Sophie in Evening Contemplation

black and white cat with curtain

Sophie in Evening Contemplation.

Just a nice photo of Sophie from long ago which I desaturated and applied a diffuse glow filter and a violet photo filter. Sophie knew just what to do with a lace curtain.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time steals across the meadows of my heart…

From “Stardust”, Hoagy Carmichael, Mithcell Parish.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Giuseppe and a Stink Bug

black cat paw and stinkbug

The stinkbug appears.

With some amount of disinterest, Giuseppe, or at least his paw and his big nose, follow a stink bug across my desk, eliminating the possibility of me getting any work done for at least ten minutes.

black cat paw and stinkbug

The paw begins the pursuit.

black cat paw and stinkbug

And again.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Move along, little stinkbug.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Hurry up.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Under there.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Now stay there.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Wait a minute.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Now it's gone.

black cat paw and stinkbug

Now what do I do?

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Don’t Touch That Mailbox!

cat looking out window above mailbox

My neighbor's calico cat makes sure her mail is delivered properly!

I often see my neighbor’s calico kitty looking out the windows of the enclosed front porch as I walk by on my way to Main Street. She’s truly a neighborhood guard cat! Finally the light was right on an overcast morning to catch her photo without glare on the glass, and it turns out to be one of the days when she’s guarding the mailbox, my favorite pose. I’d think twice before messing with her!

Of course, she probably has her buddy the serious brown dog, who I also often see in the porch, do her dirty work, as she seems like a true Queen Cat. I can just imagine her telling the dog, “Of with her head!” I’m on foot, I’d better get away while I can.

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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.


Kelly With Grapes and Apples

view of cat with server plate and fruits

Another Kelly Still Life.

Kelly is on a roll with these late afternoon baths on the cabinet in front of the window. She is lovely in all her poses, long legs dancing around, tail curving gracefully, her very shape a focal point.

Here I really did try to get one of her similar to Kelly with Squashes and perhaps even Kelly with Apples and Scale, prowling around the kitchen with my camera to get just the right angle. Because it’s not just the shot but what’s in the background and I really didn’t want my crusty ancient refrigerator with all the refrigerator magnets, or the cars parked on the street seen through the window, and the sun had to be shining on the green compote with the fruit, and shadows had to fall across the wood, but mostly Kelly had to be at the right angle to the sun, in one of her interesting and elegant shapes, partly in silhouette and partly illuminated. And the center of my kitchen is dominated by the big white cabinet and a table and chairs so I have a little path and can’t quickly get from here to there to catch Kelly in a classic pose as she twirls or my movements startle her. And then one of the other cats wants in the still life and it all falls apart. So if anyone finds it difficult to get interesting photos of their cat, they are absolutely correct, it’s often nearly impossible, but very much worth it for one good shot.

I couldn’t get the sideways angle I wanted, so I took one from above because the scene was actually quite interesting from my viewpoint. I am not this tall. I held the camera (that big DSLR) above my head, pointed, let it self-focus and hoped for the best. It’s nice.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.

 


Did I Hear There Was Milk? 2011

tortoiseshell cat curved in bath

Graceful Kelly

Funny, when I looked at this photo the first thing I thought was, “If I saw Kelly like this today, this would be a daily sketch.” Aha, I see a little farther into this that I was getting the daily sketch urge this far back in 2011, yet it took me until December to actually get around to it. Glad I did. As usual, I have a cat to thank for one of my creative efforts.

Kelly shapes herself into a graceful curve in mid-bath as I open the refrigerator door.

I don’t give my cats milk very often, but Kelly gets on these kicks where she demands it whenever I open the refrigerator door. I don’t usually give it to her, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask because every now and then, on my silly whim, out comes the little milk dish and Kelly gets a treat.

But Kelly is just so pretty here bathing gracefully in front of the plants. In fact, Kelly is graceful no matter what she does.

And I think it may be time for me to grab that sketchbook as often as the camera since I’ve been visualizing sketches and paintings in greater detail every day. I used to sketch something each day, often it was my cats though it might be an interior scene or something in my yard, usually in pencil, but sometimes in other media, just to keep my fingers in the mix. So much has happened in the last few months it’s been difficult to focus on quick sketches, which demand more attention than larger works, though for shorter periods of time.

So I decided to use a little help from PhotoShop to see what Kelly would look like in a rough, impressionistic sketch. I used the same photo as above, applied the “dry brush” filter and made the brush strokes fairly large. But the filters in PhotoShop don’t produce a realistic effect. If I was teaching I would grade the products of PS filters around the mid-range, but then it’s a computer making the decisions, and creative effort is one area of human endeavor where a computer will never produce work as individual and insightful as a human being.

For instance, I work in pastel, but I’ve never seen anyone produce a pastel sketch or painting anything like what PS produces with its “rough pastels” filter, but the “dry brush” filter is somewhat like what I’d visualize in pastel. But it looked a little dull so I also had to fool around with the contrast and brightness, and I also added a 35% deep yellow “photo filter” to warm it up a bit.

Still, I want highlights and deep rich areas, and I want to see orange in Kelly and green in the plants and it just wasn’t happening, even when I went back and adjusted the original photo. I think I’d also take the red from the medallion at the top and from the bricks and add it elsewhere in the painting so everything wasn’t in basic earth tones. Those are the artistic judgments I’d make before I even started, and it never ceases to amaze me how far I wander from my reference images while painting, and yet the finished painting is perfectly acceptable. Guess I’d better get out the pastels. In the time I’d spent on this I could have had a passable sketch done! But still, this gets the little painterly cells firing in my brain. And right now Kelly is over there meowing for her dinner, so I’d better get to it.

Yes, I’d better get to it!

photoshop effect on photo

A painterly version of the same scene.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Brothers: 2011

two black cats in red cat cube

What did we ever do without the cat cube?

Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine cuddle inside the red cat cube.

It never ceases to amaze me how these two—or any two of these four—can be totally involved in a fur-flying, knock-down, drag-out fight one minute, then cuddling and bathing each other the next. I guess they have these things figured out…

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


He’s Back!

black cat with surprised look

OMG, 320 Cat is back!

Guess who is out on the porch?! It’s 320 Cat, and he’s looking in the door! My brothers are all puffed and swatting each other and leaping around because he’s out there, and my mom wants to chase him away! I just don’t know what to do!

My, he’s rather handsome, especially the way he stares down my brothers…

Don’t know just what Mewsette is thinking, she’s a more difficult read than her brothers, and she often gets those big round eyes over nothing I can determine. I think she has a healthy inner life and a vivid imagination.

But where she’d normally be fighting it out with her brothers at the door and windows at the invasion of a cat on our porch, when 320 Cat appears she sits back and really isn’t sure what to do. We’ll let her brothers fight for her honor and her mom protect her old turf while Mewsette tries to sort out her feelings. So far, we haven’t found where 320 Cat lives, if anywhere.

black cat sitting on steps with big round eyes

Mewsette sits back to watch the show.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Four Faces

four black cats sleeping

The Fantastic Four having a good nap.

Could anyone pose this? No, they really just like to cuddle. They gathered one by one, each tucking into the ones who were there already. Starting on the left, it’s Jelly Bean, then Mr. Sunshine sneaking a peek at me, then Giuseppe completely tucked into his brother, and then Mewsette, who was there first. Still sleeping off yesterday’s mouse incident?

I used a little bit of a ocean ripple filter in PhotoShop around the edges since there were a few confusing things around them, like a framed sketch leaning against the file cabinet and a box with text on it, too distracting. I may get back to my photo edges; I used the heck out of them when it was first a possibility in PhotoShop in the 90s and I over did it, just got tired of them. Now I miss them.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Wile E. Mouse

three black cats looking under book case

Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine stare under the book case where something is making scratching noises, Jelly Bean is skeptical.

I think the natural selection of capable kitties has been removing less-capable mice from the pool of genetic material that figures out how to get into my house.

We had a mouse invasion, at least one, though I never presume there is only one, and I still don’t know how they get in. With my old and handmade foundation built from spare parts there could be a space between stones or bricks anywhere in the foundation or even in the spot where the house meets the foundation, and they develop all the time. I really don’t want mice in the house, so I really do hope my hapless felines can follow their natural instincts and chase around a real mouse after all that practice with toys.

three black cats with book case

Mr. Sunshine prepares to leap behind the furniture, Giuseppe watches intently, Jelly Bean is still waiting, for something.

The mouse entered some time on Sunday morning, and the five black cats chased it around for the next 24 hours. Kelly used to sit in the basement and wait for mice, and to my dismay enjoyed long and creative torture sessions (Cookie would take the mouse from her and kill it), and a few times Kelly has fearlessly joined in with the black cats and showed them a thing or two, having earned her keep that way in younger days, but she left this one to them.

But this mouse managed to elude five cats bent on its capture. They had it cornered behind every piece of furniture in the house, and while I know they caught up with it here and there it managed to get away from them, only to run behind yet another piece of furniture and chitter at them. I went to bed and while I am accustomed to each of the five black cats taking their places around and on me, not one joined me—no Mewsette nosing under the covers next to me, Mimi’s tiny weight on my hip, the boys wrestling themselves to sleep on my legs. Some time during the night the mouse ended up in my room as they actually awakened me with chasing it, and I heard it chittering at them again.

four black cats looking out the door

Setting the mouse free on a cold rainy morning.

I did not join them in the chase because I am a human and am therefore not a good mouser. I could chase it all day and I’d never get near it. They stood a better chance, so I left it up to them.

I awoke alone, without the Torturous Tag Team of Giuseppe happily stomping all over me and tickling my face with his whiskers and Mr. Sunshine pulling the covers off me and pulling out one of my hands to gnaw on my knuckles, Mimi looking at me disapprovingly. I heard them running around on the stairs and then in my studio next door to my bedroom. I walked in to see at least four of them with a very angry mouse chittering at them from the corner behind my easel; I guess they were trying to hit with with multiple death ray stares or it was making one heck of an impassioned speech about the meaning of its own life that it had them all entranced. No one paid a bit of attention to me.

two black cats at the door

I had to convince Mewsette and Giuseppe to come upstairs to breakfast.

Eventually, the mouse made a break for it and after some chasing Jelly Bean, who had apparently been conserving his energy for the big event, caught it and ran down the stairs with all of us in pursuit, including Kelly. Where was a video camera then? I couldn’t even get any good photos, too many black cats in the dark of the early morning.

All the way to the basement where he let it go, then caught it again and I opened the basement door and held him near it, gave him a shake, he dropped the mouse and off it ran. Don’t know if the poor thing will make it, and I’m not sure I want that particular set of strong and wily genetics to be reproducing with a vengeful eye toward my household, but if it was still alive after 24 hours being chased by five cats, and maybe six if Kelly joined in at some point, it deserved release. Some cats had a hard time letting the situation go, waiting by the door as if they thought the mouse would come back to play some more.

But they spent the rest of the day sleeping off the day of activity. I’ve referred to them below as a “gob pile”, and those from coal country may recognize that term as referring to the heap of overburden and waste material separated from the coal during coal mining. So that’s what they were today, a heap of black waste material. But they’re a lot prettier than real gobs are. And I’m so glad I didn’t have to spend 24 hours chasing a mouse.

pile of black cats sleeping

The Black Cat Gob Pile.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.


Suddenly Spring: 2011

tortie cat in greens

Cookie is in the green.

Last year, April 23 was a rainy day just like today, but the forget-me-nots were just getting started. I’ve been looking forward to this picture of Cookie, along with the Queen Bee, below, on the picnic table.

Cookie sits amid the sprouting grass and forget-me-nots, deciding where in the yard to explore first.

Just a week ago Cookie’s speckled tortie coat still blended into the background of dormant grass, leaves and twigs and I would often lose track of her when she stood still. Now I have no problem at all as everything has greened up in just the past week and her camouflage has lost its effectiveness.

We’ve been checking the progress on what we planted in the garden last month, and this week the peas finally began sprouting, and while the spinach and lettuce had sent up a few scouts earlier they sprouted in earnest this week and began to grow. The asparagus sent up some spears and the violets, along with the forget-me-nots, added some color to the greenery. Cookie and I are glad our back yard is finally starting to look familiar, and it’s warm enough to take our walk!

And Cookie got to take a little rest on our picnic table, one of her favorite spots. Now it’s in dappled sun but when the trees leaf out it’s pretty much in shade. We took a little time to remember Namir; the three of us spent quite a few mornings and afternoons out there, and the picnic table was always a favorite spot for observation.

And with that, it’s officially the outdoor season.

tortie cat on picnic table

Cookie is ready to supervise my work.

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Unless I have linked the photo to something else, which is rare with daily photos, you can click the photo to see a larger version. I save them at 1000 pixels maximum dimension, and at that size the photos are nearly twice the dimension and you can see more detail in many of the photos I post. Please remember if you download or share, my name and the link back to the original photo should always appear with it.

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.