Meet the designer – artist Lucy Kent

lucy kentOur exclusive chat with the landscape artist (and lampshade designer extraordinaire) Lucy Kent...

"Light is so, so important... Lighting creates different atmospheres... I think it’s one of the most important parts of creating a home’s energy..."

Lucy Kent is a wonderful landscape artist, known for her gorgeous, light-filled en plein air paintings inspired by the countryside around her Wiltshire home and by her extensive travels. With sell-out solo shows and a waiting list for commissions, Lucy is very much in demand, so we were delighted when she agreed to provide a lampshade design for our Hands Up Foundation charity auction.

We chatted with Lucy to find out a bit more about her art, her eye for interior design and of course her love of light (and lighting)… 

Copyright Lucy Kent

When did you first realise you were an artist?
From a very early age: as soon as I could hold a pencil, I never really let it go! I was always fascinated by people and places, and conjuring up characters of my own on paper. I wanted to be a cartoonist originally.

How did you get started as a professional painter?
The art department was definitely my preferred place to be throughout school. I had 2 really encouraging teachers , one at my primary school and one at secondary which I think was really important in enabling me to think I could become a professional artist. I trained originally in portraiture, and then with a move to the countryside my focus shifted to the green hills and big skies around me, so I taught myself landscape painting in oils and spent a long time experimenting and honing my style.

lucy kent paintingCopyright Lucy Kent

What’s your usual process for making a landscape painting?
I love painting directly from life, partly because I love to travel but also because it’s important for me to stand in the environment I’m painting and really soak up the colours, smells and atmosphere of the place. Everything is richer and more vibrant in nature. Then I will often make larger paintings back in my studio using my plein-air paintings as reference.

lucy kent painting Lucy painting on location in Marrakech

You designed a gorgeous shade for Pooky as part of our Instagram auction campaign supporting the Hands Up Foundation, raising funds for health and eduction programmes in Syria. Can you tell us about that design – and how did you find adapting your work for the unusual ‘canvas’ of an empire-shaped lampshade?
I had just got back from Marrakech and was buzzing with all the energy of the city and new inspiration, so my design was a night time rooftop scene. I usually paint oil, and this was water based, so definitely different - but I really enjoyed simplifying the shapes and colours for the purpose of the shade.

lucy kent hands up
Lucy's Marrakech-inspired lampshade design for Pooky, in aid of the Hands Up Foundation

Talking of using art for good causes, you’re the founder of the Art for Charity Collective. Can you tell us a little about that – and how people can get involved?
I started ACC a couple of years ago as a positive response to lockdown and as a way of giving back. We are a community of artists and makers from across the world, and we raise funds and awareness for various charities through instagram auctions and other events. To date we have raised nearly £300,000 for charity. We are about to release a new limited edition run of prints on 14th April which you can shop via our website. We are really happy to be supporting The Hands Up Foundation again.

You designed the interiors of your own beautiful home in Wiltshire – which is also your workplace and studio. As an artist, how important to you are your physical surroundings – and do you think in another life you could have been an interior designer?
Physical surroundings for me are really important and it has been a life-long dream to build and design our home. Home is my sanctuary: my bedroom and bathroom are my favourite place to be! (Bar the studio of course) The walls are packed with art as you can imagine, and the main space is filled with light and I kept this quite neutral. The rooms off the main space are brightly coloured - it was pretty hard narrowing down colours as I’m a colourist! I love all aspects of design and picking and choosing furnishings and art, so maybe in another life yes! We are also starting an art consultancy wing of ACC so that’s where I will scratch that itch! I love helping people choose art from all our amazing artists.

lucy kentLucy's bedside table complete with artworks and Pooky gathered cotton lampshade

Your work features a lot of beautiful and dramatic natural light. Are you also enthused about lighting in your home? How important is good lighting to you?
Lighting is so, so important - I think it’s one of the most important parts of creating a home’s energy. Lighting creates different atmospheres through types and levels of light,: having lights placed higher, whether a pendant or wall lights, as well as lower at lamp height. I think I have a problem with buying lamps! They are key to creating ambience and to add to the personal character of a home.

lucy kentLucy's side table featuring a Pooky ceramic table lamp and shade in coral squiggles block printed cotton.

Finally, we know you have a few Pooky lights about the place - do you have a particular favourite, and why?
My favourite is my Nellie table lamp paired with the Heraldic ikat shade... I’m a big fan of an Ikat print!

Lucy's table with Nellie table lamp in emerald glaze and straight empire shade in heraldic printed linen ikat


See and buy Lucy's wonderful work on her website and follow her on Instagram @lucykentart.  You can also sop the new ACC print launch raising money for The Hands Up Foundation here.

And for more interiors inspiration of all kinds, have a leisurely browse through the Pooky blog.


Portrait photo top by Abbie Roden