The Heroine’s Journey of Sheryl Luxenburg

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I am a hyperreal painter. The best thing I love about my work is that I am able to express my deepest feelings in a nonverbal way. In kind, my work enables the viewer to interpret the story line in their own subjective way. It invites the viewer to reflect on the narrative of their life.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

My perfect happiness is knowing my family and those others I love are healthy and happy.

What is my greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that my health will slide back to where it was 10 years ago. I have Collagen Vascular Disease, namely Systemic Lupus and I suffered 4 heart attacks in 2007. I have worked diligently to push my illness into remission through daily exercise, practising mindfulness, meditation and healthy eating.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

As a hyperreal painter, my work must be very tight. This genre requires tremendous attention span, patience and perfectionism. Sometimes my expectations are too high of myself in these areas.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I admire too many artists to mention here. I feel I have been most influenced in my life by the first generation photorealistic and hyperrealistic painters such as Richard Estes, Chuck Close, Tom Blackwell and Denis Peterson.

What is my greatest extravagance?

My eyeglasses. I adore trendy ones and love to have them match my wardrobe.

On what occasion would I lie?

I would lie to save a life.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I mostly dislike the fact that all my career success and international attention has me feeling like I live in a fish bowl. It is a bit too much at times. I always feel like I must protect my privacy. I am a humble person.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I believe my current project has made me the happiest I have ever been.

I have been selected from many thousands of top level figurative painters to work on a very high level project. I have been given complete freedom to choose my subject matter. This painting will have the largest dimension I have ever created. Just the design process alone has taken me four months to complete, the actual painting process will take a further eight months to complete. The choice of subject is very dear to my heart and I will be completing the project just in time for my 65th birthday. This painting will be the greatest achievement in my life. I am thinking to myself- What a way to celebrate this birthday milestone.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I am someone who securely attaches to people. I would like to change how I grieve the people who I have loved and lost. I have a hard time letting go.

Where would I most like to live?

Florence, Italy

What is my most treasured possession?

Lupus causes rheumatological problems, so I decided I needed an indoor swimming pool in my home. I designed the addition, was my own architect and the project was completed one year ago. I love my pool. It keeps me fit when I have a tough time exercising on dry land. I also love my elliptical cardio machine which I use daily.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am fearless and courageous. I have been through a lot in my life. My slogan is the secret to success is the ability to fail many times.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

My favourite location in Ottawa is to sit on a park bench by the Ottawa River Rapids under The Champlain Bridge .

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Anything asian, vegetarian or seafood.

Who are my favourite writers? What books influenced my life ?

There have been way too many favourite authors.

Painting full time is my second career. Initially I went to university to become a clinical psychologist. I left the profession after two decades when I was diagnosed with Lupus.

I was most influenced in undergraduate university by Soren Kierkegaard, Jean Paul Sartre, Nietzsche and all the existentialists of that period. In graduate school in clinical psychology I was most influenced by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and all the psychodynamic theorists. In post graduate school I was deeply influenced by the family systems theorists such as Salvador Minuchin and the attachment style theorists such as Bowlby. I think all these areas were of interest because they helped me to understand myself better.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Fragile by Sting

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Superwoman comic books I read as a child.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
I think all the Photorealists and Hyperrealists who have been at one time or another under Louis K. Meisel and Frank Bernarducci Gallery.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
There are way too many to mention. I believe the film Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford made me cry the most.
What role does art play in my life and work?
Art is the centre of my life and at the core of my being. I live to paint.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My husband who is the most psychologically healthy person I know.

He is a doctor, a clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma. He is my rock. He is highly respected in Ottawa. My daughter is also my rock. She is a most talented and brilliant woman. She is a Harvard Scholar.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018?

All the same people in The Count Ibex Collection that I currently work with.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018?

All the people in The Count Ibex Collection and those in the museum exhibition with me at MEAM, The European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, Zaragosa and Madrid. I also want to meet those very close friends that are so important to me, but I have never met in person.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?

The current project for exhibition in New York in September 2019.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018?

You can see my work and all activity on my website, http://www.sherylluxenburg.com

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I live to paint. I couldnt live without having this outlet. My work expresses the journey of my life. After I complete a painting, I feel an endorphin buzz.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Lesley Thiel, Nadine Robbins, Cheryl Kelley, Lorena Kloosterboer, Natalie Holland, Oceana Rain Stuart, Christiane Vleugels, Anna Christine Roda, Arantzazu Martinez, Sylvia Parker Maier. All these women are THE top female artists living in the world today.

How can you contact me?http://www.sherylluxenburg.com under contact

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