Award-winning artist and environmentalist Kitty Cantrell is known for her striking sculptures of North American wildlife. Intricately designed and detailed, her Mixed Media sculptures capture expressions of animals that have never known human touch.
When asked what inspired her to start sculpting, Kitty replied, I've done it since I was little. It's the only thing I'm good at - it's what I've done ever since I can remember." Wolves, eagles and humpback whales are a few of the subjects this native Californian has chosen to sculpt since beginning her professional career.
Kitty is one of the few American artists today who have a natural talent for capturing the animals they choose to sculpt as only nature knows them. Cantrell begins the sculpting process with only a general idea of what she is about to create. When asked where her ideas come from, Kitty confessed that "some of my best ideas come from my collectors." To ensure the authenticity and accuracy of her sculptures, Kitty spends numerous hours researching the animals, paying close attention to subtle details such as the wing span or the shape of a tail. "I like working on subjects with which I am fairly unfamiliar," she says. "That makes me study up on them and that keeps it interesting. The busier I am, the happier I am."
Kitty produces a rough sculpture out of soft clay to check for composition and form. She then painstakingly forms a master sculpture that is to scale and anatomically correct. This second sculpture is sent to the Legends/Genesis foundry in Los Angeles, California, where a resin cast is made and the manufacturing process begins.
Cantrell believes that her sculptures are a way for people to better understand the earth's wild creatures. "A lot of stuff that happens to wildlife is so unintentional. If my sculptures can make people think about wildlife and appreciate the importance of it, then maybe they will feel compelled to help." When asked where she would like to see herself in the distant future, Kitty's love for wildlife and, in particular, wildlife rehabilitation, is at the forefront of her thoughts as she tells us that she plans to be "sitting on a mountain top with broken and battered animals around that I'm trying to put back together." Demonstrating her commitment to animals and wildlife, Kitty donates a portion of the proceeds from her art to the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and the Grounded Eagle Foundation.