“The Little Sunflower”, pastel on velour paper, 11″ x 16″, 1997 © B.E. Kazmarski

The Little Sunflower, Pastel

This is a pastel painting, “The Little Sunflower”, pastel on velour paper, 11″ x 16″, 1997 © B.E. Kazmarski

About the painting, and Cookie

Real sun worshippers, all of my cats wait for the sun to enter the house in the morning and take their appointed spots. The brilliance of that first light and its reflections around the room, plus the contrast of all the exaggerated straight-line shapes with the organic shape of little Cookie and her shadow inspired this one.

This is the same kitchen door and floor from photos you see today, and while I painted this one in 1997, Cookie began the process of this sunbath back in her second year here, after I’d replaced the awful doors here when I moved in with the full-view storm door and 15-lite wooden door so we could all look out and enjoy the winter sunshine. One morning very early on when I looked at her with her nose raised to the sun I visualized this painting and immediately named it “The Little Sunflower”, even before I had painted a stroke, and thereafter called Cookie “my little sunflower”. You’ve seen her in the sun at this back door, and you may have also seen me call her this and probably had no idea why, but it began with the inspiration for this painting and so aptly described her personality that I called her that all her life, and still do.

detail of painting little sunflower
Detail of Cookie’s face.

This one I painted entirely from a photo I’d taken, not having the opportunity to capture Cookie in her natural state but wanting to capture the moment nonetheless. I used a drawing paper entirely new to me at the time, a velour finish, heavy paper covered with a flocked surface like velvet that held the pastel, could build up layers and layers of color and achieve a blend and soft edge as you’d expect on such a soft surface, yet also capture detail, though not extremely fine detail.

detail of painting little sunflower
Detail of shadows and light on table

Though the shadows are hard shadows with direct winter sunlight, there is also much reflection within the shadows and dark areas and this paper carried that as well as I had wanted.

detail of painting little sunflower
Detail of door and shadows

This painting of Cookie hangs on the landing to the second floor where I look at her every time I go up or down the stairs. “The Little Sunflower” is also included in my original set of four-color notecards, “My Cats in the Sun” which also features Stanley, Moses and Sally, my four original muses who guided my artwork in those early years as they inspiringly napped in the sun.

Cookie was the sunshine of my life, and she regarded every moment a celebration of life. Read more about her on The Creative Cat.

Purchasing prints

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.