Cat Art: Calvin by BZTAT

Recently, I was lucky enough to win a digital portrait of one of my pets from the artist BZTAT. Her work is contemporary, colorful and bold, and her goal is to capture the essence of her subjects.

I was thrilled to win the custom portrait, but for this particular prize, I had to pick only one pet. That’s a challenge when you live with three dogs and four cats. Logical Susan told me to simply choose a photo I like the best. Emotional Susan was sure that the six unchosen creatures would feel sad and unloved. Or maybe jealous and irritated.

“How would the others know who you chose?” asked Logical Susan.

“They’ll know,” said Emotional Susan. “They’ll know.”

But I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity for an original work by a talented artist, so I provided BZTAT one of my recent favorite photos–of Calvin–and tried to ignore Emotional Susan’s warnings.

Portrait of a cat: Calvin

My original photo of Calvin

I love so many things about this picture: from his little pink nose to the look in his eyes. I sent the photo to BZTAT, and hoped the other cats and dogs wouldn’t feel slighted.

And this is what she created!

Calvin, by BZTAT

Calvin, by BZTAT


Beautiful, isn’t it? While the original is blacks and greys and soft whites, BZTAT’s  portrait sings with color. Blues and purples are splashed throughout, making Calvin’s green eyes–and his pink nose–glow. Somehow, she knew to focus in on those elements.

Of course a great piece of art should be framed, hung and appreciated, so I bought a simple frame and mat that I thought would do it justice.

Because I will find any excuse to whip out my camera, I decided to take a picture of the framed Calvin next to the real one before I hung it up (the artwork, not the cat).

Calvin loves to lounge (what cat doesn’t?) and it was easy enough to find him in a relatively photogenic spot.

Calvin next to his portrait by BZTAT

The subject and his portrait

I thought it turned out pretty well. Then Calvin noticed that the screen on the back of my camera made shiny flashy spots on the floor.

Calvin next to his portrait by BZTAT, notices something interesting

Ooh, what’s that?

The photoshoot was over quickly after that. However, the kitty stomping, pouncing and investigating that ensued attracted the attention of Elsa Clair, Busy Cat. 

While Calvin was searching for the disappearing spot, Elsa Clair turned her attention to the portrait of a cat that was not Elsa Clair.

Now the secret was out.

Elsa Clair the cat looks at the portrait of Calvin by BZTAT

What is this thing?

And, of course, since Elsa Clair is like most cats–delicate, graceful creatures that glide through life like a whispered breeze through the trees…she knocked it over.

Elsa Clair knocks over the portrait of Calvin by BZTAT

Oops. Did I knock over the portrait of a cat that isn’t me?

I set it back up in case I could entice Calvin to pose by it again. Instead, Elsa Clair sauntered over and re-inspected, making sure  the featured feline hadn’t changed. Then she turned to me and said, “I will never understand why you chose that foolish fop of a cat for the portrait, when you could have true beauty .” 

At least I’m pretty sure that’s what she said.

Elsa Clair turns away from the portrait of Calvin by BZTAT

Seriously. I think you could have found a better subject.

Not wanting to hear the same message from the rest of my menagerie, I hung the picture up in a special spot in my office.  I think it looks awesome against my sea green walls.

Calvin by BZTAT hanging on my office wall

Hanging up

And yes, that’s the sound of Emotional Susan saying, “I told you so.”

Do your pets talk to you? Do they tell you when they disagree with your decisions?

This post is linked up with the Caturday Art Blog Hop. Stop by to check out some of the other beautiful and creative cat art.

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16 Comments on "Cat Art: Calvin by BZTAT"

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  1. Athena says:

    Stunning portrait and cat!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  2. easy rider says:

    I agree, it’s beautiful. Now you have your own Louvre at home, Calvin :o)

  3. When it comes to art, sometimes the emotional side knows best. The art turned out great!

  4. The art is fabulous – how lucky are you to have such a stunning portrait!

  5. Clooney says:

    Fun post! We love the picture you chose of Calvin and the painting created, how gorgeous!

  6. Wow! That picture is great.

  7. wonderful portrait and your ensuing photographs are just purrfect! Have known BZTAT for nearly 5 yrs now, her work is amazing. You should see the murals she has done on the sides of buildings in Ohio (yes, there are cats on them!) She is super talented! Congrats on being one of the winners!

  8. Rebekah says:

    Beautiful portrait.

  9. Xman8745 says:

    I wish I was as lucky as Calvin. He gets a portrait, and all I get are those beautiful, mysterious spinny stick thingies with the fish on them*. Be right back. -King Flufferball

    *He has a cat wand with a stuffie fish on the end of it. I always spin it around. You should see his head just going in circles! :3

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