Biographical Information

Kathy (Dunny) Paivinen grew up in Michigan with her mom and dad, two brothers, one sister, several dogs and miscellaneous other critters. Having a strong interest in nature and animal behavior, she studied zoology and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Michigan. While growing up, her interest in art was always competing with her interest in science. Trying to find a way to balance the two interests, she tried a variety of jobs. She worked as a field assistant on a behavior study of ground squirrels in the Sierra, held a laboratory technologist job in a human neuropathology lab, worked as a biology lab coordinator at The University of Michigan, volunteered as a naturalist at Henry W. Coe State Park in California, and developed skills in museum methods as well as scientific and botanical illustrating.  Ultimately she realized that painting domestic animals and wildlife was her perfect niche.  Her primary medium is watercolor.

Kathy has been a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists since 1988.  Her work has been exhibited in the SAA annual exhibit "Art and the Animal" at the Cummings Nature Center of The Rochester Museum (1988), The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (1991), The Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin (2008), and The Houston Museum of Natural History (2017) and her work was part of the Society's National Museum Tour in 1991-1992 and in 2017. Her work has been included in exhibits in the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC, The Oakland Museum in Oakland, CA and the Art Show at the Dog Show in Wichita, Kansas.  

In addition to creating art, volunteering for The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has been an important part of Kathy's life since 2012. The Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing are her favorite places to study wildlife, kayak, and bird watch.  The birds and other wildlife from California's Monterey area are now frequent subjects for her watercolors and photography.

Kathy lives in Northern California with her husband, Mike, and their two dogs.  Their daughter, Anna, received her credential to teach high school English and began her teaching career in 2017 in northern California.  She completed her masters in education from U. C. Davis in 2018.

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All images © 2019 K. Paivinen