Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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The Artist’s Life: Two Special Originals Sold

pastel sketch of cat on windowsill
“Spring Morning”, pastel, 6″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Just as I want cats I foster to go to the home that will love and cherish them forever, I feel the same of my artwork. I want it to go to a home that will love it, and continue to find inspiration and joy in it through the years. That goes for the smallest of my sketches as well as the bigger more formal works.

I don’t actually sell originals all that often, despite all the likes and compliments I get on social media. When I do it’s both calmly gratifying and thrilling that another person has considered the purchase of one of my original paintings at its higher value than a print they could easily choose, and that one of my inspirations is admired enough that another person not only likes to look at it, but they want to own it, to have it in their home. And, in my pledge to all the cats who made an artist out of me, their memory travels on, and they will never truly be forgotten.

In 2019, I didn’t create any new elective artwork, only commissions, in part because I have so much here already, hundreds of daily sketches and many of my larger works too. In terms of space I’m not sure I can fit any more, and it’s a little sad when they sit here stored away, though it’s a real pleasure to use them on my merchandise. Having all this art around me all the time inhibits me from creating more, but the sale of even just these two has opened me up to new ideas, and I look forward to launching my own personal painting challenge in 2020.

So here are the two paintings which sold.

A Spring Morning, 2014

Pictured above, I’ve always been fond of this quick little sketch, not only for the colors I captured on Mimi, but the colors in the lace curtain, the marble windowsill, reflected on the wall below, and the light of the spring morning outside the window, as I also said, below, on the day I sketched Mimi. As I wrapped it to ship off to its new home I looked at it once again and marveled at how much I saw in that moment and recorded onto the paper in just a few minutes. I miss that, both the act of painting and the discovery afterward, and look forward to more in the coming year!

Here’s what I had to say in 2014:

Such a lovely spring morning with sunlight so full of color. Mimi was feeling the weather and was everywhere—every windowsill, every spot of sun, challenging her children to wrestling matches then running off and wrestling with the roll of paper towels. But she allowed herself a few quiet moments to just enjoy the warm sunshine now and then.

I’ve been ready for a regular old pastel painting after wandering around to other media and seeing her in the sun I could feel the pastels beneath my fingers. It wasn’t only Mimi and all the rich tones in her fur, but the colorful and varied shadows in the lace curtain, both creamy and cool, and the light from the window glaring pale blue and green and yellow with the hints of blue sky and promise of leaves. Yesterday morning was exceptional and full of inspiration.

Where to find this artwork

You can still purchase digital, giclee and canvas prints of this painting, as well as a Feline Fine Art Card or Sympathy Card. This painting is also featured on my Impressionists Cats votive, and will likely appear on keepsakes and other items in the coming year. To find items with this image visit and search “Spring Morning”.

Hangin’ in the Kitchen, 2013

pastel sektch of three cats
“Hangin’ in the Kitchen”, pastel and pastel pencil, 12″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I just used this as the featured artwork and desktop calendar for September this year! It’s also fun to pull out one of the older sketches to feature for this. Below is what I said when I featured it this summer and when I sketched it in 2013.

So based on photos and sketches, how much time do you think my cats spend hanging out in the kitchen? It’s about time I featured one of those sketches!

Giuseppe, Mr. Sunshine and Mimi hang out with me in the kitchen.

Often when I draw these five black cats, and even when I don’t but just visualize, I am visualizing their silhouette as a shape, but not paying any attention to their color. That may be stating the obvious seeing cats in every shade of pastel and watercolor and colored pencil and any other medium I have, but because they are solid and because they are black, I can start with them and go on to other ideas.

But I like their darkness and while I often use a blue or purple or other dark color instead of black so the deepest areas have their own brilliance, sometimes I really want pure black. There are many other ways than using a black medium such as ink or charcoal to draw them—and that’s just too easy, sometimes I want a challenge. And instead of the flat representations I often have, I wanted them to look a little more dimensional, as if their shapes lifted from the surface.

I was watching them in the kitchen as the five of them moved on and off the cabinet under the light in the middle of the room bathing themselves and each other, watching me, looking out the door and just engaging in feline meditation, seeing the deep black of their fur with just minimal highlights made by the light shining from directly above, and highlights in warm yellow tones. To catch this, I’d want the black to be about as solid as possible, and that’s easiest accomplished by starting with a black base. I decided to use a black sheet of my pastello paper.

Totally unrelated, I had been testing the points on my pastel pencils and had a sheet of brown paper with different colored lines sketched on it, and I liked how it looked. I decided I’d use this the next chance I got, and decided this was my chance.

The challenge, of course, is to NOT draw the cats, but to draw just their highlights and the background around them. I did end up outlining them, but that was because in watching them moving around I kept losing their shapes as I moved from Sunshine in the middle, Giuseppe on the left and Mimi on the right before I ran out of paper. Seems like I need a little more practice in this! I’m not sure why I used the green for the cabinet top when it wasn’t in my initial visual palette, keeping with yellows and blues because those were the most convenient pencils, but I like its brilliance.

And no matter the colors I used, they are strong shapes and have just enough dimension to them.

Mr. Sunshine is ignoring me and Mimi is washing her face, but Giuseppe is watching me sketch because the pencil is making exciting little scratching noises on the paper, kind of like a mousie.

Where to find this artwork

You can still purchase digital, giclee and canvas prints of this painting, but I don’t have it on too many other items just yet. I’d actually planned a few with this image this past year, especially since I featured it in September, but that was one of the projects I just couldn’t get to with my surgery. I do have several in line for the coming year including chalkboards and placemats, both fabric, which I’m, still working out and laminated. To find items with this image visit and search “Hangin in the Kitchen”.

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Read more articles in The Artist’s Life series.

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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 | | 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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