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.
Luz Frye was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia where she began painting as a young child. At the age of 7, her parents encouraged her creativity through painting classes. Monday through Friday, Luz attended private school. On Saturday mornings, she returned to school for oil painting classes which she attended as the only student. Luz continued these Saturday classes for about 3 years, strengthening her love of painting as she explored the creative process.
During her college years, Luz was commissioned by her university to create artwork on slides for the foreign language classes. Over the course of 4 years, Luz used translucent color inks to create very small and detailed illustrations on hundreds of 1” x 1” slides used to project the course material. During this time, Luz developed both her love for detail and her visual acuity. After graduating with a degree in Modern Languages and Linguistics, Luz began her teaching career. She created all of her own teaching materials, making hundreds of visual resources for her classes. She could and did draw anything she wanted to create for use in teaching her students. Luz taught 1st year English at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, and high school literature before coming to the United States to teach high school Spanish and Spanish literature, and middle school Spanish. As an English as a Second Language teacher at a church in Raleigh, North Carolina, Luz taught English to many students from Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Around 2010, Luz was asked by the Pastor of her Raleigh church to paint live in front of the congregation during Sunday services. Over several consecutive weeks, she created a new painting each week with the completion of each work taking place on Sunday mornings painting live while the service took place. Luz was given Bible passages in advance so she could pray, contemplate the passage, and begin preparing and sketching the painting. The preparation included writing the passage on the surface in a meditative and prayerful way, then covering the canvas with paint. For Luz, this became a conversation with God, an important turning point for her and her work.
Preparing for one Sunday when she was to paint a passage about the Holy Trinity, Luz recalls a wild, abstract, geometric painting began to emerge. Approaching the color palette with the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue with which she created all other colors in her palette, was her parallel response to the Holy Trinity and its mysteries. Prior to this, Luz had been purely traditional in subject matter and aesthetic, and never abstract. Now, using acrylic paints that enabled faster drying time, this paramount experience offered Luz a new momentum, aesthetic, and inspiration. Today, her paintings range from traditional landscapes which she paints en plein air in peaceful and meditative rural areas of her home state of North Carolina to abstract mixed media works alive with vivid colors, geometric shapes, and textures.
Luz lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and works from her home studio. Her paintings are available for sale on her website luzfrye.com
"The paint flows from prayer into beautiful art.”
Duane Beck, former Pastor at Raleigh Mennonite
My paintings are about my faith and deeply connected to the Holy Spirit. I begin each painting by praying that the Holy Spirit will guide me as an artist and in why I am creating it. I then write blessings across the canvas which may be my prayer or a blessing taken from biblical texts. They are uplifting, prayerful well wishes that begin with “May…” such as “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may he smile on you and be gracious unto you and give you and your family peace” and “May the master pour the love so it fills your life and splashes over everyone around you” and although I don’t know the recipient or their exact circumstances, I trust and pray it reaches them and is meant for them exactly as they need it. During the course of the painting, the blessings become covered or concealed by layers of paint and are later shared with the owner. When I paint live in front of church congregations, I feel those blessings are also meant to reach that specific audience. I believe my paintings are seen and experienced by those who need them, and when they need them, and therefore am never concerned with how soon or how quickly they are sold. If a painting is still here with me now it’s because the person hasn’t come to it yet.
I am amazed by all that God has created. I am in awe of colors, order among living systems, and how life repeats and renews itself. My style and subject range is due to my desire to honor these feelings. I chose both my style and medium in support of my response to the messages I receive. In my abstract paintings, I translate texts that have themes of creation or biblical verses by using very vivid colors, shapes, and layers of paint. The ideas come to me spontaneously; through abstraction I aim to translate God’s awesome mystery and power. Also, as a plein air painter working in a traditional landscape style, I use my very strong visual memory and attentiveness to study what I observe, then pray about it before painting. I find joyfulness, restfulness, peacefulness, and wonderment in closely observing living things and connecting them to their Creator. As an artist, I am in constant dialogue with God about this through my work and it gives me hope.
- 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