August Newsletter from The Creative Cat

Feline Votives made from repurposed condiment jars.

Feline Votives made from repurposed condiment jars.

Hand-finished and embellished votives from repurposed jars

I see things others might recycle or throw away as creative possibilities. I save jars and use a fair number around the house for storage and for projects in my studio and recycle the rest. For years I’ve considered ways to make votives with my artwork just like the ones I’ve received as gifts and began saving the more interesting small jars I had for a someday project, including jars from relish and mustard, jelly and preserves, olives, jalapeños and other pickled items, salsa and other sauces, and more. Each one has its own unique quality and inspiration for me.

When summer came along and I set up my deck with all my varied votives I knew I’d found the project for those jars. I knew I wanted to both etch the glass and paint a design on it somehow, and found alcohol inks, which adhere to glass. On some jars I etched the entire outside of the jar to better diffuse the light from the candle, painted the inside of the jar with the color patterned background, then painted a figure or design on the outside. On others I etched the inside and painted my design on the outside, and on some I’ve done a combination of both. These are the first I’ve finished. You’ll find them as the gift item in the July Feline Sampler Box too. More on that below.

This Month’s Special

Impressionist
and
Two Cats
After van Gogh
Garden Flags

Decorate your garden for back-to-school and autumn with stylish cats!
Now through the end of August, 25% off the purchase of either
Impressionist Garden Flag or Two Cats After van Gogh Garden Flag
Use code GARDENFLAGS25

What’s New?

Square Cards

Square cards

Square cards

I’ve always like a square format for both artwork and greeting cards. It’s true that square formats on first-class mail cost extra, but the format is exciting to give and receive. I’m building the gallery of cards that I can offer in a square format. For now they are offered at the top of the gallery of all cards offered on the page Greeting Cards.


Yes? Small Tote Bags

I imprinted my wildlife block print “Yes?” on both sides of a pre-made jute tote bag or small purse and detailed the edges with a spotted print. The bag is 8″ x 10″ x 3″, lined with thin clear vinyl and holds its shape well. Handles are sturdy plastic coated cord covered with jute. I only purchased and printed two of these bags to experiment, so when they sell out they are out of stock until I can find another similar bag.

Take a closer look and purchase Yes? Jute Tote Bag.


Sampler Boxes!

I finally managed to photograph my April, May and June Sampler Boxes, but not July—it conspired to rain each time I packed up everything to head outdoors. But you’ll get to see all four of them together nonetheless. Visit Feline Sampler Box Program to read about each one of them and how to order your sampler box.

I choose contents to give you the most variety in each item. I take into account not only item but style, medium, size, subject—even a particular feline subject, color or coat pattern, or a particular anniversary with one of my feline family—as well as season, holiday, color palette and the message it sends, as with greeting cards. You’ll see a good sample of not only my work but also the beauty and inspiration of felines so that, whether you keep the contents for yourself or give them as gifts or donations, you’ll find something that fits nearly every occasion.

You can order any prior sampler box, or order a subscription and see what you get. I also have sampler boxes for Animal Professionals, for Wholesalers and themed for Nature and Wildlife—read more about the boxes and order.


Upcoming Events

Pet Memorial Sunday 2016

Pet Memorial Sunday 2016

Pet Memorial Sunday
Sunday, September 10, 2017

I will be a speaker at this annual event hosted by Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation
Anyone who is dealing with the loss of a pet is invited to attend.
Attendance is by RSVP so we can provide for all who join us.
For more information please visit this page on the CCPC website.
~~~
This is the place where I have had my cats cremated since 2006, and from that time Deb, the owner, has been one of my customers as well. I designed and maintain the website, send press release and publicity and photograph events.


Featured Commissioned Portrait

A Great Rescue and Commissioned Portrait,
and a Little Bit of Otherworldly Magic: I’ll Be Seeing You

"Cooper", 1996, pastel, 22” x 17” © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Cooper”, 1996, pastel, 22” x 17” © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

CAN THE SUBJECT of a painting communicate through his image? One of the dearest stories from any of my portraits is the story of Cooper, a “first cat” who turned his people into rescuers but who left far too young. When his best buddy Patches was ready to transition herself, she stepped up and touched Cooper’s face in the portrait. But first, he had some humans’ lives to change.
Read the story.


Commercial Art and Illustration

Klepto Cat Book Cover No. 23, “Cattywampus Travels”

I’ve been illustrating for author Patricia Fry since book number one in this series featuring a gray and white cat named Rags who got into the cozy cat mystery business by stealing things that lead to clues to solve the mysteries that always seem to crop up around him.

Read this article to learn about the book and how I created the illustration. I’m currently working on cover. No. 25.


Articles

TNR with a Side of Adoption and Outreach

I’ve had an article published on Pet Radio Magazine, “TNR with a Side of Adoption and Outreach”. It’s part 1 of a four-part series of articles I’ll be writing about TNR and working with stray and feral cats. Part one discusses ways to make TNR successful in not only stabilizing an outdoor cat population but reducing it as proved in several studies and in practice, but removing all kittens and friendly cats and also enlisting the help and support of the cat caretakers already in place. Read more.

~~~
Begin in Spring to  Control Fleas

FLEAS, LIKE MOST OTHER INSECTS, live everywhere around us and it’s how we manage our surroundings that helps to control their populations. Like managing mosquitoes, for instance, by eliminating still pools of water where they can breed, you can also manage the flea population around your yard without the use of toxic chemicals so that fleas can’t set up a happy colony where they are ready and waiting when your pet comes outside—or even when you come outside and carry them back in. Read more.

~~~

Do They Feel?

How many times do we look at our animal companions and see a sparkle that is clearly emotion, or watch them clearly demonstrating compassion in a particular circumstance? Do they feel the things we feel? Or are we anthropomorphizing actions we think are like ours? Day to day interactions may be easily explained away, but it’s what happens in deeper moments around illness, incapacity or death that may tell more. I’ve watched my household of felines with one of the ones we are losing as that cat grows older or more ill, and at the time of their death, and I can clearly see a true emotional response. Read more.


Patreon

My Patreon profile image

This is part of “the artists’ life”, and it’s a part many non-creative people don’t really know about. If you’re going to produce quality work you have a certain amount of upfront expenses to do that. Then you can’t just keep it in your house and hope someone discovers you. You need to market and show and network and all sorts of other things, and that too has expenses.

Patreon is a crowdfunding page for creative people to be able to source income for creative projects. It’s not like other pages that collect donations until the goal is reached. The intent on Patreon is to find “patrons” who will pledge a recurring amount to create an income stream. Read more.


August Featured Artwork and Desktop Calendar:
Find the Kitty in This Painting

Often for my August desktop calendar I choose a bright and colorful work that coordinates with the intense sun and heat of August. This year I went with a cooler look, though the painting is of Sally napping in the sun in July or August when the temperatures hovered around 100 most of the late summer. I’m going way back to my beginnings with this painting/sketch. It predates all of my pastels, but is actually my first work in color, when I decided to move from pencil to try to interpret some of the lovely colors I saw in the world around me, and especially in my cats.

This image is also one of the choices for a free gift this month on Portraits of Animals.

Read more and download a calendar for your computer or mobile device.


I couldn’t do it without my studio cats.

Flourish-darkgray-100Don’t miss any new items or opportunities!

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© 2017 | 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.

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