All Things Chris

Thanks to Batman and Robin, I started drawing when I was six.

From there, I drew everything or anything that was my biggest craze at the time: From airplanes to astronauts; trains to musicians. If it was a person I was drawing, I was determined to make sure the likeness was exact. I learned by trial and error that a likeness is more than just an exact replica of the person. You have to capture the personality – what’s behind the eyes. You can put a piece of tracing paper down over a photo for example, and not get it. I was never happy if I didn’t get it. So the fact I idolized a lot of major historical and cultural figures actually helped me learn to draw.

By the early 1980’s I was on my own living in Tucson and working the standard 8-5 job which turned out to be very beneficial to an art career I wouldn’t start until 2000. For about 20 years, I seldom did anything with art unless it was specifically for my job. My job involved meeting a lot of the best sporting dogs and trainers in the country. By the end of the 1990’s I was heading to Thomasville, GA on a regular basis and was staying with someone who would become one of my closest friends. Sallie owns a plantation there and always had at least four black labs that were her best friends. Out of gratitude for allowing me to visit so often, I painted a watercolor of one of her favorite labs named Beast. It was the first major painting I did in years, but the first of many I would do going forward.

Since 2000, my main job has been to capture the personality of dogs, horses and their owners in watercolor, graphite or oil. I painted almost every national champion and national amateur retriever champion from 2000 – 2013. I have paintings that are part of the permanent collection of the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, Tennessee, and in private collections.

I am a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists.

In 2008, one of my paintings of Patton – a National Retriever Champion – appeared on Ducks Unlimited t-shirts and people would call me to order. Then I started thinking about an idea to feature not only the t-shirts, but artwork from fellow nationally acclaimed artists I exhibited with. I remembered many of the plantation houses I visited often in South Georgia. My friend Sallie’s plantation house for example, was filled with every kind of sporting art imaginable – from the wine coasters all the way to the bronze sculptures. Her home was featured in a book about houses devoted to the sporting life and I thought – wouldn’t it be neat to have a web site filled with the idea that you could find all kinds of high-quality custom art and related art-related merchandise on one site. Sort of like walking into a very nice plantation house.

And so, Sporting Artisans basically has become an art show and sporting/outdoor oriented house on line. Like the Bible says, “iron sharpens iron” so it’s a good thing to have your name associated with very talented artists and artisans – many who have become good friends.

This web site features the work I’ve been doing over the last 20 years.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris Chantland