We were lucky enough this week to speak to the supremely talented Bath-based artist Lucy Auge about her work and her deep connection with nature. Lucy creates paintings in her studio situated in the beautiful countryside surrounding Bath and we were fascinated to find out more about her processes and the inspiration behind her work.
WHERE DID YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY START?
I grew up in Bath to an English Mother and French Father and even though they were in catering, (they owned the Beaujolais Restaurant in Bath), they were both very artistic in their own ways. It was a very bohemian household and they would take me and my siblings to art galleries, theatre and when they weren't busy working we would travel around the world. We were exposed to a lot of creativity growing up.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR AMAZING STUDIO…
My studio is a space where nature and light come together. A space without distractions where I can just create. I like to keep it simple, inspirational and comfortable. I spend lots of hours here so it needs to feel welcoming. My studio is a representation of my work and my life. When you are in a space where you want to be it’s so much easier to start the day and get immersed in the work.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT A TYPICAL DAY IS LIKE?
Mornings are usually admin. I get a lot of enquiries and commissions so I like to answer any queries first before I do anything else. Then I’ll begin to paint and on a good day I’ll manage to focus on this for around six hours, sometimes more. I tend to work creatively in blocks of time so I can keep up the momentum. I’ve found from experience that if I try to paint full time, every day, I burn out and can't figure out if I actually like the work I just created or not. So, I deliberately factor in breaks from painting.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ARTISITC APPROACH?
Unpredictable… I never know what I am going to paint year on year. It really is what I see in the moment.
HOW DOES THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE AND THE SEASONS INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
I really love where I live here in Somerset and my work is rooted in this place, in the familiar and in allowing nature to do the changing. I never run out of things to paint just time to paint it. My work is so seasonal that by the time I finished a piece, I know I’ve missed a month of spotting things I would like to paint. And that can be anything from brambles in the hedgerow to Poplar trees by the side of the road.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED TO CREATE YOUR WORK?
The main challenges are usually on the business side of being an artist; things like copyright infringement and how to handle that, problems with couriers, delays in payment… all the ins and outs of running a business really. It might sound strange but I don't mind a challenge. I love to learn and grow and it definitely makes me a stronger artist. However, sometimes when 90 challenges (slight exaggeration) come up in a week then I might change my tune!
WHAT TOOLS AND MATERIALS DO YOU USE TO CREATE YOUR PRINTS AND DRAWINGS?
The subject matter I paint changes all the time but I do stick to the same medium which is Sumi ink and a Chinese fat brush.
BEING CREATIVE OFTEN COMES WITH A BUSY MIND. WHAT DO YOU DO TO RE-STORE AND RE-CHARGE?
During lockdown I decided to buy an electric bike, it was the best investment!, I knew I needed to spend time immersed in nature. Now, when I finish painting for the day, I cycle and explore the country lanes. For me, it is a wonderful way to unwind. To relax I love the meditations on Insight Timer. Also, Centred Soul by K. K. Brown always makes me feel grounded.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR WORK?
I sell my original paintings via my website www.lucyauge.co.uk. I send out a catalogue of work to all my subscribers who are based around the world on a first come, first served basis.
I also sell botanical art prints on www.atelierauge.co.uk .These are from my floral works I used to create, until I painted over 1000 originals and needed a change.
WHO WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE?
I do have a soft spot for Gloria Steinman. Her dedication and her writing have always made an impact on me. Also, I would say my friends are pretty impressive and definitely influence me. I always feel it is a testament to a friendship that they are so supportive of me and my work when I’m not in the room. In that way, we nurture each other.
To learn more about Lucy's work visit lucyauge.co.uk
Photos credited to photographer @RooLewis