Home News Tribune
This article originally appeared in the October 16, 2002 issue of Home News Tribune©. Reprinted by permission.
Lucas’ Art Really Does Compute
Started showing in 1991
By Raviya Ismail
East Windsor: A quick tour through James Lucas’ home makes it apparent what his passion is: It’s painting.
Lucas’s paintings decorates his home and brings it alive with colors of vibrant oranges, reds, and blues.
“I think they are different in how bright they are,” Lucas said of his work. “They are very graphic, which people aren’t used to.”
The East Windsor resident is a graphic design by day and a painter by night. Lucas has been painting since 1990 and has been exhibiting since 1991.
Lucas’ works include celebrity paintings and collections of paintings on particular themes. The 35-year-old hopes to dabble in sculpture and pottery in the future, but for now, painting keeps him busy.
Lucas’ work is of the modern-art genre, and he has found inspiration in the paintings by artists Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Roy Lichtenstein.
Lucas’ art involves an elaborate procedure, using computer technology to speed up the process. Lucas takes photographed picture of the subject, downloads or scans the picture, transfers it to another program known as Illustrator, prints the image, then projects it onto a wall. It’s then that he begins the painting process.
“If you’re not a computer geek, I can’t even explain it,” Lucas said. “I found it easier for the way I paint to just take the pictures, then bring it home for later use.”
Lucas has had shows in California, Massachusetts, New York, Japan and Kazakhstan. He’s also had shows in New Jersey and recently was featured at Triumph Brewery in Princeton.
During the Princeton show, one of his paintings was stolen. The painting was taken in August and there are no leads as to who stole the piece. Lucas said the brewery noticed one of the 40 paintings on display was missing and asked around before realizing it was stolen.
“Financially, (the thief or thieves) stole from me,” Lucas said. “I can’t replace the painting…it’s one less piece I have to show.”
But Lucas remains undeterred and he now has exhibits in Langhorne, PA and La Jolie in Princeton. His paintings Portray people involved in of jazz and swing dancing.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Lucas said of his exhibits. “The Triumph show was a really big step — to show 40 paintings.”
Lucas plans to continue showcasing his work.
“It’s kind of a release,”Lucas said of painting. “It’s something that I enjoy doing. It’s what I want to do. I don’t want to be a graphic designer working for some company, I want to be a full-time painter.
Lucas said most of the enjoyment he gets from pursuing his art comes from the public’s reaction to his work.
“The appreciation that I get, a lot of people seem to like the work that I do,” he said.
Lucas’s passion is not without determination. Most of the time he paints after putting his daughter to sleep, and squeezes himself into his studio — a tiny former storage closet in his apartment.
“I can only paint in really quick bursts,” he said.
Sometimes Lucas paints for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. But it’s all for the love of painting.
Lucas is only half-joking when he said he wants to be featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“I wanted to be an engineer,” Lucas said of his childhood dream. However, he quickly had to change course after something stalled his plan. “Flunking physics,” he said with a smirk.
Raviya Ismail: 732-565-7261; email firstname.lastname@example.org