Self-Portrait: Susan Lucas

Self-Portrait: Susan Lucas

By Special to the Daily News

June 25. 2015 12:01AM

Self-Portrait: Susan Lucas

Staring at a unique piece of art, you can’t help but wonder at the mind that envisioned and created it.

In its semi-regular feature “Self-Portrait,” the Daily News “picks the brains” of local artists about their development, their medium and more.This week, we learn more about Susan Lucas.The Sketch
Name: Susan Lucas
Homebase: Santa Rosa Beach
Primary medium: Acrylic painting.
Facebook: Susan Lucas Art page (It’s a visual art magazine with a variety of art images and information.)

The Canvas
How did you discover your artistic ability?
I grew into being an artist. Although I always loved to draw (I got into trouble in grade school making paper dolls instead of doing math), I didn’t pursue art in school. Later, as an Air Force wife, I started taking the painting classes offered at every base as a hobby. Pretty soon, my interest was ignited, and I was getting serious about learning as much as I could. I attended college art classes and sought out teachers. After all these years, I am still learning and working at my art. It is a real passion now.

Describe your artwork.
I paint colorful and contemporary acrylic paintings that celebrate the coastal landscape. Every painting is inspired by a particular place and time, even though it may be so loosely painted you can’t tell. I like painting in the area between abstraction and representation. We all have cameras in our pockets, I want to tell you more about the feeling than the description of a place.
Right now, a lot of my paintings are looking at the ways water and land meet in our bayous, lakes and bays.

What are your influences?
My greatest influence is the natural beauty that surrounds me. I am inspired every day. Teachers and mentors have influenced me, and looking at art in museums and galleries continues to instruct and inspire. Artists who inspire me are Wolf Kahn and Brian Rutenberg, both masters of color in the landscape, and Joan Mitchell, who managed to combine landscape inspirations and abstract expressionism.

What drew you to your primary medium?
Through the years I think I’ve tried almost every medium! I painted in watercolor for 10 years, experimented with pastels, printmaking, drawing mediums and oils. But I threw them all away when I started painting in acrylics. Acrylics are quite versatile, but what I most love is the ability to layer, so I can build surfaces that are rich, with hints of underlayers showing through.

Describe the place where you create.
I am fortunate to have a wonderful art-making space… a remodeled detached garage that offers plenty of room for art projects and stor-age of supplies. I paint on several paintings at once, one on an easel and the others on a wall. Someday I will clean out the excess stuff and it will look like the artists’ studios in magazines, but until then, it is very much a working studio!

What do you hope people who see your art experience?
I hope viewers feel an emotional connection to my art. When I paint, it is in hopes of conveying the feelings I have about a place, or feel-ings that I attribute to a place. I am honored when collectors tell me that looking at my paintings brings them peace, or joy, or serenity. What more could an artist hope to do?

Whose artwork is in your home?
In my home there is a lot of my art, often a new piece I want to live with and think about, and also art of teachers and artist friends.

How much of your own artwork have you kept?
I have kept artwork that represents different stages in my art. It is interesting and instructive to look back and see what came before.

Do you have anything you’d like to share (upcoming showings, etc)?
In addition to painting, I am an art coach, working individually with artists at to strengthen their art and develop a plan for taking that next step in their development. It is very rewarding.

Locally, my art can be seen at Tracery in Rosemary Beach, Homeowner’s Collection in Seaside, and my studio/gallery on the west end of 30A. I welcome visitors to contact me through my website or at for an appointment.
The Unveiling
Want to participate? Readers can nominate an artist, or artists can participate by contacting Features Reporter Lauren Delgado at 850-315-4406 or