I’m a big fan of animal artist and writer Bernadette Kazmarski. Her photographs and cat paintings capture the essence of cats in ways that only a small handful of artists are able to do. Bernadette is a multi-faceted creative spirit: artist, writer, graphic designer, painter, animal advocate, environmentalist. From commissioned pet portraits to animal inspired merchandise ranging from prints to textiles to greeting cards, looking around Bernadette’s websites are a feast for the senses.
Great Rescues is a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats Bernadette has been commissioned to paint in the 20 years she has been an animal portrait artist. This sixteen-month calendar and gift book is a labor of love.
“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, were what compelled me to share them,” says Bernadette. “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.”
I’m particularly thrilled that “Peaches” made it into the calendar. I commissioned this painting as a Christmas gift for a friend last year. The original was absolutely stunning. It’s always difficult to tell when you have an artist paint someone else’s cat whether they truly captured the animal’s spirit. I think that’s something only the pet’s person can truly judge. My friend burst into tears when she opened her gift – that probably speaks volumes, especially since she’s not someone who cries easily. The painting not only captured Peaches’ spirit, it also brought a tremendous amount of peace to my friend. Peaches, at this writing, is 19 years old, and my friend is well aware that time is short. She says the painting will help her keep a part of Peaches with her forever, in a very tangible way.
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. It also includes a comprehensive resource section covering feline wellness, health concerns, household toxins and poisons, fun cat facts, and more. The spiral bound book also contains a generous amount of blank pages (with a beautiful faint cat design in the background) for notes, or journaling.
The calendar runs from September 2011 through December 2012. You can order the calendar directly through Benadette’s website for the incredibly low price of $19.99 plus shipping. Even though it’s only July, it’s never to early to order Christmas presents – Great Rescues makes a purrfect gift for the cat lovers on your list.
I’m giving away one personalized, autographed copy to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the calendar. Tweet about this giveaway or share it on Facebook for an extra chance to win. This giveaway ends Friday, August 12.
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