Featured MAG Artist: Becky Lucht

When did I start doing art? Pretty young. I drew and doodled my way through school and a myriad of meetings over the years, although frankly, it didn’t always go well. The strikingly life-like portrait of my junior high school English teacher in the back of my book might have been better received if only I hadn’t labeled it “Old Lady G,” for example. There are other stories as well, of course, but you get the idea…

I eventually went off to college and majored in art education with a minor in drawing and painting. Back then the art world was in flux and the instructors seemed to be of the mindset to let us figure it out on our own. I recall going to three-hour studio classes such as painting, three times per week and having no idea what to do. The instructors were as scarce as my creative ideas. I had come to school fully expecting to learn to paint classically. But anything representational was considered totally passé.  Now I found myself taking up smoking for a while just to have something to do for three continuous hours of mental block three times a week. It’s what the cool kids did, smoking and squinting through the smoke trying to look thoughtful and contemplative, while giving off the air of being on the verge of becoming the next Jackson Pollock or Andy Warhol. What’s really sad is I wasn’t even good at smoking. I coughed a lot, burned myself on the matches and never did look cool. Despite all the suffering, I did manage to graduate with honors, no less, from the University of Minnesota, Mankato. Upon graduation I quickly realized the last thing I wanted to do was teach art. That’s when my introduction to newspapering began.


SCRATCHBOARD

My most recent art obsession. My introduction was three years ago through the Guild, watching Polly Moore working on these little black boards and bringing them to life before my eyes. I was intrigued, and fortunately, not long after Polly taught a beginners’ workshop. I was hooked immediately.  Because of the precision and detail involved in creating a decent scratchboard, it’s important to have a clear, sharp photo reference. I do like to begin with a thumbnail and a Notan to block out the layout and the values before I begin scratching. Making corrections is difficult, so planning is critical.
People sometimes comment on the high level of detail in a scratchboard and assume I have all kinds of monk-like patience. That’s really not that accurate. When you get rolling, scratching has a rhythm and a Zen-like zone that is strangely calming and addictive, at least to me. I always scratch to music, mainly blues, jazz and Southern rock. I have done dozens of boards by now mainly Western art and wildlife. I also have been kept pretty busy with commissions of horses and dogs. I try to continue to learn and improve. I was juried in and am an Active member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists. I have a goal of becoming a Signature member next, which includes submitting a number of pieces to be judged in order to qualify. I’m hoping to go to their international show this year, as it is in the US.


MAG WORKSHOPS

I have learned so much from the workshops I have been able to attend through my MAG membership. I served as workshop coordinator for several years and loved getting to know the instructors. One thing I liked doing was inviting the class members to go to dinner with the teacher one evening. Picking their brains for techniques and how they stay motivated can be full of surprises. Last fall some of us from Sterling Edwards’ watercolor workshop went to dinner at Colton’s where he demonstrated his skills as a whiskey painter. Yes, that’s a real thing, and to be one you must be juried in. Workshops open up your world, enhance your skills and are so much fun. I’m so glad that MAG can bring them to our club.


MUSKOGEE ART GUILD

I have been a member for almost 10 years now, and this is my fifth year as president. I’m pretty sure I’ve reached my term limits but have continued to serve because I think the arts are so important to quality of life in a community. Beginning with children, involvement in the arts has a direct correlation with grades, self-esteem and even success in college and career. There are many ways for the Guild to impact the Muskogee area, and it’s my dream to continue to do so. A couple of my favorites are the trend toward “creative aging” which is being promoted and supported by the Oklahoma Arts Council, and programs to support Veterans with grants available for art agencies who wish to engage. I love the camaraderie of MAG and the wonderful friends I have made, the education I have gained through the organization, the leadership skills I’ve developed and the fun, especially the fun. Please join us at our new home and help keep the party going!









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