The stripes made me do it! No, we have not always been a household of solid-color cats. The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs beginning with Fawn, Stanley and Allegro.
These cards were block printed, a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.
Cards are printed on smooth uncoated 70 lb. cover stock. On the back of all the cards I’ve stamped in purple ink the name of the series of block prints, my logo and my name and contact information. Each card comes with a matching 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible and are sold in sets.
You can read all about each design below.
“Brights” Tabbies Hand-printed Notecards
This “Brights” set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards is hand-printed on five different summery paper colors, yellow, orange, blue, green and magenta, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple. Each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise.
“Summery” Tabbies Hand-printed Notecards
This “Summery” set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards is hand-printed on six different summery paper colors, yellow, pink orange, blue, green and violet, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple. Each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise.
About the artwork
It all started with “Fawnball”.
This particular image—”Fawnball”—and it’s especially dear to me. Fawn’s habit was to rest rolled up in a tight ball when waiting for me to finish something and give her some attention (note the eye watching you). Just the way my sketch of Mimi the other day captured that moment and its long line of memories, this image captured a moment and this endearing habit of Fawn’s so that the memory will always be fresh for me. This image was also the inspiration for the four-image series of block prints called “Tabbies”, and it is dedicated to her.
Below is the reference photo I used for this, but it’s only one of many of Fawn curled on the bed in her characteristic supervisory position. On this day, I’m pretty sure I was using the sewing machine.
It’s difficult to see her stripes in this photo, but believe me, they are there! Fawn was a torbie, and while her basic body color changed between orange and tan, her tabby stripes continued without a break all over her body, most of them black with a few orange sections. When I looked at Fawn on the bed rolled up like this I remember noting all the marks around her eyes, and also that wonderful flow of one big stripe down the middle of her back with all the small ones branching off that actually helped to define her shape.
The stripes made me do it! The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs.
This gave me the idea to create a block print, my favorite medium for clear shapes on a background. And then I thought I should have a few other designs, and print them up as note cards which I was just beginning to produce at that time. Bright idea, not as easily executed, though—it meant finding four similar images to use and cutting out the blocks for each one. Well, a photo of Stanley sleeping came up pretty easily, all his stripes looking like the wrinkles in pajamas, and I was hooked on the idea.
I found a photo of one of my rescues on the windowsill with a geranium, and a photo of a friend’s two tabby cats, and went to work.
It’s all inspired by cats who’ve shared my life in one way or another.
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© 2020 | 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.