Positive Drawings by Karen Lucchese

karen luccheseAP: Tell us some words about yourslef.

KL: I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I had two brothers and a sister. My parents were normal working folks that didn’t really have a lot of extra money. But what we did have was a basement that was filled with arts and crafts supplies and a makeshift darkroom. My mom also had a sewing room. We used to go down there and do all kinds of crafts – anything from stained glass, clay, photography, making baskets, painting, paper mache. You name it – we did it.

Later, I met my husband and we moved to Florida. I worked for a dentist (real job) until one day I just couldn’t do it anymore. I left my job and started to really learn to paint. I began painting murals and faux finishing. I had a great career at it. After about 6 years working everyday on ladders and scaffolding I decided it would be easier to paint on canvas pieces and began doing that. My art has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I have had great success in many ways but my dream is to be a licensed artist. I have very recently met an agent that really believes in me and I feel as though it may help me to realize my licensing dream! Stay tuned….

karen lucchese AP: Your first works. What did they look like?

KL: I honestly don’t recall a time that I wasn’t creating something. I had a very creative mom and she had a passion for arts and crafts. As kids, we were always encouraged to create. My first love was paper mache and then for some reason (horribly cold, miserable, snowy winters) I began to love crochet and cross stitch. I think when you grow up not having a lot of money, you become resourceful and creative. It’s not always a bad thing to have less!

AP: Do you have any formal education in your sphere or were you self-taught?

KL: When I decided to learn to paint I read everything I could get my hands on. I also enrolled in a decorative arts painting class. My teacher Pam, is one of my closest friends to this day. She pushed us to really learn and do not accept just mediocre work. I’m so grateful to her for that.

karen lucchese Then I started taking classes from some national decorative artists. I took classes from anyone that I could learn new techniques from. I was like a sponge.

Then I got the courage (or stupidity) to try to draw a design of my own and paint it. Wow, that’s when I realized I could create my own work. Previously. I was painting from patterns of decorative art teachers. It was a good way to learn technique, but there was lack of creativity. I decided to design, paint and give directions on how to paint my piece and submitted it for publication. I was shocked to find out that the magazine accepted the piece for publication! It was one of my proudest moments in the story of my creativity!

AP: What genre are your works?

KL: I really try not to limit myself with any genres. I have so many interests. One look that really captivated me was dry brush painting and painting with glazes. I consumed myself with trying to learn to paint in that technique. I have become pretty good at that technique. It still influences my work today.

karen lucchese AP: How would you describe your works?

KL: Many wonderful folks have told me that my work makes them smile. I like to paint happy things. I like to try to hide little images in my work so it will be new each time you look at it. But most of all, I want people to enjoy color and movement of the pieces. I love whimsical!

AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use?

karen luccheseKL: I love to use acrylic paints with layers of glaze. On highlights and shadows, I like to build them slowly so there is a richness in the colors. I experiment with lots of technique. I love layer painting and paper all together. I love Golden products and Jo Sonya paints.

AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in this sphere? 

KL: I don’t consider myself as an expert in any art. I am a student of art and I always will be. The desire to learn is strong and motivating!

karen luccheseAP: What is your success formula?

KL: I think persistance is the number one and the most important factor in success. I have had a lot of ups and downs trying for sucess. Many times I wanted to give up, but I persist from pure passion and love of painting and creating. I have a dream to be a successful licensed artist and I will not stop until that happens. I believe I can do it – and I will do it.

AP: Is there someone who helps you in your creativity?

KL: I have wonderful friends and family who supports me, but my main motivators are my kids. Simply because I want to show my kids, by example, that if you want something bad enough and persist, it can happen!

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