The Artists’s Life: A Day in the Studio, With Cats

five cats in studio

The Curious Quartet joins Cookie in getting ready for a day of work.

My Sunday in the studio ran overtime yesterday just because I was in the mood and didn’t want to stop—and had such feline assistance and inspiration I may have gone all night but for the need for feline dinners. Cats in my studio are both an asset and a liability, but especially now that I’ve finally committed my 8′ x 10′ spare bedroom for art activities we can all find a comfortable place in the drama.

tortie cat on table

Cookie chooses the spot where she is sure to get the most attention.

My cats like to join in anything I do even if it’s laundry or cleaning the bathroom—they just enjoy activity, especially when I’m putting on the show. But more than that, being the sensitive creatures they are and reacting to my joys and sorrows, they are just as aware of my state of being and love being near me when I’m at my creative work.

Just looking at my cats has long been an inspiration even before I began drawing them, or anything at all for that matter. Fluid motion, graceful shapes, that particular self-possession which enables me to observe without interacting all feed my aesthetic senses, and add to this the interactions of a household of cats with each other, with the space and with me, and it’s a feast for my senses. For years I’ve begun each day with a photo session and a sketch or two as a warm-up to a day of graphic design, awakening my senses to shapes and colors and composition, this inspired by watching my cats and eventually including activities in the garden. Through the day they continue to be their graceful little selves and so I continue photographing them and enjoying the visual and physical breaks they give me during the day.

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Happy Meow-loween

3 jack-o-lanterns

We Three Pumpkins

This card, “We 3 Pumpkins” features prior year photos of jack-o-lanterns from the previously mentioned Panhandle Trail Night Walk. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 pumpkins donated by various farm markets and grocery stores, and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance. I photograph the pumpkins every year, and of course I find the feline-themed pumpkins!

Time to put away the Halloween imagery, so until next year, Happy Meow-loween!

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


Enter: Three WITCHES

Halloween greeting card

Enter: Three WITCHES

When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.

Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.

Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!

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


Your Kitty is a Star!

kitty jack o lantern

Your kitty is a star!

I photographed the Night Walk on the Panhandle Trail, featuring over 100 carved jack-o-lanterns! There’s always at least one kitty—this year there were two—but there was absolutely no moonlight so photographs were difficult. I thought this was the cutest, a kitty with stars!

I wish I’d had more light for the other one, but perhaps just the glowing cat face is just as effective.

cat face jack o  lantern

Scary Kitty!

For a slideshow of photos from the community event, visit the Panhandle Trail website events page and click the link at the top.

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


Little Visits

pastel painting of black cat

Are You Looking at Me? © B.E. Kazmarski

This is the third and final article in the series of articles about my cats visiting me in a spiritual sense, a collective of individual instances through the years.

Working in my office/studio one evening, I heard the door of my refrigerator open—you know how you recognize these everyday noises—and I didn’t think too much of it. Until I remembered that I lived alone and I had not opened the door myself. I slowly turned my head to look into the next room where the refrigerator was plainly in view, and the door was indeed wide open, and…Kublai was standing right in front and looking over the contents.

Kublai, my first black kitty, was a real creative thinker, and between his strength and able mimicry of my movements—opening windows and doors, pulling lids off containers—and my tiny refrigerator, he just decided he’d open it one evening and help himself to the contents.

If I’d had a video camera he surely would have won a prize for the way he’d flip open the door, stand there with all the other cats ranging behind him and “humph”, his message: “There’s nothing good in here to eat.” Well, I was a vegetarian, but he was also a feline garbage dispose-all and stopped at absolutely nothing. He’d eat cooked carrots as well as anything else.

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Happy Meow-loween From My Mewsette!

Halloween greeting card

Madame Mewsette will tell your For-tuna

This is Mewsette’s favorite costume! She didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.

Perhps Mewsette’s costume is honoring my alleged gypsy great-grandmother.

When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.

Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!

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


The Artists’s Life: From Daily Photos to New Product

Halloween greeting card

Madame Mewsette will tell your For-tuna

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season?

You may recognize the photo in the design above from its posting last year on October 31 as well as the one below from October 30. In addition, three other designs include photos which appeared on The Creative Cat or one one of my other blogs. From the time I took the photo and when I posted it somewhere on one of my blogs and received the feedback about it, I’ve held onto a creative idea for those images: Halloween cards!

I  don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons so I actually tried to avoid this, but from the combination of looking at cards in shops whenever I get the chance, and currently compiling my holiday cards to post for sale this week, I decided I really did want to create a few Halloween cards this year—especially with the first two images which were completely unposed—I got out the pumpkins, but my black cats organized the creative compositions!

And it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday. I so love to see my cats in my design work and share them with others.

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