Abstract painting inspired by intimacy
In her paintings, Ara Lucia explores the body and intimacy. Using both an active and reflective process, the artist paints her body and presses it directly upon the canvas. Text from love letters between women is also woven into many of the paintings. However, for commissioned works, any language of love can be incorporated into a painting.
Ara Lucia, abstract artist
Abstract painting inspired by fashion throughout time all in blue hues.
When I created my first abstract painting inspired by dresses, it was in a flurry — so excited that finally my entry into the world of abstract art had arrived. When I was done with that first painting which was only black, white and grey paint, I added three tiny blue lines. I thought to myself, “What if the next one was only blue?” It wasn’t until I created that next piece that my lifetime obsession with blue became clear to me. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized my obsession before. There had been a precious pair of navy blue shoes in 2nd grade, a cherished ice blue prom dress and an exquisite midnight blue wedding dress. A project I directed, “We Vow,” featured a major character in a deep blue Victorian gown. Now, the inspiration of dresses and my abstract painting had come together with my passion for blue. I’m often asked, “Is this your blue period?” And I say, “No, this is my blue life.”
Ara Lucia in her studio
At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?
How would you describe your artistic style?
When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?
What's your workstyle? Do you work on one piece at a time or work simultaneously on multiple pieces?
The energy I bring to the canvas in those moments of creation can be recognized in the deep ridges and creamy mounds of paint. In some pieces I amplify the texture by painting my body and pressing it onto the canvas.
Recently, I have introduced a narrative element by using snippets of love letters between women. With these elements I explore the body and intimacy.
People often ask if I am in my “blue phase.” My passion for the color blue began with a pair of navy blue shoes in second grade. I had to have them! And there were other special garments in blue. My prom dress and even my wedding dress was a deep blue.
While my first painting was black, white and grey, when it was complete I added three of the tiniest blue lines. I thought to myself, “What if the next painting is all blue? Why not embrace it?” I haven’t turned back since.
How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?
My paintings have stages that are similar to that of a developing romantic relationship. I start with a garment or several pieces of fashion. This is the fascination “at first sight” phase, which inspires an initial gesture upon the canvas. The rest of the process is like an unfolding dance in which I add many layers to the painting.
Tell us a bit about your personal life ...
A few pieces from Ara Lucia’s gallery
Her Breath Steamed In The Cold Air
One Day Thousands of Moons From Now
Why they love Ara Lucia’s paintings …
Dante Frederick, London, UK
“It was kind of love at first sight, to be honest. As soon as I walked into the space the energy and excitement of the work just grabbed hold of me, and the more I learned about her process, the ideas behind her work, the more excited I became. Having an Ara Lucia hanging in our home is a constant reminder that life is full of color, movement, and joy. Which is one thing art is meant to do, isn’t it? Remind us of these truths.”
Rochelle Andrews, Boston, MA
“I love the pulsating rhythm, movement and color of Ara Lucia’s paintings. The passion she pours into creating her work translates onto the canvas. I am delighted to have her paintings hanging on my wall. Each encounter invigorates and lifts me up anew”.
More about Ara Lucia
Shows & Exhibitions
Solo Exhibition | Feb 2017 ARS Gallery, Benton Harbor, MI
Group show: Believing Is Seeing | Dec 2016
Juror: Rebecca Cross, sponsored by Women’s Caucus for Art, Washington, D.C.,
Artists & Makers Gallery, Rockville, MD
Group show: Abstract Show IV | July 2016
Curator: Avahani Mullen, Brickton Art Center, Park Ridge, Illinois
Solo show: Beyond the Last Outposts | June 2016
Curator: Rich Logan, Live Work Yoga: Chicago
Solo show: Nebulous Certainties | March 2014
Independent Project curated by Tami Miller, Curator of Exhibitions, Collections and Education, Krasl Art Museum
Outcenter, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Michiana Art Competition | 2013
Box Factory for the Arts, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Art Director/Producer | 2007–2010
Created and executed large-scale photographic work with multiple video documentaries.
Goal: Raise awareness of California’s Proposition 8 legislation, which eliminated the right of gay people to marry.
– Curve magazine purchased an image for the cover of its April wedding feature.
– We Vow was cited on CherryGrrl.com, SheWired, Get RI and countless other websites.
The Woods Opened and Through: Still photography storyboards called Photo-Fables and video documentary. 2007
Director | 1998–1999
Blue Fox Gallery, Chicago, IL
Opened new art gallery; created launching pad for 16 emerging mixed-media artists with individual and group shows.
– Curated work, created national and Chicago-area marketing campaigns, and opened events. Juried multiple-weekend film festival featuring shorts by emerging area film-makers.
– Several artists now have their work in prestigious collections and museums.