About the Artist

Lyell Castonguay’s work is a fantastical representation of the animal world’s grandeur of appearance. He depicts his subjects in striking poses with countenances that express emotion. Castonguay creates compositions responding to something he has absorbed as an avid consumer of natural history, literature, and entertainment.

Castonguay believes animal subjects achieve great spiritual and emotional power through an idolized form. He strives to create personified animal representations like his predecessors, Elliot Offner and Leonard Baskin. His art sets the stage for animal-inspired dramas, and the viewer is left to interpret how the scene will unfold.

Castonguay’s primary mode of expression is woodblock printmaking. Printmaking is a refined iteration of his drawing process, and concepts begin as quick sketches. Castonguay establishes general spontaneous forms with ink using a dip pen and brushes. Sharpie and ball-point pens are also employed to draw ornate feather and fur textures.

Castonguay transfers the drawing to plywood and uses Japanese-style hand tools to chisel around each drawn line. Larger and more complex compositions can take weeks to complete. Ink is applied to the woodblock’s surface using a rubber brayer. Proper application is essential: too much ink will fill in finely carved details, and too little ink will cause the finished print to look spotty.

Finally, Castonguay places fine art paper on the inked carving. An etching press applies even pressure, and the force transfers ink from the woodblock to the paper. The result is a finished woodblock print.

Making of Video

Follow along as Lyell prints his piece, Luna, in this short feature video.


Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA
Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori, Japan
Archille Bertarelli Collection, Milan, Italy
The University of Michigan Art Library, Ann Arbor, MI
New York Public Library, New York, NY
Hampshire College Special Collections, Amherst, MA
Wheaton College Special Collections, Norton, MA
University Museum of Contemporary Art, Amherst, MA



EVAC Project, Owens Community College, OH
New England Printmakers, New Hampshire Art Association, NH
Life Aquatic, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Hyattsville, MD
Maine Open Juried Art Show, The Framemakers, Waterville, ME
Creative Edge Group Exhibition, Mitchell • Giddings Fine Arts, Brattleboro, VT


Print-Making an Impression, Hess and Leyt Galleries, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA
Maine-Aomori Printmaking Society Retrospective, Lewis Gallery, Portland Public Library, Portland, ME
New Editions, Brumfield Gallery, Astoria, OR
10×10 Invitational, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Hyattsville, MD


Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
Carnegie Gallery, Columbus Metropolitan Main Library, Columbus, OH
Wolfe Gallery, Maumee Valley Country Day School, Toledo, OH
Mitchell Giddings Fine Arts, Brattleboro, VT*


American Frame, Maumee, OH
Ronald Reagan National Airport, Arlington, VA
Lord Hall Gallery, University of Maine, Bangor, ME
Mitchell Giddings Fine Arts, Brattleboro, VT
Riverviews Artspace, Lynchburg, VA
Chases Garage & Artists Studios, York, ME
Art Gym Denver, Denver, CO
Kittery Community Center, Kittery, ME
McGowan Fine Arts, Concord, NH
Imprint Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR


Blue Hill Art & Cultural Center, Pearl River, NY
Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gallery, Cleveland Hopkins Airport, Cleveland, OH
Diane Kidd Gallery, Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH
Muzeul National al Hartilor si Carti Vechi, Bucharest, Romania
Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme, CT


Deerfield Academy, South Deerfield, MA*
Editions/Artists’ Books Fair, New York, NY
Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA
APE Gallery, Northampton, MA
Castle of Agliè, Turin, Italy


Seoul Museum of Art, Korea
York Art Association, York, ME
Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA
Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, CT*
Western New England University, Springfield, MA*
Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA*


Easthampton City Arts+, Easthampton, MA*
Salmon Falls Artisan Gallery, Shelburne Falls, MA


D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA


Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA
Rose Contemporary, Portland, ME
APE Gallery, Northampton, MA
Soo Rye Gallery, Rye, NH


A4 Printmakers, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Aberystwyth University, Wales, United Kingdom
Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, PA
Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA



Best in Show, Maine Open Juried Art Show, Waterville, ME


Best in Show, York Art Association, York, ME


Solo Exhibit Grantee, Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA


Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant, Boston, MA


Boston Printmakers
Southern Graphics Council