Artist Lucie Marlo in her dining room with one of her paintings behind her. Don Denton photography

The Art and Heart of Artist Lucie Marlo

Painter creates unique and distinct abstract works of art

  • Oct. 25, 2018 11:43 a.m.

-Story by Angela Cowan

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Gazing at Lucie Marlo’s utterly unique abstract paintings at her home in Broadmead, it’s abundantly clear that art is in her blood. But as we sit down to chat and she hands me a plate of peanut butter cookies (healthy, she swears) and a cup of Moringa tea, we actually start our conversation talking about health.

Food is so important and such a vital part of living well, she says, explaining that while she grew up surrounded by art, she actually has a PhD in nutrition.

“My father was a well-known artist in Europe, and it was feast or famine growing up,” she explains. “It was a hard childhood.”

Born in Quebec City, Lucie moved with her family to her father’s home country of Montenegro when she was five, and stayed there until they came back to Canada six years later.

Growing up with the constant shadow of lack affected her deeply, and although Lucie had an undeniable passion for art — as early as five years old, she would hide in the corner of her father’s studio and just watch him paint — she pushed it away for a long time.

“I was too afraid of putting my family through what I went through as a child.”

Instead, she was drawn to her other passion, health and wellness, achieved her doctorate, and inspired by her mother — who went back to school and got her doctorate in her sixties — Lucie opened and managed several multi-disciplinary health clinics in Winnipeg, staying in that role for more than a decade.

But threads of her early love kept creeping in, and one evening, after having dinner with her brother, she took a brush to a blank canvas she’d been staring at for days. She woke up the next morning still lying next to the canvas, brush in hand, having stayed up until 4 am painting in her now-distinct abstract style.

“This is what my soul created,” she says. “This is what came pouring out.”

A detail of a painting in the studio of artist Lucie Marlo. Don Denton photography

Shortly after, Lucie made the difficult decision to sell the clinics and focus on her art, despite the uncertainty of her path. She also made the move from Winnipeg out to Victoria, her “heaven on earth.”

“I came to Victoria — and be still my heart — I went insane. I didn’t know there was such a place!”

Inspired in part by her gorgeous new environment, her distinct abstract style quickly made waves in the art community, and upscale collectors and sheer lovers of art both came knocking.

“I have an amazing problem. I have people who collect my artwork regularly,” she laughs.

Over the years, collectors have been so enthusiastic about getting their hands on her work, she’s barely had the time to get her pieces into galleries before they’ve sold. Needless to say, the positive reactions made it easier for her to commit to her art.

“It makes all the difference when people believe in you and your art,” she says, describing a woman who bought painting after painting, until Lucie finally asked why she was collecting so many. “She said she thought they were going to appreciate, and she was going to leave them to her grandchildren. I started to cry. I really thought, ‘I have so many people believing in me, I have to give it my best shot.’”

Lucie’s been painting full time for the last 16 years, but she’s remained true to her other passion of health, and also to making the world a better place.

“I couldn’t turn my back on what I know. I’m painfully aware of the need out there, so I donate a percentage of what I make.”

Her experiences in Montenegro and the desperate need of its one orphanage stuck with her. Now, Lucie donates a percentage of the sales from her paintings to the Mladost Bijela orphanage in Herceg Novi, Montenegro, which has housed more than 2,000 children and teenagers since it opened in 1946. She also spearheaded a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society last September in support of breast cancer research, and she continues to search for more ways to give back to her home community of Victoria and beyond.

“I still miss working in the clinic. That’s why I fundraise,” she says, and pauses. “Selling the clinics was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had two passions, and this one wouldn’t be denied. This is really what I feel I was meant to do. It just took me a while to give myself permission.”

A painting of hers hangs behind artist Lucie Marlo. Don Denton photography

None of it would have ever come to fruition were it not for the incredible support she’d been blessed with from those that loved her throughout, especially her mother.

“My mom is my hero,” she says with a heartfelt conviction that makes me want to hug my own mom. “I had a mom who really encouraged my passion. She wanted me to follow my heart.”

She adds with a laugh, “She was actually more excited at my gallery opening than when I got my doctorate.”

“When you’re fortunate enough to do what you love the most, and people appreciate it, it’s a dream come true,” she says. “It feels so good to be in harmony.”

Lucie spends part of the year in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, and while she’s out of the country, Danisha Drury from Design District Access acts as her exclusive liaison in Victoria. For more information on Lucie’s work, call Danisha at 888-590-8598, or visit marlostudios.com.

Just Posted

WATCH: Urban chicken coops a great source for community

Fafards have zero problems with urban hens during pilot project

Study shows early childhood development in Lacombe lagging behind neighbours

Early Years Matter Coalition study shows work needs to be done

Lacombe schools in danger of losing funding over GSA compliance

Education Minister David Eggen said 28 out of 94 accredited funded private schools not in compliance

Urban hens close to being permanent in Lacombe

Council passes first reading of bylaw to extend pilot program permanently

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Castor, Forestburg, coal workers get $257,644 to transition to low-carbon economy

Two transition centres will serve seven communities in the Battler River Region

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

Disaster escalates as officials raised the death toll to 63

Most Read