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Lucie Wellner is a central New York State artist who has been painting using watercolors since 1997. Her formal training is in Surface Pattern design, which led to 15 years of designing dinnerware. She was raised and still lives in a part of the state that has an abundance of rolling hills, dairy farms, woods, fields, wildflowers and trees; their presence influences her daily life and painting.
Syracuse University MFA 2000
Rutgers University MCRP Masters in regional Planning 1992
Syracuse University BA College of Arts & Sciences, Geography/Cartography
Special Award Gallery Committee, Rome Art Community Center, 2007
Elsie M. Birch Memorial Prize for Watercolor Cooperstown National 2003
While drawing or painting, I find that the background static, the mind’s busyness which we all share to some degree, recedes a little and opens a space for my work. In addition to my aim of documenting something significant to me, I find challenge in the use of materials, of making the final result look the way I imagine it should. But I also take advantage of the gifts the process offers, allowing the painting to take shape into something unexpected. Through focus and concentration, and the elimination of self-doubt, I find immense enjoyment in this fulfillment of aesthetic desire. After a few hours work, I feel rested, fresh and ready to make more.
And the more I paint, the more I understand the subjects I’m observing or thinking about. The more art I produce, the more other artists’ work appeals to and communicates to me. Thanks to them and my own work, my eye is sharpened, my spirit refreshed and I find myself on the threshold of new understandings in the immediate world. Watercolor is the product of an evanescent moment in time—fleeting and difficult to capture but fulfilling in its pursuit.
I hope to channel the view, person, obsession or thing into form and light onto paper. Landscape is particularly enticing to me because in addition to offering the pleasure of being out of doors, it is where light can be at its fullest or most subtle. In watercolors, color is subsumed under the force of light, revealing a reality that is both concrete and luminous, holding an aura that draws the viewer into the world of the painting. There I hope the viewer will have a chance to “see” deeply into the texture of reality and aspects of nature.
Sharing a moment in time: why paint from life?
It’s the difference between a studio recording versus a live concert. For example, an opera is always better when listened to live – you get to see the singers sweat and make all kinds of faces. Same with the local bar band – it always is better live (but is that because of what is served at the bar?)
I search for evidence of a live performance in a watercolor painting. John Singer Sargent painted his watercolors from life – There are photos of him uncomfortably seated in the tall grasses battling too much sun, bugs, and humidity. You can see evidence of all this in his paintings from the vantage point, the netting over the women’s faces, and the bright light. They had to be done quickly in order to capture the mood and light. You also see his process: For example, he might note a strong horizontal line early on in the painting, because that was what he focused on in the initial composition, but then later, he realizes he omitted a tree that partially obscures that line, so he paints it in. Because watercolor is transparent, you can see the line behind the tree. This helps show a passage of time and a process. It’s enjoyable to the viewer – it gives more substance to a painting, more than just the illusion of a landscape on a flat piece of paper. It’s a document of a moment in time, not just of a subject matter.
Cazenovia Counterpoint, July 2019
Lush Watercolors: Class held at Everson Museum (Syracuse, NY)
Holiday Show December, 2012 at Gandee Gallery, Fabius, NY
Watercolor Painting Class at Beaver Lake - September, 2012
Petit Library October 2011, Syracuse, NY
In the Garden -Spring/Summer 2011 at the Gandee Gallery, Fabius, NY
Petit Library - "Through the Eyes of Women" ("Daydream") - March 2010, Syracuse, NY
Liverpool Library February 2010, Liverpool, NY
Gandee Gallery Holiday Show, Fabius, NY, 2010, 2011, 2012
Plowshares Peace Council at Nottingham High School, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
National Watercolor Society All Member Show May 2 to 29 2009, San Pedro, CA
Red River Watercolor Society National Show April 13 to June 19 2009, Hjemkomst Center, MN
The 28th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors Old Forge, NY Fall 2009
Westcott Art Trail June, 2009, Westcott Area, Syracuse, NY
Cooperstown National 2003, 2008, Cooperstown, NY
Va va Bloom April 2008, Dickman Farms, Auburn NY
H2O NY June 2008 at the Limestone Gallery, Fayetteveille, NY
Rome Art and Community Center 2007
Featured Artist at Artistic Innovations Gallery 2003
Cultural Resource Council Syracuse, NY 2001, 2003, 2007
Lowe Art Gallery MFA Show, Syracuse University 2000
Gallery 210 Syracuse 2000
Arnot Art Museum Elmira 2000