Anna Charney

Colarado, USA

painter of optical art and illusion-style images.

This Denver native and painter of optical art and illusion-style images uses a combination of fine details and graphic patterns to create what she describes as “a sensational and retinal experience for the viewer.” 

Anna Charney – Artist and muralist!

My paintings are abstract pattern works. They consist of swirling linear and dot patterns that make up energetic and expansive compositions. My paintings are densely detailed detailed with high contrast, graphic patterning.




At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been painting/drawing my whole life and have wanted to pursue art as a career for as long as I can remember. I was always the “creative kid” when I was really young, off drawing in a corner or tinkering with things and arranging them in design-y ways.

There was never a question of doubt in my mind that I wanted to be an artist.

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a focus in Drawing/Painting, from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in December of 2015. Technically, I became a self-employed artist in the “real world” then, when I was 21.

Even before that though, I attended a well-known arts magnet school (Denver School of the Arts) in Denver, CO for middle and high school, where I majored in Visual Arts. So I was effectively majoring in Art through 11 years of education. 

I couldn’t be more thrilled that that path has led me to create a career doing what I love most.

What is the earliest artwork you did that you can remember?
I remember doing many different artworks when I was small and it’s hard to say which is the earliest.

One vivid memory that sticks with me though (even though it’s not the earliest), is my first perspective lesson when I was really young. I recall being in art class and being the only kid who was able to understand the concept of perspective drawing and creating illusions. I think this early-on ability to perceive and grasp the concept of creating is what encouraged me to follow art and embrace my talent.

Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?
Most of my favorite artists are contemporary creators, and many of them also create mural and installation work. This list includes Felipe Pantone, Crystal Wagner, Erik Jones, Takand Rubin415.

Some other artists that have inspired me include Georgia O’keeffe, Picasso, Matisse, and Roy Lichtenstein.

How would you describe your artistic style?
My paintings are abstract pattern works. They consist of swirling linear and dot patterns that make up energetic and expansive compositions. My paintings are densely detailed detailed with high contrast, graphic patterning.

Someone once explained my work as “digital taffy” and I really like that.

When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?
I think that my first notable art sale was when I was 14 years old. It was a realistic painting idea of the cliffs of Petra.

It was an amazing feeling and planted the idea in my head that I could actually be an artist.

What's your workstyle? Do you work on one piece at a time or work simultaneously on multiple pieces?
When I’m working in my studio, I work best when I have 5-6 paintings going on at once. That way, I can be continuously productive by switching between them and can give myself time to think through and consider each move I’m making.

I also paint murals and do street art and my work flow is very different for that. For those kinds of projects and installations I will go all in for the days or weeks it takes me, showing up on site and painting until I can’t any longer or until it’s dark (if I’m painting outside).

How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?
I consider every decision I make in the studio to be a step towards the next and take this same outlook towards my paintings – each piece inspires the next and that’s what helps all of the work speak together.

I’m also very inspired by optical illusions and other pattern artists, so I will do research and find other inspirational images if I don’t already know what I want to paint next.

Tell us a bit about your personal life ...
When I’m out of the studio I’m usually working at a mural site or outside painting walls. I love including street art in my practice because it is very social and usually outdoors, allowing me to satisfy the outgoing and adventurous parts of my personality. Many of my friends (and my boyfriend) are artists, so I often find myself getting together with other people in their studio and making artwork with them.

When I’m not doing art related things, I enjoy going out to concerts or music festivals. It’s fun to get out and dance and be active! I like to balance my life with lots of exercise including running and yoga.

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” 
― Leonardo da Vinci

A few pieces from Anna Charney’s gallery

Catching Electric Feels


Further Behind and Farther Away


More about Anna Charney