Favorite Daily Sketches Available on Etsy

framed painting of sleeping cat

Kelly in Warm Colors, framed pastel, 8" x 10" © B.E. Kazmarski

You could say this is a People’s Choice Gallery! I appreciate the feedback and requests about my daily sketches on The Creative Cat. According to what you’ve asked I’ve expanded the gallery of daily sketches in my Etsy shop to include both framed originals and digital prints as well as a few framed prints. I am working on framing for others as well. If there’s a sketch you’d like to see in my Etsy shop, please speak up!

Above is “Kelly in Warm Colors” in a frame I hand-tinted in tones of gold to match the warm colors in the sketch. For the mats I used a forest green suede-finish mat for that wonderful richness it imparts and the natural patterning of suede that mimics my blending and fingering style when I work my pastel on drawing paper, and a gold liner mat that brings a little bit of reflected light next to the painting. Overall it’s 8″ x 10″, and I’m very pleased to see this sweet little sketch in this more finished form. I am also offering it as a digital print, and in the very near future will also offer this and many others as small prints on stretched canvas—my first proofs of these have worked well and been very attractive. Read more about this sketch from the day I posted it.

Other small and colorful works

Here are a the other small and colorful sketches I’ve added to my gallery.

framed oil pastel sketch of cat

Grape Jelly Bean, framed oil pastel, 8" x 10" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Grape Jelly Bean from the day I posted it. I learned the art and skill of picture framing years ago when I had an estimate on framing the first of my own cat portraits. Now I purchase directly from wholesale suppliers and often from manufacturers and a portion of my studio and my time is devoted to keeping my matboards, frames, glass, finishes and specialized tools for framing. But I’ll often shop for quality pre-made frames for smaller art because it’s often less expensive.

framed watercolor of cat

Colorful Kelly, framed watercolor, 8" x 10 © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Colorful Kelly from the day I posted it. I love these wide, plain white frames I found! The moment I saw them I knew they’d be perfect for these small simple and colorful paintings.

framed print of oil pastel painting

Two Cats After van Gogh, framed digital print, 8" x 10" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Two Cats After van Gogh from the day I posted it. The weathered white frame is nice for small colorful works as well. I had spent some time playing around with customizing mat boards and wide wooden unfinished frames to coordinate with these three works, above, but no matter what I did it just overwhelmed the works. I decided to let them speak for themselves, and these simple frames to do that with just the addition of complementary, unpatterned mats.

The original sketch of “Two Cats After van Gogh” actually sold before I had the chance to post it, but I’ve decided to offer a print framed as the original in its place.

Larger sketches in one or two colors

Several pencil, charcoal, ink and conté sketches were also popular, and I’ve framed the first group for which I gathered complementary frames and mats. In addition to retail frames and custom framing, I also “repurpose” older frames which I purchase at thrift shops, and I have a constant supply which friends give me rather than tossing them in the trash or donating them. Matching art with frames is just as fun.

framed pencil sketch of cats on a bed

Curled on the Bed, framed pencil sketch, 12" x 14" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Curled on the Bed from the day I posted it. I’ve had this frame for a while with its little scrolly pattern in a dull gold with a blue-gray wash that fills the areas between the curlicues. I had intentionally included background details in this sketch and thought this frame would help to bring them forward with both the pattern and color.

framed pencil sketch of three cats on bed

Three Cats, framed pencil sketch, 12" x 16" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Three Cats from the day I posted it. I use this black molding for a number of things and its matte finish always takes as a very dense black, but that contrasts well with the more delicate pencil lines and shadings of one of my first daily sketches—the one that inspired me to begin posting daily sketches, in fact. I used softer tones with this, a mauve marbled top mat and solid mauve liner mat, to enhance the idea of peaceful rest demonstrated by three cuddling kitties.

framed pencil sketch of three cats eating

Dinnertime!, framed pencil sketch, 12" x 16" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Dinnertime! from the day I posted it. This sketch of the three girls is one of my favorites, and because Kelly and Cookie are torties with touches of orange and Mimi has a good bit of mahogany in her fur I used a rust-colored liner mat to recall those tones, and a silver-gray marbled mat to complement the pencil.

framed pencil and watercolor sketch of cat

Peaches' Nap Spot, pencil with watercolor, 12" x 16" © B.E. Kazmarski

This sketch is not one of the current set I’ve been posting on The Creative Cat, but from a few years ago when I did sketches around the house occasionally, featuring sweet little Peaches. I’ve used this sketch to illustrate stories and also offer it as a greeting card, but the original has been tucked into a sketch book for safe keeping; I decided to frame it along with these others.

conte sketch of three cats

Massive Cuddle Puddle, conté and charcoal, 11" x 14" © B.E. Kazmarski

Read more about Massive Cuddle Puddle from the day I posted it. The full name of this sketch is “Massive Cuddle Puddle Blocks Major Work Space” and coordinates with a few photo posts from a day when my desk was piled high with cats cuddling under the kitty keep-warm lamps. It has surprised me that a medium like conté, which is not very well-known outside of art classes though it’s been around for centuries, was immediately popular with readers. I like its expressiveness and the richness of its colors, especially the red which mimics the natural red earth color often used in traditional art and craft and dating back to prehistoric cave paintings. The top mat on this matches that red color in a red earth toned suede-finish mat, again mimicking the swirls in the conte as it does in my pastels.

Sold Originals, but available as prints and more

painting of two cats

Purple Cats, Red Blanket, ink and watercolor © B.E. Kazmarski

Above is Purple Cats, Red Blanket, felt-tip ink technical drawing pen with watercolor washes, signed and dated 1/6/12. This painting sold, and thanks to the buyer for your wonderful complements. I love to see my art go to good homes just as much as I love to see my rescued kitties go to good homes! I’m offering full-size digital prints of this, and I have a small stock of small note cards. I’ll be offering it again at Valentine’s Day as a Valentine, and also as a blank greeting card. See it here on Etsy.

oil pastel sketch of two cats

Two Cats After van Gogh, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

The original of this tiny oil pastel sketch also sold to another good home! I’m offering a print framed as the original on Etsy as well as digital prints, and I’m also looking forward to publishing this as a greeting card and in other forms as well. The 5″ x 7″ stretched canvases look nice (you’ll see), and it makes a cool little notebook cover too. We’ll see how many ways I can apply this and the other little colorful sketches. Suggestions are welcome!

Read more about Daily Sketches

Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.

See other Daily Sketches

I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

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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 Artist’s Life: Still Inspiring

Cookie, "The Goddess" block print © B.E. Kazmarski

In the last two months Cookie was with me I suddenly had orders for the t-shirt and print with this image, both directly to me and from wholesale customers, even customized versions of them. I will always think of this as a great sendoff for her, this favorite image immortalizing her and traveling out all over the world. And, of course, came the stories of the favorite torties who had led people to Cookie’s image.

The interesting part was that I didn’t actually have any prints or tees for sale at the time—none listed on Etsy or even on my website, though I had the image displayed as I always do. These people made special requests, checking to see if I had any or when I would have tees or prints. So I got busy and made up more of them to fill all the orders, and then made up more again, happily spending time with this image that is a favorite of mine, and in all that printing and painting it helped me have happy and positive thoughts about Cookie.

So in this article I have stories of Cookie and her inspiration, of the tortie lovers inspired by The Goddess including lovely photos of them, and I explain how I developed the hand-painted print including a little bit about block printing and testing fabric swatches, plus the new things I’m designing around my tortie girls as they continue to inspire.

In the studio

cat sleeping in rag basket

Cookie in her favorite bed, my rag basket in the studio, from October 2011.

Cookie always loved to be near me when I worked and she loved the “new” studio, heading there every day in her last few months for her long daily nap in the rag basket as you see in this photo; this was also a sketch in the months before I began posting them and a plan for a painting. I just loved to see her there.

The night Cookie died we were all in my studio and I painted new t-shirts for a while in an effort not to be too upset around her; me working on something and her watching me work was a lifelong activity we shared, and in her last few hours was likely a great comfort to her. For me, any creative work in my studio was relaxing and fulfilling and helped me to accept what was happening, and I’ve no doubt it was timed perfectly for me to be done and to catch that last truly conscious moment with her, when she looked into my eyes and put her paw comfortingly on my hand.

Cookie’s portrait

pastel painting of cat looking out sunny door

The Little Sunflower, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Because I paint commissioned portraits, people look for the portraits of my own cats. I will admit that I don’t have portraits of all the cats who’ve lived with me, though I have the missing ones planned.

But Cookie, my studio cat? Well, I painted one of her many years ago called “The Little Sunflower” (you’ll need to scroll down on this link). To anyone else, this may not be recognizable as Cookie, but because I adored this moment when Cookie had a sunbath every sunny morning, I loved her shape and her shadow, and the feeling of joy emanating from her when she quietly sat there, teaching me a lesson in yoga I’d yet to learn, it is the Cookie I took with me every day. In time, this led to her joining me outdoors, and anyone can see what a joy that was for both of us.

But I also have this block print, and while I exaggerated her shape for greater humor—Cookie was well-rounded but she was never that fat—her face, her expression and her markings are all the best portrait of Cookie I could ever have created; farther into this article I have a comparison between my reference photo and the print. After all these years, I still laugh when I look at her, the way a portrait should touch you.

Recent stories

Here are a few of the recent stories from people who contacted me about prints and tees in the past two months and who I thought about as I worked in my studio (authors have given me permission to print).

Rosie from the UK

tortie cat in the grass

Rosie from the United Kingdom

“I found your print of “The Goddess” and think she looks like my cat, Rosie…I live in the UK and was wondering if it was possible to get a print without the frame… If they’re not coloured, would it be possible to get one coloured like Rosie if I sent you a photo? I’m assuming not but thought I’d ask! (Of course I could, and the finished print is below.)

“We got Rosie when I was 11. My dad told me we were going to mum’s boss’s house to pick something up and asked if I wanted to go with him, and as Annie, the boss, had two ginger cats my sisters and I loved to play with I went. When I got there I saw a tiny purring little bundle of fluff and claws and played with her for about an hour. Then dad came in and told me to pick her up, we were going home!

“15 years later, and we’ve moved to another city. Rosie is still going strong, mum had a terrifying moment a few years ago when she felt a lump in Rosie’s belly and [went] to the vets with the instructions to not allow her to be in pain….The vet sent her back with a packet of diet cat food. She’s a wonderful purry old thing, with a beautiful temperament—she had to have one to grow up in a house of 3 little girls and all the neighbourhood kids!

tortoiseshell cat print

Polly as The Goddess

“Whilst we got Rosie as a kitten, Polly is the tortie who holds my heart. She was much more than a cat and was my constant companion for the two years we had her. I adored her, she adored me. Then one night she escaped, and my housemate forgot about her and didn’t let her in. I returned home to find her missing and we spent 4 days looking for her, I was distraught and couldn’t cope without her, but then we got a phone call from the vets, Polly was found by a lovely lady (who was also owned by a tortie – Mitzy) who realised how sick she was and took her to the vets. She lasted 2 days before dying of anti-freeze poisoning.”

Kitty

“This cat on the tee looks so much like my cat “Kitty”. She was a rescue cat..she just showed up at my door, and I took her in. I loved her..she slept with me..back to back, lol. But because of my allergy I needed to give her to a good home. I miss her so much..but it was something I needed to do.”

Kitty’s mom ordered a tee to remember Kitty.

tortoiseshell cat

SadieCat relaxing among the library books.

SadieCat

SadieCat’s mom bought a hand-colored print for herself as a birthday gift.

“…I especially love the pictures of the tortie cats. When I saw the block print of “The Goddess” my heart stopped. Three years ago I rescued a starving little kitten who soon became the love of my life. I couldn’t help myself from attaching a couple of pictures of SadieCat (seen here). Someplace I have a photo where she looks exactly like your print, but I couldn’t find it.

tortoiseshell cat face

Now there's a face!

“[Sadiecat] will only consent to being held when she’s in the mood and she’ll bite if you’re late with her dinner, but I love her and wouldn’t have her any other way. (Well, I could probably do without the biting). And thanks for…putting Sadie out there, I’m too shy. 🙂  She’s shy too, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

Visit the original post, The Goddess Truly Inspires, to read more stories and to add your own.

About creating “The Goddess”

I looked at Cookie on the kitchen floor, on her back with her toes curled, a defiant look on her face, and it happened—that moment of visualization. I could see a linoleum block print in black ink on white rice paper, hand-tinted with oranges and yellows for the patches in Cookie’s tortoiseshell fur and green for her eyes and pink for her nose. I would call the print “The Goddess” for the many women depicted with generous figures in sculpture and painting through the millennia.

Compare the photo and the print:

tortie cat on back

Reference photo for "The Goddess"

Cookie, "The Goddess" block print © B.E. Kazmarski

From the time I first described it to someone, who chuckled at the idea of the image, I knew Cookie was a winner. And through the years she has continued to bring people and stories to my display no matter where I am—everyone knows a cat who looks like Cookie!

cut linoleum block

The full block, of course it's in reverse.

Cookie inspired not only a design, but a particular style and technique and a new element to my creative life and my merchandise. With an inspiration that strong, I probably would have done it anyway, but I had other reasons as well. In the late 1990s having my sketches and paintings reproduced was still expensive and not always successful and I wanted artwork that I could reproduce easily and inexpensively myself so that I could have something more affordable than original artwork to sell in my displays.

closeup of linoleum block

Closeup of Cookie's face in linoleum block; the light areas are the smooth surface that holds the ink.

I’d worked with small linoleum block prints for years and always enjoyed the medium, but this time I decided I wanted something larger and I might actually create a series—which led to “The Roundest Eyes” depicting my other tortie, Kelly, a few months later. Between the two, Cookie gets more notice and stories, but Kelly sells more t-shirts and prints…we just never let Cookie know that.

Capturing all Cookie’s freckles and spots and stripes was indeed a challenge, especially when I went to actually cut them out of the surface of the linoleum block.

printed fabrics

I have a lot of painting to do.

New items

colors on fabric

Success! The washed strip of muslin with thinned fabric paints passes the wash and dry test.

Why does this scrap of muslin stained with orange and yellow make me so happy? Because I’ve finally found the new coloring for my Tortie Girls prints!

Because I hand-paint the color into these prints I print them in oil-base ink, even on paper, because water-base ink is totally water soluble, like tempera paint. On paper I can use watercolor, but on the tees and other textiles I have to use a permanent dye of some sort. I want the wearer to be able to wash these without too much fuss, but in order to be able to create and sell them I don’t want to have to wash the fabric to set the dye, then iron the items for presentation, in part because of the oil-base ink and also because washing and ironing is very time-consuming. In creating merchandise for sale I need to strike a balance between my time and materials and what I charge for a product.

Years ago I found a cold-set dye that I could paint on just like my watercolors. I mixed it up about ten years ago and kept it in an airtight glass jar in the dark, but I’m nearly out of it. I created the tees mentioned above because tees are popular, but I’m not a t-shirt person so I’ve also printed a slew of other textiles through the years. Last year I printed the placemats, table coverings and even pillowcovers and appliques for bags you see above, but did not have enough dye to paint them so they have sat, waiting, since last May.

color swatches on cloth

First color test with drawing ink.

swatches of color

Letting it air dry.

washed cloth

Fail!

After several tries with drawing ink, above—which stains everything it touches and won’t wash out when you want it to, but washed right out when I tested it—various fabric dye substances including full-strength from the bottle and a strong mix of powder in various brands, and various paints and markers, none could both look like washy watercolors and stand up to the wash test.

color swatches on fabric

Second color test.

fabrics

Second color test air drying.

faded colors on fabric

Second fail! Not as bad as the first.

Until now, using Jacquard fabric paint and screen-print ink. And now I can follow through with all the new products I’d planned last year featuring The Goddess and the little girl with The Roundest Eyes—you’ll see them soon.

two black cats with art materials

As always, Feline Inspection and Quality Control; Mewsette and Jelly Bean have to approve as well.

Above are square muslin tablecloths to be painted and either hemmed or with a decorative stitch added around the edge and fringed, canvas placemats to be painted and possibly stitched, and simply printed squares of muslin ready to be painting and stitched onto bags, pillows, even clothing.

I love to know that I’m sharing Cookie forever with the block print of her, and while some day I’ll do the painting I’m visualizing as well as other paintings of her with other cats, this block print will always be the image I remember.

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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.


Valentine Tabbies Note Cards: Sneak Preview

block printed note cards

Block-printed Valentine note cards!

I had such fun today printing little note cards for Valentine’s Day I couldn’t wait to show them off! These two are from my series “Tabbies”, “Sunshine and Flowers” and “Let Me Clean You Up” and have always had a sweet and cuddly feel to me. I’d always printed these in natural earth tones but have been planning to print them in bright colors on brightly-colored paper as well.

These are printed in magenta on flourescent pink and blue card stock, are blank inside, and I have a rubber stamp to print the necessary information on the back. They are 4.25″ x 5.5″, blank inside and come with a coordinating envelope—I couldn’t get the ones I wanted that matched the paper stock, so I have to settle for ones that are more pastel, but they actually look nice.

I’ll finish up these sets, and I’ll also have a few other cards to offer as well. I’ll be posting this week.

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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.


Tortie Girls Block Print Tee Shirts

The Goddess block-printed t-shirt

Cookie, "The Goddess" block print © B.E. Kazmarski

I’ve had several requests about my tortie girls t-shirts lately, so I thought I’d add the ones I have back to my Etsy site. While I am low on sizes I had put them all aside until I could print more and have all sizes available. But considering I print these in oil-based ink and clean up with turpentine I usually wait until I can have the windows open or I can print outdoors, which is March at the earliest. So for now, they are either very large or very small.

Read about the tees and about creating these prints on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

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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.


Three New Sketches Available on Etsy

conte sketch of three cats

Trzy Koty, conté crayon © B.E. Kazmarski

I’ve added three more daily sketches to my Etsy shop. The choices are based on feedback and I got quite a lot last week, so if there’s a sketch you’d like to see in my Etsy shop, please speak up!

Above is Trzy Koty, done in conte crayon on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/24/11. Cookie, Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine watch the evening fall on Christmas Eve. Sketched in red conté for the holiday. “Trzy koty” is Polish for “three cats”. Conté is a very special drawing medium, thinking of the sketches of da Vinci and Michelangelo. Not that I’m at that level, but sometimes I feel the connection as I move the conte over the paper and see what appears.

sketch of cat drinking

Cookie Has a Drink, graphite pencil and colored pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Cookie Has a Drink

This is Cookie Has a Drink, done in graphite drawing pencil and wax colored pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/20/11.

Cookie has a nice long drink many times a day, and her little shape over the water bowl is so very familiar. Because she approaches the water bowl in my studio from the same angle and even holds her tail the same way, I could do this sketch in shifts, first her outline, then her dark areas, then to reinforce the fact that she is a tortoiseshell calico I added orange and yellow colored pencil to fill the color and blue in the bowl.

And I’m so glad I have readers like you to share it with; it’s one of the problems with working at home with cats, the simply roll their eyes and go back to sleep when I ask them what they think of what I’ve done.

sketch of cat stretching

The Little Panther

The Little Panther

This is The Little Panther, done in felt-tip ink drawing pen on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/17/11.

Mimi has a good stretch on the bathroom windowsill. She is only 6.5 pounds, just a petite little girl, compared to her children and even the tortie girls, but she is sleek and black and graceful, just like a real panther.

I love the varied line quality this pen offers. It’s one of many with a brush-style tip actually shaped like a thin round paintbrush. I tend to press too hard and wear these down so I don’t get fine lines anymore, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well these pens hold up. I have them in several brands, and an illustrator friend recommended another to me. When I’m looking for this line quality in an illustration I typically use a metal crow-quill nib in an old wooden handle, much like the ones map makers used to use, and dip it into the ink of my choice to draw. I’ve always felt I had more control that way, but for quick sketches I don’t want to mess with a bottle of ink! Often I’m standing in the middle of a room and have nowhere to put anything down so I’m holding my sketchpad and all the materials I want to have at hand. I’d be wearing the ink, and so would my house.

Grape Jelly Bean, the most popular sketch yet, needs a unique frame which I have planned, and perhaps I’ll post next week.

Other sketches available

All the sketches in this post are currently available on Etsy, though you can request any I’ve done by browsing them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“.

pencil sketch of three cats

Three Cats, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

This was the first in my postings of daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of  Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe curled together on the bed. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.

pencil sketch of abstract cats

Reticulated Kitties

This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.

Read more about Daily Sketches

Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.

See other Daily Sketches

I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

________________________

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 Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation

pencil sketch of three cats eating

Dinnertime!, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

What wonderful feedback I’ve had on my daily sketches—I am so glad I determined to renew this practice for myself and also share it here. Creating a small sketch every day may seem no big task but it can be difficult to arrange and easy to avoid in the midst of other things to do.

Above is Dinnertime! from December 7, Kelly, Mimi and Cookie enjoying dinner; morning is the usual time for sketches as warm-ups, but I had no time that day. I’ve known I wanted to get this sketch, though, because mealtime is such a special time in the lives of anyone who lives with animals. I knew I’d have a limited time since they get their bowls before the young kitties do and the three girls don’t waste any time once they get to it. I had my sketchbook and pencil on the sink and as soon as I set down the bowls for the kids I got right to the sketch.

Creating and sharing

Actually sharing the sketches with others in public is something else altogether because they are little warm-ups and often experiments with different media and therefore aren’t always my best work. It’s intimidating to share something I’m not sure about and may not like, but it’s also a challenge and I like that.

Like Three Cats in a Line from December 15, for instance. It took me a few tries to warm up so I had the control to follow my eye with my hand and create one single line without stopping or lifting my pen that approximated Mewsette, Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine. I’m actually not happy with this sketch but it was the first one where I decided I was warmed up enough and followed the line all the way through. The daily sketch also about being honest with my viewers that this is just a quick sketch done from life, not a practiced work from a still image, and I shouldn’t be cautious about experimenting a little bit now and then because the sketch may not work well. I should draw what I’m visualizing. That’s what the sketches are all about. Experiment, see how it works, and try something new as well as plain old practice in media I’ve used all my life.

line drawing of three cats

Trzy Koty (Three Cats, Polish), ink © B.E. Kazmarski

And I’m so glad I have readers like you to share it with; it’s one of the problems with working at home with cats, the simply roll their eyes and go back to sleep when I ask them what they think of what I’ve done.

But I treasure all the comments readers have given me, including one that compared me to Clare Turlay Newberry—I will sincerely try to live up to that one!

Adding to Etsy and Donating to Shelters

I have no intention of keeping all these sketches, in fact it’s my goal to distribute as many as possible as my way of encouraging the appreciation of original art done by hand, not just to own but to study. I had always sold a certain number of matted and framed sketches when I’d done them in the past (though I kept the ones most dear to me), but I’d also made them available as donation items for shelters and rescues to sell or auction to benefit animals.

Each of the sketches I’ve done is available, but I’ve been using the feedback I get on sketches to determine which ones to add to the Daily Sketches section in my shop on Etsy. You can not only purchase these, but as I donate them to my local shelters and rescues for their benefit events, you can also request one for your own shelter event by sending me a message on Etsy, as well as promotional information for the event; I will ship the chosen sketch directly to the shelter for the event, or if the event is a virtual event, I will ship directly to the winner.

sketch of cats bathing

Brotherly Bath

Above is Brotherly Bath from December 14. Giuseppe and Jelly Bean wrestle every single day at least once in the morning. I’ve been trying to catch their wrestling matches, but I’ll have to pick up some serious speed in sketching before I can capture enough to block it in and finish. But their wrestling matches always go through a session of “aggressive bathing” where they are still smacking each other and tend to tackle each other but pin the other down and lick them instead of biting. Then all wrestling sessions end up in a bath, usually Giuseppe bathing Jelly Bean, to the Bean’s obvious enjoyment.

A Last-minute Gift and Shipping Before Christmas

My shipping is based on FedEx rates because I’ve found that’s the best way to ship any artwork larger than 8″ x 10″ using their special box, and they really are the fastest. At any time of the year, I don’t want my artwork riding around in too many trucks or sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

sketch of black cat from the back

Giuseppe from the back, charcoal © B.E. Kazmarski

Quite the landscape, Giuseppe From the Back from December 13, when he crouches with his hips and elbows in the air. It’s a posture I’m sure everyone who lives with a cat finds familiar.

I initially intended to sketch him facing completely away from me, but he turned his head and I liked his profile, that long  sloping forehead and regal nose.

Other sketches available

All the sketches in this post are currently available on Etsy, though you can request any I’ve done by browsing them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“.

pencil sketch of three cats

Three Cats, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

This was the first in my postings of daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of  Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe curled together on the bed. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.

pencil sketch of abstract cats

Reticulated Kitties

This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.

Read more about Daily Sketches

Read my initial post about creating and posting my daily sketches.

See other Daily Sketches

I post my sketches here, and you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches“. You can find the ones available for sale by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

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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 Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches

pencil sketch of three cats

Three Cats, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

You’ve all seen my finished artwork, now here is a chance to see the underpinnings of that—the humble, simple sketch.

This is one of my daily sketches of my cats, done in pencil on drawing paper entitled Three Cats, signed and dated 12/3/11 of three of my kitties curled together on the bed. From the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Giuseppe. I could picture this one as soon as I saw them, and it was all I could to to sneak soundlessly away so I didn’t wake them to get my drawing pencil and pad.

I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day as a warm-up to my aesthetic senses. I’d fallen away from this for a while just in the busy-ness of every day, but I’ve been happily at it again consistently enough that I can post one nearly every day as well as my daily photos. Both of these activities give me the incentive to do more and different work, to experiment, to be inventive and “in the moment” with the subject and also with my ideas, something that’s rare in my daily tasks of commercial art. In addition, I can share it instead of finding these things years later in old sketch books.

steinlen book

Steinlen Cats

And I was also inspired to keep sketching cats and to share them by my copy of Steinlein Cats, a Dover large-size paperback including just pages from Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen’s sketchbooks featuring his sketches of his own cats. A few of his poster designs from before the turn of the last century are iconic, as I mentioned in a post about a photo of mine that reminded me of one of his compositions.

And rather than keep them all to myself, I’ll be selling a few of them as well. What we hang on our walls is extremely personal, but I’m a big proponent of having at least one piece of original art that was created by hand, and sketches in their simplicity offer such an intimate relationship with the artist, sharing a moment and something touched by another human. I offer the signed sketch alone for $25.00 for you to frame, and all will be fairly small and fit into a pre-made frame. I will also offer to sell it matted and also matted and framed. For examples, visit my new gallery in my Etsy shop entitled Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

And before I go on, let me explain that pencil is phenomenally difficult to photograph or scan; you may see shadings on the paper, but just the drawn lines are there. I may have to invest in a better scanner again.

pencil sketch of abstract cats

Reticulated Kitties

This is called “Reticulated Kitties“, done in pencil on drawing paper, signed and dated 12/1/11 of four of  my kitties piled up on my desk while I’m trying to work. On top is Mimi, on the bottom from the left is Jelly Bean, Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

This is drawn in a style I learned as “reticulation” where the entire drawing is done in one line, sometimes retracing a path to get to another point, using loops to make their toes, for instance, and zig zags to create detail and texture, but never lifting the pencil from the paper until the drawing was done. I was inspired to this by the cats themselves and their seemingly endless flowing selves as they piled on each other, though I did cheat a little and do a light sketch underneath as a basis for my one big line.

I had also intended to use a colored pencil, or even layers or shadings of colored pencil, but grabbed the old Ebony drawing pencil instead. That’s okay, there will be time for the other technique I’m visualizing.

I have a small pouch of art materials and a few various sized sketchbooks available in the house and out. Usually, these sketches are done in pencil, my first and favorite medium, though sometimes it’s charcoal, ink, colored pencil, ink and brush, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, the greatest challenge to keep it quick and not get caught up in details, let the idea flow onto the paper.

Most often, the subjects are my cats because they are such willing models (if they like to eat they’d better be), though sometimes I’ll also wander afield, literally, and sketch in my yard or anywhere I go for errands.

pencil sketch of cat at window

Cat At Window

This one from December 4 isn’t offered yet, partly because I’m not sure what to do with it and this is sometimes the quandary of the daily sketches. There were three cats looking out the window when I began, two left and Mewsette, who is here, moved, so I had a pile of guidelines, then went in another direction, adding in the patterned rug I have on the tabletop just as an experiment, and then also the branches outside the window. But it’s 11″ x 14″ (minus the tabbed edges on top where I pulled it from the tablet), and I just feel that’s too big. I’ve often cropped an original drawing down to the part of it I like, and in this case I like just this so it may be what I offer:

pencil sketch of cat at window

Cat at Window, cropped, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I’ve designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using other feline daily sketches and also scenes from nature. Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I’m designing. I can easily create a digital file to keep if I want to use them for production, and still sell the original for someone else to enjoy.

They are all on Etsy

You can be certain I’ll be posting my sketches here with a link to the specifi art on my Etsy site, but you can also browse them here in the menu by choosing “Daily Images>Daily Sketches” or by visiting my Etsy shop in Daily Sketches, Cats etc.

The Artist’s Life Series

Click here for more articles in “The Artist’s Life” series featuring my influences, inspirations, new work and new products.

________________________

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.