Featured Artist Lisa Kretchman

Artsy Shark presents the work of featured artist Lisa Kretchman. Enjoy her portfolio, and please visit her website to see more about this fascinating artist.



I am an artist working across a broad range of media – from digital work in Flash animation and multimedia, to fine art in pastel, acrylic and mixed-media.



I started out as an illustrator using soft pastels and scratchboard. While attending Massachusetts College of Art and Design, I learned how to create traditional illustrations and was also introduced to Adobe Photoshop. Those blended skills helped me to find my first job in the software industry, where I transitioned to digital illustration and animation. I expanded my practice to include Flash animation and multimedia development.



After working over 15 years as a multimedia artist, stress and some bad experiences in the industry led me to a period of job burnout. I wanted to create art that had more meaning, and to have more ownership over my work. Joining several local art groups, I became focused on more personal art projects. Eventually I left my day job and began freelancing so that I could spend more time painting from my Massachusetts studio.



Though I enjoy painting with acrylic, I work primarily in mixed-media with soft pastels. The vibrancy of the pastels allows me to add impact and emotion to my art. I will often create a watercolor underpainting or work with a darker paper to make the pastel really “pop” and build the painting with the brightest of colors on the top layer. I rarely use a fixative, instead concentrating on adding texture to the surface and blending occasionally with my fingers.



Much of my work is of traditional subject matter – landscapes, seascapes, florals and portraits. Creating these paintings is joyful and peaceful, which I try to communicate through the artwork. I take pictures of my travels as reference for my paintings, and I enjoy the diverse environment of New England with its mountains, oceans, forests and wildlife. Many of my paintings depict scenes from the Blackstone Valley area where I live, as well as my garden and the nearby ocean where I go boating with my family.



Because of my illustration background, I also enjoy creating more narrative works, incorporating story and symbolism. During the last year, I began experimenting with a series of heart artwork because of the easily recognizable shape. I planned a series of paintings that would be shared with a community, incorporating portraits of the recipients into a companion multimedia piece. I had created some preparatory small heart pieces, when a family member responded to the artwork. The hearts reminded her of her daughter Olivia, who had been born with a very rare congenital heart defect (CHD), and tragically, had died at thirteen days old.



This conversation opened the door to a larger and more fulfilling project. Olivia’s parents had created a charity, Olivia’s Heart Fund, to support CHD research and awareness. We began working together and the charity located families of children affected by CHD who were willing to participate, sending me the stories of their battle with CHD. I am creating mixed-media artwork inspired by their writing, using watermedia, pastel, metal leaf and metallic inks.



My series of Art Hearts for Olivia’s Heart Fund will be shown in February of 2011 during CHD month in the southern New England area. I hope to make people aware of the effects of CHD in their community, and to bring in donations from the sale of art prints.



My art blog details the process behind many of my paintings and my journey as an artist. More examples of my art, as well as art prints and desktop wallpapers can be found on my website.



  1. […] Art Heart as an image for the article. Artsyshark has also blogged about me in the past as a featured artist, with some information about the Art Hearts for Olivia’s Heart […]

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