Having completed her diploma in Fine Art at the Cape Technical College in 1974, Lesley started her art career illustrating children’s books and teaching drawing. Rather than employing a specific methodology, she likes to respond spontaneously to the subject she is painting, without stylistic or technical constraints, producing her best work when the painting just happens organically. She is fascinated by colour and how the temperature, value and hue of the paint changes dramatically in relation to the colours around it. Lesley has found that this “relativity of colour” always surprises and an understanding of this has impacted on her colour choices significantly.
Though she is interested in a wide range of subjects, it is from her many journeys through Africa, in countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana that she draws most of her inspiration. She is drawn to the dramatic tonal values of bright sunlight and deep shadows which capture the heat of the African sun. “I try to capture the vibrant colours that I see with confident, energetic brush strokes and lavish use of the palette-knife. I find my work moves from the impressionistic to the more abstract, and then circles back.” Ultimately, what is of central importance to her is that her work reflects her love for the diverse lands and people of Africa.
Inspired by artists from America and Holland, she has recently begun experimenting with more abstract figurative work and vibrant colour harmonies, while resisting the confines of the line. When painting portraits, Lesley conveys not only the likeness of the model, but also, as far as possible, their mood and demeanour. She believes that above all, Painting is a joy and meditation, a refuge from the often-troubled world in which we live.
Lesley’s works have been exported all around the world. She has been featured in the Art Times magazine and has recently been invited to do a painting Demo for the South African Artist Magazine .Lesley has had two opportunities in the last 7 years to spend time at the Cite Des Arts in Paris where she did life drawing at the Academy of the Grande Chaumier. She also built up a body of work doing plein air paintings on the streets of Paris and along the Seine and has also travelled extensively in several African countries to gather material and inspiration.
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