Mail Call

painting of cat

Warm Winter Sun, oil pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Well, The Creative Cat has won a Certificate of Excellence in the Cat Writers Association (CWA) Communications Contest!Thank you, Namir, for inspiring me to do this!

And so has Great Rescues as a gift book, as well as the illustrations and the notebook paper, “22 Cats” in the back of the book!

two black cats looking out window

Mimi and Mr. Sunshine keep an eye on the birds.

In addition, and article, a photo and an illustration have won, “On Dying and Death, and Remembrance” in an edited version and “Birdwatching“, both published in Meow, the newsletter for the Cat Writers’ Association, and “Peaches“, the portrait I painted last year for Ingrid King and then published as one of my set of Feline Art Cards.

painting of dilute calico with amaryllis


The award letter reads that “the standards for winning a Certificate of Excellence are very high and this award is a recognition of your outstanding work.” Also, winners of the coveted CWA Muse(TM) Medallion are chosen from among the Certificate of Excellence winners, all of which will be announced at the annual conference in November.

What a wonderful ending to a somewhat frustrating week! It’s like a reward, and all the thanks go to my family of cats, yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s.

Read more about the Cat Writers’ Association and their annual Communications Contest. If you are a writer, illustrator, videographer, artist or in any way create public communications about cats, please read up on the organization and consider becoming a member!

Congratulations to all the other winners as well, since we’ll probably all get our packages at about the same time!


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.

How Illustrations Are Born

John Manders' revised illustration for "Pete"

John Manders' revised illustration for "Pete"

Have you ever wondered how illustrators come up with the images they’ve rendered? I grew up studying cartoons and illustrations trying to figure out how they got from “here” to “there” and learned an immense amount just in studying published works.

John Manders, a friend of mine and fellow member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, is a long-time illustrator of children’s books and has captured the personalities and features of many species of animals in his illustration library.

A recent blog post shows how he created the characters for a children’s book by author Jenny Tripp entitled Pete and Fremont (linked in his blog post). He includes reference photos and a few versions of each character, and it’s fascinating to see how the image grew.

Enjoy “Character Designs” on “John Mander’s Blog”.

Farewell to an Artist Friend’s Bird


An artist/illustrator friend of mine lost his bird today, a real character who appeared in many of his illustrations.

Speaking as one whose cats are inspirations and models as well as members of my family I can tell you there’s an extra pang of loss, but joy when you see the images of them you created, and know that others will see them too.

Here is his blog post: A Very Sad Day.

Also, be sure to visit his website at You’ll see Sherman and John’s other pets in this opening illustration of his studio, and you many even recognize some of his books. Many include animals, and I love to share the animal art of  other artists.