Caroline de Danne, animal artist
Born in 1989, I have had a marked taste for drawing from a very young age, combined with a passion for animals, especially horses. They are at the heart of my life, just like the dogs, rabbits, parakeets, hamsters, sheep or pigs belonging to my family.
Self-taught, I first worked with graphite pencils. It was only in 2017 that I discovered pastel, when I wanted to bring color to my work in the midst of a period of serious illness. It was a revelation for me, and an evidence!
I work without a formal technique but rather by feeling, while simultaneously having a busy professional activity: consulting, journalism… and since 2021, accompanying horseback riding tours and teaching horseback riding.
Convinced that art is a way of inviting people to protect biodiversity, as well as to take care of themselves by cultivating their bond with their animals, I try to transmit strong emotions in my works.
Behind my work is a conviction: nature is so beautiful and the animal world so fabulous that I want to draw people’s attention to them as they are, and not to give an idealized image of them. This is why I strive for great realism, underlined by the light and the precision of the hair and feathers.
And a mission: to express the soul of the subjects I represent, and their deep vibration. For this, I pay particular attention to their eyes.
My artistic profession of faith
“How do you do this? “. That’s a question I’m often asked without being able to answer it, being self-taught and working with my instinct as my only guide. And a question that makes me think about being an animal portraitist.
In my eyes, to portray an animal:
It’s not primarily a question of technique
It’s not mechanically reproducing a photo
It’s not just putting colors and lines on a piece of paper
It’s not getting the job done as fast as possible and counting how much I’ll make in the end
It’s not drawing an animal while already thinking of the next one
No, for me, drawing or painting an animal is infinitely more than that!
It is to dive into a world of feelings and emotions, of the visible and the invisible, much more important than technique
It is to identify what makes the subject that I paint being who he is and not another one
It is to grasp and render something of the relationship between him and his master, if any
It is to capture the vibration, the energy, of the animal that I have in front of my eyes and in my heart, and to try to render it according to what my senses reveal to me. And for that, the look in his eyes is the best clue
It is to enter into connection and dialogue with it so that it reveals its deep nature to me and what it wants to express
It means being fully present to him and learning to love him even if I have never seen him
It means letting myself be touched by his soul… and revealing my own
It is to commit myself
My art studio
In order to leave all the space to the animals I represent, I chose to install a very clean designed studio: white walls, few pieces of furniture, material limited to the necessary… nothing ostentatious nor superfluous. This way, my creations are not polluted by outside influences, and the animals can fill the room. This way, I can also devote all my energy to my activity.