Seasonal and Holiday Cards

Often I look at a scene before I paint or photograph it and I know it will make the perfect greeting card for a holiday or sentiment or some greeting and eventually most of them do.

Cards for specific holidays are divided by category in the menu at right and on the page below. I change them around as the holidays change.

These cards are all 5″ x 7″ , printed on 12 pt. card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Some people purchase them to frame as little prints as well.

WHOLESALE PURCHASE OF GREETING AND NOTE CARDS

If you are interested in reselling my cards in your shop or you are an animal professional or other business and would like to make a bulk purchase for business correspondence please visit For Retailers and For Animal Professionals. to find out about signing up for an account and getting a 40% discount on nearly everything on my website.

Meow-lo-ween Cards

Really, with a house full of black cats I have a lot of creative inspiration for this holiday.

We Three Pumpkins 2

This version of “We 3 Pumpkins” is a little toned down from the original that makes a pun on “We Three Kings”, It features my photos of special jack-o-lanterns at the “Night Walk” along the Panhandle Trail. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 donated pumpkins and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance. I photograph the pumpkins every year, and enjoy seeking out the feline-themed pumpkins.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

 

Happy Meow-lo-ween desin

The sketch from Halloween night in 2012 as I handed out my candy and all the knocking got to be a bit much for these four was destined to be a Halloween design. When I designed the card the sketch needed a little something extra so I drew a pumpkin to add to the design and chose a fun font to go with it.

This design is also available on a garden flag and a variety of other Halloween gift items.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

 

Order a custom set of six or a dozen Halloween cards.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

“Happy Meow-lo-ween” Greeting Card

This sketch from Halloween night in 2012 as I handed out my candy and all the knocking got to be a bit much for these four was destined to be a Halloween design. I designed the card first and the sketch needed a little something extra so I drew a pumpkin to add to the design, and then went on from there to the garden flag, placemat, wooden panel decoration, and who knows what else I’ll create?

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

 

Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna

This card, “Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna” features Miss Mewsette.

This is what Mewsette is dressed up as to celebrate this evening’s events. And she didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.

When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.

Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!

Enter: Three WITCHES

This card, “Enter: Three WITCHES” features Miss Mewsette, her mom Mimi and her brother Giuseppe.

Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.

Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.

Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!

Boo!

This card, “Boo!” features Lucy from a few years ago. Sadly, I lost Lucy to FIP when she was 15 months old so she never had the chance to develop her career as all my other cats have, so I love to use her image in a creative endeavor whenever possible.

I Dare You

This card, “I Dare You” features my next-door neighbor’s calico cat, who could have a bit of an attitude as you can see by her expression, but I enjoyed her visits for the brief time they let her outside. She had unique markings—her face, legs and tail are calico including white paws, but her torso is tortoiseshell.

Silhouettes

This card features the Harvest Moon just photographed in September 2011, and the silhouettes of two of my five black cats in a wordless design. I wanted to incorporate this year’s Harvest Moon in at least one design, and kept it simple with the solid black background and just the silhouettes of two of my black cats but in the pale orange of the moon, light against dark instead of dark against light.

We Three Pumpkins

“We 3 Pumpkins” makes a pun on “We Three Kings” and features my photos of special jack-o-lanterns at the “Night Walk” along the Panhandle Trail. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 donated pumpkins and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance. I photograph the pumpkins every year, and enjoy seeking out the feline-themed pumpkins.

We Three Pumpkins 2

“We 3 Pumpkins 2”, well, I thought “We Three Pumpkins” was a little overdone so I settled it down. It features my photos of special jack-o-lanterns at the “Night Walk” along the Panhandle Trail. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 donated pumpkins and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance. I photograph the pumpkins every year, and enjoy seeking out the feline-themed pumpkins.

Enter Three WITCHES Halloween Card

“Enter: Three WITCHES” features Miss Mewsette, her mom Mimi and her brother Giuseppe re-enacting a scene from Shakespeare’s MacBeth.

Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.

Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.

Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

 

Madame Mewsette Halloween Card

“Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna” features my Mewsette, and this is what she wore as her Halloween costume. And she didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.

When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.

Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

Silhouettes Full Moon Halloween Card

This card features the Harvest Moon just photographed in September 2011, and the silhouettes of two of my five black cats in a wordless design. I wanted to incorporate this year’s Harvest Moon in at least one design, and kept it simple with the solid black background and just the silhouettes of two of my black cats but in the pale orange of the moon, light against dark instead of dark against light.

I also offer this card as a Valentine in black and red.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

Boo! Lucy Halloween Card

“Boo!” features Lucy from a few years ago. Sadly, I lost Lucy to FIP when she was 15 months old so she never had the chance to develop her career as all my other cats have, so I love to use her image in a creative endeavor whenever possible.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

I DARE You Tortie Halloween Card

This card, “I Dare You” features my next-door neighbor’s calico,tortie cat, who could have a bit of an attitude as you can see by her expression, but I enjoyed her visits for the brief time they let her outside. She had unique markings—her face, legs and tail are calico including white paws, but her torso is tortoiseshell.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

We Three Pumpkins

“We 3 Pumpkins” makes a pun on “We Three Kings” and features my photos of special jack-o-lanterns at the “Night Walk” along the Panhandle Trail. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 donated pumpkins and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance. I photograph the pumpkins every year, and enjoy seeking out the feline-themed pumpkins.

  • Cards are also available individually.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Meow-lo-ween cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on my blog, The Creative Cat, for my daily photos during 2010. Each of the cats depicted here is one of this wonderful family except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo! My cats have no choice, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes about being my models.

I will remark that I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons, but I didn’t pose a single one—when I got out the pumpkins they obligingly posed. But it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday.

 

Nature and wildlife holiday cards

Snow Bird

I truly love winter paintings because the light is wonderful without the shadows from trees, the reflections from the snow illuminating shadowed areas with soft purples and blues, and the patterns made by bare branches are mesmerizing. This set of four paintings of birds are ones I’d done “from life”, actually standing at a window inside or at my back door rather than en plein air, but I wanted to catch that moment of light and color.

  • Cards are also available individually for custom quantities or sets.
  • Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.”
  • Cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

“That would make a great card!”

That’s usually how I decide which of my paintings or photos will end up as a greeting card or note card, following the advice of someone’s suggestion.

When it comes to my birds, many of the paintings and photos are from winter, when the birds are simply easier to see, but also one of my favorite seasons for painting and photography.

Jammin’ Jay Blues

“Jammin’ Jay Blues”, my impression of a bunch of noisy blue jays making a racket in the bare branches of the mulberry. In the winter light, their blue feathers have an extra glow that I don’t notice in summer, and between the color and the sound they occasionally fill my backyard with what feels like a celebratory parade, when all they are celebrating is the sliced apples I’ve stuck on twigs in the tree.

Snowbird

“Snowbird”, the common name for a dark-eyed junco, as it clings to along branch of the forsythia in heavy snowfall, apparently living up to its name. They appear in my backyard each year in October and stay until April, and I love their simple little silhouettes, tiny rounded bodies, short beaks and tails, and that white spot on their bellies that looks as if they’d been dipped in white paint before they left the factory.

Birds in Snow

“Birds in Snow”, inspired by the sparrows and doves that feed on the ground under the feeder outside my front door. To one side of the feeder is a huge spruce, providing cover and safety for many, many birds, and watching them twittering on the branches, then dropping down for seeds one by one and pecking around in the snow in a big crowd, then suddenly all of them flapping back up into the spruce as if signaled by something only to begin the process again is like watching waves on the beach.

Accent

“Accent”, a single cardinal in the branches and brambles touched with snow at the end of the yard. This is the “safe spot” for birds and small animals as I’ve let the wild grapevines, rapberries and blackberries and Roses of Sharon grow into a dense tangled mass which is excellent protection from predators. A heavy snowfall with layer each branch with white and the play of light and shadow in the mass of branches creates one of nature’s lovely patterns. Where most of my drawing surfaces have some texture, for this one I added marble dust and grit and gave the surface a rough brushed appearance which turned out to be perfect for capturing the feeling of branches and snow.

 

Cardinal in Forsythia

Of all the birds that visit my backyard, the male American Cardinal is the showiest, and my photos of these have had the most comments—especially, “That would make a great Christmas card!” One of these days I’ll get a few of the girls in the snow—though they aren’t as showy they are still colorful and very dignified, but don’t position themselves in the same way as the guys. So, here we are, a set of cards designed with a little red and green flair that makes it look like a Christmas card as well. Inside they all say, “May your holiday season be merry and bright!”

  • Cards are also available individually for custom quantities or sets.
  • Inside, all cards say, “May your holiday season be merry and bright!”
  • Cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

So, here we are, a set of cards designed with a little red and green flair that makes it look like a Christmas card as well. Inside they all say, “May your holiday season be merry and bright!”

Cardinal in Forsythia

I think this guy was posing because he sat there for the longest time in the same position. Okay, I get it, I’ll take your picture!

Cardinal in Yew

I had wanted a photo that had a significant amount of green along with the red of the cardinal and the snow, and this cardinal obliged.

Cardinal on Branch

Just the cardinal’s red color against an overcast sky and very little else.

Cardinal in Brambles

Five male cardinals were flitting all over the yard during the snowfall. I only managed to catch three in one shot, but it was a favorite.

 

Icy Berries, part of the "Unexpected Berries" set of cards.

“Unexpected Berries” is a careful study of surprising details others may not notice, the splash of color in the muted landscape of winter that holds my gaze for as long as my tired eyes will enjoy its gift as “nature provides a respite for the weary eye.

  • Cards are also available individually for custom quantities or sets.
  • Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you color on the coldest day of winter, and an astonishingly beautiful new year.”
  • Cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This set of four designs based on photography are more “seasonal” than “holiday”, and evoke the concepts I pursue with my nature photography.

Unexpected Berries

From my own backyard is “Unexpected Berries”, found on Christmas morning after a heavy snow, the bright red hulls clinging to my burning bush while the seeds withing long gone to my avian visitors.

Little Apples

“Little Apples”, small wild apples hang like brightly-colored ornaments on wild trees whipped bare from winter winds, decorating the gray branches on an overcast day.

Icy Berries

“Icy Berries” decorating one of the trees on Main Street in Carnegie, iced over by a winter storm, their brilliant, rich color preserved.

Crabapples

And one of my long-time favorites, “Crabapples” decorate bare branches in a cluster of trees growing by railroad tracks; who would think to look here for such beauty?

 

Icy Branches

Of all the inspiring scenes I’ve found on my “Winter Walks”, these are the ones that stayed with me afterward as I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau: “Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. ~Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author”.

  • Cards are also available individually for custom quantities or sets.
  • Inside, all cards say, “May your spirits be lifted by the beauty of nature this holiday season and in the new year.”
  • Cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This set of four designs based on photography are more “seasonal” than “holiday”, and evoke the concepts I pursue with my nature photography.

Homeward Bound

“Homeward Bound”, found after a major ice storm in Settler’s Cabin Park in Collier Township, PA.

Arching Branches

“Arching Branches”, a scene along Chartiers Creek near Bridgeville, PA.

Snowy Abstract

Walking through the local woods after a snow I found a wonderful “Snowy Abstract”.

Encased in Ice

Visiting the Panhandle Trail near Rennerdale, PA I found these delicate branches “Encased in Ice”.

 

Snowy Morning II

Unlike other holiday card sets, this set has eight designs. I just didn’t know when to stop when I started designing.

Winter is my favorite season for painting. These paintings were inspired by winter in pastel, watercolor and pen and ink from the trails to my backyard, completed en plein air and indoors—often standing on my deck or sitting in the front seat of the car—illuminated by the stark light of winter. Many of them were just small sketches while others were large, detailed studio paintings in an attempt to capture the essence of a winter scene.

  • Cards are also available individually for custom quantities or sets.
  • Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.”
  • Cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Dusk in the Woods
Pastel • 2006
The last moment of true daylight when the eye can still perceive color; “that blue time”, lasting only moments, but full of the magic of the reality of day and the spirits of night.
A spot near Robinson Run in Collier Township, PA

After the Snow Squall
Pastel • 2003
A fresh snowfall, just as the clouds part and the sun appears.

Morning Snow I
Pastel • 1998
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. This scene and Morning Snow II are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows.

Morning Snow II
Pastel • 1998
We only get heavy snows every few winters here in Western Pennsylvania, so being able to revel in the sparkling beauty of a winter morning after a heavy snowfall provided much inspiration. This scene and Morning Snow II are actually in my suburban backyard. I was fascinated at the multitude of colors in the early morning sunlight as it reflected on the snow, and in the colors in the shadows.

Sticks and Slopes
Ink and Watercolor • 2006
One of our many hillsides reduced to lines and shadows by the afternoon sun.

Tracks in the Snow
Pastel • 2004
Someone sheltered under my spruce in the storm.

Solstice
Pastel • 2003
The moment when the sun stands still, as it seemed to at this frigid, snow-covered winter dusk,
spruces standing dignified sentinel to the moment of transition. (This is another of those beautiful places that isn’t there anymore.)

Winter
Pastel • 1996
A cold and snowy winter sunset on a friend’s farm.

Feline and animal-themed holiday cards

Star of Wonder holiday card.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.

About the artwork

We don’t really celebrate any one tradition for the winter holidays, but we enjoy sharing traditions of all our friends. I had created the six-pointed star as part of an invitation I designed for a non-denominational holiday musical celebration a few years ago. It could have been that, while I worked on that design on my computer, one or more young black cats found it intensely interesting against the black background of the design and an idea was born, a universal message for the season, with cats. It wasn’t the one above at first, but another one, below, adapted from remembering the Four when they were kittens looking out the big window at the birds and the snow, then it was night and there was a star…

Star of Kittens holiday card.

Star of Kittens holiday card.

I really like this design, and it was just what I’d envisioned. But there was another, more serious design developing in there. Soon I was looking for the purr-fect silhouette. You’ve seen me use daily sketches for new designs for merchandise, but I’ve also used daily photos. I remembered  a feline silhouette from a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth in the pendant lamp that I used for my annual Independence Day post Oooh! Aaah! I wanted to be certain to capture every single hair and whisker of that silhouette—it was very fun and worth every minute to isolate all those furs and whiskers to that his silhouette would look authentic.

Star of Wonder holiday card.

Star of Wonder holiday card.

Originally this card had a message inside, but I found customers were using it for other reasons than holiday greetings so I’ve left it blank inside and can add a custom message when ordered by the dozen.

 

Back of card.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.

About the artwork

We don’t really celebrate any one tradition for the winter holidays, but we enjoy sharing traditions of all our friends. I had created the six-pointed star as part of an invitation I designed for a non-denominational holiday musical celebration a few years ago. It could have been that, while I worked on that design on my computer, one or more young black cats found it intensely interesting against the black background of the design and an idea was born, a universal message for the season, with cats. It wasn’t the one above at first, but another one, below, adapted from remembering the Four when they were kittens looking out the big window at the birds and the snow, then it was night and there was a star…

Star of Kittens holiday card.

Star of Kittens holiday card.

I really like this design, and it was just what I’d envisioned. But there was another, more serious design developing in there. Soon I was looking for the purr-fect silhouette. You’ve seen me use daily sketches for new designs for merchandise, but I’ve also used daily photos. I remembered  a feline silhouette from a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth in the pendant lamp that I used for my annual Independence Day post Oooh! Aaah! I wanted to be certain to capture every single hair and whisker of that silhouette—it was very fun and worth every minute to isolate all those furs and whiskers to that his silhouette would look authentic.

Star of Wonder holiday card.

Star of Wonder holiday card.

 

 

Winter Cats set.

I love snow light, inside or out, and with the bare trees and in winter I’m reminded of other snowy days and the cats who enjoyed them with me. This set joins four paintings of my cats done in winter light in a looser, Impressionist style, in a series I call “Winter Cats”. Each was rescued from a life outdoors in the cold, ice and snow, and I am glad I could provide a loving home from where they could simply enjoy a snowy day from the inside.

  • Cards are also available individually for custom quantities or sets.
  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Victoriana Cats feline photo cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Use them for all-purpose greeting cards, sympathy, thinking of you, friendship, or find some shabby chic frames for 5″ x 7″ images and frame them for your walls.

Winter Window

Kelly pauses in the stark pastel light of a winter afternoon through the big north window in my studio, absolutely still in contemplation as she watches birds flit about at the feeders or Buddy the squirrel making a fool of himself. Kelly is petite for an adult cat, making the window seem vast, and the light is so diffuse that nothing has a hard edge. It is a scene I remember even in the heat of summer.

“Winter Window” is an original pastel on drawing paper I prepared myself, image size 8″ x 8″ painted in 2002 right in my office while Kelly looked out the window, and as often happens capturing that moment of inspiration also catches something essential that more planned paintings don’t. Though only I would recognize this as Kelly and she is facing away I will always feel I captured something very deep about her personality and about our relationship with this simple image.

In 2002 I was casting about for a holiday card image, saw little Kelly quietly looking out the window as she often did; silently so not to startle her I grabbed my pastels and a piece of my “experimental” drawing paper and got to work, standing right in the middle of the room to quickly capture the essence of the scene I visualized in that instant: the pastel winter light different in each pane of the window, the view softened by falling snow, the muted shadows inside, the softness of the bright overcast snow light. But it was all inspired by Kelly’s particular quiet and contemplative nature, I just loved her little shape, her petite figure in the midst of that vast light, and even then I remembered her early history living outdoors with a stray/feral colony; I had always wondered, in these moments, if she thought about those experiences that had so marked her cheerful and affectionate nature with timidity. For me, this has always been a portrait of the Kelly I knew who lived in her happy world with me and her feline siblings, but with part of her still in that other life, and separate from me. Who would know that in one quick visual and a 15-minute sketch I would be able to capture all that? But as always, I’m glad I took the time, and now I have this wonderful memory.

Cool Morning Bath

Mimi twisted and turned in the diffuse morning light at the door, all those delicate shades reflecting warmer on the floor, cooler on her, but still all in greens and blues and a very pale yellow.

Afternoon Nap

An old cat, a gentleman,
he has found a quiet spot, upstairs in the afternoon,
and has so perfectly placed himself a little off-center
on the expanse of white bedspread,
illuminated by stark winter light through the window.
(Stanley finds all the best places.)

~

You know those moments where you walk upon a scene of your cats doing something that you always want to remember, whether it’s a regular habit or a one-time thing? This scene was one of Stanley’s regular habits during his last few years; every afternoon he’d head upstairs with intent and I’d find him curled in the same spot on the bed.

All of my art begins with a moment, be the subject my cats or nature or even a more abstract visual theme. It’s where I go from that moment of inspiration that differs from one work to the next. Sometimes I’ll decide on a more formal portrait, more detailed, more planned, to capture a moment. I’ll take photos and write a few notes and keep it in my files for the day when I have time to follow up, and often this is determined by how often and how clearly my original image appears in my conscious mind—sometimes a painting really wants to be done and I find myself visualizing it all the time, other times it leaves and comes back at a moment that is meaningful. But sometimes I’ll do a quick sketch and leave it at that. The image is simple, it works best small, I only want to capture the mood, and there isn’t enough essential detail to warrant a larger, more detailed piece.

With “Afternoon Nap” I decided I wanted that moment. I’d already taken a few photos of him just to preserve the moment and was considering this sort of a scene as a more formal portrait. At his age he slept pretty soundly but I still tiptoed out of the room and ran down the stairs for my stuff. I grabbed my small box of pastels and a piece of my “experimental” drawing paper, choosing a heavy drawing paper to which I’d applied marble dust mixed with gesso and just a little bit of fine fine grit pastel medium, applying it with a brush to have just a bit of texture. I got to work, standing at the foot of the bed to quickly capture the essence of the scene I visualized in that instant: all the shades of shadow and highlight in the white bedspread, the fold under the pillows and the curve of the mahogany headboard just giving enough detail to know it was a bed, and the pastel winter light full of sun and just a bit of green reflected from the ivy on the tree outside the window. Instead of drawing with the ends of the pastels I dragged them over the surface in layers to get the depth of color and shadows, Stanley himself just in simple tonal colors, the only solid detail in his white paw.

It was all over in about ten minutes, and though I’d taken the reference photo I never made any changes from that initial inspired session. In its frame, I have allowed the edges to show, mounting it on deep burgundy mat board. I still have this painting, treasure it for its memory of Stanley as he watches over my office, and use it as inspiration for other similar sketches. You can read more about this painting in “A Portrait of an Old Cat”.

Sunday Morning

A Formerly Feral Kitty Finds Her Place

Moses made it back upstairs after breakfast before I had a chance to make the bed, and I didn’t have the heart to move her. So I got a sheet of drawing paper and my pastels and did a quick sketch of the scene, finishing it later from a photograph.

It was a pleasure to work in a looser style and just to catch the mood and all that wonderful winter light filling the ruffled batiste curtains through the east and south facing windows, sweet Moses being bold out in the open on the bed. I painted this on a Sunday morning very like today, early January, overcast with cool, diffuse snow light filling the upstairs rooms.

Look at the date: 1989, very early on in my career. I knew of one kind of pastel drawing paper and had cheap pastels and colored chalk, not sure whether I should make the investment in “real” pastels, and I had my cats. I guess that was all I needed. Now, years later, it’s a marvel to look at what I did with so little experience—if I did this as a daily sketch today I’d be glowing with pride and thrilled to share it.

But in this painting I also have this memory of a house I moved from long ago, and a happy scene with gentle little Moses that conveys more than the photograph ever could. Though no one but me would recognize her, I know this signifies a new confidence Moses had grown to feel that year, two years after she’d come to me, and that would grow slowly, slowly over the next 17 years.

 

“A Cat Named Peace, A Dog Named Earth”, holiday card

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

About the artwork

Look a little closer at those markings…what do you see?

For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever.

Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it! Don’t know why…probably the time factor as I’m often behind the clock when it comes to making cards for the holidays. So it’s an ink drawing with the text added later in my graphic design program.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. And you can choose white, red or brown kraft envelopes; if you don’t choose one I’ll ship them with white envelopes.

Cookie's Full of Holiday Cheer

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

About the artwork

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

On the back: “You’ll Pay For This.”“This is not how I want to be remembered.”It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie. You can read more about how the photo shoot came together on The Creative Cat.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

 

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself, holiday card

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

About the artwork

Sophie was a little goofy, and did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…for my holiday card in 1999 I decided to illustrate that memory in a quick little sketch!

On the back: Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

The message inside reads: “Hope your Christmas is full of wonderful surprises!”

Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!

 

 

An Old Memory, holiday card

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

About the artwork

I took the photo in 1983, just a few months after I got my first camera and I was only shooting black and white so I could learn how to use the camera. Even though it was black and white film, it was processed in a one-hour development machine intended for color and the black and white ended up sepia, which I really liked better than when I had it printed in black and white. It always looked like an older image and the sepia really reinforces that; it’s from the same era as “A Sunny Room”, and incidentally, the same cat, Kublai.

The holidays are a time for celebration as well as a time for reflection and remembering.

An Old Memory

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Poem © 2009 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

 

This card has a message inside: Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.

All four card styles.

Meowy Cats Mess is a linoleum block print, and each card is hand-printed on cream or kraft card stock.

You’ll find purchasing information below. Shipping is included in all prices.

About the artwork

This 5″ x 7” card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. It’s printed in red ink on smooth cream-colored card stock. It’s printed in water-based ink on card stock, hand trimmed and folded and includes a matching envelope. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 1996 I decided I’d revive my love for block printing (and it was one of the creative things I did in the aftermath of losing Kublai and Allegro).

The design is derived from hand-lettering and playing around with fonts, plus tiny cat silhouettes I had designed for various projects; I added a border just to be decorative.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

 

 

 

 

Window Kitty, Snowy Night hand-printed card

Feline Hand-printed Holiday Cards, Window Kitty, Snowy Night is a linoleum block print, and each card is hand-printed on yellow card stock and glazed with opalescent glitter glaze to capture the feel of snow falling on a cold night.

You’ll find purchasing information below. Shipping is included in all prices.

About the artwork

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home. This 4″ x 5.5″ card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 2001. It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, then overprinted with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 2001 decided to take my block prints a step further by adding a glittery finish, but it didn’t work well until newer glitter-based finishes were available. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, but it doesn’t photograph or scan well enough to see the actual finish.

The design is based on coming home at night from work for years and seeing one or another of my cats in this very window, usually Sally, watching for me as I came from the driveway.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

 

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.

. . . . . . .

© 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.