Cat Artist Deborah Julian – Humor In Art


Cat Artist’s Perfect Mix

The first time a cat artist caught my attention, over tens years ago, was when I found Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aestheticsin a book store. Written tongue in cheek, the book’s illustrations pictured cats as active artists and offered witty analysis of each abstract painting.

Already crazy about cats, I still think it’s one of the best books about cats ever. We even bought their calendar, appreciating a new laugh each month.

Sticking with the idea, I watched cat art grow as a kind of humor in art. It seemed that the more we learned about cats, the more popular and appreciated they were.

More to see, related cat pages:

Favorite Cat Artists

Degas Hat Shop Cat Art Print Deborah JulianMy favorites have been Simon Tofield, with his hilarious animations of ‘Simon’s Cat;’ cat painter James Dean and his always entertaining ‘Pete the Cat’ series; and digital cat artist Deborah Julian with her Famous Artist Cat Art Series.

In her collection, Julian re-imagines classic paintings by the likes of Matisse and Van Gogh in which cats have an active and, I should add, appropriate role. The results range from hilarious (Van Gogh’s Bedroom (Artist’s Cats Added)) to gently humorous (Ballet Class Visitor.)

Tofield has expanded his website to include books and other features base on cat creations. A lifelong support of rescue cat organizations, his respect for cats and his love for them shine through as he treats them like equals – equals he sometimes can’t quite keep up with. He never misuses cats as comic punching bags for big me/little you humor.

Dean’s Pete, usually depicted as dark blue, is actually a black cat who won his heart. Not knowing any better at the time, he began painting Pete a different color because he’d heard black cats meant bad luck. Dean’s website is chock full of his variations on the ever illustrious Pete. Pete drives a school bus, plays rock guitar and more. Dean understand the joie de vie natural to cats and their unquenchable thirst for adventure.

Cat Artist Deborah Julian

Julian shares the positive artistic attitudes toward cats as both of them. She is also a fan of Simon’s hilarious cats and Deans ever adventurous Pete.

I’m not a fan of conservative restrictions about art, and I’ve appreciated her wellspring of new ideas in cat art and wasn’t surprised when she became popular.

Art can be many things. Funny and colorful in cat art is one of them. The best art opens us up to new ways of seeing things, and the opposite is true. Art that merely reinforces our way of seeing closes the door. As a cat artist, Deborah Julian’s cat art makes a point of waking us up with a smile, even a laugh.

Picasso shared his studio with cats, and this may explain why his works is among the most playful among recent masters. And how many people know the great Paul Klee only by Paul Klee’s Cat and Bird ?

In the cat art shown here, Cat In Degas Millinery Shop Deborah Julian refuses to take the classics too seriously. Isn’t a seriousness overload what keeps many people away from modern art, galleries and museums?

This collection of images, taking classic art and making it easy to enjoy, while remaining beautiful and aware, is a brilliant proposal for a broader exposure to art. If the artist can only get all the cat lovers in the world to have a look, they might keep moving into the creative room for which this door has been opened.

Finally, it’s more about finding the fun in being a cat artist as it is about why a cat paints. It’s about appreciating the complimentary features of cats and art.

What cat art and cat artists do you like enough to share with us?Cezanne Still Live Invaded by Cats Canvas Print print

David Stone, Writer


I am a freelance writer, living and working in New York City. So far, I've published seven novels, two illustrated cat books with my wife, cat artist Deborah Julian, and five nonfiction books, all available on kindle and paperback. I also do reporting and art reviews for our local newspaper. Online, I've published over a thousand articles and blog posts on a wide variety of topics, earning the usual mix of success and failure in getting attention. But he communities and wonderful and make it worthwhile, even when an article doesn't work out.