The locations and subjects featured in the colorful illustrations look familiar, at least to those who live in Rhode Island: The East Bay Bike Path with Providence sitting off in the distance; the …
The locations and subjects featured in the colorful illustrations look familiar, at least to those who live in Rhode Island: The East Bay Bike Path with Providence sitting off in the distance; the Congregational church in Barrington; the Big Blue Bug staring down at Route 95 traffic; the Hope Diner in Bristol.
Barrington resident and pediatric surgeon Dr. Francois Luks created each illustration, and recently he began selling them as attractive notecards with all proceeds going to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“It’s a pleasure for me,” Dr. Luks said during a recent interview. “I’m not doing this professionally. If I can put smiles on peoples’ faces, why not.”
Dr. Luks, who is a native of Belgium, has been drawing for many years. When he was attending medical school in Belgium, he drew a daily comic strip that ran in a few newspapers there.
He said drawing and doodling are hobbies, but he can see how the activity is slightly related to his work as a surgeon. They both require working with your hands, a measure of creativity, and thinking in three dimensions. Dr. Luks has also focused some of his talent in medical illustration and currently teaches a class in that subject.
Much of Dr. Luks’ drawings had been in black and white, but about 10 or 12 years ago he rediscovered watercolors.
“It’s one of the hardest mediums,” he said. “Unforgiving.”
Dr. Luks said he appreciated the challenge and realized how much he enjoyed playing with colors. More recently he began working in digital illustrations — he created the notecard illustrations on an iPad using an Apple Pencil stylist.
He started with doodles and then, one day while at Barrington Beach, created an illustration that would eventually spur the idea for the notecards. Dr. Luks said he did not have big plans for the cards, but believed some people might like them.
He created a website for the cards — http://www.rhodeside.art/rhodeside-attractions — and they are also available at the gift shop at the hospital. People can also purchase the notecards at Barrington Books and the Providence Children’s Museum. Providence Picture Frame will sell them soon and also offer prints of the illustrations.
Dr. Luks said he is particularly fond of his illustration of Benefit Street in Providence. He is currently considering some other possible locations to feature in illustrations: Haven Brothers food truck in Providence, the Apex Pyramid in Pawtucket, and the Broken Bridge in Providence.