“A Closer Look” at Beau Lou Designs and Staff & Palette
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“A Closer Look” at Beau Lou Designs and Staff & Palette

Greetings from the icy, snow covered cityscape of Chicagoland where hearts are as warm as our winters are cold! After the rush of the holiday season and the long, dark night of subzero temperatures, though we marvel at the monochrome wonderland sparkling all around us, we also find ourselves looking ahead to Spring’s gentler embrace.

With this in mind, Staff & Palette and Beau Lou Designs have teamed up yet again! This time our collaborative efforts are inspired by warm themes of vivid tulips in bloom and fragrant Sweetgrass baskets of South Carolina’s Lowcountry as they combine to create a cozy Valentine. I am delighted to share that my original oil painting with accompanying poem entitled “A Closer Look” has been selected by fellow Chicago artist Theresa Daniel of Beau Lou Designs as a muse for her own unique graphic design which will grace her one of a kind handmade merchandise including jewelry and home decor which will be available for purchase on her website, in her Etsy Store, and in brick and mortar stores across the greater Chicago area.




Upon moving to Chicago with my husband John and our two dogs Ariel and Eli, I became fascinated with Theresa’s work using her own photography of iconic places in Chicago and around the globe as inspiration for original graphic designs that capture the essence of each place in a truly magical way. I felt a connection to her pieces and made several purchases. Wearing her work helped me to immerse myself into my new environment near the shores of Lake Michigan. Soon a friendship blossomed and turned to partnership when I asked Theresa if she would be interested in working with one of my paintings for a new original graphic design. The poem added even more intrigue to the process for Theresa who was excited to use her skills with an image of “Hope from Holly’s Garden” as her premiere piece in this new line of products based on my original paintings and poetry.


Because the response to this first collaboration was so positive, we decided to dive into working on another design together. If “Hope from Holly’s Garden” evokes the changing light of late Summer into early Autumn, then my original abstract palette knife oil painting with accompanying poem “Snow at the Beach” certainly signals that Winter is on its way!

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, we are releasing our new Spring design inspired by my original oil painting and poem “A Closer Look”. It was influenced by tulips in a vase given to me by my Love, Dr. John Lucas, and nestled in an expertly crafted Sweetgrass basket by master artist Mr. Elijah Ford, a proud member of South Carolina’s Gullah Community. Usually I write the poem to accompany each painting as they are in progress, but sometimes there is a pause between poem and painting. Due to a relocation from South Carolina to Virginia, that was the case with this work. The painting was finished in 2019, but the poem was not completed until 2020 during the pandemic when so many of us spent a long season separated from our loved ones. It was crafted from a place of patiently practicing presence, a tool that serves well in navigating both art and life. Theresa’s design truly conveys the essence of this idea as she combines shapes, colors, and textures evocative of the warmth we wait for in winter. With her artistic vision, she creates her own interpretation of my still life, giving it new life, as crimson tulips swirl in the Sweetgrass inviting us to indeed take a closer look at this Valentine for heart and soul. Recently I have sat with loved ones who have endured a great loss, and once again the images expressed by this work take on new meaning. Time is so precious. Even more so are those we spend it with. Let us pause often to take that in and to take a closer look at this beautiful life we are living.


“A Closer Look”

Painting and Poem by Rina Lucas

Even during seasons of separation

Don’t be afraid to come closer

Maybe not with your hands

But with your heart

Breathe deeply

Of this fragrant life

Examining the details

Too long neglected


And let the colors wash over you

A cleansing palette

Designed to bathe your soul.




“Hope from Holly’s Garden” has been internationally published in a juried periodical, Artistonish Magazine – May Issue 2022

Along with “Snow on the Beach” and “A Closer Look” it was on exhibit in my solo multimedia show entitled “Seasons: From Sea to Summit” at The Floyd Center for the Arts in June and July of 2022.

Images of “A Closer Look” were used for promotional materials for my original multimedia show “Seasons: A Visual and Vocal Journey” which premiered during Piccolo Spoleto 2019 in Charleston, SC.

All three paintings have been on display in the center of downtown Chicago at The Chicago School.

I am so excited to announce that the original oils as well as giclee prints from this exciting collaboration are now available for purchase at The Artsy Heart here in Chicagoland at The Glen Town Center! Theresa and I look forward to working on an event this spring with the owner of Artsy Heart, Renee Edmondson, which will showcase our collaboration and include a multimedia performance by yours truly. Please stay tuned for details!

Much of my work thus far as an artist in paint, poetry, and voice has revolved around the idea of seasons. Staff & Palette is delighted to be in a new one on the North Shore of the greater Chicago area in Illinois after a magnificent journey through Charleston, S.C. and the mountains of Virginia over the past decade. I am thrilled to experience all the artistic opportunities that await in this vibrant community during this promising season including ongoing professional engagements with the exquisitely gifted Theresa Daniel of Beau Lou Designs.

Stay in touch for what is next for Staff & Palette as we continue to settle into the Chicago art scene.

As always thank you for following my artistic journey,

Rina Lucas

Staff & Palette