From the traditional subject matter and style of her Landscape series to the looser, more interpretive works of her abstract Fluid Art series, Luz Frye delights the eye with her lively color combinations, painterly forms, and rich textures.
As a young adult, artist Luz Frye prayed for people. This important practice of prayer in her life, what she calls “an ongoing conversation,” has steadily increased and matured through her years. Today, she prays through her artwork which can be regarded as prayers that happen to be in the form of paintings.
Luz finds meaning in what she says is like “praying backwards,” in which she thinks of the line of people and circumstances connected to simple, daily activities in her life at many points throughout the day, every day, such as peeling potatoes, in which she prays for the people who grew and harvested the potatoes, delivered them to the store, and stocked them, etc. It’s an example of how Luz elevates not only the meaning of prayer but the practice of praying for people in a specific way.
Luz has identified with being an artist all her life. As a young child growing up in Colombia, she attended Catholic school and studied and created art, painting in a very traditional style, but did not come to connect prayer to her artwork until recently, in her later adult life, when the pastor of her church asked her to paint live in front of the congregation during Sunday service. Luz received the lectionary passage in advance and studied it, coming up with something that started her praying through scripture in a different way as she began to pray for the congregation, and for the painting she had yet to create to have a meaningful message for the congregation. Painting had previously been like a spiritual retreat for Luz. For this painting, Luz was asked to paint about the Holy Trinity. After much prayer about the direction, she came to use the 3 primary colors of red, blue, and yellow and the abstract ideas came out instead of the traditional style and subject matter which she had painted for decades prior. For Luz, this became a paramount moment of connection, a new accord with her work, and a way to allow God to do the spiritual work of her creativity instead of holding onto the traditional ideas. Luz became free to create what the Holy Spirit offered, and today she allows that notion to center her paintings, and to freely move about and guide whether they become abstract, semi abstract, or realistic in their aesthetic. As the artist, she is present to make choices in the paintings, but uses a form of discipline which she says doesn’t come from her as she hears a voice telling her to “sit and be still.”
Followers and viewers of Luz’s work are often moved to tears. Many viewers of various faiths, denominations, and cultures experience her work, some making immediate connections, and some naming the people they know and the reasons they want to purchase a specific work that speaks to them in meaningful ways, all of which is something the artist says has always been her intention.
Today, Luz continues to be actively involved in her church, a prayer ministry which she leads, and exhibiting her work in galleries and exhibitions. She resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband John where she works from her home studio. She begins each painting by praying over every work of art she creates, asking God that the painting will reach people in the way that they need it most and that it will remind them of God’s love for them. Each painting has a spiritual message and prayer which Luz writes across the canvas before commencing on the layering of paint that creates the image and which accompanies the painting on a prayer card for the buyer.
Duane Beck, former Pastor at Raleigh Mennonite
My paintings are rooted in my spirituality and faith. They are intuited messages of love and hope which arrive at the singular meaning that God is always with us and loves us. I have always prayed for people, and my paintings allow me to express that visually. My range of abstract and semi-abstract styles and choices in media result from the intuitive
nature by which I create and support the freedom to respond to what a message of God’s love looks like as a painting.
Beside my easel, I keep a prayer that I use before I begin to paint. In it I ask that I’m not in the way of listening as the messenger but also that I’m very present as an artist. I pray for people to experience God’s love, joy, and presence from my paintings. I begin my paintings by writing a blessing or a biblical verse on the canvas in either pencil or paint and always with reverence in my handwriting. I may turn the canvas multiple times as the writing layers upon itself before commencing onto the next part of the painting. For me, this process binds purpose, meaning, and object. "The prayer is written on a card that is given to the buyer.
Many spiritual interventions take place throughout my work. People say things about my paintings such as “that is for me” or “I need that” and have named the loved one they need it for. Numerous times, people have gravitated toward a very specific painting and been moved to tears by it. Most people say something hopeful and joyful, explaining that they receive comfort from the painting, and how it feels like it’s specifically for them. As an artist whose purpose is to show people God’s love for them, this is exactly what I have prayed for.
- Luz Frye
“Luz Frye's art opens a window that allows the breath of the Spirit to breeze over old and tired religiosity. Through her painted reflections on Scripture, Frye reveals new perspectives and insights conveyed through texture, color, and shape. Her work provides a welcomed and refreshing attention to the stories that animate the Christian life.”
- Melissa Florer-Bixler, Pastor, Raleigh Mennonite Church