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Spotlight:  Gisèle Grenier

Gisele GrenierGisele is a Canadian artist living in Hamilton, Ontario with her partner Joe and rescued cat named Chaos. She has been creating art featuring all types of animals and wildlife for over 12 years.

Acting on a dare from her son, Gisèle took her first art class and learned as much about painting as she did about teaching. Inspired by that class and her crafty upbringing (her mother was a woodworker and her sister was into ceramics), she absorbed as much instruction as she could from various sources and was hooked.

While she does paint a variety of subjects, Gisèle loves nothing more than creating artwork featuring animals. She enjoys both format art and creating mixed media works, a broad scope that allows her to always be experimenting and learning something. She teaches online at Art Place and chronicles her art and processes on her Creative Chaos blog.

How did you get started painting?
I got started in art on a dare from my son who was a little troublemaker at the time. We were at his school, signing him up for something. I saw the continuing education course listing and he dared me to take a class. I guess he thought I would say no because, in his words, I was “too old to go back to school”. I signed up and although that class was the worst art class I’ve ever taken, from that point forward, that’s where my artistic adventure started.

What type of painting do you do?
I started with painting wildlife and landscapes and did that for years. As the demand got stronger, I started to learn more towards portraiture work of people and pets in acrylics, oils, and graphite. I also make it a point to create art of different subjects and themes in my artist journal every day so I don’t get stuck in a rut.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Fitting in personal time to keep learning, playing, and exploring art outside of professional work.

When did you start using DecoArt products?
I started using DecoArt products when I started watching Jerry Yarnell on TV.

What impact do DecoArt’s products have on your work/life?
I never have to worry about the quality of materials used when creating my art pieces and feel at ease knowing the painting will be in excellent condition in 100 years. The wide variety of materials available also allows me to explore my creativity and to work with young children, teens, and learning adults, knowing the materials are safe.

How long have you been a Helping Artist?
I’ve been a Helping Artist for nearly 10 years.

What has been your best and brightest moment as a blogger?
Seeing the smiles on a students face when they’ve finished a piece of art.

What’s your favorite DecoArt product?
This is a hard one to answer as it changes with the project being done. Professionally, the Traditions line is my favourite, but when it comes to my more creative pieces, I also love Texture Fierro, One-step Crackle, Dimensional Effects, Glamour Dust, and Dazzling Metallics. The list goes on and on — I love anything that is textured and shiny that allows me to visually show energy.

What has been your greatest success, so far?
Being a full-time artist who has exhibited in galleries.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not quite sure, as I don’t plan further than a week ahead, but if I had to guess, I would be doing the same thing because art is my life. I would like to be in a position to have the time to create more art to use for animal rescue fundraising.

Who is your favorite artist, and why?
That one is easy — Buck Paulson. It wasn’t until I was going through my Alexander certification and studying the work of Buck Paulson that I learned to put my spirit and energy into my art. Without that, your art is boring and mechanical. He is a wonderful friend and amazing artist. Without him, I would not be where I am today.

Contact information:
Website: www.giselegrenier.com/