Jim Lukens


A Stroke of Genius

By James A. McCormick IV

Trend Leader Community News Weekly, March 29,

Often times the most amazing things are right
here within our midst. With all of the history and
culture that is a part of Bucks County it is fitting
that one of the most gifted artists on the East
Coast and perhaps the nation is right here among

Bucks County native Jim Lukens is as talented an
artist as you will find and his presence is being felt
all across our region. His work is featured in a
number of prominent art galleries such as
Michelyn Gallery in Doylestown, PA the Village
Art Gallery in Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, PA ,
and Love of Art in Frenchtown, N. J. . Lukens has
established a reputation for artistic excellence.
“Michelyn took a chance on me 13 years ago and
has stayed with me ever since,” Lukens says.

Lukens at his studio in Richland Township near

Lukens has been painting since elementary school,
a long time by any stretch of the imagination. With
his grandfather being an artist it was almost
inevitable that he too would follow suit. Mr.
Lukens remembers admiring his grandfather’s
paintings including one of Abraham Lincoln that
was taken directly from a penny. Recently he was
reminded of the time when he got his start. “My
mother just handed me a cancelled check from
when I was 12 years old. The memo said ‘Jimmy’s
first art lessons,” Lukens says. That would be all
the fuel ‘Jimmy’ would need to pursue his craft.

Schooled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine
Arts Lukens honed his craft and got added
motivation from the instructors at the Academy
who were sure to instill confidence in all who
attended. “My strongest memory of my experience
there was during orientation the staff gave our
class a standing ovation,” Lukens says. “The
looked at us like we were going to be important
and they treated us as such.”

Lukens classifies himself as a landscape painter
who paints in the impressionist style. Having been
born and raised in Bucks County he gets his
overall inspiration directly from the landscape of
Bucks County. He did spend 7 years in Palm
Springs painting desert landscapes, but longed for
home and painting landscapes that change so
markedly with season. Generally he has five to 10
pieces going at a time in different stages of
development with each painting taking
approximately eight to 10 hours to complete.

“Frenchtown Bridge” by Lukens shows off his
landscape painting skills.

Having lived on a horse farm in Springtown and
adopting animals caused Lukens to naturally focus
on animals as subjects. Lukens comments “Raising
and loving those animals made them a natural for
my paintings.” This is very evident in a painting
titled “Bob the Steer” which is of a cow that
Lukens raised since it was a calf. He considers it
his favorite piece.

Lukens offers a few options when it comes to
attaining his work. In addition to the originals he
produces select editions that are reproductions on
canvas. “I enhance each one personally so they are
individual,” he says. This option is more affordable
than an original is available to more people.

Animals, landscape and nature is what drives
Lukens to do what he does best. “Working directly
from nature is the only inspiration for me,”
Lukens said. He works on location frequently and
often takes digital photos of scenes and transfers
those photos to canvas. “It’s visiting the location
and being inspired by nature that is my motivation
and inspiration,” he says. His love and appreciation
for nature is shown in his paintings.

“Sheep in Winter” let Lukens show his favorite
subjects, animals.

For up and coming artists Lukens suggests
following that template. “Paint what you like. Stick
to your style and be honest to yourself, no one can
ever argue with that,” Lukens says.

Jim Lukens is a special talent in the Bucks County
community and there are many ways to enjoy his
work. Michelyn Gallery’s participation in ‘First
Friday’s’ coincides with their move to the center of
Doylestown, PA which gives Lukens’s work a
prominent platform. In addition Lukens’ work also
shows in the Village Art Gallery in Peddlers Village
with a wonderful window view.

Lukens has been working alongside Trisha Vergis,
owner of Love of Art in Frenchtown, as well. As a
collector of her art for a number of years it gives
him great pleasure to show his work with her

Highlights of ’07 include participation in a spring
show at Groenendahl’s Art barn , and Michelyn
Gallery, the Tinicum Arts Festival {procuring a
ribbon and sale}, and a Sept. co-show at
Greenshire’s in Haycock. This is the first
participation for Jim at Phillip’s Mill where his
piece also won an award. Anticipating a private
show in Princeton with Trish Vergis this fall,
Lukens is looking forward to a holiday season of
group shows in Doylestown Pa. and Frenchtown,
NJ, studio commissions, and a recurring spot as
guest speaker at Del Val College. Exciting seasonal
sales with Alderfer’s Auction House in Hatfield can
be viewed at ALDERFERAUCTION.com.

Although Lukens has developed a loyal following
he still remains one of Bucks County’s best kept
secrets. He has utilized his talents to the fullest
and shared his love of the area’s landscape and
natural beauty with us on canvas. With the success
that Jim Lukens’s has had as an artist I’m sure
his grandfather would have been proud.