Claudia Marie Lenart is a needle felt artist, children’s book author and illustrator. Her wildlife sculptures are noted for being realistic, with expressive faces. Her needle-felted animals have been featured in both Tiffany & Co. and Bath & Body Works animated holiday ads and in a Netflix series. Her work has a worldwide audience. She has also created realistic wildlife sculptures for nature museums.
Claudia also creates nature inspired wool paintings and has illustrated four children’s books using needle felt as her medium. “Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play,” is her first book as both author and illustrator; it is illustrated with wool paintings.
Claudia always enjoyed art and creating, but never expected to be a professional artist. Her early plan was to be a forest ranger and work in national parks. She did get the opportunity to immerse herself in nature by working for the guest services in three national parks, including Yellowstone National Park, in her 20s. She returned to the Midwest believing writing was her strongest skill and worked as a community journalist.
Many years later she discovered needle felting and was awed by the possibilities. She taught herself to needle felt and started to design wildlife sculptures. When she was laid off from her journalism job, she decided to devote herself full time to art. Claudia also creates blackboard drawings of forests and wildlife.
Claudia finds her inspiration in nature and the outdoors. She tries to capture the spirit of the animal in her sculptures and she infuses her work with her love and gratitude for the natural world.