Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Cat Bachman on Her Dreamy Style

Cat Bachman's “Along Meadow Lane” on the cover of the October 9, 2020 Dan's Papers issue
Cat Bachman's “Along Meadow Lane” on the cover of the October 9, 2020 Dan's Papers issue

Cover artist Cat Bachman describes her dreamy art style, how the Hamptons inspire her and more.

What was the inspiration for this piece?
My inspiration for this piece, “Along Meadow Lane,” began with the towering hedges that line that magnificent beach road. Imagination took over from there. The local inhabitants, a pair of fish, cycle past, on their way to the beach, pondering life on the other side.

Talk about your art style.
Fairytales, dragons, and castles have always captivated me. In that way, I’ve never really grown up. My art style is fantasy peppered with a bit of humor. Living here in Southampton has given me the perfect backdrop for the characters that live in my imagination. Through my paintings, they exit my head onto the canvas, occupying places on the East End. They surf, they sail, they play, they party. When someone looks at one of my paintings, I invite them to enter and become part of the fantasy.

Artist Cat Bachman, Photo: Courtesy Bachman
Artist Cat Bachman, Photo: Courtesy Bachman

Tell us about your artistic process.
My process begins by visiting a scene over and over again. I want to feel the magic. I usually do a few rough sketches and take several photos. Back in my studio, I research extensively. My bookshelves are lined with the books of contemporary fantasy and science fiction illustrators, as well as beautifully illustrated fairytales from the last century. I daydream for a bit. I see the colors in my mind. Then, I get to work. I paint with acrylics, so the process is long. The paint must be dry to add a layer, and I add many, many layers. A single painting can take several weeks depending on its size and intricacy. It is solitary work but there is no place else I’d rather be.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine not creating art. In a word, it is blissful. I have no formal training. I am self-taught. But I have been drawing and painting all my life. I was a registered nurse, but even then, I always found time for my art and poetry. I write whimsical Halloween poetry and illustrate it, as well. I guess if I had to choose something else, it would be a veterinarian because of my deep love for dogs. Or, maybe a great scholar. I’d like to be smarter.

What inspires you the most?
I get excited about nearly everything. I love mornings especially. My husband, Fred, and our old English Setter, Buddy, head to the beach at the crack of dawn each day. The sky, the ocean, the dunes, the quaint village here are heaven on earth to me.

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