Former Tupper Laker to show work in Saranac Lake

SARANAC LAKE – Janice Lockheart grew up in Tupper Lake, and ever since she left, she has carried the Adirondacks with her.

She now lives in Connecticut, but she visits a camp on Big Wolf Lake in Tupper Lake every year with her family. It is there that she collects inspiration for her paintings, but many of them are not Big Wolf Lake-specific.

In fact, most of them could be set anywhere that has wildflower-dotted mountain tops, shady woods roads and tree-lined lake shores. It’s not the details Lockheart is after; it’s the sense of place.

“I’m really into light and color,” Lockheart said. “There’s always something around to paint. There’s nothing like the colors in nature.”

To capture the ever-changing light, Lockheart takes photos will she’s hiking and paints from those. From afar, her paintings looked like detailed forest landscapes. Up close, they are carefully placed daubs and spots of color.

Lockheart’s friend Ruth Richards inspired her to set up her show, which opens Thursday evening at the Saranac Lake Free Library.

“Artists are usually not the best business people,” Richards said. “This is our first real big try, and we hope to have a lot more. I think her work deserves the attention of the public. It speaks to the area.”

Even though this is her first solo show, Lockheart’s paintings have also been featured in shows in Connecticut, including the Audubon Art Show, where she received top honors for oil painting, Art on the Avenue and the Junior League Eastern Fairfield County, Darien, Pequot and Bendheim art shows. She has also been a featured artist at Greenwich Hospital.

Lockheart studied art under Enzo Russo, a master painter trained at the University of Art in Florence, Italy, and Karen Spring, who was privately trained in England and Germany.