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Helen Lucas driven to create her art

July 25, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

“It’s the only thing I want to do,” said renowned floral painter Helen Lucas.
At 86, the years are catching up with her but she desperately wants to work.
She has created a few new pieces depicting brilliant flowers, and a dash of something else – light and a ray of hope. Helen’s passion hasn’t waned at all.
One recent piece has some small white flowers dancing across the painting – a breath of fresh air so to speak.
Lucas said she’s been struggling with creating her own version of the face of Christ, and hasn’t gotten it quite right over the past 10 years. But just recently, she took a six-foot-long canvas and started to draw with a charcoal pencil. Almost subconsciously, the five images poured out, one after another.
When she finished the first, she walked away to pause and reflect. When she returned to see it, she began to cry.
“It was a very beautiful moment,” she admitted. “I think it’s wonderful.”
At first, she thought a fitting home for this piece would be a church, but now she doesn’t want to part with it.
This, said the veteran artist of more than 50 years, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
She’s been turning to religion lately to find some motivation. She said it’s “incredible when something moves me.”
Lucas said she’s still struggling with the loss of her daughter Andrea from cancer a few years ago.
As she picks up her brushes, there is renewed hope and a sense of purpose. Her style remains uniquely hers, and there’s something more that you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s subtle, yet noticeable.
Recently, Lucas has been called upon to paint the bridal bouquets from weddings as a lasting reminder of the special day. She’s finding that quite enjoyable.
Lucas has always been involved in the community and often donates paintings for worthy causes.
Lucas and Ernestine Tahedl spoke to a packed house at the King Township Heritage and Cultural Centre last fall, providing an open and often frank discussion.
The intimate exchange revealed some very interesting stories, anecdotes and even tips for aspiring and seasoned artists alike. The two have a great deal of respect for one another and Tahedl pointed out it’s a “privilege for artists to be friends.”
Lucas is also preparing a number of pieces for an upcoming show and sale.
The show, entitled “Why Do I Paint Flowers?” runs Dec. 1 to 29 at the Aurora Cultural Centre. An opening reception with Lucas takes place Saturday, Dec. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Free artist events run through the holidays. Lucas joins Ernestine Tahedl Dec. 5, from 6-8 p.m. and you can also see Helen’s work in the gallery Dec. 13, just before the special Georgian Bay holiday concert.
It will be interesting to see where Helen’s guiding light will take her.



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