Lucy Calhoun creates colorful paintings that capture the primal connection and embodied emotions in people, animals, and landscape, co-joining the three in harmonized composition. You can find Lucy at lucycalhoun.etsy.com.
Athens Art Prints: How do you describe your aesthetic?
Lucy Calhoun: I believe in figuring out what you want, and then creating images of that in your mind, or in front of you, as art. So, as simple or naive as it may seem, I want to create scenes evoking belonging and welcome.
AAP: What motifs, characters or objects are important to you to feature?
LC: I wanted to see how accurately I could portray touch: arms and hands embracing; touching fully another being. So I ended up painting hands really big, as a result of an extreme angle and distortion intended to better show that connection. Therefore, hands have become a vital subject in my work. I also enjoy working with images from the dream world and unseen realms including ancestors.
AAP: What inspires your paintings, and why do you enjoy using acrylic?
LC: Humans and/or animals and nature-based settings have been important in my work. Acrylics are easy to work with so I’ve found it a good medium for me. I usually use other media on top of the basic first layer so I feel good having that at the base.
AAP: What is it like to be part of the creative community in Athens?
LC: I’m still getting deeper into it! The creative community in Athens might seem intimidating at first with all its history, but the further you explore its innards, you find a really honest, down to earth spring of energy with do-it-yourself roots. Athens creative scene still shows off the rich fruit borne of its “necessity is the mother of invention” and "thrift-store-style-before-it-was-cool” creative boundaries. The only other place I’ve lived as an adult, long enough to get an accurate taste of the creative community was Humboldt county, California, and things going on there that I wish I could see here include a monthly art walk downtown that EVERYBODY goes to, and also a studio & gallery for the Developmentally Disabled population — in fact, I want to start one here, and am in the planning stages.
AAP: What first prompted you to sell prints of your work?
LC: When I lived in California, I was fortunate to live next door to an eccentric older gentleman named Lee Wakefield who had fancy cheeses shipped in from San Francisco every week to share with his neighbors in the little courtyard of the apartment complex, paired with sliced fruit and 3 dollar wine. He had always been a collector of art, and offered to fund a professional photography session for my art in trade for an original. That started my selling of prints, and has turned out to be a very good trade. A friend told me about Etsy, and I opened my online Etsy shop on Jul 17, 2008. I’m realizing I’ve been incredibly lax about making sure I have a print-worthy image of each piece before they’re sold. In fact, there is a particular piece I did a few years ago I can’t wait to make prints of, but I didn’t get a good image and now it’s in another state! Fortunately my friend bought it and will have it back in town soon, then I’ll be bringing it to Pixel & Ink for their mad skills on the digital image capturing!