Originally from Melbourne, Lucy has been a Fine Artist and Illustrator for 15+ years. She now teaches regularly as an art tutor at VAS, covering classes in oil painting, acrylic and drawing, with a focus on portraiture.
This year she received Highly Commended for her work in both the VAS George Hicks Contemporary Exhibition and the VAS Portrait Exhibition. And most recently she is a 2023 Kennedy Prize Finalist.
In 2022, Lucy was the recipient of the Annie Davison Oliver Award in the 113th MSWPS Annual Exhibition 'Changing Perspectives', a Southern Buoy Studios Finalist (both 2022 and 2021) as well as a Highly Commended recipient in the 2022 VAS Autumn Select exhibition.
She has been a MSWPS member since 2016, in 2022 she was nominated to join the MSWPS committee (Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors). Her Illustration industry experience includes Concept/Visualisation Artist for advertising firms and a Children's Book Illustrator for publishing companies.
2005 - 2006 Melbourne University, PG Dip Arts Management
1999 - 2001 RMIT, BA Creative Advertising
Glasgow 2004, I was 23 years old and I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the coffee table opposite my flatmate and fellow co-worker, Craig. He was about to give me a demonstration on how to use acrylic paint with a glazing medium—something I had never done before.
This was during the second and final year of my working holiday visa in the UK. Craig and I both worked at the Artstore situated on Queen Street opposite the Gallery of Modern Art. Craig looked after the painting aisle and I the drawing pen aisle.
High school had been the last time I'd painted, and I had always been keen to try again, however I felt somewhat lost and overwhelmed, so Craig had offered to show me his technique and process on our day off.
That afternoon sitting in our apartment, painting a bowl of fruit was ‘the moment’. It was the moment where I knew that I wanted to be a painter. He doesn't know it, but I thank Craig for that impromptu painting session.
At the end of my visa, I returned home to Australia and completed a postgraduate diploma in Arts Management at the University of Melbourne.
After that I entered the world of advertising as a freelance Illustrator doing storyboards and concept illustrations for ad agencies. Later I illustrated a number of children's books and undertook a variety of private commissions.
I continued to paint on the side between illustration jobs. Then in 2008 I had my first exhibition. It was with two friends at a gallery in Collingwood. We didn't sell much but the turnout was huge! From there I joined an art collective and started to enter art prizes. Many of my entries were unsuccessful and that often felt demoralising, until in 2015 I was a finalist in the coveted Portia Geach. I was so thrilled!
From there I received an invitation from artist Jo Reitze VAS FVAS to join MSWPS. Which I did in 2016. Jo had been my art teacher in high school and has since become an inspiring role model and mentor, which is why I eventually asked her to sit for me. To date my portrait of her has appeared in three shows including as a finalist in the 2022 Southern Buoy Studios Portrait Prize. Jo's portrait was the first painting I did using oils after years of only painting with acrylic.
'Cyclopes Mermaid and Zee Cat Burglar' Acrylic on Canvas by Lucy Fekete
When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, I was a new mum. Being a new mum plus managing illustration work and finding time to paint in the middle of what seemed like a never-ending lockdown was too much. Something had to go. So I said goodbye to illustration.
Then at the start of 2022 I was nominated to join the MSWPS committee, that same week I also decided to join VAS. My intention of joining VAS was to connect with painters in that community and learn more about how others were using oils. I also wanted to meet other artists in real life after being in lockdown for so long and I wanted to grow my visibility as an artist.
Since being at VAS I have had many wonderful experiences and opportunities which I am grateful for. Receiving a Highly Commended Award from guest judge Peter Wegner at the VAS Autumn Select Exhibition and participating in the Portrait Painters Open Day are definite highlights. Additionally, having the opportunity to participate in so many of the exhibitions in a beautiful heritage building has been amazing. Being a member of VAS reinforces ‘that moment’ where I knew I wanted to be a painter.
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.