MUNTHE ART MONDAY: LUCY KENT
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
I’m Lucy Kent, a British contemporary landscape painter and founder of Art for Charity Collective (ACC). Having originally trained in portraiture, I felt more of a pull to the landscape around me and taught myself how to paint it. I live and work in Wiltshire, primarily working en plein air creating bold and energetic landscapes in oil depicting large skies and rolling hills. Working directly from life and combining knife and brush marks, my work is energetic, vibrant and immersive. In April 2020 I established ACC, an initiative that supports and promotes artists whilst raising money for worthwhile causes.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I’ve definitely had to work harder.
Works by female artists still sell for a fraction of the prices received for comparable works by a male artist, which affects everything from gallery representation to exhibition opportunities – this has made me more determined and ambitious.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
I love Barbara Hepworth who was quite misunderstood during her working life and passed off as being an over-ambitious woman. I think this quote of hers sums things up for many female artists so well, I’d say she was actually ahead of her time - "the dictates of work are as compelling for a woman as for a man. Not competitively, but as complementary." "A woman artist is not deprived by cooking and having children [...] – one is in fact nourished by this rich life, provided one always does some work each day; even a single half hour, so that images grow in one's mind."
I also adore Helen Frankenthaler’s use of colour, expression and atmosphere, Maggie Hambling’s carefree approach and Georgia O’Keefe’s use of line.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Becoming a mother, whilst being one of the most wonderful and rewarding things to happen to me, also came with its challenges. The childcare issue for women who don’t want to have to sacrifice becoming mothers in order to be artists and the pressure of juggling being a mother and an artist. Mothers guilt - I constantly feel like I’m being torn in different directions and not giving enough time to my children or work - speaking to other women I think it’s a totally normal feeling though.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
My hope is that my paintings transport viewers somewhere else, providing an escape and a sense of nostalgia. I’m a devoted colourist and often push the colours, sometimes to create more drama if a sunset, or for a snow painting more harmonious blues and cools to give people that sense of peace from a crisp and frosty morning.