Lucy Willis studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. In 1976 she moved to Greece and established an etching workshop on the island of Syros. Two years later upon her return to England, she began to run residential art courses at her Somerset home, continuing to do so until 1986.
She was artist in residence at Shepton Mallet prison from 1991 to 1993 and in 1992 was the winner of the National Portrait Gallery's BP Portrait Award. In September 2000 she was given funds by South West Arts to work in Portland Prison on a mural project.
She has exhibited extensively and has had numerous solo shows at Chris Beetles Gallery, London where she has shown, on different occasions, her paintings of Portugal, Yemen, India and Oman. Venues for solo shows have also included the Rooksmoor Gallery, Bath, Black Swan Guild Gallery, Frome, the University Art Gallery, Keele and the Curwen Gallery in London where in 2000 and 2001 she held an exhibition of Paintings and Prints. Group shows include participation each year from 1986 to 1994 in the Royal Watercolour Society Open at the Bankside Gallery, London and each year from 1987 to 2000 at the RWA Autumn Exhibition. She was an invited artist in 1997 and 2000 in the Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London and has also participated at the New Academy Gallery, London, in 2000 in an exhibition entitled 'The Crown Estate in Art'.
Her extensive travels have supplied much of the visual material for her motifs and most recently her work from Senegal, West Africa was included in one of her solo shows at the Curwen Gallery.