Perennial cover artist Cat Bachman returns for the June 11, 2021, issue with another fantastic cover painting. She discusses “Half Moon Bay II,” the summer inspiration behind it and the slight shift from her usual fantasy genre.
What is the name of this delightful piece, and what’s the inspiration behind it?
The title of the cover painting is “Half Moon Bay II.” It is a retro scene, inspired by summer days long ago. As a little girl growing up in the ’60s, how I longed for one of those dazzling rubber bathing caps with the appliquéd flowers!
Did the conception and creation process of this piece differ at all from your usual process?
The conception is nearly always the same for me. An idea appears suddenly in my mind, like a boulder was dropped there from an unknown source. So that I don’t forget it, I scribble the thought down on anything I can find. Next, I go to the place my mind envisioned and take lots of photos, all the while feeling the magic. The creation of this differed a bit from my usual process. “Half Moon Bay II,” along with its companion piece, “Half Moon Bay I,” was painted on masonite and is more of a folk art style. Most of my other acrylic paintings are done on canvas and are more of a fantasy genre.
What makes this piece such an ideal fit for a summer Dan’s Papers cover?
Making waves in her colorful mod bikini and fashionable cap, is this whimsical lady. A soft summer breeze moves her pinwheel, as bright umbrellas spill shade onto the sand, bringing to life a nostalgic beach scene on a fun summer Dan’s Papers cover.
What inspires you most as an artist, either in general or at this moment in time?
The East End is my greatest source of inspiration. The glorious beaches, the quaint villages, the windswept dunes—it is paradise here. The characters I paint are never bored. There is always something to do, always a story to be told.
What are your favorite East End spots to visit during the summer, and do elements of these locales appear in your work?
My favorite spots are the ones outside. The fish, the frogs, the seahorses, all of the characters I paint appear on boats, on beaches, on bikes. Just like their human counterparts, they surf, they sail, they play, they party.
What do you find most rewarding about creating art?
It is definitely the blissful state I enter when painting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The colors, the imagination, the dream. Everything I want, I already have.