Hello there and welcome!
I’m Lyn Drennan, the mama bear of Mother Bear Studio. Along with my husband, John, and our 17-year-old cat, Ellie, I live in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky.
My love of animals goes back to my childhood days when I was surrounded by an assortment of furry and feathered creatures. Not only was my childhood filled with many four and two-legged friends, but also creativity in all forms. From painting rocks (and frankly anything immobile) to troll house architecture, to knitting my own sweater patterns for stuffed animals, to elaborate cookie decorating, to making my own clothing, I was constantly on the lookout for my next artistic endeavor!
But as often happens, life began demanding more attention and my artistic creativity moved to the sidelines during much of my adulthood. For nearly 25 years I mostly stepped away from art, as I raised three wonderful children, helped care for numerous cats, golden retrievers, guinea pigs and even a ferret. I also spent many rewarding hours with a variety of school, church and civic volunteer work, along with working full-time in school administration.
Then, nearly a decade ago, after all three now-adult children had graduated from college and moved to new exciting opportunities, John and I moved from our Ann Arbor, Michigan home, to Louisville in search of our own adventure. And adventure I found as I soon discovered an opportunity to join an oil-painting class. The rest, as they say, is history, and I quickly found myself drawn back into the world of art.
My favorite subjects to paint are animals that display whimsy and a bit of attitude. While I am particularly drawn to birds, I generally love capturing the spirit, and character of all kinds of animals. More than that, I love to tell a story with my art.
I have found that I gain the most fulfillment and satisfaction when a total (sometimes very serious) stranger might walk around the corner of my booth at an art show and they can’t help but laugh or smile. Knowing that my paintings add a splash of brightness and joy to someone’s world is everything.
-Derby Chicks and Derby Ducks-
After moving to Louisville, I quickly became aware of the incredible pomp and circumstance of The Kentucky Derby (I swear, it’s a bigger deal than Christmas for Louisvillians!). Derby hats are a huge part of this vibrant culture and it wasn’t long before (and with a little fun play on words of the musical group The Dixie Chicks) I found myself creating “Derby Chicks’ – – chicks (and now Derby Ducks) decked out in their fancy Derby hats ready for a day at Churchill Downs. These sassy Derby darlings have been featured in Louisville’s Women First Magazine and can be found in many galleries and shops throughout Kentucky.
Every duck and chick has its own name, inspired by the personality that I see.
My studio is located in the historic, quirky, and slightly funky, Mellwood Art Center. A creative collective and event center, Mellwood is a former meat processing plant that has been reclaimed, repurposed, and transformed into a place of beauty, function and art. Housing over 200 artist studios, it is an incredible feeling to be in a place full of such artistic spirit. You can’t help but want to create here. Mellwood is the home of my home-away-from-home. My happy place.
If you would like to learn more about Mellwood Art Center, you can find them here: http://mellwoodartcenter.com
My medium of choice is oil paint. I have dabbled in watercolor and acrylic, but I appreciate the forgiving nature of oil. I can relax in it and trust that there is no mistake that cannot be fixed.
I use fine art quality oils and canvas. But art isn’t all about the medium or materials you use. It’s about the act of creating, making something beautiful about whatever you have.
You can purchase my original oil paintings, of course, from me.
But if you want to take a little piece home, might I recommend my popular cards? Send a smile in an envelope with my different card sets, featuring the Derby Chicks and Derby Ducks or a collection of my other animal designs.
I also offer high-quality full-sized canvas prints of my original paintings.
"Lyn Drennan’s wonderful (and always fun & quirkily sophisticated) cards are my go-to for all occasions! Lyn is a masterful artist and it shows in everything she creates".
- Kris Wilks - Louisville, KY
"If you love animals you will love Lyn Drennan's art. She captures the essence of her subjects in such a fun whimsical way. Her art makes you happy just to look at it; Any piece of work will brighten your space."
- Lorraine Hughes - Corydon, Indiana
"Lyn Drennan is an amazing artist who brings all of her subjects to life with their own personalities. My favorites are the Derby Chicks and Derby Ducks. Each one parading their real life Kentucky Derby hats with swagger. So Chic!"
- Alice Engelhardt - St Thomas, Virgin Islands