Chris Lucas first came to my attention through a mutual friend and her sister-in-law, Teresa Morbitzer (Vintage Vamp) and the Art and Artists of 614 Facebook page. I love the paintings I have seen her post on the page and asked if she would be interested in being featured. She was surprised that I would want to do this…LOL! but happily, I persuaded her!
We worked together online first and then she invited me to her studio in German Village and for a drink at Max & Erma’s afterwards with Teresa so that we could hang out and get to know each other a little better. And, also happily, I agreed! Her studio is wonderfully relaxing, filled with books, paints and easels. Some place I could definitely get something creative done in! Very cozy and welcoming and she loves it.
Growing up one of 11 children (Chris is 4th in line), she said that she has always had the creative ‘bug’. “I was hooked from my first paint-by-number, the way the oils went on, how they created the picture, the smell of them, the look of them, and I never forgot that. In my late teens I started painting again and have never stopped. When my kids were little I could only use water colors and acrylics, and when they got older I started using oils, learning as I went by trial and error, reading books about it, and then finally started taking classes with Michael McEwan, a wonderful Columbus artist whose studio is on Summit St., and I still periodically take classes from him.” She’s been painting ‘forever’ but has only recently taken the plunge into the gallery scene. Previously, she was a member of CAW and the Dublin Art League but has decided to narrow her focus and stay local, being a member of the German Village Art League.
For the most part, Chris is a self taught artist. Although she has taken courses with a wonderful fine artist here in Columbus named Michael McEwan, she states that what it takes for any artist is lots of practice and correcting lots of mistakes. ‘I have many instructional books and I reference these all the time when I come up against things I don’t understand.’
When asked to categorize her art, she says it’s mostly impressionistic – however color and light is what’s most important to her. I like striking color. Every painting is like a puzzle, which colors go best together, which clash, how do I make my focal point brighter, and some days I take more paint off the canvas than I put on, but once I figure out the puzzle and I’m happy with a painting, it’s the greatest feeling. The techniques she uses are not new. When painting, she tells herself that the old masters of art used all the same colors that we still have today… it’s up to the personal input of the artist to make it their own and the possibilities are limitless!
Inspiration comes from people interacting and having fun, like when they’re eating dinner together or hanging out in a bar, dancing, enjoying a carnival, also when they’re visiting fun spots like New Orleans or Key West. ‘I’m not much for dour art – when I pass a painting I want it to evoke the memory of a good time, or something beautiful or a great memory – it needs to make me happy to see it.’ Most of the time, she likes to include people in her paintings.
Her creative process would be just to jump up and do it! A file of ideas and photos helps when she is in a quandary about what to do next. She just delves through that file and picks something because creativity comes and goes. So she stockpiles her ideas in a folder for just those times. Being in her studio, which is a great space at the back of her house, is something she loves. Crank up the music and paint away… what could be better than that?!
No matter what kind of an artist you are, there’s something out there for everyone, because personal taste in art is so diverse, so no one should be waylaid by thinking their art might not be what people like – not true – just keep painting away and working at what you love.
In May of last year, she had her first solo show at Hayley Gallery in New Albany and is represented by them on an ongoing basis. This show was a success for her and was a feather in her cap after participating in so many other shows, both non-juried and juried (just being accepted into a juried show was a big deal to her!). During the last 4 years, her work has been shown and won awards in locations throughout Central Ohio such as 831 Gallery, High Road Gallery, Carnegie Gallery, German Village Alley Crawl and many more. Her work has also been featured in the 614 Magazine and the Columbus Dispatch.
During August 2015, her art was displayed at The Old Mohawk as well as in a show through the German Village Art League called “Mouth Watering Art” (German Village Society Haus). She also donated a painting through The Hayley Gallery for the “Art For Life” auction this fall to benefit HIV/AIDS research, and a painting to “Art of Recovery” through the Fresh AIR (Artists In Recovery) Gallery which helps those artists trying to deal with addiction and mental illness. Sounds like that month was busy for her!
As for the future? Chris sees herself on an ever progressing path just like it has in the past to become more self-satisfied with her art. Like one artist stated “my paintings are a series of corrections”, she views her artistic life as corrections and improvements. Every painting is a different adventure, a different puzzle to be figured out. Having been hooked on painting since her first Paint By Number – the smell, the creamy look of the paint, the gradation of values, she views all art as great. Art is a way of expressing myself that nothing else compares to. Why does a singer sing or a dancer dances or a chef cooks – because it’s compelling and rewarding for them.
P.S. The creative bent seems to be in the Lucas genes, check out Chris’ son’s (Mark Lucas, Jr.) work, too!Website: www.LucasSimone.com ( she has shared web space with an abstract artist named S. Simone for about two years)