“Kennedy”, black and white charcoal pencils and a little bit of pastel pencil on gray toned paper, 4.5″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski. The original is sold but prints are made in archival inks on I offer full-size giclee prints as well as a variety of digital and canvas prints.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Kennedy was found dehydrated and malnourished, having seizures in the street on a hot summer afternoon. He showed signs of badly healed head and body trauma and lived with me for just six weeks, but made the best of every second of that time, befriending my household and becoming a permanent member in that short time.
One eye was swollen with glaucoma. I just couldn’t pass up sketching Kennedy in this pose. He looks at me like this so often, and I have so many photos of him, that it was another image that stayed with me until I decided what medium I really wanted to use. I had wanted to use gouache and could even picture the brushstrokes around his eyes and those bristly white whiskers. Then I remembered the gray background I wanted and the gray toned paper, then the soft charcoal and the clear white lines of white charcoal and knew that was it.
I’m still not sure I like the position, so foreshortened for the angle, but what I really wanted to capture was his face, the tattered ear, the copper eyes, the cataract, the prominent nose with the wavy front and those bristly whiskers. His front legs are each a little crooked, in different ways, as is his spine, so he sits a little lopsided. So there he is, all the things I picture when I think about him.
I sketched this from his photos, of course. But that night when I moved the baby gate to the landing, this time letting him into my bedroom as well, figuring he’d gotten his bearings the first time out and had the strength and focus to be able to get himself around the boxes in my bedroom. And he was ready as soon as I moved the gate, stepping out with confidence and heading right into my bedroom. All Five of the family were there too, stationed in various places around the floor in my room and the studio like baffles for a pinball as he walked around and between them. Mimi, surprisingly, was a small but immovable object in the center of the landing and though he poked her with that right paw a few times ensuing a hiss from her, she did not move. Each of them seemed to stay along his path and watch, but without any animosity whatsoever.
So each time he walked into the studio and looked up at me, I had another look at his eyes and his face, his stiffness and the awkward bend of his paws, and his determination, as I worked from his photographs and enjoyed this six-black-cat encounter. He gave himself little breaks for quick naps here and there, and when he finally seemed to settle in his bed I moved the baby gate back to the doorway. Everyone else settled down for a nap as well.
. . . . . . .
For years I rescued on my own, catching and trapping cats, getting them vetted and spayed and neutered and socialized and finding homes for them. I remember the days of having to wait until I got home from work to start making phone calls, and getting three or four sets of reprints of photos I’d taken of cats I had for adoption and even mailing those out to prospective adopters. It’s a wonder anyone ever found a home.
I also remember making life decisions for rescues and my own cats without the consultation of anyone but my veterinarian, who I’ve trusted implicitly for 20 years, but when it comes to euthanasia you sometimes need to talk it over, and over, until you can feel it’s right.
And then there are the costs—spays and neuters and treatments, food and medicine, toys and litter. The work of rescue is both happy and sad each day, it’s also high-paced and stressful. I’m so fortunate for this group of rescuers who provide such support from a listening ear to transportation to donations. I’m glad to support them in any way I can. And because I want to support the efforts to help reduce the need for all this, I’ll also support the Homeless Cat Management Team.
I created this sketch to help cover the costs of Kennedy’s care. I auctioned it off, and encouraged people to donate at least $25.00 and I would send them a print of the sketch. Now $5.00 from each sale goes to benefit the feline assistance organizations I work with.
If it hadn’t been for an organized group of rescuers Kennedy would never have found his way to my home. He would never have been rescued, and I would never have known him and been able to share him with you. Now that he is gone and the original will soon be on its way to Australia, I’m offering prints of the sketch and your opportunity to make a donation of $5.00 with each print purchased to the cat rescue I work with, Pittsburgh CAT, or to the Homeless Cat Management Team to help spay and neuter more cats so there won’t be so many to rescue.
I’m sure Kennedy is familiar to you if you’ve been reading The Creative Cat, but if not you can read about this sketch when I first posted it, and the auction of the sketch to raise donations for his care, and read all the articles about Kennedy from when he arrived on June 16, 2014.
Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.
Full-size digned digital prints are framed as you see above with a double mat of greystone black core and a 1.25″ matte black frame. Other framing is available upon request. All framing is done by me in my studio.
The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.
I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship.
Digital prints are made on acid-free matte-finish natural white 100# cover using archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original.
The giclees have 2″ of white around the outside edges. The 5″ x 7″ and 8″ x 10″ digital prints are centered on 8.5″ x 11″ digital cover while the 11″ x 14″ has 1″ around the edges because the digital paper is 12″ wide. All are countersigned by me.
I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2″ in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is blue on the sides.
Mousepads are 8″ x 7″, always horizontal so in this case it crops quite a bit from the top and bottom, 1/4″ black foam rubber with the image printed on a flexible fabric on top.
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.