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.


Do You Have to Do That Right Now?

two black cats on desk

"Do you have to do that right now?"

Mr. Sunshine looks at Jelly Bean with annoyance and mild disgust as JB happily flops down, flips his leg in the air and begins washing.

“You’d better not try to wash me any time too soon.”

“As if you never do this,” said Jelly Bean as he made a slight adjustment and washed his leg. “Is this better for your delicate sensibilities?”

two black cats on desk

"Is this better?"

“Of all the brothers in the world, how did I end up with this simpleton?” Mr. Sunshine wonders.

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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.


Daily Sketch: Resting, Spring Afternoon

two cats in watercolor

Resting, Spring Afternoon, watercolor pencil © B.E. Kazmarski

Hmmm, testing some new/old watercolor pencils found in a box of stuff, not sure but they might be ready to retire. These weren’t quite the colors I was expecting, some blended nicely, others ended up with a lot of scribbling.

Nice composition, though, always nice when Giuseppe and Mr. Sunshine settle together to look out the window and watch the birds on a spring afternoon.

Maybe I like it in black and white. This way you can see the underlying sketch, the tones intended to create the shapes, and the overall composition.

grayscale version of two cats

Same as above, converted to grayscale in PhotoShop.

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Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Daily Sketches” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches.

And read about purchasing them and requesting them as a donation item for your shelter or rescue group in The Artist’s Life: Daily Sketches for Sale and Donation.

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 Eye Model

black cat eyes

Giuseppe looks at you.

Surely, if there are such things as a “hand model” whose lovely hands are used to show off fine jewelry and accessories there can also be an “eye model”.

black cat looking up

Giuseppe models the ultra-cool expression.

In humans I guess these would model eyewear, but in cats? Well, I guess they’d model themselves. Surely they don’t need any accessories or improvement.

black cat closeup

Giuseppe gazing off in deep ponderation.

Not Giuseppe, with those deep-set intense eyes. He doesn’t see how anyone would even notice any unnecessary accessory when one would look at his eyes. After all, those were what beguiled the lovely and mature Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite, causing her to immediately cause her mama to send the prophetic magic message, Miss Daisy is smitten!

photo of black cat

"Giuseppe"

Click here to read the original story of the overly operatically melodramatic castrati Giuseppe Verdi and the French-Canadian Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite, ebony princess of the town of Kings in Ontario. He is looking forward to his package of photos of the emerald-eyed Queen of Kingston!

Read more about the long-distance feline lovers! This link lists the stories most recent to least recent, so you’ll have to scroll to the end to read about their early courtship.

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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.


Sunrise: 2011

two black cats by sunny window

Sunrise

One of my absolute, all-time favorite photos, enjoying the quiet, beautiful space they are in.

Giuseppe watches the yard, Jelly Bean soaks it in at the upstairs window facing east.

These sunny spring mornings have been intoxicating for all of us. In the rush to get breakfast and clean up and play and get to work, we all pause when we find ourselves in a sunny spot and simply appreciate the gift of the sun’s warmth and the promise of more beautiful days to come. The rounded mirror in the background brings to mind the rising of the sun over the horizon.

And while I love to look at their beautiful faces as they look back at me in photos, I usually prefer the more candid shot as they do what they do and I am only an observer, trying my best not to influence their actions.

This photo, like all the others, was originally a color photo, though because of the dramatic contrast with the sunlight I knew I’d probably convert it to black and white in PhotoShop to mimic the effect of a true black and white shot. Removing the distraction of color allows the eye to notice the tracery of sunlight on whiskers against rich black fur, and the delicate shapes of the wild rose branches on the wall above.

But I didn’t like it as a black and white shot; there were just wasn’t enough interest in the darker areas and aside from the left edge it just looked murky.

So that meant I got to play around with a few other techniques I use now and then. In this case I was still desaturating, which converts color information into grayscale, keeping the richness of the detail, but this time, not all the way so that a bit of color remained to add interest and dimension. The cabinet looks like a very pale pine, Jelly Bean retains some of the warm mahogany in his fur, a trace of green remains in Giuseppe’s eyes, the antique gold mirror frame still has a gold tinge to it. The only two cool colors, the tired old snake plant and the plant pot between the two boys, retain some of their original gray green and turquoise, but not so much that they call attention to themselves. Overall, the photo retains a tinge of the warm yellow morning sun.

I initially cropped down farther, right above the top edge of the mirror, to bring the focus on the two cats, but the image lost the airy look of the sun-filled space, and one of the things I liked about the original photo was the organic shape of the rose branches against the wall at the top. I recropped it to include this and once again found that feeling of a larger, open space, and the extra element of detail lightened up the heavier shapes of the cats, the cabinet, even the mirror. The only thing I don’t care for, and one of the other reasons I had originally cropped down so far, was that I don’t like the glass globe at the top of the photo; I find it distracting, but not as distracting as cropping too far down.

Feedback

I hope you enjoy my notes on photography and PhotoShop techniques. Occasionally I get the chance to teach a class in manipulating photos for design and layout, but I also remember learning quite a bit from generous people who shared their techniques with the world in various venues, even before the internet.

And as I plan one or two or three new sets of greeting cards featuring color photos, black and white photos of my cats and all black cats, and photos for sale and imprint on garments and useful things in the coming year, I value any feedback I get from social networking of my cats. I hope to narrow it down some time to set up galleries so readers can vote, but until then I still need help in narrowing down!

Sure, I never got around to the project mentioned above, but I still appreciate your feedback on photos. I do need to get around to those sets of photo cards someday…

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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.


Mother and Daughter

two black cats

Mimi and Mewsette have found a happy place.

Put a plastic “in” bin on top of a box and place a wool felted purse into the bin. See how long it takes before there is a cat in it, or two cats, three if they could fit (Giuseppe tried). I actually didn’t want them napping on the purse, it’s handmade and somewhat fragile, but as I was changing things from one purse to another I set it down and immediately Mimi was on it. Mewsette quickly joined her.

The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with some kitty families, especially around the eyes. In this photo their eyes are nearly identical. But some apples are much larger than their mother apples. Mewsette does not weigh terribly much, but she is large and then she is quite plushy. Mimi is just a bit of thing with sleek fur.

They may look severe, but they just want their privacy and I’m getting that “get that thing out of our faces” look. But they looked so nice together, and we have an agreement that they need to do their part in earning our living here, sitting still for the camera now and then is not such a big deal, is it? Too bad, I get my way in that, though not in many other things. It took a while to get my purse back and hanging in a place away from happily kneading kitty paws.

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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.


I’ll Give You Three Seconds to Get Your Paw Off of Me…

two black cats

Get your filthy paw off of me.

“I’ll give you three seconds to get your filthy paw off of me.”

“Oh, come on, little brother, I don’t mean anything by it. Ha, ha, ha.”

“ONE.”

“You’re so touchy, you need to chill, lil’ bubba.”

“TWO.”

“So what are you going to do to me little guy? You can’t take me down…”

“THREE!”

two black cats wrestling

A wrestling match.

“You keep your dirty paws off me!”

“You’re cute when you’re mad!”

“Look out you big showoff! I’m taking you down!”

It didn’t turn out well for JB.

A few other posts showing the boys at their stuff: Two Cats Wrestling. And for more elucidation into what I think my cats are thinking when I see they are conversing with each other, read through the Cat Conversations.

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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.


I’m Sorry, You Were Saying?

two black cats on steps

You were saying?

“I’m sorry, we were momentarily distracted and missed what you said.”

I don’t know what I did to deserve two such completely bored-out-of-their-skulls expressions, but I often get the feeling they are just being polite and humoring me when I talk to them. Jelly Bean tries to sit up and look attentive but can’t hold his eyes open, and Giuseppe is nearly cross-eyed with boredom.

I left them to the nap they had been intending before I so rudely interrupted 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.


A Little Friendly Bath: 2011

two black cats bathing each other

Friendly Bath

Giuseppe and Mewsette enjoy the warm sunny landing by bathing each other, taking turns, then bathing together.

Often enough, these mutual bathing sessions turn into little scuffles as one suddenly decides they’ve had enough, or perhaps words are exchanged that I don’t understand, but they certainly do. The silent staring contests are full of drama. In any case, I know that as much conversation happens between cats during one of these little sessions as between any two people sitting down for coffee.

two black cats staring at each other

Friendly Fire

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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.


Listening to Mom

two black cats in sun

Giuseppe attentively listens to Mimi.

Giuseppe is resting but attentive when he and Mimi were resting together in the sun on the landing. I know they were communicating very deeply, and Giuseppe’s golden eyes were glowing as he calmly listened. Was she telling stories of life on the streets? Telling him about his daddy cat? Perhaps giving him tips on how to further woo Mademoiselle Daisy Emerald Marguerite? Perhaps the relative flavor of chipmunk versus field mouse?

Not for me to know, I suppose, silly human that I am, outnumbered and outwitted daily by the wisdom of cats.

So many lovely photos today I had a truly difficult time choosing. I think I’ll cheat and use a few others on other days.

And 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 level 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.

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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.