It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since I saw the exhibit “Van Gogh Up Close” and came home with a head full of ideas—and that evening sketched Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine on the landing for my first “Cats After van Gogh” sketch, a theme and style that’s stayed with me for over a dozen other sketches and created a new style for my art. I’m celebrating the original sketch today, and I’m offering a discount through April 30 on Portraits of Animals. Use the code “VANGOGH5TH” to get a 25% discount on all the things I’ve made with this image. Many items are shared below and others are still in production.
About “Two Cats After van Gogh”
I looked at yesterday’s little sketch at my desk and decided that if I was to truly create homage to van Gogh, I needed to have a background for these two to exist within, especially that lovely cerulean blue and turquoise van Gogh often used, and lots of little sketch lines and areas. I covered up yesterday’s signature so I scraped my name into the oil pastel in the lower left as Vincent often did in his paint. Ah, this has been too much fun.
So I said when I posted this sketch April 12, 2012! I like to celebrate the anniversary of this sketch each year—when a piece of artwork makes that much of a difference in your life as an artist, you like to return to it to find the magic. I mentioned this to my friend recently—she is one of my customers and also Fromage‘s human—and thanked her again for getting me out to see this exhibit. This piece of artwork went on to win a Certificate of Excellence, a Muse Medallion and the President’s Award in the 2013 Cat Writers’ Association annual Communications Contest as well.
How the sketch, and the style, came to be
I traveled with that friend in April 2012 to see the “Van Gogh Up Close” exhibit. Although it seems I love the Impressionists best, van Gogh is a step apart from the Impressionist styles we find most familiar in Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt with his stylized forms and brilliant, often non-representational colors and the heavy impasto of paint applied and layered with palette knife and brush. I’d only seen a few original van Gogh paintings, and taking in an entire exhibit to show you van Gogh’s work intended to bring the viewer near enough to touch and to see his influences filled my head with dimensional flower petals, rippling wheat textured in fields, dappled leaves seeming to move with the extra layers of paint. I closely studied the way he roughly blended colors into one another and what colors he used, the brilliant greens contrasted with the earthy sepia, lots of yellow and blue.
All the way home on the Megabus I remembered the colors and shapes and textures, and wanted to work the same energy and form I saw in his brush strokes, visualizing oil pastel to layer and blend the strokes as an experiment. Arriving home in Pittsburgh just a few hours later I saw Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine, just quietly hanging together on the landing, Giuseppe sitting upright, Sunshine loafing, and visualized exactly what I would sketch, and posted this sketch without the background on April 11.
I am channeling Vincent van Gogh tonight, trying to work the same energy and form I see in his brush strokes. I can layer with oil pastel, but can’t apply or build up the thickness of medium that can be accomplished with paint; this sketch is also quite small, about 6″ x 5″, so I can’t work all the little strokes in as I’d like, but perhaps I’ll actually try this on canvas at some point, and something a little bigger.
Originally the sketch had only the two cats with no background as do most of my daily sketches, but I decided that if I was to truly create homage to van Gogh, I needed to have a background for these two to exist within, especially that lovely cerulean blue and turquoise van Gogh often used. I added the background the next day, scraped my name into the oil pastel in the lower left as Vincent often did in his paint. This is final the one you see at the top. I truly think it was the energy I brought back from that exhibit that made this an award-winning piece of artwork, and one of the most popular in my feline artwork gallery.
This art is “Two Cats After van Gogh”, 5″ x 6″ oil pastel on textured paper, © Bernadette E. Kazmarski, signed and dated 4/12/12. The original is sold but prints are made in archival inks on Epson Cold Press Watercolor Paper, Hot Press Digital Giclee Paper or Artist Canvas, and the design is also available as a garden flag and as a keepsake box.
Note that prints are not the same dimensions as the original and may be cropped on the top or sides to fit the dimensions of the print size.
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 white on the sides.
All framing is done by me in my studio. This print is matted with a double mat 1.5″ wide, white on top with a rust underneath to match the outline of the two cats. The frame is a molded 1.25″ natural white flat painted wood. The backing is acid-free foam core and the glass is premium clear glass. On this piece, the frame and mats may vary slightly since both the mat and frame are on the list to be discontinued, though that may take more than a year. The framed pieces will definitely resemble the one shown here.
These “garden flags” are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finish by adding the rod pocket. (Bracket is not included.) Shipping is included.
Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s two from my “Cats After van Gogh” series of oil pastel sketches, with “Two Cats After van Gogh” on one side and “In Window Light” on the other. The fabric has a bit of reflection so I’ve added the original art so you can see the actual details.
Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area.
My garden flags are designed with images of my feline artwork, from the quick colorful sketches I create each day to my detailed fine art paintings. They are made locally to me and I can work closely with the printer and have smaller quantities made, and therefore offer more designs.
I ship the garden flags flat so there’s no worry about excessive curling. Please ask about the brackets.
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 polyurethane. 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.
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.
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.
Other Daily Cat Sketches done in this style
Visit “Anniversary Sketch: Two Cats After van Gogh” to read more and see a slideshow of over a dozen more works in this style.
Other feline artwork
See other gift items made from my artwork in my gallery of Gifts Produced from My Designs.
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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.