December 2018 Issue
by Cindy Whitman
Until Pink Founder & Publisher, Elizabeth Millen, happened by one of Brenda Luczynski’s gallery shows last year, our December cover artist had always painted Santa Claus at Christmas. “Elizabeth pointed at my Santa painting,” Brenda recalled, “and she smiled and said this is lovely, but next year why don’t you paint Mrs. Claus? So I did.” And this month’s magazine cover is the luckier for it.
Chatting by phone from her current home base in Atlanta, the prolific oil painter, who also has a home in Palmetto Dunes and a boat in Shelter Cove Marina, is every bit as holly jolly as the subject of her cover work of art, aptly titled: “Mrs. Claus.” There’s a happy lilt in her lovely Southern accent and a joyful passion that lights up her fluttery patter. “Painting makes me happy. I just get lost in it. If my husband came home from work in the middle of the day, he might find me sitting in my little studio, still in my PJs. I’ve been in love with painting for most of my life.”
Brenda was introduced to the art of painting at the age of 16 in her hometown of Scottsboro, Alabama. “I had a Sunday school teacher who took an interest in me. She was a widow and lived alone; she was kind of a Grandma Moses type, and she would just invite me into her home and we would sit at her old-fashioned kitchen table and paint together. I loved it from the very first day.” She put herself through college and chose a career in finance for practicalities, but Brenda’s love affair with painting continued. She took some art classes in college, studied at Atlanta College of Art, and at the Chastain Art Center. She and her husband raised seven children in Atlanta, but every summer they vacationed on Hilton Head with her husband’s upstate New York family, where the artist in Brenda fell in love for the second time. “We absolutely knew we would live here one day.”
Annual holiday portraits—and lots and lots of portraits of her 15 grandchildren—notwithstanding, Brenda’s most favorite milieu is plein air. “You just sit outside and you look at something and then you paint it. I’ll carry my easel to Shelter Cover Marina and just sit and look until something strikes my fancy. Pinckney Island is a wonderful place to go and sit, too. There’s always something new to see. It just makes me happy.”
These days, thanks to one of her granddaughters, Brenda has a new found passion for all things that glitter, and she’s been adding the sparkly stuff to her gown and shoe paintings; and now often works with a spatula rather than a paintbrush. “There’s always, always something new to learn,” she says. “Always, always, always!”
A member of the Hilton Head Art League, Brenda’s work appears in shows there, and two of her paintings were selected to appear in the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 brochure. Brenda’s painting portfolio can be viewed at www.brendaluczynski.com; and her paintings are available for sale at www.saatchiart.com.