These daily summer thunderstorms remind me of my painting, “Summer”, painted from a favorite abandoned farm field as a morning thunderstorm cleared over the scene.
“Summer” is an abandoned farm field on a high ridge which I passed regularly on the way to work each morning for six years, seen right after an early morning storm. I would reach this portion of my drive and drive slowly on the stretch of road to look at this field with the morning unfolding above it, different each day, take a deep breath, and go on. The site was developed a few years later, but I still remember that each time I pass by it, even now.
Summer is one of a quartet of paintings, “The Four Seasons”, commissioned to fit a special handmade frame. Scroll down to read about the creation of “The Four Seasons”.
PURCHASE A PRINT
Summer is 12″ x 24″, and though the original is sold I offer a variety of prints on canvas or paper.
About “The Four Seasons”
Years ago a patron of a gallery in Carnegie where I hung my artwork asked me to paint four images for a very special frame she had.
The frame had been designed and handmade in wood by her father-in-law, was long and narrow, and had four openings, each 12″ high by 24″ wide. Each opening had its own piece of glass, and between each opening was a 1/2″ slat of wood as a divider. The outside border of the frame was 2″ wide and flat with hand carved figures which I believe were leaves, like a vine. Overall it had a warm and rustic appearance.
The frame came apart in the center so that there were two panels in each half, and art and glass slid in and out through this opening. The area for the artwork was barely deep enough for a piece of drawing paper, so he must have intended it for photos when he designed it. The frame locked together in the back so that the two halves held together and hung on the wall without sagging.
She was interested in pastel drawings on paper, which were a good choice for this since even flat painting panels would not have fit.
As soon as she described the frame to me I thought of painting the four seasons, in part because of the four sections of the frame, and it’s also a theme I enjoy here in Western Pennsylvania. The customer would enjoy it too, because I’d been to her house and large picture windows were placed to enjoy the landscape from all angles, and the view of the countryside was something she always mentioned.
So I collected reference photos from my rambles for each of the seasons, thinking purely of landscapes. Skies are one of my favorite daily studies, no matter the season; I could watch skies forever, the clouds moving, the changing light. Choosing the right moment of sky to paint into a landscape is a very serious choice for me, as you’ll see in looking at all four paintings in this series.
But she loved white cats and had actually purchased my painting “A Warm Bath” featuring my Angora cat Sally in a bath in morning sun at my side window, and asked me to add a white cat in somewhere since she’d given that painting as a gift. I really considered the best way to include a cat in the first panel, “Spring”. The scenes of the landscapes were typical of landscape paintings, showing the middle and far distance, where a cat would be hard to spot. For the landscape itself I remembered the layout of her yard and acreage, and collected some of my favorite photos of spring blooming garden.
But I remembered one of her picture windows and a countertop that extended partway in front of it and decided what I’d do. I had taken several reference photos of Sally having a good bath in front of that window for “A Warm Bath” and chose a more upright posture where she appeared to be looking out the window. The cat looking out the window in the first painting would also lend the idea that you were looking out the window at all the landscapes.
In this painting of spring I chose a misty moment in early morning, it’s rained overnight, all is covered with raindrops and the mist is still rising, the clouds parting.
While “Spring” is based on the customer’s property, the other three are not only treasured landscapes but also have emotional ties to the cats in my life.
“Autumn” is a hay field with a rambling little stream and scrubby trees as autumn rain clouds roll in which I had photographed along one of the back roads I enjoyed. She had an old farm pond on her property and though her land was hilly I wanted to include a pond somehow.
And “Winter” is a winter view of the friend’s family farm that I visited when I began painting en plein air. I found this frozen, still sunset absolutely beautiful, the quiet of the empty fields and big open sky, the sound of the wind.
The one interesting part of this quartet is something I did not plan at all, but happened as I put the paintings together. If you let your eye run from one to the next you’ll notice that the horizon line is consistent from one to the next, and the time of day is actually progressive with “Spring” being very early morning, “Summer” about noon, “Autumn” mid afternoon, and “Winter” at sunset. When I saw this developing as I planned the paintings I found I could actually match up the horizon lines, but the times of day were part of the scenes I’d chosen. I had first considered actually having the seasons and times of day blend into one another, but decided the frame really wouldn’t accommodate that convincingly, instead letting the viewer’s eye fill in the connections.
Find the full set of these Four Seasons paintings
Each is a nice painting individually, and together they make a wonderful display of canvas prints, whether at the smaller size or full size.
Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.
The painting is 23″ x 16″, matted with a deep forest green watered silk acid-free mat edged with a dull gold rounded fillet, framed in a 2″ wood frame with two tones of antique silver edged with antique gold, outside edge finished in deep cherry mahogany.
The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames. The giclees have 2″ of white around the outside edges.
I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship.
Digital prints are made on acid-free matte-finish natural white 100# cover using archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original.
The 5″ x 7″ and 8″ x 10″ digital prints are centered on 8.5″ x 11″ digital cover while the 11″ x 14″ has 1″ around the edges because the digital paper is 12″ wide. All are countersigned by me.
I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2″ in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting.
Other items with the same art or design
To find all items on this site with the same art or design, use the search box for the name of the artwork and you'll find all that's available.
Don’t miss any new items or opportunities!
“Follow” the Portraits of Animals blog with the link in the upper left. Sign up to receive posts in email, or in your favorite reader using the links in the right-hand column.
Sign up for e-newsletters
You can also sign up for my monthly e-newsletters to receive special discounts and find out where I’ll be with my artwork.
Click here for the Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter, for feline and animal-specific products and information.
Click here for the Art & Merchandise E-newsletter, for landscapes, nature, urban scenes and more.
For art, photos and writing as I develop it, visit my blogs.
See feline art and photos as they happen on The Creative Cat, along with feline news, health, welfare, rescue stories and more.
See daily photos as I post them on Today.
Read poetry, short stories, essays and more on Paths I Have Walked.
. . . . . . .
© 2018 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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 to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.