Lucienne Canet

Blue – Retrospective
23 x 19 in.

The images that attract me the most show some aspect of the personality of the subject. In particular, I like to paint portraits of people in that moment where you can see the way in which they carry themselves and the attitude with which they face the world. I try to limit the detail to what is most important and show a raw and honest version of the subject, whether I am painting a person or an object.

I grew up in New York, a place where art has always thrived. Because of this I was able to interact with all kinds of people at an early age. My mother was an accountant and my father was a jack of all trades: a taxi cab driver, a writer, a carpenter and a salesman. Though I did not inherit a love of art from them, I did inherit a desire to communicate with people. My favorite artists were those that won over the public by showing their art in the street. I loved street art and I loved murals, not only because these forms of art were accessible but because they were honest.

I try not to embellish anything or do the opposite—to make anything ugly. I try to paint what I see. The painting “Blue-retrospective” was a portrait I made of a fellow I went out with for three days. On the fourth day, he left a tattered hat behind and his face in my painting. I sold the hat on e-bay and sent the painting to Woman Made Gallery.

“Blue-Retrospective” was named after the suggestion of a teacher of mine, who said that because the painting was fairly somber, it reminded him of Picasso’s blue-period, in the early part of his career. It also may have reflected my own state of mind at the time. I took his advice to heart and thank him for his help.

© Lucienne Canet