Luke was born in London, but spent his childhood living in Indonesia. He had a simple life existing with his mother in a village in Java. The early school had mud floors and the school fees was paid with rice. The art lessons were very basic, the teacher would draw a picture on the blackboard and the students had to copy as best as they could.
At the age of sixteen he returned to England with his mother and continued his schooling and studied graphic design. With his mother’s strong encouragement, he started to draw and paint. He drew analytically and wanted to understand how light fell on objects, and instead of drawing the objects he would draw the shapes the shadows created and play of light until the picture came together.
Instead of drawing a hand as seen through our eyes, he wanted to study muscles and bones structure and then lay the skin on top, giving a more realistic impression. He enjoyed using all mediums and at the age of sixteen produced his first oil painting of fruit in a basket in a chiaroscuro, Caravaggio style. He loved pen and ink and the simplicity of pencil, he soon did many illustrations for books and magazines.
He studied the old masters in the galleries in London and eventually settled on the spontaneity of soft pastels. His mother would set up a still life daily around the kitchen table and insisted that he painted it by the end of the day. It was not long before he had quite a collection, and a gallery in Devon exhibited them and was a great success.
Later in life he moved with his mother to Australia, he struggled to earn a living and opened a picture framing business to make ends meet. It took many years for him to return to his art, due to more responsibilities and starting a family. But now he has returned to his easel again…