw a chunky tabby bathing on a roll of carpet on the porch of an empty home. I’ve used this tabby in a few articles about homeless, stray and feral cats.

You just never know where you’ll find inspiration, or what inspiration that will be or become. I treasure all the inspiration I got out of just this one day! And how following those inspirations provided me with references for a painting, a photo for an advertisement for a customer, photos for several articles, and the story of Gabby. Always be aware of what gifts there are in the moment. I’m always happy to share mine with you.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


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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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© 2022 | 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!




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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