Interview with the Artist : Lucia Cullinane

Interview withe the artist

How do you define your artistic style, how has it evolved ?

I have been asked many times what "type of style" my works are. I never know how to respond to that, more than, perhaps, colourful modern art. Many galleries that I have worked with had the same issue, it seems that my works are a bit out of the rule when it comes to frame them in a category. It hasn't been easy to be accepted in many events as my works don't follow the mainstream patrons, perhaps a bit to provocative.

My style? a passionate one, no rules, no protocols. What I paint is what is inside of me. What makes me happy to create without been to concern what style they will go into.

Can you walk us through your creative process?

I started to paint from a very early age. I cannot remember exactly when, but my father and mother still have paintings I made from when I was around 5.

I was never really interested in anything else more than painting. It became almost an obsession, is almost a necessity in order to function.

I self taught myself how to paint. I did try Art school but I didn't enjoy it, I am not one to follow rules nor other people's point of views in how to create art. I wanted to have my creativity untouched, and from inside me create and learn on the way. Still a process, still learning with every work I do. I am a very self-critic of my work and as someone said one's : A piece of Art in never finished but abandoned".

What steps do you take from the initial concept to the final product?

Sometimes when I am laying down in bed, I get an imagine in my head, then, I quickly make a fast drawing of it to get the idea of it and to not forget it. I a process of pure coincidences gathered, pure birth of an idea. A concept.

I go to my studio and from my mind I start working on it, first with my pencil, then adding colours, details. Starts to get form and the magic starts rolling naturally.

My mood plays a big role in what I am creating. I want to be happy when I create, I want to create happiness, colours. I want to make people smile. I want to smile myself and when I create I experience full happiness, peace, harmony.

Are there specific environments, moods, or moments that spark your creativity most?

I don't know. I try not to analyse myself to much in what makes me paint. I just do. Is something I do most days, whatever the mood, I feel the need to paint in order to be happy. Is as simple as that. Is a necessity, almost like breathing. It calms me down, it brings me to new worlds where I am there by myself and all the problems disappear.

I am a person that tends to worry a lot, I am a worrier, but all that evades when I am focused on a piece, all me is concentrated in what I am painting and nothing else matters in that moment.

Many artists have a particular theme or subject matter that they explore in their work. Is there a recurring theme in your art?

Yes. I have a theme that seems to come back to me constantly, women. Specially women from other eras, 1950's, 1940's, 1920's. I really don't know why but I do love those eras. The beauty of the way the were presented, perhaps influenced by my other passion, cinema. I have seeing all the films there are, all of them, any subject, cinema is my other obsession.

Dramatic, almost hysterical, beautiful women. The drama around them, the infinitive possibilities that women subject gives. Men, as well, but I am still learning about them, I find them fascinating but for some reason much difficult to find inspiration from. I hope my husband doesn't read this 🙂

Showgirls, Cabaret girls, theater, back-stage and on stage women with complicated lives though beauty in them. Funny, comical characters attract me a lot too. Interesting, different people that you see one's in a while when walking a long the city. I love to portrayed them. That kind of people that just looking at them put in us a smile, in a good way.

What artists, past or present, have inspired or influenced your work?

I am not sure if I have been influenced. But I definitely love the works of many artists. There are so many talented painters out there.

Beryl Cook, her work was never accepted until very late in her career and I have never understood why, I find her a master of the art. Gustav Klimt, who doesn't like this genius? absolutely fascinating. Salvador Dali- His work is a cloud of madness mixed with beauty and passion Norman Rockwell- His work makes me smile. His themes are so human, so comical, majestic. Gerhard Gluck- I laugh a lot with this genius, everyone should have a print of his works in their houses, live would be a better place to be.

And of course, my late Master and friend, Graham Knuttel, who died in May last year and that I think is one of the masters of Irish Art.

In the evolving world of art, how do you stay current with new techniques or mediums, and have you recently experimented with any?

I experience all the time with different mediums but I seem to have a passion with acrylics, it is the medium that i control the best and that has giving me best results when mixing and creating new shades, colours.

Can you describe a moment in your career that you felt was a significant breakthrough or turning point for you?

When I sold my first painting. That made me feel that my work was liked it by other people, I couldn't believe it. I never thought my works could be sold.

I remember feeling guilty, like if the person who bought it got a bad deal. I never knew who that person was, but I want to thank him/her for that, it made me believe more .

With so many diverse art forms and expressions, how do you decide which medium or method best conveys your vision for a particular piece?

I didn't decide, the medium did.

I tried them all, and Acrylics was always giving me the best colourful results.

The vibrancy of acrylics other mediums don't have them, they are so easy to use and the final results are always far better than any other medium I have tried.

Oils is a medium that I have never understood. I tried them many times, but for the kind of person I am, oils are a big no, I find them plain and dull, I want vibrancy, drama 😉

How do you hope viewers will interpret or respond to your work?

I hope they like them, of course! but I been told my works have no middle term, you either love them or hate them. It doesn't bother me, as long as they make the viewers feel something, anything.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions, projects, or collaborations that you can tell us about?

At the moment I am finding difficult to find a gallery that would take my works. In the past was easier but I don't know what has changed. Many galleries are saying no to my works, declaring that is not what the market is looking for, but, privately, I sell very well, so, I don't really listen what so called "experts" have to say about what I paint, or what the market is looking for. Painting makes me alive, happy and that is why I do it.

Of course that selling is a big part of the game, I have a very bad habit of wanting to eat everyday, but I would never change the way or things I paint in order to be in certain markets. Would be like selling my soul to the devil.

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