Giuseppe makes sure he gets ALL the attention from our visitor. Perhaps he wants to be sketched by Chaz and have other black kitties hidden in him?
I featured Chaz a few months ago in Creating With Cats. He has had hidden animal drawings featuring cats for years (guy knows what’s good for him, featuring cats first, and in more than one drawing), but he also showed me a few hidden dog drawings in different breeds he’ll be featuring at the upcoming dog show and they are very clever, I really liked them, especially the Boxer.
Chaz is working on a new idea for his hidden-animal ink sketches and stopped over for me to help him set up the art for the project. While I had my hands and attention on the keyboard, Mimi, Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine all twirled around acting as cute as could be and got their share of attention, but Giuseppe decided to get on Chaz’s lap, thereby being closest to both hands.
Being on the road with shows most of the year, Chaz doesn’t have any pets of his own, but the big ginger neighborhood cat, Sammie, stops by for a visit every so often, hangs out for a while, then asks to go back outside. It looked to me as if he was used to petting cats all day long.
So will we see hidden black kitties in Chaz’s next drawings? Guess we’ll have to see! If so, perhaps I’ll feature those nice dog drawings and a few other new animals…
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.
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.
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.
If you are of a certain age you will …well, you may remember the rock group “Santana” and the cover of their eponymous album, “Santana”. This cover featured an ink line drawing of a roaring lion which, on closer inspection, was actually composed of sketches of many other subjects worked together to create the features of the lion’s face and mane. You’ll just have to look it up, because any further description ruins the surprise.
As both an animal artist and photographer and a commercial artist and designer, my cats are my muse, even if they aren’t the subject of my creative endeavor.
Ingrid King, author of Buckley’s Story, has featured me again on Buckley’s Story in “The Creative Process” as I get to offer my understanding of how I create a piece of artwork, writing or a poem, and how my cats have been my muse and encouragement all along, even in commercial art.
While you are there, take the time to read about Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher and about Ingrid’s holistic approach to animal wellness, and make sure you visit The Conscious Cat as well.
I met Ingrid King at the Cat Writer’s Association annual conference in November 2009 and heard her speak about her book. From her loss of Buckley, a joyful and affectionate tortoiseshell cat who was diagnosed with heart disease after only two years, came an entire book, written immediately after Buckley’s passing. Since then it has received glowing reviews in the pet and pet loss industries.
I featured Ingrid and Buckley’s Story in my series Pet Loss in the First Person in the article entitled “Turning Loss into Creativity with Ingrid King and Buckley’s Story”. Ingrid tells how her career wandered around, forming into a helping, healing profession until Buckley joined, then left her life. She began writing in the midst of her grief, with a goal of having the book available to others by the first anniversary of Buckley’s passing, like a promise kept.