Carol Luz is no stranger to Westhampton Beach. “I grew up in East Quogue and attended Westhampton Beach High School. My sister still lives out here full-time,” she said when we discussed her work recently, adding, “I visit as much as I can.” We talked about painting, her dogs, painting her dogs, and work. We also asked her about bold sports predictions, what with the NFL winding up, and though she’s not “a sports person,” she says, “If there’s a sports-themed party with good food and drink I’ll be there!” Fair enough.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
My two Jack Russell terriers, Judy and Elroy, were the main inspiration for this piece, but also the Hamptons, where I grew up going to the beach, hanging out and having fun. The beach was the place to be! But I didn’t have a convertible Mercedes to drive to the beach in. I rode my bike! Judy and Elroy of course are very special dogs and have many types of cars to drive! Judy is always the driver! Elroy always makes sure there’s food!
Judy and Elroy are the subjects of a lot of your paintings. What kind of challenges do dogs present as subjects?
Judy and Elroy make their way into a lot of my work, sometimes their cousin Murphy gets in there too. The main challenge is trying to get a photo of the dogs in the right position for my painting reference. I’m usually trying to hold them in a certain position and my husband is taking the pictures. We go through a lot of biscuits….
Do you have a favorite spot in Westhampton Beach? Or a favorite memory of the place?
My favorite spot is Rogers Beach. My favorite memories of Westhampton include riding my bike along Dune Road to Rogers Beach with my friends when I was younger. In the early morning you’d hear all of the lawn care workers with their weed whackers and lawn mowers going. We would always go to Gloria’s (it’s now Beach Bakery Café) afterwards.
You received a BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design from FIT. Do you work in that industry now?
No! I’m an Editorial Business Director at Hearst Magazines. I oversee Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country magazines. How crazy is that?
Is there one piece of advice you’ve received from another artist that has always stayed with you?
My teacher Jock McRae would always say: Have fun with it!
How do you juggle your day job and painting?
I usually paint on the weekends and sometimes at night.
Where can our readers view your work?
You can find my work on my website: carolluzart.com, at Hampton House in Westhampton Beach, and posters from this summer’s art show can still be purchased at the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to Summer 2018 when I will be appearing at local art shows in the area. I can be contacted at [email protected].