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Shenanigans, Wildlife Running Amok with Museum Porcelain

I find a healthy dose of silly shenanigans is good for me. And after a long difficult year, we all deserve some. 🙂

I usually know what kind of mood I’m going for when I plan a painting, and I seek objects that work together to tell a story that fits. For my final painting of the series, I wanted to make something lighthearted and playful. This one makes me smile every time I look at it, and I hope you enjoy it!

Since I started making still life paintings last year, I am always on the lookout for subjects. Anything that catches my fancy is studied, posed, photographed, then added to my growing reference library. The parts of this painting fell into place by scrolling through those images and intuiting which pieces of this puzzle would fit together. 

Meyer lemons are an annual treat for the exhibition crew at SAM. Each year the head Exhibit Designer, Paul Martinez, would visit his family in California and pick lemons from their abundant orchard. Last year I took dozens of photos of them, just in case I wanted to use them in a painting. The squirrel visited us during one of our lunch breaks on a park bench in Volunteer Park while reinstalling the Seattle Asian Art Museum last summer-another batch of “just in case” images. And the dish was too hard to pass up when I noticed it in the conservation studio – more photographs. As I collected each of those images, I had no idea what they would become together.

Because I’m using pieces from the Seattle Art Museum collection as my models, I can’t actually place fruit inside bowls or plates. Instead I use something of my own that’s a similar size, shape and color for my mock ups. That helps me get a good idea of the shadows and light sources. Then I merge everything together, first in my imagination, with sketches, and then digital compositions. It’s still pretty rough at this stage, but finally through the process of making the painting, the scene starts to come to life.

It’s been such a privilege have a “day job” that has put me into direct contact with so much beautiful art. The museum has been closed for almost all of 2020, and it feels so fitting that I’ve made this series of paintings as a tribute to its collection, and to my experiences with the people there who have become very dear to me.

This body of work is my “thank you” to all of the past artists that worked to perfect their craft and push the limits of their artistic pursuits, to all of the countless people that have cared for these objects for hundreds of years after they were created; and to those that continue to care for these objects, ensuring that they will be treasured and viewed by countless people to come. I found the passion museum workers have for the preservation of objects for all of us to enjoy is contagious. I hope I’ve been able to pass a little of it on to you.

DISH WITH PHOENIX AND FLOWER MOTIFS, Collection of the Seattle Art Museum


Chinese, early 14th century
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration , Diameter: 18 3/4 in. (47.6cm), Purchased in memory of Elizabeth M. Fuller with funds from the Elizabeth M. Fuller Memorial Fund and from the Edwin W. and Catherine M. Davis Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota, 76.7
Provenance:Purchased for Seattle Art Museum with funds from the Elizabeth M. Fuller Memorial Fund and from the Edwin W. and Catherine M. Davis Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 6, 1976
Photo: Paul Macapia

From the Seattle Art Museum website:

“Brilliant cobalt pigment and a refined porcelain body are essential to the striking beauty of blue-and-white wares, which rose in Chinese ceramic production in the fourteenth century largely as a result of huge demand in the central and western Asian markets. This large dish manifests the taste for elaborate designs derived from Islamic art, and its massive size was intended to accommodate communal meals customary among Muslims.”

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Animals, Birds & Wildlife 2020

What do these two paintings have in common? They’re both finalists in the Richeson75 Animals, Brids & Wildlife 2020 Competition! Visit the online exhibit to see all of the work included in the show.

Jack Richeson & Co. is a fine art materials manufacturing company and part of their mission is to directly support the visual arts community. They operate the Richeson School of Art & Gallery and have created a series Richeson75 International Art Competitions.

“The Richeson75 competitions are meant to offer a venue in which established and emerging artists may show their latest, best work to a wide and appreciative audience. The 75 finalists for each regular contest will exhibit their work in our beautiful Richeson Gallery and in the online exhibit. The Richeson75 online competitions also reach a wide audience with online exhibits of the 75 finalists’ work.”

All Richeson75 competitions are accompanied with the publication of a collectible, limited-edition, full-color, hardcover exhibit book which includes the artwork of the finalists and other meritorious entries from the competition.

The competitions showcase artwork made in the realist tradition. I’m honored to have two pieces among such a technically well-crafted mix of styles and subjects. Congratulations to everyone in the show!!

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Childhood’s End Gallery Small Works Show

Nine artists from the Pacific Northwest created artwork for this small works show and I made the trip down to Olympia to join some of them for the opening. Though the mediums varied wildly with ceramics, oils, watercolors, acrylics, drawing, etc., all of the pieces were created by women. I got to see some familiar and dear faces while meeting some new lovely people at the opening.

Go to my last post to see all of the pieces I have in the show and go to the gallery website to purchase a piece.

Artist Rebecca Luncan at the Small Works Exhibition Art Opening
Artist Rebecca Luncan at the Small Works Opening, photo by Darcy Goedecke

About Childhood’s End Gallery

“Since 1971 Childhood’s End Gallery has been a leading source for fine art and American craft. Located along the waterfront in historic downtown Olympia, we feature the work of hundreds of artists and craftspeople. Our selection of items includes functional and decorative work in a variety of media including art glass, ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, jewelry and a wide range of fine art and reproductions.”

The gallery is divided to showcase fine art on one side and hand made American crafts on the other. Both the space and the gallerists are gems and definitely worth a visit.

Visit the gallery:

Childhood’s End Gallery is located at the corner of 4th Avenue and Water Street in downtown Olympia, Washington. Olympia is located 1 hour south of Seattle, Washington and 2 hours north of Portland, Oregon along the Interstate 5 corridor.

Hours: Mon. – Sat. 10am-6pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

222 4th Ave W, Olympia, WA 98501

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Calf paintings and chicken drawings in Small Works Exhibit

Bovine beauties and classic chickens have posed for two new paintings and three new drawings. On view July 12 – August 25th at Childhood’s End Gallery as part of a group exhibit featuring small artwork from nine northwest female artists.

Childhood’s End Gallery has been around since 1971 and they’re a leading source for fine art and American craft.  Located along the waterfront in historic downtown Olympia, step inside and you’ll find something for everyone.

I’ll have two calf paintings of Zebu cows from Holly Freeman’s herd about an hour outside Nashville, TN. She helps run the Columbia Art’s Building and raises all sorts of creatures. See these two painting and more from the Into the Country (larger works) series.

Calf oil painting in the realist tradition by Rebecca Luncan
Cheryl oil on aluminum 8″ x 8″

Though my primary medium is oils, keeping up a steady drawing practice informs and strengthens my technical skills. I’ve also always been fond of the medium. I have three affordable portraits of hens and roosters in the exhibition and plan to continue to make more throughout the year. My husband and I have been traveling around the Seattle area this summer taking photos of our friends chickens (one day we’ll have our own!). I’m making four painting for another exhibition opening up next month in LA, but there were so many incredible faces in the mix that I was eager to capture in a portrait. See them all in my gallery of drawings.

Animal Portraits in a Mini Art Exhibit!

animal portrait rabbit art miniature drawing on paper by Rebecca Luncan

Eleanor, pencil on paper, 3.3″ x 5″

The holiday season brings mini artwork!

Come by Ghost Gallery to see hundreds of pieces under 12″ made by artists from around the world. There’s an enormous variety of artwork made using different styles and mediums. Go to their website or to Capital Hill neighborhood in Seattle to see them all in person! I’ve been doing lots of drawings lately and have given them some of these animal portraits to add to the mix.

animal portrait calf art miniature drawing on paper by Rebecca Luncan

Lucy, pencil on paper, 4″ x 4″