Sag Harbor painter Edwina Lucas has a unique story to tell.
She says, “I paint from life and in natural light as often as possible. My mother, who’s an outstanding artist, taught me how to paint with oils when I was five years old and I haven’t wanted to stop since.” She continues, “I believe in the power of beautiful things. I choose to paint subjects that quiet my mind, capture my attention and stir my spirit. Nature, and its infinite evolution, provides me with such material.”
All of which begs the question…
What is it about ducks?
I think the most magical thing about ducks is the way they glide on the water. Above the surface, they are nearly still, effortlessly cutting the water, leaving a delicate trail of ripples in their wake. Yet below the surface, their feet are hard at work, rapidly pedaling, propelling them forward. I find this duality remarkable.
What was the particular inspiration for this piece, “Pond View Ducks?”
A visit to the duck pond on Pondview Lane in East Hampton. I was taken aback by the eruption of color and energy as these ducks fed on scraps of bread tossed to them by onlookers. The movement of the birds and the reflection on the water morphed before my eyes into an abstracted reality of color, form and light. I knew I had to paint this scene.
Now that summer is winding down, what are you most looking forward to about
Painting en plein air at the ocean. I find autumn is the best time to paint the sea because the beaches are less crowded, the weather is milder and the surf is rough and exciting.
Do you have a favorite place to swim? To paint?
My favorite place to swim is at Scott Cameron Beach. This was my family beach as a kid and will always have a special place in my heart.
My favorite place to paint is in my mom’s garden. She has found a way to make her garden beautiful and paintable from April to November. This was particularly helpful this year as I prepared for a summer floral show at Ille Arts in Amagansett.
What is the significance of painting in contemporary society?
Painting brings us together as artists as we work out problems, find solutions and strive to get better. This past winter, I started teaching oil painting at The Golden Eagle in East Hampton. I’m humbled and delighted every week when people come to take my class. In today’s society it can be difficult, and even frowned upon, to give yourself a gift.
We can find ways to talk ourselves out of trying something new, taking a risk and being vulnerable. Each week I watch my students bravely block out three hours of their day to devote to painting. They push past their fears and begin to swirl the paint, observe their subject and make magic on their canvas. This ancient medium, simply made up of brushes and pigment, challenges us and pushes us to new heights.
Where’s the most unusual place your work has appeared?
On an album cover for a band from Skidmore College. They saw one of my pieces in the painting studio and asked if they could use it. I said absolutely! I don’t think I’ve ever felt cooler.
If you could sit down to coffee with any artist from history, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Joaquin Sorolla, my favorite painter of all time. We would talk about color. All the ins and outs and subtlety of color. I would ask him as many questions as I could about his color palette and his technique. More than anything, I would want to watch him paint. I think you can learn so much from watching the way a painter mixes color and applies paint to the canvas.
Where can our readers see more of your work?
At Ille Arts in Amagansett, the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor and on my website, edwinalucas.com.