Art Attack - Carol Lew

Art Attack - Carol Lew

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What do 17th century Dutch masters, Elizabethan ruffs, formal portraiture, and our canine pals havein common? Answer: a woman to unite them all in masterfully rendered and totally disarming paintings that combine the techniques and style of historical portraiture—topped with the visage of a dog. As one might guess, for oil painter Carol Lew, creating art is about making people smile. Lew graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art, but took a lengthy break from her practice. Years later, when she started painting again, she cast about for a subject that would not only show off her considerable talent, but her sense of humour as well. It turns out animals were the perfect fit. When Lew happened upon the work of Thierry Poncelet, a painter, art dealer, and restorer of fine paintings who is renowned for replacing the heads in old paintings and forgotten family portraits with those of dogs—portraits that he calls “Aristochiens”—something just clicked. After completing her first portrait of a Great Dane in the style of an 18th century portrait, she “was hooked on the theme.” For her, the style “[elevates] the stature of animals and [pokes] a little fun at humans at the same time.” Among her inspirations are painters John Singer Sargent, Anthony van Dyck, and the 17th century Dutch masters, whose understanding of light and shadows is something that Lew strives to achieve in her own work. Lew works with oil paints, traditionally used by the portrait artists she admires. Their richness and slow drying time allow her to build and blend the layers of paint to desired effect. As for capturing just the right expression, Lew has plenty of inspiration at home. An ardent supporter of animal rescue, sheshares her home with her two dogs and two cats, all adopted from shelters as seniors. Lew purposely chooses to take in older pets having seen they have a much harder time finding permanent homes. She is also a volunteer at her local shelter, Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and a frequent foster “mom” for kittens. (Carol, we adore you.) “It’s the way I try to make a difference,” Lew says. “Pets are completely reliant on people but they don’t all have happy homes, so I enjoy helping the less fortunate ones.” Lew accepts commissions for portraits, which begin at $450. She has painted dogs, cats, pigs, and even a dapper hamster. She also sells her favourites as prints in her Etsy shop, Old World Pet Portraits (etsy.com/shop/OldWorldPetPortraits). If anyone’s inquiring, we’re dying for a custom portrait. MD office Dachshund Esther would look just dandy in regimental attire.

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Comments (2)

Surprisingly well-written and informative for a free oninle article.
Fri, 04/05/2013 - 09:53
Absolutely first rate and copper-botometd, gentlemen!
Fri, 04/05/2013 - 09:53

Dog of the Week!

Meet: scarlett