This is a pastel painting, “A Rosy Glow”, pastel on velour paper, 10″ x 10″, 1996 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski.
Sweet, soft silver tabby Moses was my one truly feral rescue and taught me about feral cats before I really knew they were any different from other cats. My niece caught her and I took Moses home in 1987 before I’d ever heard a word about feral cats and kittens. I’d caught and rescued quite a few cats and kittens by that time and thought Moses was just another bedraggled, starved kitten. And she was until three days after she’d come into my house and her strength and wits were back, and instead of looking up at me weakly purring and blinking she ran behind the toilet and unblinkingly stared at me.
I’m accustomed to that stare now, but everything I know today about socializing cats began with her. Moses was about five months old when she came to me, past the age that’s typically able to be socialized, but she and I did well, with her leading the way. Our 19 years together were one long lesson in patience for me as I let Moses come to terms, at her own pace, with living with a human who just wanted to touch her all the time. I kept my hands off, and she came to me, sleeping under my chair, on the floor under my easel, on my yoga mat, on my other pillow. She patiently taught me the basics of creating a space where an unsocialized cat felt safe, and with each frightened, traumatized or unsocialized cat I welcome to my home, I remember her.
This painting is no less a celebration of feral cats than an article I might write. Feral cats aqnd kittens often have the reputation of not being able to be “saved” and so they are often exterminated like vermin when they are found to be unwanted living outdoors, and are usually euthanized in shelters without being given a chance to adjust to life with humans, and yet here she is looking pretty pleased with her situation.
This painting is about one of the moments in those years I saw Moses coming to terms with the fears and mistrust she’d learned growing up in her colony of cats, in fact, it was inspired by the evidence of that very healing. I looked in the dining room and there was Moses in the middle of the floor—Moses, who walked about under and behind the furniture, who never left herself vulnerable, who never had a nap in an open spot, like the middle of the floor. And yet there she was, and she was looking pretty confident and relaxed. She had never done anything like this before. She was nine years old.
About the painting
I actually painted the portrait fairly quickly as I’d been working on a series of paintings of my cats in the sun in that same colorful yet realistic style I’d developed. As I explained this painting when entering it into my portfolio:
She found a warm spot to sleep in the sun on that old pink sweater of mine, and the look of contentment on her face was my first inspiration, especially since Miss Moses (we all thought she was a boy) had been a feral kitten and to this day hesitates to walk across the center of any room but finds security in keeping close to the furniture. Next, the contrast of all the grays with the varied pink shades in the sweater and the patterns of direct and reflected sunlight all through the scene made me snap that photo and render this scene.
It’s called “A Rosy Glow” because her silvery gray fur reflects the bright pink sweater onto her chest and face which for me added to that feeling of comfort and security I felt from her in that moment.
One of these days I’ll look up the person who purchased this portrait and I’ll be able to scan the actual portrait, but for now you’ll just have to imagine the details. Looking closely at the gray of her fur, though, and the bright pink reflected, you’ll also see there is obviously blue and green along with softer tones of violet and rose to give her thick fur the depth I remembered when touching her. Even when she wasn’t in the sun her gray fur was full of complimentary colors that our eye puts together into one overall tone, but studying in detail over time you’ll see all those hues. Her nose was “terra cotta” as I called it, that natural color of red earth, but here it is reflecting that sweater.
When I painted it so the pink reflected as brightly as it does in the reference photo it simply looked overdone; I still had a bit to learn about handling colors and areas like that. Yes, I decided to move the chair, and a lot of other stuff…
In the background too you’ll see many colors mixed in with the gray of the shadows to keep them lively.
I still treasure this moment, and each moment when Moses took a step toward trust. Read Moses’ story in “My Favorite Feral, and My Enlightenment”.
This painting is included on one set of cards, “My Cat in the Sun”.
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.
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. The giclees have 2″ of white around the outside edges.
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 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 black on the sides.
Mousepads are 8″ x 7″, always horizontal, 1/4″ black foam rubber with the image printed on a flexible fabric on top.