British artist Lucy du Sautoy graduated from The Art Academy in London with a first-class Fine Art Diploma in 2015, the same year her painting Daydreaming was selected for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. In 2019 she was voted Artist of the Year by Artists and Illustrators magazine and her winning painting was shown in the associated exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.
Lucy’s oil paintings depict views through windows seen in moments of daydreaming and distraction, usually with whimsical doodles such as smiley faces and hearts drawn absent-mindedly with a finger on the glass. “I have spent a lot of time in my life staring out of windows. For me it provides a space to lose track, to daydream and to remember. The window captures a special vision of the world – combining an external reality with our own internal experience of it,” Lucy explains. “I aim to trigger the viewer’s daydreams as they imagine what might have led to or might follow this moment.”
Research has shown that we spend about half our waking lives daydreaming. In a world bombarded with information and images, daydreaming offers us an opportunity for freedom and escape. In this meditative, in-between state, our minds can detach from our external reality (routine, boredom, stress etc.) and drift inward or switch off.
Staring through windows took on new meaning during this year’s lockdown. In her latest work Lucy was inspired to paint views through a car window when driving along the capital’s eerily empty streets in the black of night. Rainbow-coloured city lights twinkle and glow reassuringly in the darkness, while her trademark playful smiley faces look on. Other paintings transport us to a lush English country garden in springtime with a flush of mauve wisteria and a pink flowering currant.
Lucy works from photographs as her first point of reference. She manipulates them digitally by cropping, blurring areas to bring other details forward and altering colour saturations. Surface is important to Lucy and she wants the viewer to enjoy the painted medium as much as she does, so brush marks are often visible and layers of glazes obvious.
Lucy’s work is regularly exhibited at art fairs (forthcoming at Battersea Affordable Art Fair in July) and galleries, most recently in Gala Fine Art’s group exhibition Escape into Colour in London in May 2021 and a solo show at Panter & Hall in 2020. She has had two solo exhibitions at the Jane Newbery Gallery in London – Views in 2019 and Inside Outside in 2018 – and was selected for the group show In This Moment at The Stratford Gallery in 2018. Lucy frequently creates work for private clients and welcomes new commissions. Her paintings are held in private and corporate collections across the UK and in the US.