I have my cats to thank for being an artist. When, as an adult, I chose to pick up a pencil and paper and put them together, it was because images of my cats kept appearing in my thoughts as pencil drawings and paintings and I decided to draw what I was envisioning.
Through the years my cats have been the subjects of dozens of works, and others, seeing these works, want a similar piece with their own animal companion as a subject. I have had the pleasure of creating more than 100 commissioned portraits of cats, dogs, cats and dogs, and cats and dogs and people. They are gifts for loved ones, memorials to cherished companions who’ve gone before us, and lovely pieces of artwork featuring an animal a person loved. Animals give us so much in everyday life, but my cats have given me my career.
Because cats and dogs and animal welfare issues are a big passion of mine, I work frequently with local animal welfare organizations both in fostering and in donating materials for their benefit auctions.
I also paint other subjects. I carry a sketchbook around with me to capture scenes around the house and out in the street in pencil and ink. I can store a half dozen paintings in my head from one walk in the woods, I grow flowers to paint in the garden and as still lifes, and I study birds and wildlife for individual and scenic works.
Aside from my artwork and animal welfare activities, I also participate in local environmental activities as a volunteer garden steward for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and work with several environmental organizations in the Lower Chartiers Watershed to publicize issues, events and activities in the watershed.
Under the supervision of my cats, I have the joy of working at home to design books, web pages, logos and various printed materials for a variety of customers as well as completing commissioned animal portraits and other commissioned work.
To see my cats at work as inspirations in my art and photography, visit The Creative Cat, and to see what they are supervising while I slave away all day not working on anything cat-related, visit my website at http://www.bernadette-k.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bernadette E. Kazmarski is an award-winning writer, illustrator, photographer and fine artist living in Pittsburgh and supervised by a house full of rescued cats who have always been her first line of inspiration. She is a professional member of the Cat Writer’s Association, the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and numerous other professional art organizations.