We had the good fortune of connecting with Linda Lucas Hardy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linda Lucas, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Creating art always makes me happy. Whether I’m paining in oils, working in colored pencil or looking longingly and lovingly, at the Watercolors and Pastels I have not yet played with, I am fulfilled as a human being. Creating art is all I’ve ever really wanted to do. Regardless of which medium I work in, they’re all about discovery, unlocking mysteries and endless possibilities. Doing and creating art keeps me goal oriented, focused and gives me something positive to do with my time which is an excellent diversion to what’s happening in our world today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In 2002, I made a decision to refer to myself as a professional artist. I knew if I didn’t believe it no one else would. Since that decision my art, and/or articles, have been published in two dozen magazines and sixteen books. My work has been juried into more than 90 National and International exhibitions and I’ve won an equal number of awards and honors, many being Best of Show. I am an 18 year veteran of colored pencil instruction and I’ve taught Oil Painting for the last 8. I’ve taught classes and workshops in 15 states and 2 countries to hundreds of students aged 8 to 88. But none of it came easy. I live in a very small town, approximately 130 miles NE of Dallas. Having few resources and no mentors or advisers meant I had to be my own motivator and teacher. I realized the necessity of using what I had, meager as that might be, or give up and do nothing. Doing nothing means a dream can never be realized, so it was never an option. For me, the unknown became the inevitable…it’s called flying by the seat of your pants. Before making the transition to oil in 2008 I spent eighteen years working in colored pencil, which is where I garnered most of my notoriety. Experience and determination had been a close ally so I believed I could teach myself oil as I had taught myself colored pencil…or as I prefers to say, let the medium teach me. It didn’t take long before I realized it was not going to be as straight forward as I thought. The brush wouldn’t cooperate and the paint was not helping. No matter what I did the brush was not going to be a pencil. After a painful and frustrating two-year battle a breakthrough came when a little voice said, “Linda, take what you learned from colored pencil and apply it to oil.” That one thought opened up a whole world of possibilities. From that point on everything changed. I eventually started experimenting with transparent glazes, much like layering in colored pencil, and became intrigued. Even though glazing is time consuming and takes considerable pre-planning I prefer that to painting Alla Prima, a term meaning paintings done in one sitting. At long last the frustration ceased and a joy of learning took its place.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since I live in a very small town (population 1,000) my friend and I would have to travel some distance to do, or see, anything. In this situation I’m thinking my friend would have to come up with the places to visit and the itinerary and I’d be along for the ride. I’m just not familiar with fun things to do and interesting places to go.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
From my second grade teacher who told my Mother I should have art lessons. To the wonderful Mrs. Masters who taught me privately when I was thirteen/fourteen, and who left an indelible mark on me. To my high school art teacher Mrs. Moore. To Lorri Braden-Oglesby who was the first person who believed in me. To Dr. Olive Jensen Theisen, College Professor, who decades later told me I was her favorite student. To Ginger Walker who, twenty years ago, opened her home to me so I’d have a place to teach. To every judge who awarded me Best of Show to Honorable Mention. To every magazine and book that published my work. To Southwest Gallery in Dallas, who many years ago, agreed to represent me. To Ann Kullberg who published, SUBLIME, a retrospective of my colored pencil work. To all my students current and past who have been the best part of this journey. But most of all, to my Husband, who’s been my anchor, who’s encouraged me through the lows and rejoiced with me in the highs. I am forever grateful!