Today we have the honor of sharing our cover with Artist: Lucy Llera. The artwork featured is entitled, Don Jesús. Lucy Llera has been living in San Antonio since 1982 and received her Arts Degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. But her desire and the pursuit of being a contributor to the expression of art and the knowledge of the arts, Ms. Lucy was a bilingual elementary teacher for 17 years and was a high school art teacher for 13 years. She continually advances her own artist skills as she studied under the guidance and direction of Warren Hunter, a well-regarded watercolorist, participated in painting workshops with Lesta Frank and Gladys Roldan de Moras, Daniel Green and Dalhart Weinberg among other endeavors.
Lucy Llera lives a life that is a blossoming rich fragrance of love and passion and observation, through and for the breath of arts. Born in Cayey, Puerto Rico her artwork reflects the antiquity and long reaching, heritage and culture of the island. She is drawn to the display of the foundations and commitments that she observes that are being embodied by the artisans of Puerto Rico. The cover art that is featured today is an up-close vantage point; a profound segment, of her many experiences which are in the world around her. She shared with me her appreciation of the heavy responsibility that the artisans undertake to preserve the traditions and customs and truths of Puerto Rican culture. The cover image of Don Jesús captures the real-life person living in Puerto Rico performing in the historic Puerto Rican Festival of San Juan. Don Jesús made by hand the conga that he is playing and stretched and treated the leather covering that tautly drapes the instrument. His shirt is intentional and celebrates the honor and history of the African heritage, culture and traditions that are prominent fibers of Puerto Rican life.
I asked Lucy to share with me her heart and her motivations for her art through her eyes and this is what she said,” I believe that artisans, musicians, dancers and painters have the responsibility of preserving culture, wishing that traditions do not die. My inspiration through art is to showcase culture, especially that of my beloved island of Puerto Rico. But I also paint the landscapes of the places I have visited abroad. I want people to see in my oil paintings and watercolors the beauty of traditions and landscapes. I paint the nostalgia or the memory of a past that I want to preserve.
I paint traditional landscapes, like the flamboyant that invites you to sit down and rest. It is the flamboyant that, as a song says, dressed in red, looks like the king of Spring. Also, I enjoy painting children and adults. In their faces and in their traditional dresses that so much call my attention, I can see their pride in their culture.”
Please enjoy her words in Español:”Creo que los artesanos, músicos, bailarines y pintores tenemos en nuestras manos la responsabilidad de preservar la cultura, deseando conservar vivas nuestras tradiciones. Mi inspiración a través del arte es llevar al público el conocimiento de la cultura de los pueblos, especialmente la de mi querida isla de Puerto Rico. Pero también pinto los paisajes de sitios que he visitado en mis viajes. Deseo que la gente al ver mis óleos y acuarelas vean la belleza de las tradiciones y los paisajes. Pinto la nostalgia, el recuerdo de un pasado que quiero conservar en mis obras.
Pinto la naturaleza típica, como el flamboyán que te invita a sentarte y a descansar. Es el flamboyán que, como dice la canción, vestido de rojo, luce el rey de la primavera. También, disfruto pintar niños y adultos. Trato de captar su orgullo en su cultura tanto en sus caras como en sus vestidos típicos que tanto me llaman la atención.”
We are living in a world where there are many artificial influences that are powerful and pressing and have strong impacts on how we interact and engage with the world we live in. But that can be the beauty of the life of an artist. They can create the world they want to live in.