Lindsey Luna Tucker's paintings echo the experience of what it feels like to be in nature. Her paintings are as much about the landscape pictured as they are about the process of creation and the viewer’s experience. We talked to her about her artistic journey. Get to know her below.
When did you start painting? Tell us a little about your creative journey.
I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember, but my love for drawing and painting really began my sophomore year in high school. I needed to fill a credit and on a whim decided to take a drawing and painting class. That class was my introduction to what it meant to really see something in order to recreate it in two dimensions. From my first drawing, I was hooked and wanted to know all I could about art. That class was the beginning of my interest in the technical aspect of art.
Then the summer before my senior year of high school, my parents decided to move our family across the country. As a teenager who was heavily involved in my school and extracurriculars, understandably, I was devastated. At my new high school, the only class I cared about all that much was an oil painting course. That class began my understanding of what it meant to paint with emotion. Painting became a way for me to process my emotions and sadness from leaving the life and friends I’d had in Michigan.
From that time on, I knew that art would be a part of my life forever. I went to college for a year, took a few years off, but eventually returned to complete my BFA in drawing and painting. I know having a degree isn’t required to be an artist, but I love learning and wanted to glean all the information I could from art professors who had so much knowledge. In school I barely brushed the surface of all there is to learn about art, but that’s kind of what I love about it most - the learning never ends, it’s a constant evolution and understanding in new ways. I’m grateful it’s something I get to do every day for the rest of my life.
Your paintings make me want to go on a hike and just be outside exploring. Do you have a favorite place to paint?
I’m honored that my paintings inspire you to go outside and explore and hike! Nature is my greatest source of inspiration and I love sharing that with others. I actually don’t have a favorite landscape I love to paint. The closest is probably anywhere with mountains. There is something I just love about mountains. They have a presence and knowing that fascinates me.
Do you bring your painting supplies with you when you travel?
I usually bring a pencil, my sketchbook, and sometimes watercolors when I travel or am out exploring and hiking. I tend to take a lot of notes, make quick sketches, and do color palette studies but not much plein air painting. I prefer to immerse myself in nature while I’m there, remember as much as I can, and take what I’ve learned back to the studio to create larger paintings.
How long does a painting usually take you from start to finish? Do you work on several at a time?
It totally varies. Some paintings come together easily and it’s as if my hand knows exactly what it’s doing and where the painting is going. Other times paintings can sit in my studio for months in some ambiguous state until one day the painting is ready to be finished. On average a piece will get done within two or three weeks. That’s not to say I’m working on it constantly that entire time but between layers drying, looking, and resting time, a few weeks is average.
Sometimes when I’m working on a painting I need to give myself and it space to be apart and “rest”. I will usually turn it around so that I can’t see it and after a few days or weeks, I’ll put it up on my wall again so I can see it with fresh eyes. Looking at a painting is as much a part of the creation process as the physical act of painting.
With all that said, I typically work on 15-20 paintings at a time. I have pieces in all stages so that I always have something to work on even while others are drying or resting.
What do you do when you’re not painting?
When I’m not painting or doing business things - my days are mostly filled with reading, hiking, working out, walking my dog, cooking, and being outside as much as possible. On my “days off” I do a lot of thought work, journaling, and reading. This time to be still and think is an important part of my creation process.
I also love to travel, but that’s on hold for the moment ;)
What’s been the highlight of your career so far? Brag about it.
Honestly, I don’t know if there is one thing in particular. The highlight is really the culmination of it all.
I will say that one of my favorite things is creating commissions for people and having them fall in love with the piece. I love learning about places people visit and why a place is special to them. I love it. I love what I do. And I get to visit a lot of places around the world through painting. I get to envision what it is like to be there - the sights, sounds, smells - all of it. It’s so fun.
What’s been the biggest lesson along the way?
This is actually the most difficult question for me to answer because I’ve learned SO much.
I think one of the best things my art and art business have taught me is how to be more free. And I’m mostly talking about freedom in the sense of less judgement, but it applies in many ways.
For many years of my life I was a perfectionist, living under an assumption that something/anything in life could be perfect. But as we all know, that’s impossible. I no longer beat myself up about anything or strive for perfection. Doing those things don’t produce any helpful results so it’s something I just don’t do anymore. I have been able to learn to let go of judgement towards myself and open up to living a more loving and free life. After living for years being hypercritical of myself, it’s like a breath of fresh air every single day. Freedom.
You just launched your Signs of Spring collection, it’s beautiful of course and I noticed too that you painted some of your house plants! We’re newbie plant ladies but so far, it’s been so rewarding. What made you decide to paint your plants? How has caring for plants influenced your work?
Oh my goodness, I love my plants like I love my dog, they are part of my family haha. I usually do a drawing every day - to warm up my brain and my hand. With quarantine I was drawing my plants every day and one day thought “why don’t I paint these?”, and that was it. I started a few paintings of the plants. I used to paint still lifes all the time so it was fun to have the subject right in front of me. Unlike my landscapes which usually come from reference photo, sketches, and memories.
I own A LOT of plants. My husband always laughs at me because he knows that if I go to a certain area of town or a certain store, I’ll likely come home with another plant. And he’s not wrong. It’s fun to learn about plant types and what kind of sunlight and care they need. I’m definitely not perfect at keeping them all healthy. I’ve burned a few leaves in my day giving a plant too much sunlight or forgetting to water them. But the beauty of indoor plants is that they can usually recover so long as you pay attention and correct your mistake before it’s too late. We live in the city in an apartment so our access to nature can sometimes be limited. Caring for plants and having lots of plants in my home is another way I can bring nature into my daily life.
How has being in quarantine impacted your work?
Besides painting my indoor plants, actually not all that much. If anything, I have been able to create more time and space to think and paint because I have less distractions. I’m an introvert so being alone and left to my creating is how I live my life on a “normal” day. Now it’s just more socially accepted :)
What’s one book you think everyone should read?
Okay since I only get to pick one book. It’s got to be The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart Tolle is a large inspiration for me, and I think everyone could use a little more presence and stillness in their lives. But that’s just my opinion :)