Friday, December 9, 2016

Artist Stefanie Huguet comes home with her art

Stefanie Diez Huguet remembers the paint set she received for her twelfth birthday as the beginning of considering herself an artist. After using up the acrylic paints in the set, she turned to other media to create her images. She hasn’t stopped since then.

“Art isn’t a part of me; it is me,” she says.

Huguet grew up in the south Louisiana town of Dutchtown in Ascension Parish. Following her marriage, she moved with her husband’s job. She lived in Kansas City, MO and Moultrie, GA. Now she’s back in her native Louisiana, residing in Opelousas.

Through Colquitt County Arts Center in Moultrie, she learned oil painting and realized art was still her dream. As the oldest of her four children entered college, she realized her time had come and enrolled. She earned a BA from Valdosta State in 2006, completing the degree she began right out of high school but left unfinished to marry. After graduation, she created a studio in her home. For about five years, she worked as a graphic designer and put in about a year as the coordinator of a children’s museum.

When the economy crashed and outside jobs became scarce, Huguet began to focus on her own art from her home studio. Her work includes landscape oils en plein air, live painting, live sketches, and watercolor portraits of children, as well as oil portraits.

To her skills in watercolor and oils, Huguet added encaustic. The ancient art form employs colored wax to create an image and results in a more textured image that traditional paints. “It’s just so much fun,” she says of the medium, while acknowledging the high cost of getting started. She spent several years purchasing the materials before she began producing works.

Her website includes a blog of her journey and a link to her online gallery. One of the brick-and-mortar galleries hanging her works is Artists’ Galleries de Juneau in Olde Towne Slidell, LA where Huguet is honored as the Artist of the Month for December 2016.

Contact Huguet by email with commission inquiries.

© 2016  Mary Beth Magee

Friday, November 11, 2016

Precious pets portrayed by artist Lisa Brook

Artist Lisa Brook began creating her whimsical pet portraits in 2003 on the advice of her mother.

Lisa Brook at Artists' Galleries de Juneau with samples of her whimsical pet portraits.
“My mom and I sat down one day and I was growing tired of doing visual merchandising,” she explains. She wanted to paint. Mom had a solution. “She said ‘Why don’t you do pet portraits?’” 

Brook’s first portrait was, fittingly, of her mother’s dog Drake. She hasn’t stopped painting pets since. Some things change along the way. The paintings may be highly colorful or very neutral, depending on the personality of the pet and its owner, and the resource photos available.

“I have so much fun with each one,” she notes, adding “They’re all different.” She tries to get to know the pet and its human in an effort to best capture the personalities involved.

She expresses her art in many ways: on purses, jewelry and household d├ęcor, as well as traditional canvas paintings. Brook takes joy in every species, and has painted nearly every kind of pet imaginable. Her favorite subject, however, is her own Dalmatian, Muzzy. They shared fifteen years together and her deep relationship with the dog allowed her a degree of connection beyond many of her subjects.

Brook works in all sizes, from miniatures to 3-dimensional cutouts. She’s painted on all sorts of surfaces, too. Perhaps her oddest request was for a painting on a mailbox.

With a degree in graphic design, she began her work in visual merchandising for department stores. Now she uses those same skills to celebrate the special relationship between pets and owners. Her work hangs at Artists’ Galleries de Juneau, 2143 First St., in Olde Towne Slidell, LA, where she will be celebrated as the Artist of the Month for November 2016. For other examples of her work or to commission a portrait, visit her Facebook page: Custom Pet Portraits By Lisa.

© 2016 Mary Beth Magee