Books

Non-fiction, fiction, art and photography.

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This is one gallery I only have a few selections to add right now, but this is my year to start filling up the page.

This little short story is essentially free—I have the text below, a recorded version and all the download formats here for you to use. If you’d like to support me by “purchasing” it, I’d totally appreciate that and it would help me carry on with more stories. Purchase here or scroll down to read more about it.



About the story and the illustrations

This is a true story, from the early 90s, written in 2012. I’ve remembered it all these years because I was so moved by the growing relationship between the woman and the cat. But I also had these illustrations in mind all these years as well. This apartment building is still there, still blue, still has a deck with doors at the backs of the apartments and two cats who live there; I think of it every time I look at the building. I’ve always wanted to share this story and the images I’d visualized all those years ago. I’d intended all along, from the time I witnessed this rescue, to write the story and illustrate it, and so I did in May 2012 to celebrate officially moving The Creative Cat to a self-hosted platform so I could offer my work in many more formats.

I also learned to design and format e-books for my own sake and professionally—I’m a designer, I had designed books for two publishers years ago, this is another exciting skill to learn and to offer to commercial customers as well as for my own writing. This book is available on Amazon.com, but I’d love to share it with those of you who have electronic readers of any sort.

And for the 2016 anniversary of sharing this story, I finally recorded it. Some day I’ll have to get a real microphone so please pardon a few little blips, but I enjoyed reading it with you listeners in mind.

The cover design is for the e-book, and I’ve never been really happy with it. One of these days I’ll actually publish it in a small volume and create the cover I want.

And now for the downloads

This story is essentially free. If you want the Kindle version you have to buy it from Amazon.com (their rules, link below), but all the others are open. Creative work may seem to be free, but writing takes time, and printing and promoting take money.  You can support my work by “purchasing” this story for $5.00. If not, just enjoy!



I don’t have any e-book devices but I can read them on my computer. I use both Kindle Previewer and Kindle Cloud Reader to read books intended for Kindle, and a program called Calibre to read e-books in other formats.

Most electronic readers can open an EPUB file.

Kindle readers work best with a MOBI file.

Find it on Amazon.com.

Download it as a PDF

And for the 2016 anniversary of sharing this story, I finally recorded it. Some day I’ll have to get a real microphone so please pardon a few little blips, but I enjoyed reading it with you listeners in mind. Click here to see the video on YouTube, or watch it below.

 

Witness to a Rescue

The little girl cat waits for her chosen person to appear.

The little girl cat waits for her chosen person to appear.

A little tabby and white kitty had joined the varied clowder that roamed in the back yards, often leave-behinds from renters who moved on without their feline housemates. As the brilliant leaves fell from the trees and brush between our yards I noticed her bright white legs while she hopped uncomfortably about like a bunny on the detritus of summer now sodden and brown with November rains. I saw her again a day or two later when the rain had stopped hours before and the weather was quite nice for early November. She was obviously not accustomed to being outdoors, and far too clean to have been outside for long. I noted the direction she was walking and went outside to introduce myself and assess the situation.

Was she an indoor-outdoor kitty taking a walk on the wild side, was she a leave-behind, was she lost? Why didn’t they come with a little note hanging on their collar? I knew I always risked “rescuing” a cat who belonged to a neighbor so I got to know as many as I could; this little girl was unfamiliar.

But I was too late to catch her. Before I even left my deck I saw her purposefully continue across the neighbor’s yard directly behind mine to the house next door to that, a four-apartment rental. She trotted easily up the steps to the porch at the back of one of the second-floor apartments as if she belonged there and greeted the woman who was sitting on a chair, reading a book. I heard a faint “meow” and saw her rub against the woman’s legs and then jump up onto her lap.

I knew the woman as another cat owner who had lived in that apartment for at least two years. She had a little black and white kitty who always sat in the west-facing windows of her apartment in the afternoon and evening, dozing in the sun. I had spoken with the woman a few times about cats in the neighborhood, inquiring if she had ever seen them or knew who they were, but we had never exchanged our names or our cats’ names. She never minded discussing our neighborhood cats but seemed to want her privacy and anonymity, and I understood her need to be able to step outside on her porch and read a book without being interrupted by a neighbor unless it was absolutely necessary. Finding out information about a lost cat was apparently a necessary conversation.

Was the tabby and white cat her cat? But she had insisted she was a one-cat person, and that her cat never went outdoors. I doubted that this cat was hers unless she had had a big change of heart and decided to keep an indoor-outdoor cat, and if that was the case, I doubted she’d be ignoring the cat’s fervent though wet and muddy greeting.

The woman does her best to ignore the girl kitty's advances.

The woman does her best to ignore the girl kitty’s advances.

And she was doing her best to ignore it, putting the book between her face and the cat when the cat got between her face and the book, gently picking the cat up in one hand and placing her on the wooden floor of the porch only to have the cat leap nimbly onto the arm of the chair, then onto her shoulder and walk around behind the woman’s head. When the cat got up onto the woman’s head, trying to keep a footing on her hair, the woman patiently put down the book, picked up the cat with both hands, and set her on the porch once more.

Her black and white kitty was in the window right next to her, watching everything.

I had walked across my yard to the corner where I was a relatively short distance away from the second-floor porch, and things were not so overgrown then. I gave a hearty “hello” as the woman was setting down the cat and the woman looked up at me and waved. I asked if the cat was hers and she said it was not, but that it had been coming to visit her when she sat outside to read. She had no idea where the cat had come from and it had not been around for long; it was the woman who identified the cat as female. I told her the cat had every intention of being adopted into her household, and the woman said the cat was very nice but reiterated she was a one-cat household and was sure the cat belonged to someone, she was too nice not to.

I thanked her for her time and decided just to monitor the cat’s activities and ask a few of the neighbor kids if they knew anything about her.

Over the next couple of weeks I saw the cat a few times, not always heading from the same direction as if she was wandering, and looking a little more tattered each time. I would stop her and offer food and she ate it hungrily but always continued on to the woman’s porch. I remembered that we’d first seen her at the beginning of the month and it seemed someone had likely left her behind when they’d moved, intentionally or not. On warm or sunny weekend days the woman often spent a hour or so outside with her book and the kitty happily, a little desperately, perhaps, laid on the affection, performing metaphorical kitty headstands for the woman. When the woman was not outside the cat would stand on the railing of the porch, long legs straight and tail in the air and look in the window, or stand up and slap her paws against the wooden screen door, or sit on the woman’s chair. The black and white kitty would lie in the window, squinting and impassive.

Desperate, girl kitty simply clings to the screen.

Desperate, girl kitty simply clings to the screen.

On yet one more rainy day later in the month as I was working in my kitchen I saw the kitty on the porch and somehow, from that distance, felt her desperation. It was a cold and dark Saturday, slipping back and forth from rain to sleet and even a few wet snowflakes now and then. No little explorations or visits to my yard, I could see her legs were muddy and her fur clumped and wet.

She hopped onto the railing and walked back and forth, meowing, then jumped onto the chair, stood up with her paws on the sill and looked in the window. As a last measure of desperation, she climbed the screen door so she could see in the window of the interior door and clung there at an angle, meowing.

I saw the interior door open and light shone onto the porch. The screen door slowly opened far enough for the woman to come outside, put both hands around the cat’s torso and gently remove her from the screen. The woman opened the screen door and disappeared inside holding the cat. I watched the screen door close behind her, then the brown interior door closed leaving just the yellow square of light.

I had just witnessed a rescue, but who had rescued whom, only time would tell.


I never did find out where the cat came from, but I don’t think it mattered because she was apparently meant to be with my neighbor. I never got to know the woman any better, respecting her privacy. Better to keep good relations with neighbors in the first place, and people set boundaries for a reason. We spoke often enough that if she had wanted to be more social she had the opportunity. If not for the cat’s insistence on being part of the woman’s life I probably would have taken her in long before that, giving her veterinary care and fostering her to find her a new home, as I did with many cats in similar situations who showed up in my back yard in those days.

I will add that when I watched her peel the cat from the screen and take her indoors, I simply started to cry. I have no idea if she kept the cat or not because she moved soon after, but I think the cat finally convinced her that she belonged with the woman. These sorts of rescues often have a touching or dramatic back story, but that part I can only guess.

One of the reasons for my Daily Sketches has been to practice, just practice—sketching my cats in various poses and activities, working in different media and different styles; through this I grew to enjoy working with watercolor pencils, which is the medium I chose to use for these illustrations. The daily sketches are experience in working quickly from life, but I also want the experience of working with a visualized image with no live models, though I’ll admit I did stretch out Jelly Bean to get a better idea what the kitty would look like clinging to the screen. Illustrating one of my stories gives me this experience in working from a visualized image.

. . . . . . . .

Read a review by Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat.


“Purchase” to make a donation if you’re so inclined

Creative work may seem to be free, but writing takes time, and printing and promoting take money.  You can support my work by “purchasing” this story for $5.00. If not, just enjoy!




Read more stories in my weekly Rescue Stories series
and read about my Rescue Stories series on The Creative Cat.

Also find other recorded works as poetry, and visit my YouTube page for all my videos and recordings.


Help me publish my poetry and anthologize my rescue stories

I’m very excited to have finally recorded this after years of thinking about it. It’s really my beginning plan for recording all my books, and this one I’ll expand to include other stories I haven’t yet written about. But to do that I’ll need to purchase a better microphone and a quieter chair! Between that and printing and the time it takes to create these things, so I’ve set up a Patreon page through which patrons can pledge a certain amount each month to support these projects. You can read about it here or visit my Patreon page.

Read more in this article on The Creative Cat and Visit my PATREON page.

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.

Flourish-darkgray-100Don’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.

 

Rescue, Foster, Rehome, Repeat 2019: Pittsburgh C.A.T. 2019 Calendar
Rescue, Foster, Rehome, Repeat 2019: Pittsburgh C.A.T. 2019 Calendar

Rescue, Foster, Rehome, Repeat 2019: Pittsburgh C.A.T. 2019 Calendar

Calendars cost $25.00 each including shipping and handling. After costs Pittsburgh C.A.T. receives $10.00 from every calendar sold, and if you’re local and want to pick it up, they’ll get an extra $5.00! They will be ready about December 14.

If you’ve been following me and my feline household, you’ll know that several of the cats who live with me now were rescued and fostered through the efforts of Pittsburgh C.A.T. Mariposa emerged from the abandoned house where I trapped and removed a dozen adults and 15 kittens and I am fostering her through Pittsburgh C.A.T. Basil and Bella were both rescued by volunteers, Hamlet and his sister Ophelia, too, were Pittsburgh C.A.T. cats. Charm and her adorable children were as well, and Alvina, Simon and Theodore. They each came to my household in different ways, with different stories and different needs, but all were rescued and given a new chance at a life in a loving home because of Pittsburgh C.A.T.

Pittsburgh C.A.T. has fostered and found loving forever homes for almost 500 rescued kittens and cats every year from TNR projects, local shelters and right off streets, reducing the population of homeless cats in the Pittsburgh area by thousands each year and spreading education about spay and neuter, feline care and behavior and compassion.

In this calendar you’ll read about a couple dozen of those rescued cats who’ve come in with dire medical need from abuse or accidents, chronic or acute illnesses, and near starvation. Healing all those cats and kittens, feeding them and spaying and neutering, keeping up with vaccines and microchips, does not come cheap, but it’s the best way to rescue cats. Pittsburgh C.A.T. is not a 501c3 and can’t apply for grants, so sales of this calendar will help pay for lots of medical care. Help Pittsburgh C.A.T. finish off 2018 and get ready for 2019!

Calendars cost $25.00 each including shipping and handling. After costs Pittsburgh C.A.T. receives $10.00 from every calendar sold, and if you’re local and want to pick it up, they’ll get an extra $5.00! They will be ready about December 8.

Photos and rescue stories included

Each month features a cat or cats and the story who Pittsburgh C.A.T. volunteers rescued through TNR or rescue from abandonment, neglect or abuse, offered medical treatment, fostering, socialization, and a loving forever home that met their individual needs.

You know how I love to write and share these rescue stories, and along with helping these organizations who I support with my particular skills, writing and sharing the rescue stories included in this calendar was probably the greatest creative joy.

Here are a few sample pages:

 

And a sample month:

Resources

In addition, each month is sponsored with an ad from veterinarians, businesses and individuals who work with and support Pittsburgh C.A.T., including five of the veterinarians who regularly take a shift at clinics to spay and neuter plus pet sitting and pet first aid training so you have ready resources for services you and your pets can use right at your fingertips. Each month also features the standard holidays as well as pet-related holidays and events.

The front of the calendar also includes information about Pittsburgh C.A.T.

I designed and am publishing this calendar on behalf of Pittsburgh C.A.T. for which I volunteer and support. All proceeds of sales of this calendar after costs will go directly to Rescue-Foster-Rehome-Repeat wherever the need arises. Price includes shipping. You’ll find a box to enter your address or special instructions in your shopping cart.

PURCHASE HERE

Calendar is 8.5″ x 11″, 28 pages saddle-stitched and includes information on Pittsburgh C.A.T. and clinics and adoption.

You can use any credit card or Paypal, and if we’re pinching pennies Paypal fees come to about $1.04 per sale, my credit card processor Squares fees are about 69 cents per calendar. That little difference adds up!

Read more about Pittsburgh C.A.T.

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.

Flourish-darkgray-100Don’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.

Great Rescues Day Book

New format, same great kitties! If you’re familiar with Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, this book carries on the idea in a way that’s much more permanent. This book is not dated for one year, but has all the dates in a month for you to fill in the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and social and personal events in your life.



Great Rescues Day Book

Great Rescues Day Book

In 2011 I published Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, a 16-month desk calendar that included a commissioned portrait of a rescued cat or cats for each month, plus more about the portraits, cats and rescuers in the back and information on cat care. But calendars go out of date and I knew these stories had to go on.

Great Rescues Day Book carries on the original idea in a way that’s much more permanent. This book is not dated for one year, but has all the dates in a month for you to fill in the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and social and personal events in your life.

Great Rescues Day Book is spiral-bound and measures 8″ x 10″ to easily fit on your desk or in a purse, briefcase or backpack. While the original Great Rescues had a die-cut cover with the title stamped in gold foil, this has a solid 12 pt. printed cover for durability.

You can buy a book here, or read on. Price includes shipping.

What’s a Day Book?

I’ve used a day book for over 20 years and have all the arrivals and, sadly, departures of each of my cats along with my friends’ weddings, my nieces’ births and the births of their children, the day I first registered a business name, all that sort of stuff, conveniently included in one place.

On the left is the featured portrait with the kitty’s story, below that the monthly fun quote of something feline. On the right is the month name with enough lines for all possible dates in that month. The holidays that are celebrated on a certain date are marked on that date, but ones that float, especially those Monday holidays, are explained at the bottom just to remind you that they also happen in that month. If animal-themed holidays are celebrated on a certain date, like Spay Day USA, they will also be included, but just the same if they are ones that float like Pet Memorial Sunday they will be explained at the bottom.

About the portraits

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

Although Great Rescues Day Book is a 12-month book I am still featuring from the original calendar all 15 portraits of rescued cats I was commissioned to paint over 20 years as an animal portrait artist (to that date), plus the portrait of my own which I consider my first, “Waiting for Mom”, below.

“Waiting for Mom”, pastel, 16″ x 23″, 1988 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Waiting for Mom”, pastel, 16″ x 23″, 1988 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

That means you get a few pages in the center where you have only portraits and stories to enjoy.

While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, is what compels me to share them with you. Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.

And while each cat has an individual story, each rescuer has a story as well of reaching out to an animal in need to bring it in from the streets. In many cases they helped heal physical and emotional wounds and gave that cat a lifetime of love, in return receiving love and devotion; often those humans received some healing in return they weren’t aware they needed.

The story continues

After the calendar pages I have a section where the stories are continued, either with more details or updates; I remained friends with all my portrait customers and received continuing news. I also have notes on how I created the portraits that weren’t included in the stories.

Great Rescues Day Book, portraits, cats and rescuer stories continued.

Great Rescues Day Book, portraits, cats and rescuer stories continued.

Resources for cat guardians

Following the calendar section and section of stories of the rescuers and their feline families I’ve included a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings. I based this information on the most frequent questions I field from people needing help with cats in any way, from finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

Great Rescues Day Book "22 Cats" notepaper.

Great Rescues Day Book “22 Cats” notepaper.

Each month on The Creative Cat I post the featured portrait, story and pages from Great Rescues Day Book and then describe the creation of the portrait in detail as well as even more history of the cats and the rescuers. You can browse here to read a few of the stories.

Here are images of the other portraits in the book—perhaps you’ll recognize a kitty you know!

Great Rescues Day Book portraits from the back of the book.

Great Rescues Day Book portraits from the back of the book.

Purchase Great Rescues Day Book

Price includes shipping, and discounts for wholesale and quantity purchases.

Other products and upcoming books

As a complement to the day book, I am also designing from the images in this book a number of complementary products such as placemats, pet bowl mats and memo pads. Keep watching for those here on Portraits of Animals! Sign up for my e-newsletter at the bottom of this page to be sure you don’t miss any special offers.

If the book is a gift to someone, or you have a particular cat or cats in mind, I would be glad to add an inscription in the front of your book.

I had originally wanted to do this as a day book, but was uncertain enough at the reception I decided instead to go with a calendar. I was certain about one thing: I wanted to share those stories and the lovely kitties I’d painted, and a calendar works fine for me. But compiling each one is such an effort because as I’d found with the original Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, I have to rephotograph nearly every painting, a tricky and time-consuming endeavor, one that would be difficult to pull off each year. This day book still shares the stories and art, but as I publish the variations including other cats and dogs and even animals and people I know the work I’m doing will be in use for much longer.

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.

Flourish-darkgray-100Don’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.

12 Sketches of Cats Calendar

Before we begin, let me note that this is a 2014 CALENDAR. Why am I trying to sell you a 2014 calendar? Because it was printed so that each image in the calendar is of framing quality. The calendar is outdated, but the 14 pieces of artwork will never go out of date, and if you’d like to have prints of 14 of my daily sketches for gifts, for donations to benefit cats, for craft projects, $25.00 is a great price for a whole series of prints!

I thought I’d sold all but three in 2014, but found a box with a dozen calendars while cleaning my studio and decided I might as well sell them. Most people bought the calendar for the art, and that might still be true. This calendar costs a little more than the typical calendar because of the size and quality, and the value of what’s in it—I generally sell my prints for $10.00 to $25.00 each depending on the size, but in this calendar you get 14 prints for one price.

About the calendar

12 Sketches of Cats Calendar

12 Sketches of Cats Calendar

I’ve always admired oversized “art calendars”, the ones where the art is foremost and the calendar just an incidental means of presenting it. Calendars are printed on quality text or cover stock and are only printed on one side of the page with plenty of clear space around the artwork because the image is intended to be framable with nothing printed on the back.

And so 12 Sketches of Cats is digitally printed in the same archival inks and acid-free natural 100# smooth cover stock I use for the digital art prints I sell. Each page is 11″ x 17″ so there is plenty of space to have the art at or near its native size with room for the name and information about the art with the calendar at the bottom. The calendar is spiral-bound at the top with a hole drilled just beneath the spiral so you display one page at a time.

In addition to keeping art near its native size I’ve also sized most of the artwork so it will easily fit a standard frame size. Some images, such as “Shades of Gray” and “World Cat” are smaller than the originals to fit the page. I chose sketches for popularity and narrowed them down for a variety of style and medium.

This calendar also won a Certificate of Excellence in the 2014 Cat Writers’ Association 2014 Communications Contest in the category “Annual or Long Publication”.

About the art in the calendar

And there are actually 14 sketches if you count the cover and cover page, but because covers see more wear I kept the title at 12.

The art included in the calendar is:

Cover: Mimi’s Sunbath

Title Page: A Tangle of Cats at the Door

January: Winter Light

February: Shades of Gray

March: Catamount Brushmore

April: Two Cats After van Gogh

May: In Afternoon Sun

June: Lazy Saturday Afternoon

July: Stanley with Geraniums

August: Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol

September: Three Warm Cats on a Cool Ground

October: Two in a Basket

November: Vigilant Nap

December: World Cat

I’ll sell them until they are gone!

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.

Flourish-darkgray-100Don’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.

 

"Creative Cat Coloring Book" with watercolor pencils and art sponge.

4.25” x 5.5” spiral-bound booklet of 13 daily sketches in brush pen printed on 120# card stock, book only or as a set with watercolor pencils and a sponge.

I’ve wanted to do a coloring book, but wanted to use something that is unique to one of my styles that is very popular, that of the black outlines with brush pen or brush marker with color fill in marker, watercolor, colored pencil, or just an all over pattern. I chose a baker’s dozen of my brush pen sketches that easily lend themselves to either loose or tight coloring, or even adding to the sketch with your own brush pen.

It’s named for my website, The Creative Cat, where I’ve shared my past and current art and writing since 2009.

The back cover that explains the premise.

The back cover that explains the premise.

But it’s also a play on those words because I want you to be “creative” in this “cat coloring book”. Rather than larger pages with detailed line drawings to color, I’ve used small pages and my loose brush pen sketches with unfinished lines in varying thickness, semi-abstract shapes, and usually no ground, just a figure, and left the rest to you.

Just a quick little thing

You can choose to color in the lines and add a background, or you can forget about the lines altogether and add approximate color fills with markers, sponge patterns on the whole page, spatter with watercolor, use a different media and technique on each one.

I’ve kept them small so you can work out a coloring project in just a few minutes by adding a loose marker fill on the subject, or you can spend time to plan out layers of watercolor to create an abstract background, or don’t use color at all, use pencil, charcoal, or india ink washes.

Easy to handle

The book is bound on the top so that you can flip all the pages up and just have one page to work on without getting media on the other pages, and the freedom to work from either side if you are left- or right-handed. Finished pages can be trimmed out if you’d like.

The heavy uncoated cover stock can take a beating using:

– layers of various markers
– watercolor washes
– watercolor pencils
– colored pencils
– soft pastels
– oil pastels
– acrylic craft paint
– acrylic fine art paint
– pencil, charcoal, ink
– collaging glued paper or fabric

Here are some samples of the above techniques:

Add your own voice

The 12 sketches in this book, plus the one on the cover, each offer a compositional challenge as well, with irregular figures and negative space that just begs you to add your own brush pen marks or make the most of a color technique, glue beads and crystals and flower petals to it, or just leave that space to speak for itself.

So “be creative”!

Everything doesn’t have to be a masterpiece

And not a big book. One of the things that keeps me creating art is doing little things that don’t have to be a masterpiece and I find myself much more willing to experiment and innovate on a little thing than on a bigger finished piece. The book is 4.25″ x 5.5″ and only 12 pages plus covers.

The first spread with the list of sketches and the first sketch.

The first spread with the list of sketches and the first sketch.

I’ve added several ideas in the back of the book that list techniques and media you could experiment with. Because colored pencils are so popular with coloring books I thought I’d add a twist that people might want to experiment with just by adding a little swipe of water with the included brush, or even use the watercolors with the sponge to add a unique pattern. The brand of watercolor pencils and the sponge and brush will likely vary depending on what I can order at any give time.

Some ideas for media and techniques to use in your book.

Some ideas for media and techniques to use in your book.

Some ideas to get you started

PRACTICE + first, don’t hesitate to get scraps of paper and experiment with a technique until you’re comfortable before you use it in your book

PATTERN + use a small sponge, crumpled rag, scrap of fabric or other textured absorbent material that will create a pattern on the paper, dip it into watered-down watercolor, acrylic craft paint or ink and touch it to the paper to create the desired pattern; layer and mix colors

STENCIL + impress your texture and pattern over the entire sheet, subject and all, or cut out the shape of the subject from waxed paper or stenciling material, place the cut shape over the subject and lightly adhere it, sponge or texture over all, then remove the cut shape to reveal white paper–or cover the paper with the stenciling material, leave the subject open and just pattern/texture the subject

SPATTER + use the stenciling technique above with spattering, using watered-down media, dip an old clean toothbrush into the media, hold the toothbrush at an angle toward the art and lightly brush the handle of a thin paintbrush over the bristles from front to back so a light spray lands on the paper, try different pressures, angles and amounts of media in the brush, add new colors when wet or dry for different results

SCRAPE + cover the paper with oil pastel in solid or blended colors, then use the tip of a paper clip or other plastic or metal object to gently scratch pastel off of the paper creating patterns and textures like stripes, flowers and geometric shapes

COLLAGE + rip colored tissue paper and glue it to the paper

SIMPLIFY + do something very simple, like add color inside the subject with rough angled marker strokes or watercolor, and just leave it at that

FINISH + when you’re done, trim the page out of the book and adhere your work to a blank note card or to a piece of card stock and frame it

The book is printed on pure white 120# uncoated cover that can take a beating with colored pencils, oil pastels, markers, watercolors, even acrylic paint. You can also conveniently isolate one page of the book by flipping all the others above the coil so that you don’t get any media on other pages as you work.

 

One of the sketches placed on the page so you can add to the action or experiment with a pattern or shading.

One of the sketches placed on the page so you can add to the action or experiment with a pattern or shading.

Feline Style Sampler

Now in its third printing on its fifth anniversary of publication, and winner of a 2014 Certificate of Excellence by the Cat Writers’ Association. 

I love to use selections from my portfolio of artwork to gather into a collection of some sort, finding a theme and then a likely way to present the collection, like my calendars. In my “inspiration collection” I have calendars and art and photography books on all subjects that I enjoy simply pulling out to study, and a few friends and readers have asked if I ever planned to do a book of my artwork.



In autumn 2013 I created this little portfolio piece, Feline Style Sampler, sketches and portraits, to include in presentations to prospective illustration customers to both show a variety of styles of illustration and my ability to design a little book like this and have it printed and bound. I was very pleased with the way it turned out and enjoyed the response when I presented it and showed it around to friends.

"Feline Style Sampler" cover and inside spread.

“Feline Style Sampler” cover and inside spread.

When a friend admired it and wanted to purchase some for gifts, I thanked her for an idea I hadn’t even considered, though once she mentioned it the idea was a natural. In fact, I had such an enthusiastic response to it on all accounts that I decided to offer it for sale. The award-winning* Feline Style Sampler is a collection of 36 images, no text or narrative, though each image has the name and medium of the image inconspicuously added at the bottom of the page. The book is little, only 4.25″ x 5.5″, and coil bound. All pages are printed on 100# gloss cover rather than text weight stock to stand up to handling and to ensure opacity.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” title page..

The images I’ve included run the gamut from quick and simple ink sketches to highly detailed commissioned pastel paintings. They are a mix of daily sketches, commissioned portraits and a few of my personal works all jumbled together instead of categorizing them by medium or style. They even span my entire career as an artist with a few of my earliest included as well as very recent daily sketches.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” spread from book.

I can’t list all the images as I did with my calendars, but in addition to the cover and spreads above here are a few more spreads to give you an idea of what’s here.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.

“Feline Style Sampler” sample spread.

. . . . . . .

CWA-BADGE_BlackCertExcellence

Winner of a 2014 Certificate of Excellence by the Cat Writers’ Association. Click here to read more about this contest and the awards.

"Paths I Have Walked" poetry book.

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry
Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who’ve attended one or more of my last four poetry readings have encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it.

Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

About the books and the poetry readings
My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.

Art of the Watershed
A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord,” said Henry David Thoreau in Walden, his paradox of exploring a small town and its surroundings teaching him as much about human life and the interactions of nature as if he had traveled rare and exotic places about the globe.

I’d love to paint faraway exotic places, but in the interests of time I stay close to home for my hiking, bicycling, canoeing, walking and painting excursions, that being the valley where the Lower Chartiers Creek flows.

I’ve seen some exquisite sights on my adventures, and committed them to various media. The most moving are the ones I’ve chosen to paint large and in detail so that I might convey at least a portion of the grandeur that moved me beyond awe to action, sharing the places right around us though most people would never see them. Thus was born the series offering an image indicative of the watershed in each season.

“Art of the Watershed” has not only been a part of my poetry readings from the very first, but as I created each of these paintings in the month of January they also inspired the theme of my reading.

2007: Paths I Have Walked
Signature painting: Dusk in the Woods

2008: Winter Twilight
Signature painting: Morning on the Creek

2009: Change of Season
Signature painting: Autumn in the Valley

2010: Coming Spring
Signature painting: Spring Comes to a Bend in the Creek

CONTENTS

Paths I Have Walked
Clouds
Field of Grass
Ripened Color
The Changing Sky
Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania
Entering Paradise
Dogwoods
Raspberry Dreams
Like a Tree
Wild Apples

Winter Twilight
Snow at Night
The Photograph
Forever With Each other
Lucy
Things I Found in the Woods
My First Decision
Feverfew
August 28, 1941
Valentine’s Day
After the Flood

Change of Season
Father’s Day
Bridal Wreath
Corsages in a Book
Memorial Day Parade
Effortless
The Creative Dilemma
Green Sparkle Ball
Even the World Must Rest
The Mystic Chords of Memory

Coming Spring
My Garden Waits Under a Blanket of Spring
Pawprints and Raindrops
Taking My Shift
Inventing the Wheel
The Bean-Picking Lesson
The Last Red Berries
The Part of Her
Flocks of Children
The Clock in the Bathroom

You can read more about the readings and the poetry on the poetry page on my website.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.