Artist promotes cats in many ways

| Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11:54 a.m.

Bernadette Kazmarski has her cats to thank for getting her started as an artist.

The Carnegie resident, with her English degree from what is now Edinboro University, began her career as a writer, then started working in graphic design, spending nearly 30 years working on brochures, ads, logos, webpages and electronic communications.

Assignments varied from editing the Allegheny Land Trust newsletter to photographing “The Producers” at Stage 62 in Carnegie, to designing the 2012 logo for Allegheny County's Special Olympics Summer Games, to the recent coordination with Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation in producing a slideshow tribute for Pet Memorial Sunday.

Observing her own cats' antics prompted her to put pencil and pen to paper and inspired her to create her own art. Now self-employed since 2000, she is a commercial artist working from home.

She considers cats to be “perfect models” because they allow her to study them at a distance. Over the years this love has produced animal portraits, notecards, mugs and more.

“I work with what is around me,” said Kazmarski. She carries her camera, art materials and journal everywhere she goes. When she began painting and photographing, she worked with her own cats. When she began to paint commissioned portraits, she produced works on dogs,birds, wild birds and other domestic and wild animals. She also paints and photographs landscapes and flowers as well.

She publishes stories, articles, photos and art about her cats on her daily blog “The Creative Cat.” She also covers feline health and welfare and information about pets and other animals. Many animals she works with are rescued animals. She shared a number of these rescue stories in 2011 with the publication of her calendar called “Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book.”

The 2013 calendar is called “In the Kitchen with Cookie” which features photos of her tortoiseshell cat, Cookie, climbing into pots and pans and mixing bowls as she worked in the kitchen.

Kazmarski donates some of her calendars to rescues to use for fundraising, as well as donating art and merchandise to many shelter benefit events. She works with animal shelters and with individuals who are rescuing cats off the streets and helps to spread the word about low-costspay/neuter and veterinary services for cats, dogs and all pets around the Pittsburgh area. She also volunteers at TNR clinics.

Besides her artwork, Kazmarski continues to write articles, non-fiction stories and fictional stories. Her recently published poetry book “Paths I Have Walked” is in the process of being converted to an e-book. She also has recorded some of her poems and created video slideshows to illustrate them. She is preparing two art exhibits of new artwork with one featuring her feline daily sketches and the other featuring new landscapes and other subjects.

She also is building an e-commerce site that will carry items such as her art, photographs, calendars, greeting cards, landscapes, paintings and more.

Visit her websites at or for more information.

Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or

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