Sunday, August 30, 2009

Leslie Anderson Named Artist of Distinction in Autumnal Tints Exhibition

Still Point Art Gallery has named Leslie Anderson an Artist of Distinction in its latest exhibition, Autumnal Tints. The online exhibition opened August 31 and will continue through December 1, 2009.

Leslie has five paintings in the exhibition; three are shown below. Leslie submitted works that show her brilliant use of color and, in keeping with the theme of the exhibition, these pieces show fiery reds and brilliant oranges and yellows. Living in Maine, as Leslie does, the pieces are inspired by the scenes that surround her in daily life. The scenes are of autumn in Maine. Such beauty! At Leslie's hand, the bright colors combined with the broad brush stroke that Leslie used to paint these incredible pieces, autumn is made to feel cheery, happy, and bright. No wonder many say it is their favorite season!

Straw on the Barren; Maquoit Oaks; On the Mountain, October

Here is what Leslie says about painting...
For me, painting is an analogy for life--a balance of risk and control, knowing when to go with the flow, knowing when to stop. I started painting several years ago to relieve the stress of my career in high tech (I was marketing communications director in several software companies), never dreaming it would change my life. Eight years I go I moved to Maine to better organize my life around making art.

Whether I'm working in watercolors, acrylics, or oils, my artistic interests are the same--light against dark, pattern and repetition, a strong sense of light, and above all, layers of sumptuous color. As a landscape painter, my goal is not to make portraits of places but to capture the essence of remembered places and moments.

For the past 25 years, I have spent part of every summer on the Blue Hill Peninsula in downeast Maine. My husband Dan Nygaard and I own a farm in Sedgwick, where he grows cut flowers and I paint and operate my studio/gallery, Art @ the Flower Farm. We winter in Portland, Maine.

I have a BA in English from Colby College, and am the grateful recipient of an art education through excellent adult education at the Maine College of Art, the Radcliffe Seminars/Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., the deCodova Museum School in Lincoln, Mass., and through private study with artists including Dennis Pinnette, Jon Imber, Joel Janowitz, Lucy Barber, Gracia Dayton, Louise Bourne, Evelyn Dunphy, and Michael Vermette.

I am a member of the Deer Isle (Maine) Artists' Association.

I asked Leslie a few questions about her work as an artist.

[Christine Cote] What has drawn you to become an artist?

[Leslie Anderson] I started painting in watercolor as a relief valve from a very stressful job. I loved the deepened connection it gave me with the natural world around me, and I'd say that is what has kept me painting.

[CC] How would you describe your artistic style? What draws you to your particular style of art?

[LA] I describe myself as a "landscape painter in the Maine tradition" which gives me a lot of latitude! I strive to evoke a scene rather than describe it in detail, and my fondest hope for my paintings is that they'll evoke an emotional response from the viewer. So I guess I'm a realist landscape painter, but I'm always striving to become more abstract. I'm influenced in this by the painters Connie Hayes, George Nick, John Singer Sargent, Nell Blaine, James Fitzgerald, John Marin, and Milton Avery.

[CC] What are you seeking to express through your art?

[LA] I live in Maine where the weather (especially this summer) can be a trial and a plein-air painter has to grab those sunny breaks and just go paint. I'm striving to pin down, through paint, those remembered moments and the feelings they evoke. Also, what makes a painting work, for me, is the play of light against dark. Life isn't all sunny days, and the dark bits play an important role in a good painting.

[CC] What is the inspiration for your subjects...what inspired the subjects of the pieces in the Autumnal Tints exhibition?

[LA] I spend my summers painting other people's views, which is a lot of fun and very challenging. I get to drive down all these mysterious dirt roads to the ends of spruce-lined points, and you never know what you'll find. Once the summer's over, however, I get to paint just for me. Most of the scenes depicted in "Autumnal Tints" are things I've glimpsed on my way to the grocery store and later gone back to paint.

[CC] Is there anything else you'd like viewers and visitors to know about you and your art?

[LA] When I started painting twelve or thirteen years ago, I had no idea of the journey I was embarking on. Painting has taken me places and introduced me to people I never could have imagined in my former life. The painting life isn't an easy one, but when I'm on location or in my studio and lost in that wonderful process of endless decisions that is, for me, what comprises making a painting, it's the best job in the world.

Many thanks to Still Point Art Gallery for allowing me to share my work with, hopefully, many new people.


Leslie's art pieces may be purchased. See the gallery website for more details. Inquiries should be addressed to Christine Cote at christine@stillpointartgallery.com or by phone at (207) 837-5760.

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
August 31, 2009

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