Daily Sketch: Mewsette as a Rainy Spring Day

oil pastel drawing of cat

Mewsette As a Rainy Spring Day, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Something about the light today and Mewsette with her calm quiet look, back to the window, watching me, I got out the oil pastels for the colors, then started experimenting.

I remember years ago with a weekend part-time job in an art and framing store—after a week of being a typesetter it was a joy with the added benefit of huge discounts on materials and meeting lots of local artists who came in to have their work framed. I was just beginning as an artist, had produced my first four cat paintings an decided I needed to look into this. What I learned form being there was invaluable.

A young man came in one day with a long narrow painting of a farm with a big sky done in oil pastel, totally foreign to me at that time. I worked up his estimate and studied his painting to see how he’d applied and blended the pastels, and saw that he not only had layers and blends of pastel, but in some areas he’d actually scratched away pastel for effect. What I was as a rail fence was actually where he had used a fork to scrape away the oil pastel for the highlights on the fence rails.

That memory never left me and years later I’ve been working in oil pastel now and then to develop a familiarity with it. Here I’ve applied many colors, rubbed them into the canvas paper, scraped others off and layered another color in its place, then used what was handy as a scraper, the edge of the cap of a pen, to scrape away the pastel in the shape I wanted.

I had intended something else entirely, but what’s here is fine. I did another painting of Mewsette in oil pastel a while ago, Mewsette in Blues and Greens.


Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches.

And read about purchasing them and requesting them as a donation item for your shelter or rescue group in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.

Four-Headed Cat Box

four black cats on box

It's a four-headed cat box.

Sorry for the blur in this photo, but I had to catch it—though it wasn’t the only one from today!Giuseppe, Mimi, Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean balance on the top box of the tallest stack of boxes in the room, right at eye level as I walk in the door.

I organized boxes of merchandise from my shop and decided to just stack them in my office here while I distribute them around the house. Yesterday as I carried them in there was such excitement as all the cats celebrated this new improvement in exercise opportunities in the house. Apparently for their benefit, they settled on each box as I set it down, looking at me with such joy I couldn’t bear to move them. However, I could barely walk through the room.

So until I get things put away or placed somewhere else, they’ll have three stacks of boxes to climb on. Today I actually had some space on my desk to work. Not now, though. There’s another cuddle puddle happening.


To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.

CCPC Pet First Aid Classes for 2012

bandage on dog model

A successful bandage.

Deb Chebatoris doesn’t want to meet any new family until their pet has had a long, healthy life.

Last year she found she had to work with a number of families who lost young or otherwise healthy pets to an accidental death. “I have worked with families whose pet died after being caught and choked by the collar, who suffocated in a potato chip bag,” she continued. Not only does the family experience the loss but there is a lingering feeling that “if only…” they would have done this or that, the death may not have occurred.

She wondered if there was anything that Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation could do to prevent such tragedy, and the idea of Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation hosting pet first aid classes was born.

my pet certification

My certificate.

I attended the very first class Deb sponsored last year and am certified to provide my own pets with first aid, should they need it. I haven’t, before or since, had occasion to do so. However, one of the other benefits of the class for me has been simply possessing the knowledge of how to assess and treat, and this has greatly reduced my own fear at being in a situation and not knowing what to do.

Since June 2011, Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation has sponsored pet first aid introductory and certification classes in Bridgeville and surrounding communities in the south and west of Pittsburgh, taught by Karen Sable of Pet Emergency Training, LLC. Although there is usually a charge for attending these classes, Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation offers these sessions free of charge in an attempt to offer families the skills they can use to help save the life of their pet.

Most classes held in 2011 were introductory classes which review all the procedures but don’t teach the skills, and are 90 minutes vs. five hours, and attendance increased dramatically to over 30 students at one class. Obviously, people are interested and willing to learn how to provide first aid to their pets.

02 fur life kit

02 Fur Life kit donated to Bethel Park.

As Deb sat in on the classes she’d sponsored she kept hearing about “your pet first aid kit” advised by Karen, and decided she could put together an inexpensive basic one for people attending the classes. She did this, and in return students offered donations, which Deb and Karen used to purchase O2 Fur LifeTM pet oxygen mask kits to donate to the communities where the classes had been held. So far sets have been donated to Mt. Lebanon and Bethel Park; read more about this on the Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation blog, Animus under “The Pet First Aid Story”, a four-part series outlining the success and stories in hosting these classes.

Upcoming classes

Currently scheduled classes are listed below, but new opportunities arise all the time as individuals and communities express an interest in hosting a class. For ongoing dates and times visit the Pet First Aid Classes page on the CCPC website or call Deb Chebatoris at 412-220-7800.

The next certification class is June 2 in Bridgeville, all other classes listed are introductory classes. Read a post about the difference between the two classes and my post about the certification class I attended. See below for details of date, time and place.

You need to register for each session by calling Deb Chebatoris at 412-220-7800. Space is limited, and registrations are taken first come, first served.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012, Washington, PA
Citizen’s Library
55 South College Street, Washington, PA 15301
Introductory Class, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, North Fayette, PA
Western Allegheny Community Library
8042 Steubenville Pike,
Oakdale, PA 15071
Introductory Class, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Moon Twp., PA
Moon Twp. Public Library
1700 Beaver Grade Road, Suite 100,
Moon Township, PA 15108-3109
Introductory Class, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012, Whitehall, PA
Whitehall Public Library
100 Borough Park Dr. Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Introductory Class, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012, Peters Township, PA
Peters Public Library
616 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317
Introductory Class, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 2, 2012, Bridgeville, PA
Bridgeville Public Library

505 McMillen Street, Bridgeville, PA 15017
Certification Class, 11:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

NOTE: Deb Chebatoris is a personal friend as well as the person who receives my cats for cremation, and is also one of my customers for design and promotion; I try to be unbiased.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.