Leslie is a Pennsylvania based self-taught artist transitioning from careers in construction management, law and full time motherhood. It wasn't until she turned 50 that she started to truly understand the power of her creative gifts and independent spirit. Formerly ruled by her head and over analysis, she has resolved to listen more to her heart for this latter part of life. Her acrylic paintings capture the inner light she sees emanating from faces, places and moments that make up the world she inhabits. Constantly exploring body language, color, line, shadow, and balance, she tries to convey a message about her world that will resonate with her viewers.
Educated as a Civil engineer, she no longer designs bridges but still sees herself as building bridges between different stages of life by capturing the past so you can cross the bridge to your future. She does this through memorializing faces, places and moments that commemorate special times allowing us to transitions from one period of life to the next.
All my life I could never shake the feeling that I preferred the path least followed. That this is where I could find the space I needed to grow. Although surrounded by many I never liked to be grouped. I was made keenly aware of my loud voluminous voice -one that made others tune out and made me feel unheard. Yet I still felt loved through inclusion and shared memories. My work is an expression of my voice without sound. It explores themes of family, community and spirituality; capturing those precious memories and universal experiences that keep us connected and feeling loved.
I start by looking through photographs of moments that I or others have captured which express the experience or the feelings I have about a particular subject matter. These photographs are the starting point for my composition; I may combine elements from two or more photos or manipulate the characters to convey the message I want to get across. I decide which acrylic colors and brushes will help the viewer to "hear" my voice, and to see what I am seeing or feeling.
As I apply each color and stroke I decide if I am conveying what I wanted to say, yet I also stay open to something unexpected emerging that may convey my true feelings. Light, shadow, color and line have always been important aspects of my work. I use detail to capture reality and I can use it to change the focus within the painting, helping the viewer engage with the subject matter. A piece is finished when I feel my voice in the work. It maybe the addition of an element that is not in the photo, a manipulation of the photographic composition or simply the colors, shadows, shapes and strokes that express my voice. It may take more than one painting in a series to make the statement or a painting may stand alone.