Cat artist Annie Dunn’s thought-provoking digital paintings make you wonder who’s really the strange one. Is it her carefully illustrated kittens, skeletons and other critters doing odd things while no one’s looking? Or is it you, who finds delight in a canvas filled with dark situational humor?
That’s the question that I asked myself when Annie caught me laughing at her cat art print “Six Feet Under“. What kind of person finds the view from a coffin funny? In my defense, that scene also includes 13 inquisitive black kitties and a grinning skeleton. But still, I found myself a bit embarrassed at my reaction.
Annie reassured me that my response wasn’t at all odd. In fact she was hoping for something like it. On her artist page on her ChaosInColor.com website she says,
“My artistic intent is always humor or beauty, usually both and sometimes even darkness because I think that laughing at mortality gives us strength.”
Going from Graveyards to Graphics and Back Again
Annie’s signature Dia de los Muertos meets the Sunday funny pages style is self taught. She grew up across the street from a small town graveyard and wrote herself spooky stories. She’s still creating stories, but now she does it with pictures.
Programming and computer generated imagery (CGI) training were her gateway into art. Trying a pressure sensitive stylus set her on the path to freehand digital painting. Instead of applying acrylic paints or watercolors with a brush, she pushes pixels.
Annie credits internet searches, videos and other artists for her art education. That, and an effort to learn something new from each composition she does.
Why Become a Cat Artist?
Annie says that she decided to make a living as an artist because it’s a job that’s never monotonous. There’s a never ending supply of things to learn about. The downside is that travelling to cat art shows is stressful for a naturally introverted person. But one compensation is that she can choose subject matter that makes her happy.
“As a digital painter I focus on topics that make me happy. That’s cats and skeletons doing funny things when they think nobody is watching. I’ve been very fortunate that so many other people like the same things.”
Being a cat artist was an obvious choice. She’s always identified as a cat person. To Annie, felines are the most beautiful animals on the planet and she never gets tired of looking at them. She notes that artists spend a lot of time studying references. And it makes her happy that so many of her reference photos are full of kitties.
Artists Are Storytellers and Teachers
Annie likes to depict very short stories. Her digital art includes the setting, characters, and plot. And then the viewer gets to decide on the conclusion. This is more than entertainment as wall art or home decor . She enjoys it when her art makes people think, or introduces them to new ideas.
“February Fog“, her latest gift to cat lovers, mines that same vein. It isn’t your typical syrupy Valentine’s Day tribute.
You find yourself wondering what happened to the richly dressed woman who’s wandering through such a romantic forest alone with her cat. Is this cat artist saying that, where love is concerned we’re all in a shadowy fog?
What are Her Favorite Artworks?
“It’s impossible to pick just one,” Annie says. Her favorite artists tend to be cartoonists. She likes artworks with strong color and lighting, and a touch of unexpected humor.
What Have Your Kitties Taught You About Art?
Annie has eleven cats, so she sees them pretty much every time she turns around. She says, “Having this many cats has taught me that everything looks better with a cat on it, in it, or next to it. I’ve clearly taken this lesson to heart with my painting subjects”.
If your felines got the family credit card and went on an Internet shopping spree, what would they buy?
She says that her kitties don’t go online very often. However, they’d probably be most happy to chew on the corners of the credit card. “They know how to enjoy (and destroy) the simple things in life”.
Would You Paint My Cat?
Annie doesn’t take commissions. But sometimes customers’ felines wander into her paintings. “Amazing Stories” shows one such cat, Macy, who’s befriended the skull in the library.
But…if you’d like to have your kitty featured in a cat print like Macy was, you’ll soon have that chance. Go to her website and sign up for her Top Cat Club (you’ll see the pop-up). She’s releasing details on how to get your fur buddy into one of her canvas prints there.
ChaosInColor.com is also great place to shop for thoughtful, funny cat gifts for all the cat lovers in your life. You aren’t limited to just framed prints, posters or canvases. Annie’s also provided her artwork on greeting cards, metal printed bookmarks, t-shirts, ornaments and necklaces. Go there now and order in time for birthday or Christmas holiday gifts.