Heffernan began exploring her artistic side from a very young age, inspired by her mother who was an artist herself. She would study Fine Art at Binghamton University before jumping into the world of digital art and graphic design. In 2000, her focus shifted to oil-painting as she began creating a personal body of work that touched on the “twists and turns that make our life stories a little more interesting.”
The ideas for her compositions are born out of every-day life, whether she is observing others as they go about their day or simply self-reflecting on experiences. By imagining what animals might do if inserted into these situations, she injects a sense of theatrics and whimsy. As Heffernan says of her subjects, “I shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct.”
Take, for instance, her work Bubble Bath… I am sure some could imagine pouring a glass of wine and filling a warm bubble bath after a hectic workweek; but now swap yourself for an adorable seal in a shower cap, lounging peacefully beside her favorite rubber duck. Some of the works truly make you burst out laughing at the sight of them… Political Mooovement portrays a herd of cows mid-protest; signs read “Make Milk Not War” and “I’m Not Just A Piece of Meat,” as one shouts into a bullhorn. Or Dirty Bird Saloon – a small 7x5 inch oval-shaped work, which depicts a little fluffy bird with an edge; he’s seated at a wood-top table wearing his favorite cowboy hat, with a lit cigar and half pour of bourbon.
The animals Heffernan chooses to employ in her artwork range wildly… from critters commonly found in our communities like birds and mice to wildlife we may not cross paths with as often, such as otters and narwhals. Regardless of the species, Lucia’s unique sense of humor coupled with her incredible artistic talent allows for the creation of such fanciful paintings. Ultimately, it is her respect for animals and nature that continue to inspire her, as well as a desire to bring a smile to the faces of all that view her work.
Spirit Animal featuring the artwork of Lucia Heffernan will remain on view for the month of June and is open to the public during normal business hours, as well as on weekends by appointment. Please be advised that face masks are still required when visiting the gallery in person.