Please contact me with questions about Great Rescues, about animal portraiture or with your story of your own “great rescue”! ‘For the media, the text of the PRESS RELEASE is included below the contact form.


For more information, contact:
Bernadette Kazmarski at 412-429-9553 or
Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book website at
Bernadette’s main website:
Saturday, September 10, 4 to 7 pm, Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church, Green Tree, FosterCat Annual Spaghetti Dinner
Thursday, September 22, 7 to 9pm, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie, reception and book signing
OTHER WEBSITES of reviewers mentioned in the release:
Ingrid King, The Conscious Cat,
Allia Zobel-Nolan, author of 170 illustrated books,
Chris Davis, publisher, author and illustrator,

“Great Rescues” Much More than a Calendar

I’m pleased to present my first published work, truly a labor of love from creating the portraits within it to collecting the stories and designing, printing and publishing it.

Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book is a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 15 portraits of rescued cats I’ve been commissioned to paint in the 20 years I’ve been an animal portrait artist, plus the portrait of my own which I consider my first.

In a review of Great Rescues, Ingrid King, author of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, writes, “This is one of the most beautiful cat calendars I’ve seen. The paintings are stunningly beautiful, and the stories are heart touching. And it’s so much more than just a calendar.”

While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, is what compelled me to share them in this calendar. Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.

And while each cat has an individual story, each rescuer has a story as well of reaching out to an animal in need to bring it in from the streets. In many cases they helped heal physical and emotional wounds and gave that cat a lifetime of love, in return receiving love and devotion; often those humans received some healing in return they weren’t aware they needed.

“Received my copy of Great Rescues, a most exquisite book/calendar jammed-packed with irresistible fine-art paintings of cats of all kinds, and wonderous stories about them, painted and penned by Bernadette E. Kazmarski…I highly recommend this book; give it 4 paws up,” writes Allia Zobel Nolan, author of more than 170 books herself and former children’s editor of Readers’ Digest Books.

Great Rescues is spiral-bound and measures 8″ x 8″ to easily fit on a desk or in a purse, briefcase or backpack. It has a die-cut cover with the title stamped in gold foil and each spread features a portrait and the stories of the rescue and calendar pages including every pet day, week, and month currently celebrated listed in each month of the calendar.

Chris Davis, herself an artist and author of several illustrated books and publisher at Lighthearted Press, wrote, “I knew it would be breathtaking – after all, the calendar creator is artist extraordinaire Bernadette Kazmarski! But I don’t know if I was prepared for how engaging this beautiful work of art turned out to be. I sat down and read it from cover to cover – I just couldn’t put it down!”

Following the calendar section is a section of stories of the rescuers and their feline families today, notes on the design and rendering of each of the portraits, a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings and “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits.

“Lovely to look at and read and hold in the hands, Great Rescues is an altogether ‘up’ experience, where people are compassionate and good, and however troubled their beginnings, all cat stories have happy endings,” writes Marion Lane, former editor of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) newsletter Animal Watch.

I’ve rescued and fostered cats myself since the mid-1980s, and creating portraits saved me from surrendering under the weight of all the cats who are abandoned, tossed out, abused and living on the streets.
I have my cats to thank for being an artist, or, more accurately, my love for them for it inspired me to pursue a dream I’d always had, of expressing what I saw and what I felt in a visual medium.
Through the years my cats have been the subjects of dozens of works, and others, seeing these works, have wanted 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.
I have many more stories after these through portraits of dogs, of dogs and cats, of cats and people and dogs and people, of dogs and cats and grandchildren and more. I intend to publish other calendars and books, but for this first I chose the subject that first inspired me to find myself as an artist; I’ve focused on cats.
It’s no small decision for a person to choose to commission me for a portrait of their animal companion. These are the cats who made a difference in the rescuer’s life: the first cats adopted, leading to a life of living with and even rescuing other cats; the ones who arrived at a time of need and filled a void; the “heart cats”, those most special who we remember apart from all the others we’ve known and lived with.
In addition to working as a fine artist, I have also been a graphic designer and illustrator for nearly 30 years as well as coordinating the print for hundreds of printed projects over the years. All of the artwork throughout, including the sketches and illustrations in the Resources section, are my original work and are actually sketches of my own cats through the years. I am also a writer of both commercial and technical material and creative material, composing short stories and poetry; all of the writing and design is also my own as well. I used all I’ve learned in my career to design and produce this calendar and gift book, intending to continue with this design for all the calendars to come.
I published this on my own, founding a publishing company entitled “Beauty of a Moment Publishing” so that I may continue to publish other Great Rescues calendars and other books and materials inspired by my cats and all the other animals I’ve known.

If the calendar is a gift to someone, or you have a particular cat or cats in mind, I would be glad to add an inscription in the front of your calendar.

Visit the Great Rescues Calendar website to read reviews, more information about the content and samples pages and stories, and to purchase,


Saturday, September 10, 4 to 7 pm, Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church, Green Tree, FosterCat Annual Spaghetti Dinner
I’ll donate 10% of all my sales that day to FosterCat, so you can increase your donation if you attend the dinner and buy a book. I’ll be donating a few things to the Chinese auction—one copy of Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book which I’ll be happy to inscribe for the winner, a framed print of one of Peaches and Peonies and a set of crocheted pawprints.
Thursday, September 22, 7 to 9 pm, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie, reception and book signing

I will be hosting a reception and book signing, and many of the people whose portraits and stories are featured in the book will be in attendance. I will also have a few of their original portraits and other original artwork on display in the Reception Hall for that night only.

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