Anne Freidank, known for her “whimsical” paintings of cats is selling all her stock in support of a wildlife charity.
Originally from Germany but a Saanich Peninsula resident for the last 31 years, Freidank’s nickname back in the old country was Munchner Miezen Malerin or the Munich Cat Painter. She says the initials pleasingly looked like cats’ ears – MMM, and jokes PPP, the Peninsula Pussycat Painter, isn’t quite the same.
“I love cats,” she says with a smile, “I grew up with cats, I think my first babysitter was a cat.”
A fine artist, Freidank uses a reverse painting technique, rarely used on the Island, to create an image on glass, which glows when exposed to light. She says she started painting cats almost by accident, her main commissions in Germany were of saints and after an order for 60 holy fathers, she thought she’d rather paint something else.
“I was tired of saints and I had a cat at the time, so I started painting cats. I would paint other things, but my trademark became cats so there would always be a cat peeking out in the background,” she says.
She then moved to the Peninsula and painting cats became part of her new West Coast life.
An energetic 84 year-old, Freidank is keen to spend her retirement on her other passion of gardening. As a result, she is selling her entire stock – 70 paintings of all different sizes – for as little as half their value. She has glass and canvas paintings, all featuring mischievous or cute kitties.
The paintings normally range from $18 – $4,000, so collectors and cat fans can grab a bargain at the sale.
Freidank hopes she will be able to make a difference for distressed animals.
“My heart goes out to wildlife, it’s humans that hurt and kill them. We’re doing so much damage to teh environment and it breaks my heart. I want to help if I can.”
The sale takes place June 13 – 17, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, at Anne’s Cat Gallery, on 1870 Doney Rd. in Saanichton. Please bring cash or cheque and call (250) 652-0401 for more information.