My July 2016 Feline Sampler Box is full of the colors and events of summer, and art and photos that depict a lot of kitties enjoying the sun, special kitties who I remember fondly in the month of July, and even a tribute to our community cats.
Click the photo to see an enlarged version.
I choose contents to give you the most variety in each item. I take into account not only item but style, medium, size, subject,—even a particular feline subject, color or coat pattern, or a particular anniversary with one of my feline family—as well as season, holiday, color palette and the message it sends, as with greeting cards. You’ll see a good sample of not only my work but also the beauty and inspiration of felines so that, whether you keep the contents for yourself or give them as gifts or donations, you’ll find something that fits nearly every occasion.
Part of the challenge this summer has been photographing the boxes! If you didn’t notice in other areas of this site, I love to photograph my merchandise outside, like framed artwork, handmade goods and such, and since I maintain a Backyard Wildlife Habitat there is always a good seasonal place to photograph with an interesting backdrop. But when my tree came down at the end of July and took out what’s growing in half the front yard and half the back yard and it’s gotten overgrown as I try to rebuild without much time and difficult weather, my choices are limited. But when I saw the swing on my deck with the morning sun, and Mimi was amenable, I knew that was the perfect spot for a summer sampler box photo shoot.
Below the list of contents you can read more about each of the items and why I chose them for this Sampler Box, and a link to the item on Portraits of Animals.
“White Cat Reflecting”, 6″ x 14″, matted for 10″ x 20″ frame
Counter print: “Conversation With a Daisy”, pencil, 8” x 10”
SELECTED GREETING CARDS
- Sympathy Card: “Lucy in the Morning”
- Feline Fine Art Card: “Waiting for Mom”
- Photo Card: “Toe Cleaning in Black and Green”
- Notecards: “Big Game Hunter” (Kitties Being Kitties), “Summer Brights” individual selections
- All-purpose greeting card: In the Garden, “Red Climbers”
About the contents
Featured Print: White Cat Reflecting
My white cat was endlessly inspiring to me, and I would need two lifetimes to recreate all the images of her that I have photographed and saw every day. Sally was deaf and spent most of her days in her own little world in pursuit of her own happiness, which when possible included a rest, nap or long snooze in the sun. Here she alights briefly on the stool, reflecting the sunlight onto all that is around her while she reflects on the events of her day so far and just what is to be done next.
Sometimes a more finished, finely-detailed painting isn’t the best way to capture an animal’s personality, and especially not my capricious little Sally. I believe I painted this in June because that’s when the sun comes in the dining room window at this angle, but Sally in all her brilliant colors are full of summer.
I had been focusing completely on Sally’s beauty, but one of the elements I hadn’t anticipated when I went to work from the photos was Sally’s reflection of light back onto the surfaces around her. When I looked at the spot after she’d moved, it was all dark. The back of the rocker, the wall behind her, I hadn’t realized until I looked at the photos that those areas only had light because it was reflected from her, hence the double meaning in the title.
While this art appears impossibly tall, I’ve matted it to fit into a 10” x 20” frame which is commonly offered with a multiple-opening mat as a collage frame in many colors and styles at craft stores and department stores.
Counter print: Conversation With a Daisy
I call pencil “my first and favorite medium” and I often say that “I can speak in pencil”, that what goes in my eyes and comes out the tip of the pencil has very little logical translation much as you would speak fluently in more than one language. I see the scene, and I see the pencil drawing. That’s also one of the reasons you’ll see so many of my daily sketches in pencil, and I have a huge body of works in pencil featuring my cats, commissioned portraits, wildlife, landscapes, waterscapes and flowers.
So when I saw Namir stretching his entire slender self up toward a downward-facing daisy I looked at his crisp gray fur with its muted stripes, his graceful curving figure, the simplicity of the daisies and immediately decided I had to do a pencil sketch entitled “Conversation With a Daisy”. Because Namir would talk to a daisy.
I had carried in an armload of my Shasta daisies that had been knocked over in a summer storm and put them in the crystal vase on the kitchen cabinet, always a risk in a house of cats who ate nearly all green things but who considered freshly-cut flowers a special treat. One of them had indeed been bent and was facing downward. Seeing Namir I snapped several photographs, but he would not stretch himself out again and sniff that daisy! “I already did that, I don’t have to do it again, cats only sniff things once and then they know all about them,” he said. So much for me, but I know how to get my models into the positions I need, and this one was easy: hold any object above his head in about the position the daisy had been, snap! Sketch.
I remember Namir in July, when he lost his longtime battle with heart disease, but only after a long life of conversing with daisies and such like.
You can also find Conversation With a Daisy in my gallery of feline artwork.
Greeting and Note Cards
The sympathy card for this month, “Lucy in the Morning”, features Lucy on her “beach towel”. I had used this pink and gray rag rug for gray tabby Moses to lie and soak up the sun on the concrete basement floor, and it coordinated just as well with Lucy, who joined us just a few months after we lost Moses. I chose this image as a sympathy card because the scene looks like one that could be in any home, and the bright pink adds cheer to ease the somber nature of the card. Lucy left us in July, succumbing to the effects of FIP, but she sent her mother Mimi to us, bringing a new family of four.
The art card is “Waiting for Mom”, and though this was actually a painting with winter light I wanted to include little torbie Fawn and a pastel painting in a photorealistic style. The photo card is “Toe Cleaning in Black and Green”, discovering the magic of black and green and the green reflection of the sink on Jelly Bean’s fur and especially his toe pads, and I also like this photo for its somewhat abstract quality. They can work for family, friends, co-workers as a friendship, sympathy, thank you, thinking of you card, or could be a small framed print on your wall.
Sometimes a big greeting card just isn’t what you want to send. Here’s another medium, coat pattern and kitty with, “Big Game Hunter”, part of “Kitties Being Kitties“, a tuxedo kitten stalking through the grass as if he’s a big tiger in a classic small ink sketch note card to honor our community cats. The second note card is a colorful variation on my block-printed “Tabbies” set, usually printed in earth tones on earthy paper, printed in “Summer Brights” on randomly chosen bright paper and ink colors.
Then just for more variety and to share other art and themes I’ve designed for, I include a non-feline greeting card each month. “Red Climbers” is a decidedly July subject when the red ramblers bloom all over the fence in a watercolor I painted years ago and publish as prints and greeting cards.
GIFT ITEM: Two Cats After van Gogh Garden Flag
This flag is 11” x 15” and features two different pieces of art on each side: the original “Two Cats After van Gogh” sketch on one side and “In Window Light” on the other side, both in my “after van Gogh” style of oil pastel. This set of illustrations won a Muse Medallion, and the flag itself won the President’s Award in the 2013 Cat Writers’ Association Communications Contest. Garden flags are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finished by adding the rod pocket.
Packaging the Sampler Box
The packaging is another portion of what comes in the box: wrapping paper, of a sort! I used minimal tape and sheets of my art paper which are heavy enough to withstand a little taping, and that gives you two 11” x 17” sheets of cat-themed wrapping paper. This month it was “Just Fits” for the colorful nature of the season.
FOR YOU, FOR GIFTS, OR FOR DONATIONS
Use the prints and cards for yourself, gifts or donations to help cats. Any of the prints, whether the main print or a framed note card, can be given as a gift to a family member or friend, or as a thank you to a veterinarian or veterinary technician, pet sitter, groomer or anyone else in your life who would enjoy a cat-themed gift. They can also help other cats by being donated to online auctions or shelter and rescue events to help raise much-needed funds.
A NOTE ABOUT PACKAGING
I use as many environmentally friendly and fully non-toxic materials as possible in my packaging so I use as much recyclable paper as possible, which includes the glassine bag holding your cards. However, on the chance that you may donate or give one of your prints as gift, they are packed in a clear print bag or cellophane wrap depending on their size, and this is not recyclable but you may be able to reuse it.. I both recycle any packaging I get that is clean and reusable, and use as many recyclable materials as possible. Read more here.
Read a review of my May Sampler Box from Melissa Lapierre of Melissa’s Mocha’s, Mysteries and Meows! Of course, my house panthers are all lying around here like, “of course!” http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2016/07/fun-feline-finds-creative-cat-sampler.html
Read a review of my May Sampler Box from Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat! Yes, they are still applauding themselves! http://portraitsofanimals.net/sampler-box-review-ingrid-king-conscious-cat/
Order your own Sampler Box
I’m offering a sampler box with a single box or a three month box subscription to each of the lists—visit this page to read about it and sign up for your box or sign up below. Each box will include the following items in a design appropriate to the audience, cats, nature, or specialty animal professionals or wholesale:
- a 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10” print matted and ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a new one
- an alternate print of any size, unmatted, different from the main print in media, style, subject, etc.
- several greeting cards: a sympathy card, feline art card, feline photo card, non-feline greeting card and two or more note cards, current designs and new designs
- a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance
- the “boxes” are not boxes at all because they vary so much in content so they are carefully wrapped with wrapping paper made from my designs that you can reuse
As mentioned above, these can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to shelter or rescue or other fundraisers. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer.
Read about other Feline Sampler Boxes on Portraits of Animals.
Don’t miss any new items or opportunities!
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© 2016 | 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.