For every purchase of one dozen “Star of Wonder” or “Can We Get That Thing?” holiday cards for $20, I will donate $10 to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society so that the dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets, birds and any other animal can have a brighter holiday season with your help!
For details, visit my Friendraising page for WPHS.
And read about the inspiration for the cards here.
I used to be hard on people who “dumped” pets at shelters, but you can’t generalize reasons why pets end up there nor the people who surrender them, so now instead of getting angry I put my energy into creating things that help people love animals all the more, helping shelters find good and loving permanent homes for the animals in their care.
About the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society
The WPHS is an “open-door” shelter helping animals in need in Pittsburgh and Allegheny county since 1874.
I prefer the term “open door” for a shelter which will take in any animal in need at any time because I know the alternative to a shelter is a drop off in a park or isolated woods or some lonely back road for a cat or dog or rabbit—I’ve rescued plenty of them. I have also seen WPHS through the years find every new and ingenious way of getting their animals out in front of the public and into a permanent home, and I know the costs of running a shelter that serves over 13,000 animals per year is huge, only accomplished with the help of donations large and small. And they are apparently wise with their money; Charity Navigator has designated the Western PA Humane Society as a Four-Star charity, its highest ranking for efficient use of donations, five years in a row!
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.
These designs don’t involve cats, but they do show our backyard birds which many readers here at The Creative Cat enjoy. I’ve posted an article about them on Portraits of Animals Marketplace.
The feline silhouette once again! In addition to two new silhouette designs, I’ve also designed a few art cards and revived holiday cards from the past decade, including a couple of block prints. I’m featuring the feline-themed cards here, but I also have new nature-, winter- and back yard bird-themed designs using my photographs, illustrations and artwork; I’ll post a link to the articles when I post them on my Marketplace blog. This year, all my cards are 5″ x 7″ to save myself the trouble of running all over creation to find envelopes in eight different sizes.
I’ve been planning illustrations with silhouettes such as these ever since I realized the Fantastic Four were meant to stay with me. If you’ve read other articles about their history with me, you may remember that I kept them for their first year, but being a family of black cats they were difficult to adopt out—shelters already had enough black cats! But I’d been watching them since they were tiny fuzzballs, and as I watched them grow into curious, lithe and active cats I also thoroughly enjoyed observing their changing silhouettes, taking many reference photos along the way.
I did decide they needed to stay with me for art reasons, and anyone who doesn’t believe me in that only needs to look at my designs such as these cards!
This was my most recent holiday card, from 2009. I took the photo in 1983, just a few months after I got my first camera and I was only shooting black and white so I could learn how to use the camera. Even though it was black and white film, it was processed in a one-hour development machine intended for color and the black and white ended up sepia, which I really liked better than when I had it printed in black and white. It always looked like an older image and the sepia really reinforces that.
The holidays are a time for celebration as well as a time for reflection and remembering.
An Old Memory
Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?
Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!
I sketched this little oil pastel work as soon as I came home from work when I still worked a day job. The idea had been building in my imagination all day, and it was all I could do to get it on paper–I could barely work fast enough. I used it as my holiday card in 1999.
I offer this as a framed print and also as a greeting card.
This is a linoleum block print I designed to use for my 1996 holiday card. Busy little stylized kitties in spots, stripes and solids climb and run through the words.
I usually use white or cream rice paper with gold and silver flecks to print this, but that background didn’t scan very well so I’ve left it out. I often sell this as limited edition framed holiday print and also sell limited edition greeting cards, but I’ve given it a break this year while I’m reorganizing my block-printing area.
Printed in a color other than red or green (like black on white), it works for an all-year image, as I noticed when I forgot to take down the print I had made for myself as a sample. It’s always a meowy cat’s mess around here.
Kelly pauses in the stark pastel light of a winter afternoon through the big north window in my studio, absolutely still in contemplation as she watches birds flit about at the feeders or Buddy the squirrel making a fool of himself. Kelly is petite for an adult cat, making the window seem vast, and the light is so diffuse that nothing has a hard edge. My holiday card in 2003, but a year-round favorite.
Over the years, my cats have inspired many, many images, from realistic pastel paintings to block prints, silly images to serious, and I’ve even done a few Christmas dogs. You’ve already seen Cookie, full of holiday cheer, and beginning today I’m going to feature a holiday image every day.