"Afternoon Nap", pastel on hand-finished paper, 7.5" x 7.5", 2004 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Afternoon Nap” Feline Fine Art Card

“Afternoon Nap” Feline Fine Art Card is 5″ x 7″ , printed on 14 pt. card stock and includes a matching envelope. I find people use these cards for all sorts of greetings, from invitations to parties to friendly hellos and thinking of yous to sympathy at the loss of a pet or even a person. Others have taken their favorites and slipped them into 5″ x 7″ frames for their wall.

  • Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message for an extra charge.
  • Feline Fine Art Cards assort with all other 5″ x 7″ greeting cards (except custom printed cards) for a quantity discount.
  • Individual cards are shipped by first class mail.
  • Sets of six and twelve are packed in a clear-top stationery box. Price includes shipping via Priority Mail.


Afternoon Nap

An old cat, a gentleman,
he has found a quiet spot, upstairs in the afternoon,
and has so perfectly placed himself a little off-center
on the expanse of white bedspread,
illuminated by stark winter light through the window.
(Stanley finds all the best places.)

You know those moments where you walk upon a scene of your cats doing something that you always want to remember, whether it’s a regular habit or a one-time thing? This scene was one of Stanley’s regular habits during his last few years; every afternoon he’d head upstairs with intent and I’d find him curled in the same spot on the bed.

I also offer this image as a print.

Portrait or sketch?

All of my art begins with a moment, be the subject my cats or nature or even a more abstract visual theme. It’s where I go from that moment of inspiration that differs from one work to the next. Sometimes I’ll decide on a more formal portrait, more detailed, more planned, to capture a moment. I’ll take photos and write a few notes and keep it in my files for the day when I have time to follow up, and often this is determined by how often and how clearly my original image appears in my conscious mind—sometimes a painting really wants to be done and I find myself visualizing it all the time, other times it leaves and comes back at a moment that is meaningful. But sometimes I’ll do a quick sketch and leave it at that. The image is simple, it works best small, I only want to capture the mood, and there isn’t enough essential detail to warrant a larger, more detailed piece.

But sometimes I’ll do a quick sketch and leave it at that. The image is simple, it works best small, I only want to capture the mood, and there isn’t enough essential detail to warrant a larger, more detailed piece.

On this day I went upstairs for something and saw Stanley on the bed. As usual I had my little digital camera with me, the old original 2MP that captured surprisingly good photos. I took the photo below, but in standing there and studying the image I decided I wanted the light, the delicate colors, just a hint of the objects and the sketch began to materialize. I hurried to get my art stuff for the sketch I was visualizing.

At his age he slept pretty soundly but I still tiptoed out of the room and ran down the stairs for my stuff. I grabbed my small box of pastels and a piece of my “experimental” drawing paper, choosing a heavy drawing paper to which I’d applied marble dust mixed with gesso and just a little bit of fine fine grit pastel medium, applying it with a brush to have just a bit of texture. I got to work, standing at the foot of the bed to quickly capture the essence of the scene I visualized in that instant: all the shades of shadow and highlight in the white bedspread, the fold under the pillows and the curve of the mahogany headboard just giving enough detail to know it was a bed, and the pastel winter light full of sun and just a bit of green reflected from the ivy on the tree outside the window. Instead of drawing with the ends of the pastels I dragged them over the surface in layers to get the depth of color and shadows, Stanley himself just in simple tonal colors, the only solid detail in his white paw.

Stanley on the bed from February 21, 2003, the day I did the sketch.
Stanley on the bed from February 21, 2003, the day I did the sketch.

It was all over in about ten minutes, and though I’d taken the reference photo I never made any changes from that initial inspired session. In its frame, I have allowed the edges to show, mounting it on deep burgundy mat board. I still have this painting, treasure it for its memory of Stanley as he watches over my office, and use it as inspiration for other similar sketches.

You’re probably familiar with “After Dinner Nap”, another memorable and inspirational moment. This image could have gone either way, painting or sketch, but in this case I was intent on capturing all the subtle details in his face, and all that wonderful direct and reflected light.

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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.