Lucy Finchett-Maddock uses neons, metallics, stripes and bright contrasts of colours, to create works that range from abstract, figurative to landscape and portraiture. Regular readers may recognise Lucy as a contributor to the Lewes Arts website as she has interviewed other artists and written reviews. You can find Lucy at Brighton Art and Craft Fair this Saturday (26th July 2014), at the Friends Meeting House, Brighton. More details on Lucy’s website and Facebook page.
What are you doing today?
Today I have been doing some reading for my research that I do for work (I am an academic), and travelling back from seeing family up in North Wales. No art today unfortunately.
Describe where you do most of your creative work.
In my room in the flat where I lodge in Lewes – a lot of my belongings are in storage due to being in between renting and buying, so I paint my work at my easel and balance all other materials on a VERY large reel of bubble wrap in the corner of the bedroom!
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
To be honest, all of the pieces that I have painted in the past two or so years have been tremendously exciting for me – before that I had not drawn nor painted since my late teens – so it is a real sense of achievement and release to be painting anything. I am also putting together my work so far for sale at the Brighton Art and Craft Fair on 26 July (shameless plug!) which is a bit of a milestone too.
What made you decide to become an artist?
This is an interesting question, and one I was having a related discussion recently as to who is and what is an artist, as art is not my primary source of income/choice of career – but does that mean I am not an artist? I am just thinking of the time when I was assisting in a local art project at the SpaceX gallery in Exeter and we were separated into groups of ‘artists’ and ‘non-artists’ – I was begrudgingly put as a non-artist, because of my unrelated profession. Which makes me think I obviously must think I am an artist, hence the grumpy reaction! And to longwindedly answer the question when did I decide to become one, well, I have always regarded myself as one probably, whether as primary profession or not, but the decision to produce to sell has been this year.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on some fun small paintings for children, ready for sale at the fair in a couple of weeks – little stripy snails, whales and other animals. I started doing these for friends who were having babies and they seemed to have been popular so far, so will see how they go down at the craft fair!
What are the key themes in your work?
My themes are developing, and I do tend to be effected by where I am both emotionally and geographically. Some pieces, like ‘Absence’ and ‘Grace’ are depicting memories, life transitions, sounds, atmospheres, emotions, using the female form very often and inspired by fashion and colour (‘Juncture’), fashion design being a love of mine from when I was little. I also have a developing theme of heart rate captures (‘Rhythm’), and as mentioned before, animals painted in brightly coloured stripes (‘Stripy’).
What would you like people to notice about your work?
It’s difficult to say as I am probably not entirely sure yet and my subjects change quite regularly – but I suppose I would like people to notice the emotion, and the colours, the use of metallics and fluorescents I use for an often more urban feel, even for more traditional scenes – I like the unconventional, the futuristic and the eccentric so that’s probably what I am trying to purvey somehow.
What attracts you to the medium you work in?
I paint in acrylics because I find the paint itself leads the way with the drawing more easily than oils and water colours, and you can affect some beautifully striking colours too. Oils take too long to dry!
What equipment could you not do without?
My glasses, my easel, some music and my cat, haha.
Who or what inspires you?
I am a huge fan of Rothko and Mondriaan, I love the abstracted nature of the form beneath and the theory behind – plus the colours and the aesthetic effect are very designed and yet laden with meaning, moreso with Rothko. Adore art nouveau and the patterns of the arts and crafts movement, the use of black outlining like Toulouse-Lautrec. Oh, and the Futurist movement for their ‘dynamism’ and the alien forms of Giger, mesmerising stuff.
How is your art effected by living in this area?
My art was very affected by the countryside when I lived in Devon before moving to Sussex. And the work here has definitely changed, although no scapes of the Downs as yet – but I do definitely get inspired by my surroundings.
What’s your favourite thing to do locally?
I like to go walking in the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve, and if am out of town, ambling along the Laines in Brighton.
What’s your favourite gallery (or place to see/experience art)?
Am going to be annoying and say the Tate Modern, because I do love the huge vacuum of the Turbine Hall, and a visit is normally combined with a merry jaunt along the Southbank.
If you could own one piece of art, what would it be and why?
I would love to own a Rothko – a huge canvas hanging as a backdrop to some sort of very homely but pretty sharp, modern dining room would be rather delightful.
If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be and why?
Neeta Pedersen, as she’s a wonderful artist whom I admire greatly and she is a lovely lady, based here in Lewes no less. Her sensual monochrome forms are beautiful – I have requested to commission her to paint murals on the walls of my new garden, and we might work on it together so that’s quite exciting!
Who do you think is the most underrated artist?
I think the painters of the Futurist movement are quite underrated, or at least they are not referred to particularly often, most probably due to their negative connections with the Fascist movement in Italy. But their depictions of modernity and movement are stunning.
What’s your favourite colour?