The partner and friends of St Ives artist Lucie Bray have paid tribute to a "naturally gifted painter" and "lovely young woman".
Lucie, aged 39, who's body was found on Constantine Beach near Padstow, was a seascape and landscape painter. She was a well-known member of the artistic community in St Ives, Cornwall.
Lucie was born in Truro in 1974 and grew up in Helston and Marazion. After a foundation course at Falmouth School of Art, she took a degree in Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art. In 2007 she moved to St Ives with her partner, Morag Robertson. As well as her painting, Lucie was actively involved in the life of the local community, including the St Ives Jumbo Association’s project to build and sail traditional Cornish fishing boats.
She was decribed as having a love of nature and the landscape, and that this was very much part of her artistic practice. She loved to paint spontaneously from nature and her distinctive outdoor studio – a white tent on Porthmeor Beach – was a familiar sight in St Ives.
Lucie believed in ‘keeping the whole painting “live” until the closing seconds’ and her paintings vividly reflect the constantly changing light and tides of the Cornish coast. In December 2012 Lucie moved into one of the famous Porthmeor Studios where she was able to work on larger paintings. These were a high point of her exhibition at the New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives, in May 2013.
Morag Robertson said: “I would like to thank the emergency services, and the police in particular, who have shown great sensitivity and respect for both Lucie and me. I also thank all our friends in St Ives and beyond who have been so supportive and who I know will be a support to me in future.”
Alban Roinard, Lucie’s friend, added: “Lucie was someone who was quiet but very present. She was keen to make things happen. She contributed a lot to the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan and was very involved with community life.”
Ylenia Haase, Director of New Craftsman Gallery in St Ives, said: “Since 2011 we have held annual exhibitions of Lucie’s work, all of which were incredibly well received. Lucie was a naturally gifted painter of the coast where she was born and raised, and a lovely young woman. Her death is a very great loss to the arts community of St Ives and all of us who knew her.”