Growing up in the Midwest was when Lesley first started to explore painting. Although she attended college and then the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she also moved around over the years and finally embraced the West Coast as home. Before settling there, she also lived in Italy for three years. Upon returning she made her home in Bellingham, Washington. She very recently moved to Albuquerque, NM where she also has her studio. Lesley currently shows with several galleries in Albuquerque, one in Sandia Park, NM and one in Chicago, IL.
Almost all of my work features animals and invented creatures. I have found it is best to let the flow take me, not to try and force something that will not work for me. Many people have called my work joyful. I like an energetic and spontaneous feel to my work, but I want for the final product to be unified and cohesive. My use of the line can be very defining and bold, yet imperfect and uneven. This adds to the energy and dynamic of the piece. I often use intense color to add boldness and intensity. I also often work quickly, especially at the start of a painting. This also adds to the energy, spontaneity and honesty of the piece.
With my paintings I want to develop a language that is analogous to my imagination. The way I go into this process is intuitive and spontaneous. The painting -and drawing- experience itself is enjoyable and a time of discovery. I never know exactly what I am going to end up with until the work is well under way. One particular line or shape leads into another and the animals and other components begin to take shape. The feel or the personality of the various inhabitants is also important. Each creature seems to have its own identity and attitude and story to tell. And, as in the natural world, there are teeth and claws to be found. I have a deep respect for the dichotomy that is the natural world.
I invite the viewer to be drawn in to take a closer look and discover what’s in the details. Often they will find ‘ghost’ images playing amongst the main cast of characters.