Paws for Reflection, Pastel, 18" x 14", 1999 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Paws for Reflection, Pastel

This painting is my pastel, “Paws for Reflection,” 14″ x 18″. The original was a commission and is not available, but I have prints on paper and canvas.


Paws for Reflection, Pastel, 18" x 14", 1999 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Paws for Reflection, Pastel, 18″ x 14″, 1999 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

In 1999 I was honored to create artwork for a limited edition print to be sold as a benefit for The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. I donated original art to the shelters for their art auctions all the time as well as certificates for a custom pet portrait, and I was known for this realistic and colorful style. I was honored that the shelter chose me for this project.

“Limited Edition” is a rather outdated term referring to the days when art was printed on printing presses. Printing plates were made and once the press tests produced an artist’s proof that was as close to the original as possible, an “edition” of a limited number was printed like 50 or 500, then the press was stopped, the plates used to print were destroyed. This gave each of the authentic prints a higher value because they were limited in number.

The shelter had purchased the rights to that limited run of prints and they bought the original painting. As part of the agreement, I agreed not to make prints of the image for five years following that, though I could include it in my portfolio to show others as examples of my work.

I worked with the shelter to design the image, and chose a cat from photos I had on hand, then worked with the rest of the composition so it was pretty, but not overdone. I love those old wooden casement windows, and you’ll see windows, curtains and vases of flowers as a theme in several of my paintings.

The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. has merged with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to become Humane Animal Rescue Pittsburgh. Limited edition prints are no longer available, but the artwork still hangs in the shelter’s original building.

Why have I waited so long to offer it as a print?

I have offered this image on gift items and a greeting card in the past. But my digital file of this image was based on my photo of the artwork, which I took with my film camera. It wasn’t bad for photographing a larger painting in those days, but was still too “soft” to offer as a full-size print; even as an 8″ x 10″ I could see the soft edges that should be sharper and more clear and in this painting it didn’t work for me. Because I have many of these older paintings that I photographed with film and sold or gave the painting to its commissioned owner before I got the prints back and found the photos weren’t clear enough, I recently purchased a program that uses more refined methods of sharpening images no matter the reason it’s blurry. Now I can finally revitalize these older paintings, and photographs too. I’m happy to offer this kitty now.

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