Chantal Poulin-Durocher — Changing Hearts And Minds Through Art

Chantal Poulin-Durocher, Artist
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by Danielle Bussone

 

Chantal With Raccoon

 

Canadian artist, Chantal Poulin, is on a mission. Driven by her passionate love for animals, Chantal creates huge, in-your-face paintings she hopes will not only fill the room with her evocative images but will fill your heart with empathy for the vulnerable animals she depicts.

 

Chantal Boy with Chicken Drawing

 

My paintings are large because I want to give them the space they deserve. If I paint small it is just another animal painting. But when confronted with my paintings, they are so big you don’t have any choice but to look in their faces and feel something. When people come to my studio, they look at my paintings and at first they say, “Oh, it’s beautiful!” but when then they notice there is a tag in the cow’s ear or that the pig is in a truck going to the slaughterhouse, or they see the title “Please Don’t Kill My Friend,” then they begin to become uncomfortable.

 

Chantal Cow Drawing

 

Chantal Cow Painting

 

Poulin feels that pictures of animals being slaughtered, mutilated and covered in blood tend to make the viewer turn away.  She wants to raise awareness of the suffering of these animals in a way that causes the viewer to empathize with them by first appealing to the beauty of the animal she has painted and then by the dawning realization that this marvelous creature is going to be destroyed by mankind’s insatiable demand for meat.

 

Chantel Pig Painting

 

I want to present them as human, paint their portraits as if they were celebrities. They deserve the same treatment as we do.

 

Chantal Dog drawing

 

Chantal Dog Painting

 

Chantal comes by her love of animals naturally and her home has become somewhat a menagerie with nine rescued dogs, a raccoon, rats, cats, and ferrets.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I have loved all animals since I was very young. When I look back at my life I notice that animals were always, always there. I was very fortunate.

 

Earlier in her career Chantel exclusively painted children’s portraits. Over a million collector’s plates of her images have been sold, as well as images on puzzles and limited edition prints. Her passion for animals now demands all of her creative attention. She held her first solo exhibition at 18, and at the age of 56 she has never stopped painting.

Chantal Girl Painting 2

 

I read about how much suffering there was in a glass of milk. My husband, Eric, watched the documentary Earthlings and told me about it. I could not watch the suffering in the film, it was too much for me. After he watched it we decided no more animal products. We were vegetarian for more than 25 years, eating eggs and cheese, cheese was on everything. Now — no, no. I do it for the animals, not for my health. I don’t care if it’s healthy or not. I do it for the animals. But I feel better than I ever have before.

 

Chantal Pig Drawing

 

Chantal Pig Painting

 

I think it is so cultural, when you eat meat our society doesn’t tell us you are eating an animal. You are eating a piece of something, you don’t think about the fact that you are eating bone and flesh. It’s a being, it doesn’t make any sense especially these days when there are so many other options. We don’t need it.

 

Chantal Pig in Truck Drawing

 

Chantal Pig in Truck Painting

 

Originally from Quebec, Chantal now lives in Panama. Suffering chronically from fibromyalgia, her family moved  to Costa Rica in 2008 for the warmer climate. She had been sick for two years with fevers and body aches. However, she noticed when she went south on vacations she felt better.

 

Chantal Painting On Beach With Dogs

 

I wanted a change, I wanted to live more simply, to have more contact with nature. I wanted to work outside all the time which was not possible in the colder temperatures of Canada. It felt like a toxic environment for me. We sold our two galleries, our house, and our car and moved to Costa Rica for four years, living in the jungle. We then decided we’d like to live on the ocean so we moved to Panama. We did that 4 years ago. That’s when we all became vegan; me, my husband and my son. I am completely healed from the fibromyalgia now. I have no pain, nothing.

 

Chantal Sheep Painting

 

I intend to paint for the animals for the rest of my life. I don’t really care where it is going to bring me. I am confident that it will expand and grow and reach more and more people.

I really feel that I have a mission, and I’m kind of happy because I feel I am doing my part. I feel I have no choice. This is what I have to do, this is what I want to do, This is what I do and that’s it, there is no compromise. I don’t know where I’m going to end up but it can’t be wrong. Only good things arrive from good intentions.

 

To commission a painting from Chantal or to purchase one of her available paintings, she can be reached via her website or by email at chantalpoulindurocher@gmail.com. Her oil and pastel paintings currently range in price from $4,000 to $7,000.

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

2 Comments

  1. Lani Green

    Love your your pieces of passion

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