Interview: Creating Honest Art with Lucy Auge

Lucy Auge is a Bath based artist, inspired by natural forms, who works from her studio in the middle of a field in the Somerset countryside.

When did you first begin to make art?

I have always gravitated towards art more than anything else. My mum can even recall me having a tantrum as a four year old having to leave the Dali museum in Spain. I have always drawn throughout my life. And art being the subject I excelled at in school.

Creating art I think comes down to when you classify in your own mind if you are actually creating a piece of art or you are just drawing something in front of you.

I think I have always been an artist but I started creating art when I accepted in myself that this was my profession I wanted to pursue.

Is it a calling?

I believe it is a calling because when I look back everything lead me to this point. And I have tried to deviate from the path for something with a more stable income, better prospects, a work environment etc. My last two jobs which weren’t to do with art I was actually fired from! And when I did get fired I had my largest commissions in or had people who have come into my life and helped my career. So my moment of feeling like I am crap turned around, to seeing what the universe actually is trying to steer me towards.

Where do you think inspiration comes from?

I don’t think it comes from a specific place; it comes when you least expect it.

When something inspires me I feel like my eyes have widened just that tiny bit more.

I can see something more clearly and it doesn’t need explaining.

What surroundings or scenes urge you to create?

It’s an obvious answer given what I paint but being in nature. However the most untouched landscapes are what make me want to create. I don’t manipulate what I draw to make them appear nicer on the page I draw exactly what I see onto the page. So the more unkempt the better.

My art focuses on noticing the everyday beauty in nature, which may sometimes be overlooked.

The landscape that surrounds my studio which are fields and woodlands is what I like best. I find the English countryside an endless source of material.

What story do your pieces tell?

Someone recently came to the studio and said my work was really honest. And I like that and I am going to take that as I think that is the story I want them to hold. I am such an honest person I find it very hard to lie, so I think that feeds into what I do. As I said before, I don’t manipulate anything I draw, it’s just what you see.

Does making art connect you to something greater than yourself?

No not really, I think if it does anything it grounds me. I feel very calm when I am painting.

Do you mind what others think of your work?

Yes and no. I go through periods of not caring but I think over time when it is constantly people feeding you their opinions and their ‘constructive criticism’ which is usually a very backhanded compliment, I do have a good cry now and then. That’s why I like working alone, as I don’t ever ask people what they think of my work, people just give it.

The art world is a funny place. You do need people to like and validate the work to move you up in your career which I find frustrating.

The other thing that makes a difference is I don’t post any pictures of my work online until it’s finished and I am ready to part with it. So I know I am happy with it, rather than gathering up likes about work I haven’t finished yet and thinking people like it so this might be the right direction.

How do you know when a piece is finished?

This is going to be a really annoying answer but I sort of just know when it’s finished. Just like I know when the painting is crap. I suppose it is a gut instinct. That’s why it’s so important I work alone so I can not have the noise of others and I can listen to myself.

Header image: Remco Merbis