Darla Dawn Lukac

Primary Medium
Watercolour, Acrylic
Sexsmith, Alberta

Inspiration for being the featured artist of the 2022 Miniature show at Beaverlodge and Area Cultural Centre (BACS) stemmed from my first born daughter, giving birth to her first born, a son, who is my first born grandchild. 

I have a strong connection to IInii (Ee-knee Blackfoot for bison), as my mother’s family are the Kainai (Gah-nah) also known as the Bloods, from southern Alberta. It became natural to paint a series, featuring an Iinii mother and calf. One of these paintings, Iinii Mother and Calf, is the Door Prize and is on the poster and invitations. 

Another, titled Western Fields is for display only, as this is the meaning of my grandson’s name, and the painting is a gift from his Na’ah (Nah-ah grandmother, grandparent). All the bison paintings have Blackfoot words and meanings as the title. My youngest daughter and I took a course in Blackfoot which is the language of our ancestors. 

There is a painting of a purple frilled poppy as it is one of my favourite garden blooms. I harvest the seed, so that there are purple flowers every season for all who see, to enjoy. I did a version of bright rainbow coloured tree frogs that I had painted many years ago, because from the days of my childhood, I love frogs and colour. St. Jerome historically took a thorn out of a lions’ paw, and that lion stayed with him until his death. There is an acrylic version of a lion in the mini show and when titling the piece, I remembered reading that fact.

 My Goodfare sister, Cathy Newhook is a successful encourager, so I found myself painting with Cathy and Darlene Dautel, every Wednesday at Jean Wagner’s home. Immersed in such talent, I began to develop my own confidence and style. I took day or weekend courses with Jim Adrain, (watercolour), Marjorie Henn (drawing), Darlene Dautel (encaustic) and thoroughly learned the art of Batik in a lengthy internship with Peggy Martin. For many years, I had the pleasure of weekly paint nights at BACS with Vickie Hotte, Elke Kiesewetter, Coralie Rycroft, Toni Schuler, and Mimi Zhang-Mackie. 

My artwork has been submitted for the Beaverlodge Annual Art Auction, the Euphemia McNaught festival, and the annual Grande Prairie Art Gallery Auction. I have donated paintings for fund raisers. I helped paint two of the murals proudly displayed in Beaverlodge. Wrapped around a Utility Box at the highway airport entrance, is a reproduction of one of my acrylics. 

I began with watercolour, then branched off into batik, pen and ink, pencil, pastel, encaustic and acrylic. Joe, my dear life partner, mentioned he loves my watercolours and so after many years, I picked up the brushes and most of the pieces in the show are watercolours. Topics for the pieces come to me when I view the blank canvas. I am also a photographer and go on back road trips to gain potential art pieces with the camera.