Handmade Gift Items

Jelly Bean has a sudden inspiration and reaches for a brush to get started.

Oh, how I wish my cats could do some of the handmade work around here! I enjoy making a mess in every available inch of my home, and sometimes even outdoors, to create unique handmade gifts and housewares from the inspiration I find in my cats and in nature.

Jewelry

"Back to Front" pendant, 1" x 1.5" oval on multi-strand cord.

This small pendant is made of air-dry clay with a print of my sketch “Back to Front” impressed in the clay and finished with a gloss varnish. It comes in four different shapes with a little variation in size from 1″ to 1.5″, and comes with three choices of cord. Pendant style and cord style are interchangeable.

NOTE: I have a limited number of each shape, sometimes as few as two. If one sells out I try to note that here but can’t always get to it before someone comes along. If the product does not show up in your shopping cart, that means I am temporarily out. Each one is handmade and takes several days for the clay and then the finish to dry, so please be patient.

Your pendant may vary from the samples shown below. Scroll down for more detail on shapes and styles, below.

Selection of pendant styles.

Selection of pendant styles.

Selection of cords for pendants.

All four pendants". 1" x 1" round on flocked cord; 1" x 1" square on wire cord; 1.5" x 1.5" irregular on wire cord; 1" x 1.5" oval on multi-strand cord.

All four pendants”. 1″ x 1″ round on flocked cord; 1″ x 1″ square on wire cord; 1.5″ x 1.5″ random on wire cord; 1″ x 1.5″ oval on multi-strand cord.

ABOUT THE PENDANTS

This pendant is another experiment I’ve been considering for a while. They are made from air-dry clay because I love the smooth porcelain appearance. The clay is made from ground stone and cellulose, which is basically paper pulp, and it is wonderful to work with.

The image is my brush pen sketch “Back to Front” and is another project I’ve been considering for a while. I had a rubber stamp made of the image which I will no doubt use as a rubber stamp on paper and things, but I also wanted to be able to ink it up and press it into the wet clay. It worked just as I’d thought, so I see more like this coming in the near future as well as other variations: without ink, different colors of clay, or painted.

I’d intended to make only one shape and size and sell it with just a jump ring and piece of ribbon, but once I get into a project I have to explore all the possibilities. I made four shapes, and then I decided to see how it looked on some of the wires/strands/cords available in stores, and when I did I decided to include that as part of the gift–because once I’d seen it I couldn’t *not* include it!

Most pendants are about 3/6″ thick except the square which is about 1/8″ thick just to see how thin the clay could be worked. They are coated front and back with gloss varnish.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

 "Back to Front", ink brush pen, 4" x 6" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Back to Front”, ink brush pen, 4″ x 6″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Back to Front” is just how I visualized this “line drawing”—from the point of Bella’s tail that meets her back, out and back and around and over to her shoulder, then over to her face, from back to front. The little feline, I was so concerned I’d muss it up. You can see more sketches on The Creative Cat.

ROUND

Round pendant is 1″ x 1″, about 3/6″ thick, with 10mm black-finished aluminum jump ring. Your pendant may vary slightly from the sample shown here.

You may choose any of the three cord variations, below.

SQUARE

Square pendant is 1″ x 1″, about 1/8″ thick, with 10mm black-finished aluminum jump ring. Your pendant may vary slightly from the sample shown here.

You may choose any of the three cord variations, below.

OVAL

Oval pendant is 1″ x 1.6″, about 3/6″ thick, with 10mm black-finished aluminum jump ring. Your pendant may vary slightly from the sample shown here.

You may choose any of the three cord variations, below.

RANDOM

Random pendants are unique in shape and size. I take all my leftover clay, cut it up into smaller pieces and roll them out, then stamp on them. They are about 1.5″ x 1.5″ and about 3/6″ thick, with 10mm black-finished aluminum jump ring. Your pendant may vary slightly from the sample shown here.

You may choose any of the three cord variations, below.

Cord Styles

Flocked round cord has a lobster claw clasp and extra length of chain.

Multi-strand cord has two narrow flocked strands and one 1/4″ black voile ribbon held together at the ends. It also clasps with a lobster claw clasp and extra length of chain.

Wire cord is a circle of sturdy black wire held together by a barrel clasp.

 

Keepsake Boxes

Two Cats After van Gogh Keepsake Box

This papier-mâché box is hand-painted in indigo with bright red trim, with a print of “Two Cats After van Gogh” decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box measures 6″x6″ in diameter x 3″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose colors that coordinate with the artwork and paint each box, in this case the red and blue being liberally used in each of the paintings. I then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with water-based clear varnish. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I was so taken by the exhibit “Van Gogh Close Up” that I began visualizing sketches of my cats and other things in techniques and colors that van Gogh may have used, the thick impasto of the paint, the contrasting outlines of figures and bright bold non-objective colors The first of these was “Two Cats After van Gogh”, using oil pastel to create the layered impasto and texture. I also have other keepsake boxes and gift items with other images in this style such as “Mimi on the Windowsill “, “Sunshine in Colors”, and “Kelly’s Yellow Bath”. Please search my shop for those titles to see the items I offer with those images.

In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

 

Keepsake Box, "The Eye Model"

This papier-mâché box is hand-painted in matte black paint and the photo adhered to the lid. Box measures 4.25″ diameter x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

This photo has long been one of my favorites, taken in my studio where the lighting was good and Giuseppe was getting drowsy supervising me, hence the bedroom eyes.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on matte-finish sticker paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. I will occasionally add a varnish as a finish, Box insides are unpainted and unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

Inscrutable Patterns Keepsake box.

This box is covered with my colorful “Inscrutable Patterns’ pattern and detailed in rich royal purple. Box measures 6″ diameter x 6” high. Price includes shipping.

“Inscrutable Patterns” began as an ink sketch of one of my cats, which I then took into my graphics program to colorize the art and lay out the pattern. They all look at me like this, but this is more patterned after Jelly Bean, who sat by the window atop a box so that his face and front body was entirely in a deep shadow. Resting, his eyes are slits, and sometimes he simply closes them and takes a nap, but sitting up. I looked at him and thought, “Inscrutable”, as his expression seemed to be, and actually was since I really had no idea what he might be thinking. Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other Keepsakes and Handmade Feline-inspired Gifts

Winter Cats Keepsake box.

This papier-mâché box has five of my “Winter Cats” pastel paintings on the lid and four sides of the box, trimmed with soft light green. Box measures 6″ x 6″ x 6″. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose colors that coordinate with the artwork and paint the trim on each box, in this case the red that I liberally used in each of the paintings. I then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid and sides. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

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.

Impressionist Cats keepsake cube.

This papier-mâché box has five of my cat paintings and sketches in pastel and an Impressionist style on the lid and four sides of the box, trimmed with bright blue. Box measures 7″ x 7″ x 7″. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose colors that coordinate with the artwork and paint the trim on each box, in this case the red that I liberally used in each of the paintings. I then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid and sides. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I’ve always been inspired by the Impressionist painters from sketches to paintings. This includes five of many works in the style.

This box is covered with my detailed “22 Cats” collage and detailed in warm rich brown. Box measures 9″ diameter x 4.5″ high. Price includes shipping.

This pattern is a collage of all 16 portraits—22 cats in all—included in my Great Rescues Day Book. I’ve painted portraits of pets since 1992 and I’d always wanted to publish them somehow, and since most are rescues I always wanted to share their stories as well, and this came together in Great Rescues.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

This box has my painting “After Dinner Nap” on the top and a green and copper crackle finish on the sides. Box measures 10″ x 8″ x  4.5″ high. Price includes shipping.

“The face that launched a thousand portraits,” my Stanley, the feline mascot of my business, appearing on my business card and brochure cover. As I set up the pages for this site I sat back and thought about possibly using another piece of artwork as my signature for the site.

This portrait changed my world, as an artist and in my career. The day I finished this portrait in 1997, I knew I had reached a higher level of skill as an artist and a deeper level of visualization combined with that skill that goes way beyond reproducing what I see, very far into what I feel. Stanley was a difficult soul having been abused before he was dumped outdoors, but his real personality was sweet, fun, silly and relaxed, and for all his issues I loved him completely. In this scene, the after dinner nap he enjoyed just about every day, I found that part of him, and that part of me, and got it onto the paper. It’s been magic since then, not just with my portraits and other animal artwork, but with all my artwork. I may have arrived at that point as an artist eventually, but it was my deep feeling for Stanley that delivered me to the door, which I had only to open.

Many cats have inspired me since this portrait in 1997, which is why feline art is featured here. Painting my cats, in turn, led to painting the landscape around me, the local areas which I’ve loved since I was a small child, and still lifes and then painting wildlife.

Stanley was with me for 21 years, and considering that he was an adult when he arrived on my porch of his own accord, that meant he was nearing the quarter-century mark when he died in 2007, inspiring until the end as I was photographing and sketching him until his final month. Please read more stories about Stanley, and see other art and photos featuring him on The Creative Cat where I’ve been writing about my cats for years.

About the keepsakes

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

This box has my painting “Peaches and Peonies” and sides painted with a deep eggplant color, embellished with a pink lace circlet and bow. Box measures 11″ round x 5″ high. Price includes shipping.

There it is, that moment that turns on all the lights for me…one of my cats in the sun, the conditions that have inspired most of my portraits. Cats are creatures of habit, and Peaches chose this spot to have her after-dinner bath every day for a few weeks when the sun was right; I knew it was a keeper whether a photo or a painting, so I photographed it several times over a period of several days, knowing I’d use at least one photo or all the photos as reference to create one painted image.

The painting illustrates a moment in my kitchen that I treasure because it includes Peaches, plus my painted white wood table with the vintage Battenburg lace table cover, three painted white chairs I’d picked up over the years and a hand-made white-painted cabinet that carried a story all on its own, plus a bouquet of peony flowers a friend had stopped and dropped off because she thought I’d like them. The reflections, the wrinkles in the cloth, everything is the memory of a part of my life, but so I’ve found, also familiar to others.

You can read more about little Peaches here.

 

About the keepsakes

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

This box has a collage of my brush pen sketches of my cats on the top and sides covered with black and white striped paper which I set up and printed out. Box measures 9″ x 7″ x 3″ high. Price includes shipping.

NOTE: This box has been purchased, but I’ll be working on other similar designs in my next project. If you’re interested, send me an email with the subject “Brushy Kitties Keepsakes” and I’ll send you a message when they are up.

This pattern is a collage of all the kitties I’ve drawn in this same style with the above-mentioned brush pen, singles, multiples, smooth lines, sketchy lines, just a bunch of busy kitties in black on white.

About the keepsakes

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

This box has my painting “The Perfect Place” on the top, painted with deep forest green and sides embellished with a cutout of the flowers from the painting. Box measures 11″ x 9″ x 5″ high. Price includes shipping.

Just one little careful study of sun on the bench and flowers, from anothers’ garden. My own garden bench should be so well landscaped.

About the keepsakes

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

This box has my painting “My Mother’s Columbines” on the top, painted with deep forest green and sides embellished with a pattern of smaller images of the painting. Box measures 9″ in diameter x 5″ high. Price includes shipping.

Another piece borne of January inspiration in my seed and flower catalogs, this little bunch of columbines was so joyful that it stayed with me. One of my favorite flowers, it is also a favorite of my mother, and I gave this painting to her as a birthday present one year. She has since passed away and I’ve sold her home, and kept the artwork I’d done. I sold the original to a good friend to give to her mother but this image will always remind me of her.

About the keepsakes

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

This box has my painting “Tea for Tulips” on the top, trimmed with rich red and sides finished with a cream and antique silver crackle glaze. Box measures 9″ in diameter x 5″ high. Price includes shipping.

I knew I’d love to paint the tulips, but I really needed to learn to paint the rust on the teapot. I intentionally kept the background vague and loose in shades of green and neutral tones to complement the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows and extreme detail in each of the tulips. The frothy white curtain, minimally worked, rests atop the flowers as if a spring breeze from the open window has whipped it up and gracefully placed it there.

About the keepsakes

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a variety of papier-mâché boxes from the craft store, envisioning the art I’ll print and decoupage to it and the colors I’ll paint it, and spend a few days creating and embellishing, under feline supervision, of course.

I use soy-based acrylic paints and print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the box. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade in their country of origin and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections, but each one is an original and I often make a particular design only once.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns. In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes

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.

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© 2017 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Gift Boxes

Box view from the side.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Mewsette on the Afghan”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Mewsette nearly blends in with the afghan.

I’ll admit, this took a little longer than the usual 15 minutes maximum. I’ve been holding off the sketches with this afghan just because I knew they’d be time-consuming for part of the charm is the detail of all the colors. Today I could not pass up pretty Mewsette quietly napping on the afghan, especially when she opened her big yellow eyes. I drew the basic sketch in black, then later filled in the colors with every marker I have in the house. This afghan is more muted than this sketch shows, but I like the bright colors too.

I love that old afghan. My mother crocheted it years ago from a 1944 pattern book out of scraps of wool yarn. Each granny square is made of four rows, each a different color, with one last row of black; when the squares are sewn together there are two rows of black between each color set which gives it this stained-glass effect.

I have this image available on other gift items and as a print. Search “Mewsette on the Afghan” to pull together all items featuring this art.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “After Dinner Nap”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

“The face that launched a thousand portraits,” my Stanley, the feline mascot of my business, appearing on my business card and brochure cover. As I set up the pages for this site I sat back and thought about possibly using another piece of artwork as my signature for the site.

This portrait changed my world, as an artist and in my career. The day I finished this portrait in 1997, I knew I had reached a higher level of skill as an artist and a deeper level of visualization combined with that skill that goes way beyond reproducing what I see, very far into what I feel. Stanley was a difficult soul having been abused before he was dumped outdoors, but his real personality was sweet, fun, silly and relaxed, and for all his issues I loved him completely. In this scene, the after dinner nap he enjoyed just about every day, I found that part of him, and that part of me, and got it onto the paper. It’s been magic since then, not just with my portraits and other animal artwork, but with all my artwork. I may have arrived at that point as an artist eventually, but it was my deep feeling for Stanley that delivered me to the door, which I had only to open.

Many cats have inspired me since this portrait in 1997, which is why feline art is featured here. Painting my cats, in turn, led to painting the landscape around me, the local areas which I’ve loved since I was a small child, and still lifes and then painting wildlife.

Stanley was with me for 21 years, and considering that he was an adult when he arrived on my porch of his own accord, that meant he was nearing the quarter-century mark when he died in 2007, inspiring until the end as I was photographing and sketching him until his final month. Please read more stories about Stanley, and see other art and photos featuring him on The Creative Cat where I’ve been writing about my cats for years.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Are You Looking at Me?”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This is the guy who started it all–and nearly the last one to have his portrait done! He fostered every stray kitten and cat I ever brought into my home, and shepherded me through the ups and downs of the fifteen years he was with me. More intelligent than many people I’ve met, friends of mine will remember him as the cat who opened the refrigerator door, took out a container, opened it, and helped himself to the contents. I’ve used his image in other works, but I’ve finally decided that the best depiction of his personality is of him being silly, rolling around in the sun and making sure I noticed how handsome he was.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Ready for a Swim”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This painting was a commissioned portrait. Cassie and Tyler were also best friends. Cassie was the lead dog so Tyler could act like a big playful puppy, but the two were very close and had to be playing with or at least touching each other all the time. They were mixed breeds but advertised as retrievers, but the results of bad backyard breeding showed only in some physical features and health—they were Labs through and through. Trained as search and rescue dogs, they were social and outgoing, adored water and any type of play involving carrying something.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Small Roses”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Just one little sliver of sunlight crept through the blind and that was all it took to illuminate these old roses in a tiny glass vase. I stood in my kitchen and sketched this as quickly as possible before the light changed.

These are roses that I grow, am unbelievably bright pink pasture rose and an ancient deep red sweet-smelling climbing rose. Blooming plentifully in June, I placed them in an inexpensive glass bowl; they fall apart rather quickly but I still wanted to enjoy them indoors. I had prepared a number of drawing surfaces on old pieces of mat board, this being a combination of gesso and marble dust applied in a thick impasto, leaving deep brush marks for whatever I drew on it.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Pink Pasture Roses”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

My pink pasture roses are enthusiastically blooming. They are an old-fashioned native rose, brilliant pink but “single”, meaning they have only one row of petals, five in total in that row. Their thorns, a mix of short, medium and long and all needle sharp, line their stems as numerous as salt grains on a pretzel, and I, typically gloveless in every situation, will don gloves when I cut a bouquet to put in the vase by my door. The scent of roses can be cloying and even heavy, but these roses smell light and fresh, like a clean June morning. Unhybrid and totally native, they are as tough as the clay they will grown in. This rose was in the yard when I moved in, and may have been here for decades; in my experience all those old roses were a tough bunch, disappearing under the lawnmower’s blade only to reappear the next year, or sprouting up in an untended yard where they had been long forgotten.

They fall apart rather quickly when cut, but I still do to enjoy them near me. Years ago I did a small quick daily sketch of a bunch of these and my red climbing roses that is one of my favorite still lifes.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Autumn Nectar”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This is one of many photos of butterflies, native plants and autumn wildflowers from along the Panhandle Trail. You can read about my annual exhibit on the trail, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail” and see more photos and paintings.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

This full-lid gift box is gloss coated in black on the lid and white on the bottom, fully white on the inside. On this box I’ve covered only the top with a print of “Monarch Habitat”. Box measures 5″ wide x 7.25″ deep x 4″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

The local vendor who makes the greeting card boxes I purchase makes all types of small display packaging. I found they had these black gloss-covered boxes in three sizes on clearance. Black cats, black boxes, what could happen there? It’s taken me a few years to get around to using them, but you’ll be seeing plenty of them coming up soon, until I run out of them.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I took this photo at one of the many conservation areas I’ve worked with over the years.

See other gift boxes.

Gift boxes.

Also see keepsake boxes.

Keepsake boxes.

Gift Bags

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself Gift Bags

I adhere a high-quality print of my sketch “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things” to a medium-size paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

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.

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!

I also offer this design as a holiday card.

An Old Memory Gift Bag

I adhere a high-quality print of my sketch “An Old Memory” to a medium-size kraft paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

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

I also offer this design as a holiday card.

Daily Sketches Gift Bags

I adhere a high-quality print of my sketch to a medium-size paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I chose a variety of my daily sketches that worked well as gift bag artwork in content, shape and size, and which also coordinated with the bags I had on hand. No doubt this collection will change and increase over time.

You can find each of these sketches elsewhere on this site; search for the title to find them as prints, greeting cards or on other gift items.

DAILY SKETCHES

I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day as a warm-up to my aesthetic senses, so I have a small pouch of art materials and a few various sized sketchbooks available in the house and out. Usually, these are done in pencil, my first and favorite medium, though sometimes it’s charcoal, ink, colored pencil, ink and brush, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, the greatest challenge to keep it quick and not get caught up in details, let the idea flow onto the paper.

Most often, the subjects are my cats because they are such willing models, though sometimes I’ll also wander afield, literally, and sketch in my yard or anywhere I go for errands. Medium and especially style vary just so I get a chance to do something new.

Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I’ve designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using other daily sketches (see my notecards section). Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I’m designing.

Fine Art Gift Bags

I adhere a high-quality print of my artwork to a medium-size paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I chose a variety of my fine art paintings that worked well as gift bag artwork in content, shape and size, and which also coordinated with the bags I had on hand. No doubt this collection will change and increase over time.

You can find each of these paintings elsewhere on this site; search for the title to find them as prints, greeting cards or on other gift items.

Winter Cats Gift Bags

I adhere a high-quality print of my artwork to a medium-size paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I chose a variety of my fine art paintings that worked well as gift bag artwork in content, shape and size, and which also coordinated with the bags I had on hand. No doubt this collection will change and increase over time.

You can find each of these paintings elsewhere on this site; search for the title to find them as prints, greeting cards or on other gift items.

Inscrutable Patterns Gift Bag

I adhere a high-quality print of Inscrutable Patterns to a medium-size paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

“Inscrutable Patterns” began as an ink sketch of one of my cats, which I then took into my graphics program to colorize the art and lay out the pattern. They all look at me like this, but this is more patterned after Jelly Bean, who sat by the window atop a box so that his face and front body was entirely in a deep shadow. Resting, his eyes are slits, and sometimes he simply closes them and takes a nap, but sitting up. I looked at him and thought, “Inscrutable”, as his expression seemed to be, and actually was since I really had no idea what he might be thinking. Read more about the art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-inscrutable-patterns.

You can find each of these paintings elsewhere on this site; search for the title to find them as prints, greeting cards or on other gift items.

Mewsette on the Afghan gift bag, red.

I adhere a high-quality print of Mewsette on the Afghan to a medium-size colored paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Mewsette nearly blends in with the afghan.

I’ll admit, this took a little longer than the usual 15 minutes maximum. I’ve been holding off the sketches with this afghan just because I knew they’d be time-consuming for part of the charm is the detail of all the colors. Today I could not pass up pretty Mewsette quietly napping on the afghan, especially when she opened her big yellow eyes. I drew the basic sketch in black, then later filled in the colors with every marker I have in the house. This afghan is more muted than this sketch shows, but I like the bright colors too.

I love that old afghan. My mother crocheted it years ago from a 1944 pattern book out of scraps of wool yarn. Each granny square is made of four rows, each a different color, with one last row of black; when the squares are sewn together there are two rows of black between each color set which gives it this stained-glass effect.

You can find each of these paintings elsewhere on this site; search for the title to find them as prints, greeting cards or on other gift items.

Peace on Earth Gift Bag

I adhere a high-quality print of my greeting card design Peace on Earth to a medium-size colored paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

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.

You can find this art as a greeting card too.

Snowy Morning Gift Bag

I adhere a high-quality print of my watercolor sketch Snowy Morning to a medium-size white paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

We had some snow that morning. The kittens had only seen snow in the air once before, and were fascinated.

This is Bella on my bedroom windowsill first thing in the morning, watching the air thick with flurries, and no doubt birds too, in the maple tree outside the bedroom window. It is also many other cats through the years as well as I’ve awakened and watched them utterly immersed in whatever was happening right outside the window. The little cat, the big window, it seems to be a theme.

When I woke up and saw Bella fascinated by the early snow squall, this is what I saw, and I also remember that without someone to rescue her she’d be out there, she might be trying to feed herself and kittens like Mimi did, she might not even have survived, instead of sitting safe inside a big window in a warm house with her current career as an artist’s model. It’s not just what I see that’s inspiring, it’s what I know too.

This painting won a Muse Medallion for Illustration in the 2015 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communications Contest.

You can find this art as a print too.

 

Star of Wonder, Star of Kittens Gift Bags

I adhere a high-quality print of my illustrations to a medium-size colored paper gift bag. Bag measures approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

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.

This is where you can choose from all the designs to purchase a quantity of gift bags and receive the discount up to a dozen bags.

I adhere a high-quality print of my artwork to a medium-size paper gift bag. Bags measure approximately 8″ x 10″ x 3″ deep but may vary slightly. Price includes shipping.

The list of design names is below, and all available bags are shown in a gallery below the list with their titles.

Current Gift Bag Designs

Peaches and Peonies, burgundy
After Dinner Nap, green
Warm Winter Sun, brown
Garden Sketch With Mimi, red
Two Cats After van Gogh, blue
Two Yellow Cats, yellow
Blending, purple
Inscrutable Patterns, yellow
Winter Window, green
Afternoon Nap, brown
Cool Morning Bath, blue
Sunday Morning, green
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself, red
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself, kraft
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself, green
An Old Memory, kraft
Mewsette on the Afghan, red
Mewsette on the Afghan, yellow
Peace on Earth, kraft
Stained Glass Cats, yellow
Snowy Morning, white
Star of Wonder, blue
Star of Kittens, blue

From the first time I received a gift bag with feline artwork on it, I could picture my art on a gift bag. I’ve tried a few different methods and finally found one that works well: printing my art to size on a commercial-grade label and buffing it permanently onto the bag. The art can only be on the front because of the way the bag folds, but so many bag colors and styles exist and that keeps them lively.

These bags are medium-sized shopping bags, usually around 8″ x 10″ x 3″, but they vary slightly in size, color and finish, even in the same lot, and sometimes they even have colored handles. If you purchase more than one in the same design and color I will make sure they match.

You can find them divided into collections and individually in the “Gift Bags” section of my “Handmade Gift Items” page

 

Laminated Placemats

"Waiting for Mom" 11 x 14 laminated placemat.

“Waiting for Mom” Laminated Placemat is 11 x 15 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I painted this in 1989, just about three years after I began seriously working my way through learning to draw simply by drawing all the time, after work at night and on the weekend—and of course, I was painting my cats. It is painted in pastel, but when I began I hadn’t even purchased real pastels yet, I was still working largely in colored chalk.

And so it was, though I had no idea at the time that I was launching a new career. And looking at this painting even today, I have no idea how I did it then. I didn’t have the skill, insight, ability to visualize or any of the ephemeral abilities I have now, but I managed to see the essential details and put them on paper.

But I didn’t set out to create a portrait—that was all in the future—and, for this last time, with the knowledge that I never needed to show it to anyone, ever, if I didn’t think it was acceptable.

You can read more about this piece of artwork and Fawn on the page about this painting.

 

"22 Cats" 11 x 11 laminated placemat.

“22 Cats” Laminated Placemat is 11 x 11 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This pattern is a collage of all 16 portraits—22 cats in all—included in my Great Rescues Day Book. I’ve painted portraits of pets since 1992 and I’d always wanted to publish them somehow, and since most are rescues I always wanted to share their stories as well, and this came together in Great Rescues. The pattern repeats six times on the paper so you are sure to be able to fit all the cats on one project or just cut out the cats you want. This pattern is printed on one side of 70# gloss text weight paper.

 

 

Kelly Has a Drink, 11 x 17

“Kelly Has a Drink” Laminated Placemat is 11 x 17 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

What legs! Kelly really did have long legs, especially when she did her drinking dance, solidly planting all four paws, then prancing her hind paws and waving her tail while she drank. There’s something so precious about Kelly drinking; I think it had to do with her timid nature, yet she totally enjoyed her water so I enjoyed her enjoyment.

This is the last sketch I did of Kelly while she was still with me in August 2012, ironic that I would catch one of the poses I really wanted to be sure to catch before it was too late. It’s one of those poses I’d watched Kelly take for years, her little drinking stance, leaning way down from those long legs and lapping noisily at the water; for such a fastidious and rather timid kitty, she made noises drinking and bathing that I could hear two rooms away, and they always made me laugh.

But there is always something like this that we remember about our animal companions, something that makes no sense to anyone else. You know, the odd bathing position, the awkward sleeping habit, the strange toy, all these things are what show us they really are individuals and are often the things we remember the longest about them.

 

You can read more about this piece of artwork and Kelly on the page about this sketch.

 

Five Black Cats in color.

“Five Black Cats” Laminated Placemat is 11 x 17 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

These placemats are printed on both sides of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I know the photo is blurry but people continue to enjoy it and they’re so darned cute. It also kind of reminds me of the old photos I often see from before we had digital cameras—a little blurry, a little oversaturated, a little skewed. It’s the Fantastic Four and then Mimi: Bean, Sunshine, Mewsette, Giuseppe and Mimi, all thinking they are going to get something while I am at the sink. Well, I did wave some treats, that might have gotten their attention.

And because the photo above was looking particularly vintage, I thought I’d give it another vintage treatment, black and white with a halftone pattern.

Lazy Saturday Afternoon, 9 x 12.

“Lazy Saturday Afternoon” Laminated Placemat is 11 x 15 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

It’s Giuseppe in the front in teal, Mewsette draped off the edge in green, and Jelly Bean in purple. Rather than use the colors I associate with each of them, these colors came about because of the reflections on each of them from the window light, the mirror behind them and the walls. I hadn’t intended to do them in different colors though! This time I actually wanted them to be purple, maybe, with tints of other colors, but here we are again.

No watercolor pencils this time, no pencil lines, just the colors and a brush and three cats having a really good afternoon nap on top of the wardrobe—so good they stayed still long enough for me to paint the basics before they moved. This is a first for me (not them, they nap all the time)—I have never been able to watercolor without an underlying pencil sketch. I’ve never put the brush to paper and felt I had enough control to just paint in watercolors. I have to credit all the daily experience of my daily sketches with giving me this confidence and control. My goal was this loose quality, though, just enough to indicate their shapes and positions, no more.

You can read more about this piece of artwork on the page about this painting.

 

Stanley With Geraniums, 9 x 12.

“Stanley With Geraniums” Laminated Placemat is 9 x 12 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK
This painting is one I’ve wanted to do for years—since the very moment it depicts, in fact, on July 30, 2006, in fact, when Stanley and I enjoyed a Sunday morning on the deck.

As I’ve been digging through old photos while moving them to my studio and organizing, both prints and digitals, I’m finding special moments I’d forgotten, moments of inspiration, beauty and especially a growing closeness with my older generation of cats even as they stepped ever closer to their last days with us. While it seemed like any other morning, looking at the rest of the photos from this day, I can see this was a quietly memorable morning. This was Stanley’s last summer with us, he’d been with me for 21 years and at my best guess was 25 years old, and he and I spent every possible moment together, especially out on the deck. While he slept most of the time and was fragile and often confused, each time our eyes met we built a deepening bond I’ll always carry with me; we had lost Moses and Cream in the spring, Lucy had just joined us in June, and though there were seven (or more) other cats in the house, Stanley and I carved out time for just the two of us nearly every day.

 Detail of "Stanley With Geraniums".

Detail of “Stanley With Geraniums”.

And on this morning when I looked at Stanley sleeping on the table I knew I’d want to remember this moment and to paint it, and visualized the painting in this style. But believe it or not, for as often as you see this particular style of ink sketch with watercolor washes, I was not at all skilled with it at that time and had only tentatively experimented in a few sketches. The desire to see this painting on paper was one of the driving forces for me to work this out, find the right drawing pen with the right ink, the right brushes and set of watercolors. And finally, seven years later, here it is.

The details are comforting to look at: the round picnic table where I’ve spent so much time with and without cats; the faded linen dishtowel calendar with the cardinals, one of many with birds, all of which are beyond threadbare and completely faded now; the mug I loved for my Sunday morning coffee; the binoculars my mother had used to watch birds and I “inherited” for birdwatching, given to her by someone who’d served in Viet Nam; the geraniums, collected over years from friends and family, overwintered and renewed each year—they are ancestors of the ones you see in my photos today.

Here is the reference photo, and as I remember Stanley this month—we had a little escape in July that year which I’ll be writing about—I’ll be sharing other photos as well.

photo of cat on table with flowers

Reference photo for “Stanley With Geraniums”

You can see I took a number of liberties with lightening the entire scene and reorganizing some of the flowers, but this particular digital camera was not terribly accurate for color or lighting, and being able to change some of the details is part of the fun and challenge of creating an original piece of artwork. I actually liked the flag in this photo and had originally intended to include it because I’d brought it home from the Carnegie Memorial Day parade I’d taken my mother to in May and that was a memory too, but I didn’t want to “date” this painting for a holiday or event, or set it for a country since many of my readers and collectors are from other countries. That detail was not so important to me as the others I included.

You can read more about this piece of artwork on the page about this painting.

Happy Meow-lo-ween 11 x 17 laminated placemat

“Happy Meow-lo-ween” Laminated Placemat is 11 x 17 laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

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 put together my desktop calendars, but when I designed the card the sketch needed a little something extra so I drew a pumpkin to add to the design.

I also offer this design as a garden flag and a greeting card, and you can find handmade gift items by searching “Halloween“.

 

"Happy Meow-lo-ween" Pumpkin Panel Decoration

“Happy Meow-lo-ween” Pumpkin Panel Decoration is an 8.5″ x 11″ pumpkin-shaped painted and decorated wood panel made to hang on a wall or a door or stand up in a Halloween display. Price includes shipping.

 

I purchased a lightweight pumpkin-shaped wood panel in order to have some fun. It’s painted purple on the body and green on the stem and the sketch of the Four Housecats of the Apocalypse is printed on sticker material and adhered to one side. I added a leaf-decorated wired garland to decorate the stem.

It’s lightweight enough to hang on just about anything, and you can also lean it against another item or use a small easel to keep it upright in a table display. Mine hangs on my front door and has withstood a lot of temperature changes and humidity, so it could also spend sometime in an outdoor display that was protected from precipitation.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

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 put together my desktop calendars, but when I designed the card the sketch needed a little something extra so I drew a pumpkin to add to the design.

I also offer this design as a garden flag and a greeting card, and you can find handmade gift items by searching “Halloween“.

Mewsette on the Afghan, 11 x 17 laminated placemat

“Mewsette on the Afghan” Laminated Placemat comes in two sizes, laminated with 5 mil laminate, available singly and in sets of two and four. Price includes shipping.

Placemats are available in 11 x 17 and 8 x 10. Placemats are printed on one side of 110# matte cover stock and then laminated with 5 mil laminate. They can be used for water and food bowls as well as placemats for your table, or any surface that needs a little protection.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Mewsette nearly blends in with the afghan.

I’ll admit, this took a little longer than the usual 15 minutes maximum. I’ve been holding off the sketches with this afghan just because I knew they’d be time-consuming for part of the charm is the detail of all the colors. Today I could not pass up pretty Mewsette quietly napping on the afghan, especially when she opened her big yellow eyes. I drew the basic sketch in black, then later filled in the colors with every marker I have in the house. This afghan is more muted than this sketch shows, but I like the bright colors too.

I love that old afghan. My mother crocheted it years ago from a 1944 pattern book out of scraps of wool yarn. Each granny square is made of four rows, each a different color, with one last row of black; when the squares are sewn together there are two rows of black between each color set which gives it this stained-glass effect.

In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

See other placemats under Handmade and Gifts.

 

 

Trays

Small Roses tray.

This lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood tray has a print of my painting “Small Roses” in the bottom. The tray is painted with white chalk paint then glazed with antique silver metallic glaze, and even a bit of the painting has a glaze as well. These trays are intended for decoration only or for lightweight objects.

About the artwork

Small Roses tray.

Small Roses tray.

Just one little sliver of sunlight crept through the blind and that was all it took to illuminate these old roses in a tiny glass vase. I stood in my kitchen and sketched this as quickly as possible before the light changed.

These are roses that I grow, am unbelievably bright pink pasture rose and an ancient deep red sweet-smelling climbing rose. Blooming plentifully in June, I placed them in an inexpensive glass bowl; they fall apart rather quickly but I still wanted to enjoy them indoors. I had prepared a number of drawing surfaces on old pieces of mat board, this being a combination of gesso and marble dust applied in a thick impasto, leaving deep brush marks for whatever I drew on it.

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© 2017 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Tortie Girls trays, set.

These are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, adhered in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray.

I usually print about a half-dozen of each block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow them to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors so I have them on hand. I sign each print when the embellishment is complete and store them in an acid-free sketchbook for framing or whatever else I may use them. Then I give each tray a light sanding and paint each tray with acrylic paint.

I trimmed down the finished, colored print to fit inside the tray and adhere it into the bottom of the tray with acid-free mounting  adhesive. Later I’ll add one coats of finish on the inside of the  tray to protect the print.

The trays are good for decoration on a tabletop or wall, or to use to actually carry lightweight items but are not suitable as a hotpad or to carry heavy dishes or other items. If kept in direct sunlight the watercolors will fade in time but the inks and paints will not. They can be easily wiped down with mild detergent or diluted all-surface cleaner but not immersed in water.

The trays are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. You may see some paper wrinkling in these prints in the trays; the rice paper tends to pucker up when the ink dries with printing, then again when I watercolor them. I actually iron them to stretch them, but they are never entirely flat. I had originally wanted the prints to look as if they were printed on the trays themselves though that is impossible with the block printing technique, but I think the paper wrinkles adds an interesting element of texture to the trays.

See other gifts featuring my Tortie Girls.

ABOUT THE PRINTS

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

Tortie Girls tray, The Goddess.

Tortie Girls tray, The Goddess.

“The Goddess”

Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

Tortie Girls tray, The Roundest Eyes.

Tortie Girls tray, The Roundest Eyes.

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

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 the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

 

Chalkboards

Closeup.

This 5″ x 6″ wood panel chalkboard has “Stanley With Apple” on one side and solid dark green on the back, covered with chalkboard texture; it comes with a piece of chalk to start with.

I am so excited about this little project, partly because it actually worked out as I’d planned on the first try! I have always seen the little sketch, “Stanley With Apple”, as a “back to school”  thing because the combination of the apple and the way I’d worked the background always looked like a chalkboard, and used it for my “back to school” garden flag “Impressionist Cats”. I’ve always wanted to make little chalkboards too, and when I saw chalkboard paint I had to try it with the next idea I had.

So here we are at back-to-school time and I found the perfect little wood panel, fitted the art onto it, painted it with the chalkboard finish (the back is painted forest green in case you want a non-cat area to write notes), and gave it a try with a piece of chalk just to see if the painted surface worked…and it did! After the recent disappointments with the rubber stamps and other projects this just made the month for me. I drilled holes and added the twine hanger and the chalk on a piece of twine. You can hang it on the wall or on a hook on a refrigerator or other surface. Wipe off your notes with a dry or slightly damp soft cloth or sponge.

 

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

Read more about “Stanley With Apple” and my daily sketches on The Creative Cat.

Hand-printed Cards

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.

 

Tabbies note cards, "Summery".

This “Summery” set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards is hand-printed on six different summery paper colors, yellow, pink orange, blue, green and violet, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple. Each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise.

Cards are printed on smooth uncoated 70 lb. cover stock. On the back of all the cards I’ve stamped in purple ink the name of the series of block prints, my logo and my name and contact information. Each card comes with a matching 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible.

Because these are handmade, I have a limited quantity of each card!

Purchase cards

Shipping is included in the price. Individual cards are shipped by first class mail. All others shipped as parcels.

Printing the cards

Meet my quality control team: Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

Meet my quality control team: Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

With a discerning quality control team like them, you know each card is purr-fect.

About the art: Tabbies Linoleum Block Prints

The stripes made me do it! No, we have not always been a household of solid-color cats. The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs beginning with Fawn, Stanley and Allegro.

These cards were block printed, 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.

These two designs are from a set of four, and have always had a sweet and cuddly feel to me. I’d always printed these in natural earth tones but have been planning to print them in bright colors on brightly-colored paper as well.

"These cats are all covered with funny markings," say the three perfect black cats. They are very serious about their job.

“These cats are all covered with funny markings,” say the three perfect black cats. They are very serious about their job.

I photographed the process as I printed these—of course, with feline supervision—and below you can see how block prints are made.

A little bit about block printing

I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artist’s 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.

Despite the fact I’ve been trying to video a little block print demonstration, all I have are a few photos taken as I was printing the “Tabbies” cards for Valentine’s Day last year. Here’s a brief slideshow:

The resulting work isn’t a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple times–and I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but they’ve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I nearly always add color to The Tortie Girls with watercolor or dyes since that was part of the original design, and I’ll often add color to other designs to give them extra interest.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

I’ve always intended to do others with tabbies and spots and even solids as I did with “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, and did start branching out to wildlife with “Yes?”, but soon after this four-color digital printing became widely available for a reasonable price and I focused on note cards and greeting cards featuring paintings I’d done and moved to larger block prints. I’ll have to get back to these little ones—they are so much easier to print!

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.

Tabbies note cards, "Brights".

This “Brights” set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards is hand-printed on six different summery paper colors, yellow, orange, blue, green and magenta, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple. Each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise.

Cards are printed on smooth uncoated 70 lb. cover stock. On the back of all the cards I’ve stamped in purple ink the name of the series of block prints, my logo and my name and contact information. Each card comes with a matching 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible.

Because these are handmade, I have a limited quantity of each card!

Purchase cards

Shipping is included in the price. Individual cards are shipped by first class mail. All others shipped as parcels.

Printing the cards

Meet my quality control team: Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

Meet my quality control team: Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

With a discerning quality control team like them, you know each card is purr-fect.

About the art: Tabbies Linoleum Block Prints

The stripes made me do it! No, we have not always been a household of solid-color cats. The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs beginning with Fawn, Stanley and Allegro.

These cards were block printed, 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.

These two designs are from a set of four, and have always had a sweet and cuddly feel to me. I’d always printed these in natural earth tones but have been planning to print them in bright colors on brightly-colored paper as well.

"These cats are all covered with funny markings," say the three perfect black cats. They are very serious about their job.

“These cats are all covered with funny markings,” say the three perfect black cats. They are very serious about their job.

I photographed the process as I printed these—of course, with feline supervision—and below you can see how block prints are made.

A little bit about block printing

I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artist’s 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.

Despite the fact I’ve been trying to video a little block print demonstration, all I have are a few photos taken as I was printing the “Tabbies” cards for Valentine’s Day last year. Here’s a brief slideshow:

The resulting work isn’t a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple times–and I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but they’ve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I nearly always add color to The Tortie Girls with watercolor or dyes since that was part of the original design, and I’ll often add color to other designs to give them extra interest.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

I’ve always intended to do others with tabbies and spots and even solids as I did with “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, and did start branching out to wildlife with “Yes?”, but soon after this four-color digital printing became widely available for a reasonable price and I focused on note cards and greeting cards featuring paintings I’d done and moved to larger block prints. I’ll have to get back to these little ones—they are so much easier to print!

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© 2017 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Hand-printed Wrapping Paper

An overall sheet of Meowy Cat's Mess wrapping paper.

Meowy Cats Mess is a linoleum block print, and each sheet of paper is hand-printed on 100# Kraft paper that are more or less 24″ x 30″; my paper is 30″ wide, and I do my best to cut it from the roll at 24″, usually a little generous.

Paper is shipped in a mailing tube. Shipping is included in all prices.

About the artwork

This 5″ x 7” design is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. 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 representing all the cats in my house at the time. I added a border just to be decorative. It’s printed in water-based acrylic ink on 80# kraft paper in alternating red and green.

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.

 

 

 

 

Hand-printed Art, Housewares and Apparel

Made of unbleached cotton muslin, this little accent tablecloth is 36″ x 36″ and has the same image printed four times, one on each side. It is signed and dated below the design and has my handwritten “label” reading “handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted” and the year. Washing instructions are included on a separate tag.

I only have one tablecloth. Someday I’ll print some more.

Detail images of this artwork

 

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

I made these extra-large 14″ x 18″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with a folded hem on the top, bottom and left edges and the selvage on the right. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table.

I only have two left! Then I’ll print some more.

Set of two:

Detail images of this artwork

 

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Goddess”
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique wearable work of art. Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring narrow trimmed edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, but sizes still run true. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

These white cotton tees are hand-printed with a linoleum block print, hand-painted to resemble the coloring of my tortie girls, Cookie and Kelly.

Shirts in stock:

I will note that this style of shirt runs small, so order a size larger than usual.

I have limited sizes which are all in the drop-down list for ordering.

Choose your shirt size:

Detail images of this artwork

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique wearable work of art. Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring narrow trimmed edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, but sizes still run true. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

These white cotton tees are hand-printed with a linoleum block print, hand-painted to resemble the coloring of my tortie girls, Cookie and Kelly.

Shirts in stock:

I will note that this style of shirt runs small, so order a size larger than usual.

I have limited sizes which are all in the drop-down list for ordering.

Choose your print style:

Detail images of this artwork

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Goddess”
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique wearable work of art. Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring narrow trimmed edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, but sizes still run true. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

A. Framed, double matted, tinted print (as shown), 16 x 20

Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

“The Roundest Eyes” is a hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block print of a very round tortoiseshell cat, matted and framed and ready to hang. Image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 11″ x 14″ or 16″ x 20″. “The Goddess” is the other print in this set.

Options for ordering:

A. Framed, double matted, tinted print (as shown), 16 x 20, $100.00
B. Framed, single matted (cream black core), tinted print, 11 x 14, $75.00
C. Double matted, tinted print, 16 x 20, $65.00
D. Single matted (cream black core), tinted print, 11 x 14, $55.00
E. Print only, tinted, $45.00
F. Print only, black and white, $35.00

Choose your print style:

ABOUT THE PRINT

As you know, I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially my Tortie Girls. I initially designed these in 2001 because I wanted something I could print myself on a variety of things to offer inexpensively for sale and for donation; at the time high quality home printers and inexpensive digital printing were a few years in the future and all I had to offer was original art and expensive giclees.

Unlike many of the other prints I sell, I print these by hand from a hand-cut linoleum block, then each print is hand-painted in watercolor, and with the slight variations in the printing process and the individualized coloration each print is just as unique as torties themselves. “The Goddess”, featuring Cookie, is the other print in this set, and I have more information on her, below.

What enchanted me first about block prints years ago, and what I wanted most to see when I began creating with them, was the clarity of black ink on white rice paper. While I often use other colors of ink and types of paper, and when the image is my tortie girls, usually also tinted with oranges and yellows and green for their eyes, pink for nose as I had designed, the black on white is what I usually return to.

When I initially print these two they are that familiar black ink on white, and I watch the ink reveal all the cuts and trims I made on the surface of the block to create their image, it makes me smile as I remember designing the prints and cutting the blocks, and I remember my girls and the inspiration they gave me.

The Roundest Eyes

"The Roundest Eyes", linoleum block print, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“The Roundest Eyes”, linoleum block print, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

In designing the set, I didn’t have a signature photo of Kelly as I did Cookie lying on the floor, but I did know how I thought of Kelly—sitting at attention, paws and tail neatly placed, a little uncertain and with very round eyes. When I pictured her, this was what I saw.

I began with a few photos of Kelly sitting in this position—in the days before digitals so I had to wait for film to be developed—sketched it out, then filled in the details by observation. It was a real trick since Kelly never sits still for too long. And I actually wanted two different orientations so Cookie was the horizontal image and Kelly the vertical one.

The design of “The Roundest Eyes” doesn’t have a long and detailed story as does “The Goddess”, but between the two, while Cookie gets more notice and stories which I’ve collected over the years, Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that. Last year a young couple just getting engaged purchased one of each shirt to wear in their engagement photos too!

Customizing your tortie print

To a certain extent I can take an untinted print and hand-tint it to resemble your favorite tortie. I can’t remove any of the black that is there or paint over it, but I’ve done several to date. Here are examples of how I customized “The Goddess”.

Rosie from the UK

tortie cat in the grass
Rosie from the United Kingdom

“I found your print of “The Goddess” and think she looks like my cat, Rosie…I live in the UK and was wondering if it was possible to get a print without the frame… If they’re not coloured, would it be possible to get one coloured like Rosie if I sent you a photo? I’m assuming not but thought I’d ask! (Of course I could, and the finished print is below.)

“We got Rosie when I was 11. My dad told me we were going to mum’s boss’s house to pick something up and asked if I wanted to go with him, and as Annie, the boss, had two ginger cats my sisters and I loved to play with I went. When I got there I saw a tiny purring little bundle of fluff and claws and played with her for about an hour. Then dad came in and told me to pick her up, we were going home!

“15 years later, and we’ve moved to another city. Rosie is still going strong, mum had a terrifying moment a few years ago when she felt a lump in Rosie’s belly and [went] to the vets with the instructions to not allow her to be in pain….The vet sent her back with a packet of diet cat food. She’s a wonderful purry old thing, with a beautiful temperament—she had to have one to grow up in a house of 3 little girls and all the neighbourhood kids!

tortoiseshell cat print
Polly as The Goddess

“Whilst we got Rosie as a kitten, Polly is the tortie who holds my heart. She was much more than a cat and was my constant companion for the two years we had her. I adored her, she adored me. Then one night she escaped, and my housemate forgot about her and didn’t let her in. I returned home to find her missing and we spent 4 days looking for her, I was distraught and couldn’t cope without her, but then we got a phone call from the vets, Polly was found by a lovely lady (who was also owned by a tortie – Mitzy) who realised how sick she was and took her to the vets. She lasted 2 days before dying of anti-freeze poisoning.”

A tortie print to honor your favorite tortie

I love a good rescue story, and I am always heartened by the stories of rescues and so much love that people share about the torties who share their lives.

Java

A customer ordered this matted and framed print a few days ago. I received the notice in e-mail, then just a few minutes later I received an e-mail from that customer with a photo attached.

“Hi, Bernadette…just thought you’d like to see who I’ve purchased your piece in memory of. This is Java…the best little tortie girl I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Can’t wait to get it.”

tortoiseshell cat
Java, a beloved tortie cat.

Java is lovely with those pale green eyes and lots of speckles all through her fur, and a very direct and focused expression. Torties are unique not only in markings but also in purrrsonality, and whether they be the ones who make it clear they are the boss or, like my Cookie and Kelly, are non-stop sweet, they are devoted and demand your devotion in return.

I’m always sad at the loss of a kitty and couldn’t be more honored than for someone to purchase a piece of my artwork as a permanent memory of a beloved cat. I was very touched for Java’s human to send Java’s photo and her note along with her order and I asked if I could share Java’s photo and her note. It warms my heart, as I remember Kelly and near the first anniversary of her passing, to know that her Kelly’s image is traveling off to another household to provide comfort and love. I promise my cats they will never be forgotten and I always hope my art ensures that.

My sympathies to Java’s human, I know that she will be one of the torties I think about when I look at prints of The Roundest Eyes.

 

I made these extra-large 14″ x 18″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with a folded hem on the top, bottom and left edges and the selvage on the right. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table.

I only have two left! Then I’ll print some more.

Set of two:

Detail images of this artwork

 

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

Tortie Girls trays, set.

These are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, adhered in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray.

I usually print about a half-dozen of each block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow them to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors so I have them on hand. I sign each print when the embellishment is complete and store them in an acid-free sketchbook for framing or whatever else I may use them. Then I give each tray a light sanding and paint each tray with acrylic paint.

I trimmed down the finished, colored print to fit inside the tray and adhere it into the bottom of the tray with acid-free mounting  adhesive. Later I’ll add one coats of finish on the inside of the  tray to protect the print.

The trays are good for decoration on a tabletop or wall, or to use to actually carry lightweight items but are not suitable as a hotpad or to carry heavy dishes or other items. If kept in direct sunlight the watercolors will fade in time but the inks and paints will not. They can be easily wiped down with mild detergent or diluted all-surface cleaner but not immersed in water.

The trays are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. You may see some paper wrinkling in these prints in the trays; the rice paper tends to pucker up when the ink dries with printing, then again when I watercolor them. I actually iron them to stretch them, but they are never entirely flat. I had originally wanted the prints to look as if they were printed on the trays themselves though that is impossible with the block printing technique, but I think the paper wrinkles adds an interesting element of texture to the trays.

See other gifts featuring my Tortie Girls.

ABOUT THE PRINTS

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

Tortie Girls tray, The Goddess.

Tortie Girls tray, The Goddess.

“The Goddess”

Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

Tortie Girls tray, The Roundest Eyes.

Tortie Girls tray, The Roundest Eyes.

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

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 the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

 

Set of Tortie Girls wood-mounted prints.

The 9″ x 12″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1″ tall canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging, and this size can even stand up on a tabletop. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish. I offer “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes” individually as well as in a set.

The prints are hand-colored and signed block prints of “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes” adhered to the surface. I first print the block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow it to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors. Then I sand and paint the block with acrylic paint, black on the sides and white on top. I adhere the finished, colored print onto the block and let it dry, then put a coat of matte-finish acrylic on the top and sides.

I usually print about a half-dozen of each block print in acrylic ink on rice paper, allow them to dry, and hand color each one individually with watercolors as I need them, and store them in an acid-free sketchbook for framing or whatever else I may use them. I sign and number each print when the embellishment is complete.

The blocks are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. You may see some paper wrinkling in these prints; the rice paper tends to pucker up when the ink dries with printing, then again when I watercolor them. I actually iron them to stretch them, but they are never entirely flat. I had originally wanted the prints to look as if they were printed on the trays themselves though that is impossible with the block printing technique, but I think the paper wrinkles adds an interesting element of texture to the trays.

ABOUT THE PRINTS

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

"The Goddess" wood-mounted print.

“The Goddess” wood-mounted print.

“The Goddess”

Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

"The Roundest Eyes" wood-mounted print.

“The Roundest Eyes” wood-mounted print.

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

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 the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

 

A. Framed, double matted, tinted print (as shown), 16 x 20

Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

“The Goddess” is a hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block print of a very round tortoiseshell cat, matted and framed and ready to hang. Image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 16″ x 20″. “The Roundest Eyes” is the other print in this set.

Also scroll down to read about customizing your tortie print.

Options for ordering:

A. Framed, double matted, tinted print (as shown), 16 x 20, $100.00
B. Framed, single matted (cream black core), tinted print, 11 x 14, $75.00
C. Double matted, tinted print, 16 x 20, $65.00
D. Single matted (cream black core), tinted print, 11 x 14, $55.00
E. Print only, tinted, $45.00
F. Print only, black and white, $35.00

Choose your print style:

ABOUT THE PRINT

Above is a hand-printed linoleum block print tinted in tortie colors featuring my Cookie, who was indeed “The Goddess”. From the very first time I showed the design to someone, and each time I set up a display where the prints are included someone, or several, stops by to tell me about a cat they have “who looks just like that”, and tell me stories and share a laugh. People often tell me stories when they purchase prints as well. The number of them who were rescued always warms my heart.

As you know, I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially my Tortie Girls. I initially designed these in 2001 because I wanted something I could print myself on a variety of things to offer inexpensively for sale and for donation; at the time high quality home printers and inexpensive digital printing were a few years in the future and all I had to offer was original art and expensive giclees.

Unlike many of the other prints I sell, I print these by hand from a hand-cut linoleum block, then each print is hand-painted in watercolor, and with the slight variations in the printing process and the individualized coloration each print is just as unique as torties themselves. “The Roundest Eyes”, featuring Kelly, is the other print in this set, and I have more information on her, below.

What enchanted me first about block prints years ago, and what I wanted most to see when I began creating with them, was the clarity of black ink on white rice paper. While I often use other colors of ink and types of paper, and when the image is my tortie girls, usually also tinted with oranges and yellows and green for their eyes, pink for nose as I had designed, the black on white is what I usually return to.

When I initially print these two they are that familiar black ink on white, and I watch the ink reveal all the cuts and trims I made on the surface of the block to create their image, it makes me smile as I remember designing the prints and cutting the blocks, and I remember my girls and the inspiration they gave me.

The Goddess

“The Goddess” came along first and I actually have photos of the process, but I knew right away she’d have to have a companion print.

I looked at Cookie on the kitchen floor, on her back with her toes curled, a defiant look on her face, and it happened—that moment of visualization. I could see a linoleum block print in black ink on white rice paper, hand-tinted with oranges and yellows for the patches in Cookie’s tortoiseshell fur and green for her eyes and pink for her nose. I would call the print “The Goddess” for the many women depicted with generous figures in sculpture and painting through the millennia.

Compare the photo and the print:

tortie cat on back
Reference photo for “The Goddess”

Cookie, “The Goddess” block print © B.E. Kazmarski

From the time I first described the idea to someone, who chuckled at the idea of the image, I knew Cookie was a winner. And through the years she has continued to bring people and stories to my display no matter where I am—everyone knows a cat who looks like Cookie!

linoleum block
Linoleum block for The Goddess, of course it’s in reverse.

Cookie inspired not only a design, but a particular style and technique and a new element to my creative life and my merchandise. With an inspiration that strong, I probably would have done it anyway, but I had other reasons as well. In the late 1990s having my sketches and paintings reproduced was still expensive and not always successful and I wanted artwork that I could reproduce easily and inexpensively myself so that I could have something more affordable than original artwork to sell in my displays.

I’d worked with small linoleum block prints for years and always enjoyed the medium, but this time I decided I wanted something larger and I might actually create a series—which led to “The Roundest Eyes” depicting my other tortie, Kelly, a few months later. Between the two, Cookie gets more notice and stories, but Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that.

Capturing all Cookie’s freckles and spots and stripes was indeed a challenge, especially when I went to actually cut them out of the surface of the linoleum block.

Cookie’s face in closeup from the photo:

tortie cat on floor
Cookie’s face from the photo.

Cookie’s face in the block:

detail of linoleum block.
Closeup of Cookie’s face in linoleum block; the light areas are the smooth surface that holds the ink.

And here is Cookie’s face, printed and colored!

block print of cat
Closeup of Cookie’s face from “The Goddess”.

The Roundest Eyes

"The Roundest Eyes," matted and framed hand-tinted linoleum block print.
“The Roundest Eyes,” matted and framed hand-tinted linoleum block print.

In designing the set, I didn’t have a signature photo of Kelly as I did Cookie lying on the floor, but I did know how I thought of Kelly—sitting at attention, paws and tail neatly placed, a little uncertain and with very round eyes. When I pictured her, this was what I saw.

I began with a few photos of Kelly sitting in this position—in the days before digitals so I had to wait for film to be developed—sketched it out, then filled in the details by observation. It was a real trick since Kelly never sits still for too long. And I actually wanted two different orientations so Cookie was the horizontal image and Kelly the vertical one.

The design of “The Roundest Eyes” doesn’t have a long and detailed story as does “The Goddess”, but between the two, while Cookie gets more notice and stories which I’ve collected over the years, Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that. Last year a young couple just getting engaged purchased one of each shirt to wear in their engagement photos too!

Customizing your tortie print

To a certain extent I can take an untinted print and hand-tint it to resemble your favorite tortie. I can’t remove any of the black that is there or paint over it, but I’ve done several to date.

Rosie from the UK

tortie cat in the grass
Rosie from the United Kingdom

“I found your print of “The Goddess” and think she looks like my cat, Rosie…I live in the UK and was wondering if it was possible to get a print without the frame… If they’re not coloured, would it be possible to get one coloured like Rosie if I sent you a photo? I’m assuming not but thought I’d ask! (Of course I could, and the finished print is below.)

“We got Rosie when I was 11. My dad told me we were going to mum’s boss’s house to pick something up and asked if I wanted to go with him, and as Annie, the boss, had two ginger cats my sisters and I loved to play with I went. When I got there I saw a tiny purring little bundle of fluff and claws and played with her for about an hour. Then dad came in and told me to pick her up, we were going home!

“15 years later, and we’ve moved to another city. Rosie is still going strong, mum had a terrifying moment a few years ago when she felt a lump in Rosie’s belly and [went] to the vets with the instructions to not allow her to be in pain….The vet sent her back with a packet of diet cat food. She’s a wonderful purry old thing, with a beautiful temperament—she had to have one to grow up in a house of 3 little girls and all the neighbourhood kids!

tortoiseshell cat print
Polly as The Goddess

“Whilst we got Rosie as a kitten, Polly is the tortie who holds my heart. She was much more than a cat and was my constant companion for the two years we had her. I adored her, she adored me. Then one night she escaped, and my housemate forgot about her and didn’t let her in. I returned home to find her missing and we spent 4 days looking for her, I was distraught and couldn’t cope without her, but then we got a phone call from the vets, Polly was found by a lovely lady (who was also owned by a tortie – Mitzy) who realised how sick she was and took her to the vets. She lasted 2 days before dying of anti-freeze poisoning.”

A tortie print to honor your favorite tortie

I love a good rescue story, and I am always heartened by the stories of rescues and so much love that people share about the torties who share their lives.

Tasha

A customer ordered a print of “Dinnertime” along with an unframed hand-tinted print of “The Goddess”. I told her the story of Cookie and she told me the story of Tasha, below.

“I just purchased both of them as an anniversary present for my husband. I really like all your art work, but decided on those two because (1)We have three cats and (2)my husband’s baby is a fat (one-eyed, formerly feral) tortie . . . My husband rescued Tasha (tortie) when she was six weeks old. He was working on a job site near a dairy barn in 2003 and found her — she was really sick with a herpes infection in her right eye. We took her to the vet and she recovered immediately after getting care (although she lost the sight in that eye), and we’ve had her ever since. She has never wanted to go outside again . . . We have two other rescue males, but she’s the queen of the house (most of the time!) and has my husband wrapped around her little paw  . . . All the best and thanks so much for rescuing Cookie and other kitties . . .”

photo of tortie cat
Tasha, the rescued tortie.

Now there’s a cat guy! He gets a print of a tortie and three cats eating for his anniversary present, reminiscent of the cat he rescued. I love knowing my girls have a share of immortality when their prints go off to live in other homes and celebrate other tortie cats. You can also read a list of other tortie stories I’ve collected at shows and festivals when people see “The Goddess” especially in “The Goddess Truly Inspires” and “The Artist’s Life: Still Inspiring” as well as “Featured Artwork: The Roundest Eyes”.

Kitty

“This cat on the tee looks so much like my cat “Kitty”. She was a rescue cat..she just showed up at my door, and I took her in. I loved her..she slept with me..back to back, lol. But because of my allergy I needed to give her to a good home. I miss her so much..but it was something I needed to do.”

Kitty’s mom ordered a tee to remember Kitty.

tortoiseshell cat
SadieCat relaxing among the library books.

SadieCat

SadieCat’s mom bought a hand-colored print for herself as a birthday gift.

“…I especially love the pictures of the tortie cats. When I saw the block print of “The Goddess” my heart stopped. Three years ago I rescued a starving little kitten who soon became the love of my life. I couldn’t help myself from attaching a couple of pictures of SadieCat (seen here). Someplace I have a photo where she looks exactly like your print, but I couldn’t find it.

tortoiseshell cat face
Now there’s a face!

“[Sadiecat] will only consent to being held when she’s in the mood and she’ll bite if you’re late with her dinner, but I love her and wouldn’t have her any other way. (Well, I could probably do without the biting). And thanks for…putting Sadie out there, I’m too shy.   She’s shy too, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

Visit the original post, The Goddess Truly Inspires, to read more stories and to add your own.

 

Kelly's Morning Bath 1 and 2

Kelly gives herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast on the table in front of the window in my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry.

When I created this print, I created two variations, “Kelly’s Morning Bath I” with no border around each frame, and “Kelly’s Morning Bath II” which has a decorative border around each frame incorporated into the design. Below are details of each frame for each print as well as images of each print.

These prints capture sunny mornings as this window in my house faces my lilac and a number of trees which filter the sun, speckling the table with splashes of sun and shadow. They are printed on rice papers with leaves and flower petals imprinted, handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper (could it be any better?) in a dozen varieties of prints with a white or a cream background, and shades of green, rose and rust for spring, summer and fall.

Prints are available on plain white rice paper as well as a variety of handmade papers, and the galleries below show the various papers I’ve used and have available. I also offer framing, shown below.

Options for ordering:

A. Framed, double matted print, either design, 7″ x 14″, $55.00
B. Double matted print, either design 7″ x 14″, $45.00
C. Print only, either design, $35.00

Choose your design

Choose from either Kelly’s Morning Bath I, without the border, or II, with the border.

Choose your print

Choose the number of the print from the galleries below.

Kelly’s Morning Bath I choices:

Kelly’s Morning Bath II choices:

Choose your framing

Style of frame and tones of mat may vary, but the frame will always be plain matte black and the mats will always be in either pink/green or tan/green to coordinate with the print.

Order your print:

ABOUT THE PRINT

You’re probably familiar with “The Roundest Eyes”, a block print inspired by Kelly that I featured in June along with “The Goddess”. In this week to remember little Kelly, I’m also featuring the other block print she inspired—the “Kelly’s Morning Bath” prints were the first feline pictorial block print I designed all the way back in 1998, even before The Tortie Girls duo of block prints.

Kelly bathed frequently and always had the habit of giving herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast in the sun on the table in front of the big casement window, which was then my studio, her every move full of purpose and industry. At some point in the bath sequence, she would always pause and look at me, having been so engrossed in her bath she’d forgotten I was there, one of the habits she maintained from her early life as a frightened stray kitty. I caught a number photos of her in the act, none of them very good, so I pieced it together with photos of the window and Kelly in various bath positions. The photo below will give you an idea of the leafy quality, the light and shadow, and Kelly’s little shape.

Kelly at the Window, Morning.

Kelly at the Window, Morning.

I sketched it up and cut the block—twice, because I wasn’t sure I liked the first version, which is the one below; the second version has an added border around each frame. As it turns out I like both equally well, and since I’ve been printing them on gift bags and tote bags and other things, I’ve come to use version 1 as a framed and matted print because it has just the essential image, and version 2 as an imprint because it has the decorative border, but both look equally good in a mat and frame. I have a little more information about designing the prints and about block printing, below.

About Block Printing

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. Kelly was indeed on my work table to supervise the printing of this block print inspired by her daily morning bath in front of our favorite window. You can see a little demonstration of block printing in this post about my hand-printed Valentines.

The photo above is from 2011 and the one below from 2012, but I really loved watching Kelly bathe enthusiastically every morning in front of this window where the morning sun shines through the leaves at a wonderful angle, silhouetting her and the window itself, visualizing a finished work as a block print to capture the stark dark and light and using various colored and patterned papers to capture the leafy shadows.

Kelly on the windowsill.

Kelly on the windowsill.

I did several sketches and had the idea I’d like to do a multi-frame image to capture her action as a process rather than a just one view; anyone who’s ever watched a cat bathe knows that just one view doesn’t capture the whole sense of the cat bath. I knew I wanted that lovely graceful curve and the silhouette of her looking at me in one frame, and I had to have a “leg in the air” frame of Kelly washing between her toes, and Kelly also has a sweet habit of pausing in the middle of a face wash as if she’s hit a point of meditation—this is the first frame.

Once I decided on the three frames I wanted to use I placed them in various orders, but there was only one sequence that I liked best. Here is my first design for Kelly’s Morning Bath.

Kelly's Morning Bath 1

Kelly’s Morning Bath 1

That looked a little stark, though it was what I’d been visualizing. Then I cut one with a more decorative border, added more of the window and eliminated the shading across the middle keeping it stark black and white, and I liked that design too! They officially became Kelly’s Morning Bath 1 and 2.

 

Kelly's Morning Bath 2

Kelly’s Morning Bath 2

I print them both, and I’ll often print just one panel at a time on items such as gift bags or other small things.

Gift bag sample.

Gift bag sample.

Printing these two designs on unique papers wasn’t part of the design plan, but when I began finding handmade rice papers with leaves and flowers embedded I knew I’d found the best choices. This package of handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper provided a dozen varieties of prints with a white and a cream background, and shades for spring, summer and fall, and I printed one of each print on each sheet.

 

All Items

A. Framed, double matted, tinted print (as shown), 16 x 20

Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

“The Roundest Eyes” is a hand printed, hand tinted linoleum block print of a very round tortoiseshell cat, matted and framed and ready to hang. Image is 8″ x 12″, with mat and frame outside dimensions 11″ x 14″ or 16″ x 20″. “The Goddess” is the other print in this set.

Options for ordering:

A. Framed, double matted, tinted print (as shown), 16 x 20, $100.00
B. Framed, single matted (cream black core), tinted print, 11 x 14, $75.00
C. Double matted, tinted print, 16 x 20, $65.00
D. Single matted (cream black core), tinted print, 11 x 14, $55.00
E. Print only, tinted, $45.00
F. Print only, black and white, $35.00

Choose your print style:

ABOUT THE PRINT

As you know, I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially my Tortie Girls. I initially designed these in 2001 because I wanted something I could print myself on a variety of things to offer inexpensively for sale and for donation; at the time high quality home printers and inexpensive digital printing were a few years in the future and all I had to offer was original art and expensive giclees.

Unlike many of the other prints I sell, I print these by hand from a hand-cut linoleum block, then each print is hand-painted in watercolor, and with the slight variations in the printing process and the individualized coloration each print is just as unique as torties themselves. “The Goddess”, featuring Cookie, is the other print in this set, and I have more information on her, below.

What enchanted me first about block prints years ago, and what I wanted most to see when I began creating with them, was the clarity of black ink on white rice paper. While I often use other colors of ink and types of paper, and when the image is my tortie girls, usually also tinted with oranges and yellows and green for their eyes, pink for nose as I had designed, the black on white is what I usually return to.

When I initially print these two they are that familiar black ink on white, and I watch the ink reveal all the cuts and trims I made on the surface of the block to create their image, it makes me smile as I remember designing the prints and cutting the blocks, and I remember my girls and the inspiration they gave me.

The Roundest Eyes

"The Roundest Eyes", linoleum block print, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“The Roundest Eyes”, linoleum block print, 9 x 12 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

In designing the set, I didn’t have a signature photo of Kelly as I did Cookie lying on the floor, but I did know how I thought of Kelly—sitting at attention, paws and tail neatly placed, a little uncertain and with very round eyes. When I pictured her, this was what I saw.

I began with a few photos of Kelly sitting in this position—in the days before digitals so I had to wait for film to be developed—sketched it out, then filled in the details by observation. It was a real trick since Kelly never sits still for too long. And I actually wanted two different orientations so Cookie was the horizontal image and Kelly the vertical one.

The design of “The Roundest Eyes” doesn’t have a long and detailed story as does “The Goddess”, but between the two, while Cookie gets more notice and stories which I’ve collected over the years, Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that. Last year a young couple just getting engaged purchased one of each shirt to wear in their engagement photos too!

Customizing your tortie print

To a certain extent I can take an untinted print and hand-tint it to resemble your favorite tortie. I can’t remove any of the black that is there or paint over it, but I’ve done several to date. Here are examples of how I customized “The Goddess”.

Rosie from the UK

tortie cat in the grass
Rosie from the United Kingdom

“I found your print of “The Goddess” and think she looks like my cat, Rosie…I live in the UK and was wondering if it was possible to get a print without the frame… If they’re not coloured, would it be possible to get one coloured like Rosie if I sent you a photo? I’m assuming not but thought I’d ask! (Of course I could, and the finished print is below.)

“We got Rosie when I was 11. My dad told me we were going to mum’s boss’s house to pick something up and asked if I wanted to go with him, and as Annie, the boss, had two ginger cats my sisters and I loved to play with I went. When I got there I saw a tiny purring little bundle of fluff and claws and played with her for about an hour. Then dad came in and told me to pick her up, we were going home!

“15 years later, and we’ve moved to another city. Rosie is still going strong, mum had a terrifying moment a few years ago when she felt a lump in Rosie’s belly and [went] to the vets with the instructions to not allow her to be in pain….The vet sent her back with a packet of diet cat food. She’s a wonderful purry old thing, with a beautiful temperament—she had to have one to grow up in a house of 3 little girls and all the neighbourhood kids!

tortoiseshell cat print
Polly as The Goddess

“Whilst we got Rosie as a kitten, Polly is the tortie who holds my heart. She was much more than a cat and was my constant companion for the two years we had her. I adored her, she adored me. Then one night she escaped, and my housemate forgot about her and didn’t let her in. I returned home to find her missing and we spent 4 days looking for her, I was distraught and couldn’t cope without her, but then we got a phone call from the vets, Polly was found by a lovely lady (who was also owned by a tortie – Mitzy) who realised how sick she was and took her to the vets. She lasted 2 days before dying of anti-freeze poisoning.”

A tortie print to honor your favorite tortie

I love a good rescue story, and I am always heartened by the stories of rescues and so much love that people share about the torties who share their lives.

Java

A customer ordered this matted and framed print a few days ago. I received the notice in e-mail, then just a few minutes later I received an e-mail from that customer with a photo attached.

“Hi, Bernadette…just thought you’d like to see who I’ve purchased your piece in memory of. This is Java…the best little tortie girl I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Can’t wait to get it.”

tortoiseshell cat
Java, a beloved tortie cat.

Java is lovely with those pale green eyes and lots of speckles all through her fur, and a very direct and focused expression. Torties are unique not only in markings but also in purrrsonality, and whether they be the ones who make it clear they are the boss or, like my Cookie and Kelly, are non-stop sweet, they are devoted and demand your devotion in return.

I’m always sad at the loss of a kitty and couldn’t be more honored than for someone to purchase a piece of my artwork as a permanent memory of a beloved cat. I was very touched for Java’s human to send Java’s photo and her note along with her order and I asked if I could share Java’s photo and her note. It warms my heart, as I remember Kelly and near the first anniversary of her passing, to know that her Kelly’s image is traveling off to another household to provide comfort and love. I promise my cats they will never be forgotten and I always hope my art ensures that.

My sympathies to Java’s human, I know that she will be one of the torties I think about when I look at prints of The Roundest Eyes.

 

A. Awakening, block print © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Awakening” is a linoleum block print, 16″ in diameter, printed in water-based ink on handmade white rice paper or rice paper with silver and gold foil speckles.

Quote reads: ” ‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’–Anatole France. Dedicated to my prince and princess and all those since who’ve awakened their part of my soul.”

“Awakening” was inspired by my close companions Kublai and Sally who ran the household together for about 12 years and who actually slept curled like this (photo below). I enjoyed following the inspiration to combine the image of the two cats with the decorative border simply made of shapes and patterns that were both attractive and easy to cut in a block print. Please read more about the print and the inspiration of Kublai and Sally, including the photo of them I used as the basis for the print, below.

These lists and galleries explain the variations available with this print: a gallery of detail images of the print in black only, a gallery of hand-colored variations, and a gallery of matted variations and the typical frame I offer. Custom color tinting is available as well as custom mat and frame. Pricing grid is below the galleries.

Choices for your print:

Matted and framed, tinted print, $150.00
Matted and framed, black print, $125.00
Matted only, tinted print, $100.00
Matted only, black print, $75.00
Print only, tinted, $75.00
Print only, black print, $50.00

Detail images of the print

Hand-tinting variations

Hand-tinting style:
Warm and Bright
Cool and Pastel
Single color or other combination (use text box below to specify)

Mats and frames

Mat color and frame sample:
Black
Rich Red
Pacific Blue
Other (use text box below to specify) Note that specialty mats other than acid-free mats and other frames than what is shown may cost extra.

Choose your print style:

ABOUT THE PRINT

Quote reads: “‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’–Anatole France. Dedicated to my prince and princess and all those since who’ve awakened their part of my soul.”

“Awakening” was inspired by my close companions Kublai and Sally who ran the household together for about 12 years and who actually slept curled like this. I enjoyed following the inspiration to combine the image of the two cats with the decorative border simply made of shapes and patterns that were both attractive and easy to cut in a block print.

I had seen the quote in a number of different places, and of all the quotes about how animals fill our souls this one, the concept of awakening, I found most moving. These two cats, especially Kublai, the black one, were a major part of my awakening not only to animals but to love in general.

Aside from the fact that they were both loving, friendly and social, they were complete opposites in the way they expressed this love and were as different in temperament as they were in color and texture as the loose reference to yin and yang illustrates.

In their own ways they nurtured about 30 foster cats of widely differing ages and social abilities, just as they nurtured me in the years they shared my life.

“Kublai” is somehow derived from the word for “prince” in Sanskrit, and “Sally” is derived from the word for “princess”—Sarah—in Hebrew.

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.

I also print this image on textiles, such as t-shirts, curtains, tablecloths, shawls and tote bags! Please check my apparel and housewares categories to see what’s currently available.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

Mat is an acid-free rich red, my favorite shade to coordinate with plain black and white block prints; not too bright, not too dull. I cut the circular mat myself in my studio; the narrowest portion of the mat is 1.5″. The frame is a 1″ wide plain black matte-finish wood. The final framed size is 21″ x 21”.

I apologize for the photos—with or without glass it was a little difficult to photograph!

Two Cats After van Gogh Keepsake Box

This papier-mâché box is hand-painted in indigo with bright red trim, with a print of “Two Cats After van Gogh” decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box measures 6″x6″ in diameter x 3″ high. Price includes shipping.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose colors that coordinate with the artwork and paint each box, in this case the red and blue being liberally used in each of the paintings. I then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with water-based clear varnish. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

I was so taken by the exhibit “Van Gogh Close Up” that I began visualizing sketches of my cats and other things in techniques and colors that van Gogh may have used, the thick impasto of the paint, the contrasting outlines of figures and bright bold non-objective colors The first of these was “Two Cats After van Gogh”, using oil pastel to create the layered impasto and texture. I also have other keepsake boxes and gift items with other images in this style such as “Mimi on the Windowsill “, “Sunshine in Colors”, and “Kelly’s Yellow Bath”. Please search my shop for those titles to see the items I offer with those images.

In creating my Daily Sketches of my cats I experiment and work in a different style and medium each day. You can read more about these three sketches and other on The Creative Cat (www.thecreativecat.net).

 

These white cotton tees are hand-printed with a linoleum block print, hand-painted to resemble the coloring of my tortie girls, Cookie and Kelly.

Shirts in stock:

I will note that this style of shirt runs small, so order a size larger than usual.

I have limited sizes which are all in the drop-down list for ordering.

Choose your print style:

Detail images of this artwork

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Goddess”
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique wearable work of art. Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring narrow trimmed edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, but sizes still run true. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

These white cotton tees are hand-printed with a linoleum block print, hand-painted to resemble the coloring of my tortie girls, Cookie and Kelly.

Shirts in stock:

I will note that this style of shirt runs small, so order a size larger than usual.

I have limited sizes which are all in the drop-down list for ordering.

Choose your shirt size:

Detail images of this artwork

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique wearable work of art. Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring narrow trimmed edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, but sizes still run true. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

I made these extra-large 14″ x 18″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with a folded hem on the top, bottom and left edges and the selvage on the right. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table.

I only have two left! Then I’ll print some more.

Set of two:

Detail images of this artwork

 

ABOUT THE PRINTS

“The Goddess”
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship.

Not everyone has the room for, or the use for, art on their wall, and I designed these block printed works to be versatile. I do offer them as prints on paper, but I’ve also printed them on sweatshirts, curtains, placemats, tote bags and so on—whatever will hold still long enough for the ink to dry. The black portion is printed in ink, then I go back into the prints and hand tint the shirts by painting ink into the design so that the color stays more durable through washing.

I sign and number each shirt, just as I would a print on paper.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage varies by the surface. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique wearable work of art. Fabric is lightweight 100% organic African cotton and made in Tanzania bought in a huge lot by Dharma Trading to support their artisans. Shirts are styled with a more open neckline featuring narrow trimmed edge, slightly shorter sleeves and a little more fitted than the average unisex tee, but sizes still run true. I offer shirts in sizes S-M-L-XL.

Tortie Girls

I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos, Cookie and Kelly. The framable prints, T-shirts and textiles are printed by hand by the artist from hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-tinted in bright tortie colors.

I made these extra-large 14″ x 18″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with a folded hem on the top, bottom and left edges and the selvage on the right. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table.

I only have two left! Then I’ll print some more.

Set of two:

Detail images of this artwork