Chet Reneson was born in 1934,
at a time when the nation was just beginning to pull out of
the Great Depression. Times were still rough all over and
steady work was scarce. His parents operated a game farm on
the outskirts of Colchester, Connecticut. Financially, it
was never a success, but the quality of life was perfect for
a future outdoor artist.
At nine, Reneson discovered that
he had an aptitude for drawing. Scenes on the farm became
his subject matter: foxes stalking pheasants, deer browsing
in the pasture, and ducks winging overhead. Illustrators like
Bob Kuhn were his artistic idols, and he established his life-long
practice of painting only from first-hand experience.
After being out of high school
for four years, he enrolled in the University of Hartford
Art School. After art school he worked for Pratt and Whitney
doing cut-away drawings for airplane engines. Later, he did
animal illustrations for Time-Life Books.
In 1966, he took two of his watercolor
sporting scenes to the Crossroads of Sport Gallery in New
York City. They agreed to display the paintings; elated, Reneson
treated himself to lunch. When he stopped back after his meal,
his watercolors were nowhere to be seen. "Where the hell
are my paintings?" he snapped. "We already sold
them," was the reply. The next year, having banked a
little money from his tenure as a commercial artist, Reneson
became a full-time painter.
Chet has had two books published
on his art:
SHADOWS ON THE FLATS (1997), and
OF CHET RENESON (2001).