My June 2016 Sampler Box is all about the arrival of summer, and art and photos that reflect the season or were created in months when the windows were open, the sun was shining and flowers were blooming, and certain kitties actually had the opportunity to go outside with me.
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.
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.
“Kelly’s Morning Bath”, original linoleum block print on handmade leaf paper, either version I or II, 12” x 4”, matted for 7 x 14 frame
Counter print: “Lazy Saturday Afternoon”, watercolor, 9” x 12”
SELECTED GREETING CARDS
- Sympathy Card: “I Will Always Walk With You”
- Feline Fine Art Card: “Holly on the Rocker”
- Photo Card: “Sunrise”
- Notecards: “Sleeping Beauty” (Feline Pencil Sketches), “Inscrutable Patterns”
- All-purpose greeting card: Inspired by Flowers, “Believe”
“Great Rescues Day Book”
8” x 10” spiral-bound undated monthly day book featuring sixteen of my portraits of rescued cats and their stories
About the contents
Kelly’s Morning Bath I or II, Linoleum Block Print
Kelly gave herself a complete bath every morning after breakfast on the table in front of the window in my office/studio, her every move full of purpose and industry. When these leafy sunny early summer mornings come around I remember Kelly and my inspiration for creating this print, so “Kelly’s Morning Bath” a natural for June.
These prints capture those sunny mornings as this window in my house faces southeast and my lilac and a number of trees which filter the sun, speckling Kelly and the table with splashes of sun and shadow. In the print one of the windows is open to the morning, and I designed it to be printed on patterned or textured papers that would recall that feeling of speckled sunlight. This series of prints were made on rice papers with leaves and flower petals imprinted, handmade, fair trade, eco-sensitive paper (could it be any better?).
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. I prepared both variations for this month’s boxes, so each recipient gets either I or II and each is printed on slightly different paper, you’ll just have to open it to see.
This print is matted to 7” x 14”, which is a common size for collage frames which have openings for three small photos side by side. I’ve seen them at craft stores, department stores and discount stores for a good price, and often that’s what I purchase to frame these prints myself if I don’t get custom framing. Your print is already matted with backing, so all you need to do is get the frame, take out the mat and backing that come with it, put your print in and close it up.
My “counter print” is always a different style, medium and even subject from the main print. I have so much art in so many different styles and this is a Sampler Box after all, so because everyone likes something different or like many different styles and media you may prefer one or the other, or both, but you won’t ever get bored with one style.
I chose “Lazy Saturday Afternoon”, a loose watercolor of three cats in totally non-representational color—really, green, blue and purple?—which was a daily sketch from June 8, 2012, so it was created during June. The subjects are actually Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean, more variety.
I have left the raw edges on this print but the interesting area is just about 8″ x 10″. This print would fit fine into an 11″ x 14″ frame that has a mat with an 8″ x 10″ opening. It would also fit into an 11″ x 14″ frame with no mat or a 16″ x 20″ frame with an 11″ x 14″ mat.
Greeting and Note Cards
The sympathy card for this month, “I Will Always Walk With You”, is one I call one of my “non-denominational” sympathy cards that doesn’t feature a cat or any animal at all, only pawprints next to my footprint on my stone path. If you know animal tracks this print is obviously a domestic cat’s print, but pawprints are universal in our language of animals with paws.
I took this photo one June morning in 2009, less than two weeks before I lost Namir, who along with Cookie spent time out in the yard with me every morning in those years. I remember turning around and seeing these prints on that flagstone as the three of us walked along the path, and hurrying to get the photo before the prints began to dry in the sun. The memory was so strong and I immediately began to form the final title of the image even before I knew what I’d do with it. I remembered it daily, knowing that Namir’s heart couldn’t hold out much longer. It was one of the first designs I visualized when I decided I really would go ahead and design the Animal Sympathy Cards.
Ironically, I had always thought it was Namir’s pawprint but just a couple of years ago I looked through the photos from that morning and realized it was probably Cookie’s. That would be more typical because Cookie was my guardian and followed or preceded me everywhere. But she has gone to prowl the big back yard of eternity with Namir and several of my other feline family, and the pawprint represents that wonderful time with the three of us, and by extension all of us.
The Feline Fine Art Card features a sunny and colorful watercolor painting of a calico cat, “Holly on the Rocker”. The Feline Photo Card is Mewsette and Giuseppe watching the sunrise at the top of the stairs in “Sunrise” from Victoriana Cats. These cards 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. I’m presenting another medium, coat color and kitty with what was originally a summer scene, “Sleeping Beauty”, my long-haired white cat Sally having a nap on the kitchen windowsill in a classic small pencil sketch note card. The second note card is a colorful pattern I created from one of my daily sketches, “Inscrutable Patterns“.
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. My sister loves daisies and years ago I gave her a handful of seeds and plants from my own yard to plant in her front yard, which developed into an incredible annual display of daisies. This month I’ve shared “Believe”, a greeting card featuring June daisies surrounding one of the white painted angel statues from my sister’s daisy garden.
You can find all varieties of greeting and note cards on this page or visit the galleries listed in the menu.
Great Rescues Day Book
Great Rescues Day Book celebrates the stories of rescued cats and the people who rescued them, and the portraits I painted of these wonderful cats.
Great Rescues is a undated day book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats I’ve been commissioned to paint in the 25 years I’ve been an animal portrait artist. While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, is what compels me to share them with you. Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.
And while each cat has an individual story, each rescuer has a story as well of reaching out to an animal in need to bring it in from the streets. In many cases they helped heal physical and emotional wounds and gave that cat a lifetime of love, in return receiving love and devotion; often those humans received some healing in return they weren’t aware they needed.
Read more about Great Rescues Day Book here.
I first published this as Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book in June 2011, so I’m celebrating the fifth anniversary of its publishing as well as a recommitment to my art and career in that hear. Read about that here.
Packaging the Sampler Box
How to package these boxes was a real conundrum. Prints and gift items will be different sizes each month and in looking over shipping boxes I couldn’t find one that would fit just about everything and which I could label. For now I decided to simply group everything and wrap it before I put it in the shipping box that fits it. That meant I could include 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 “22 Cats” as part of Great Rescues Day Book.
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.
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
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.
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.