3 years ago Leslie left the Corporate world to pursue a career as an artist. Leslie felt she needed to completely immerse herself to achieve the result that she wanted and so her journey begun. She wanted to be ‘all in’ not just painting ‘on the side’. She has taken courses at AGO, OCAD, Avenue Road Art School and George Brown to build her technical skills and to support her passion for painting.
Taking inspiration from 3 trips to Africa and over 9000 of her photos, Leslie has focused a lot of her paintings on African animals. With 60% of the animal populated depleted since 1970, she feels a sense of urgency to capture their beauty and personalities while we still have the privilege of being on the same planet. Leslie's composition in her paintings have evolved to include themes such as protection, challenge and camouflage as she seeks to highlight the plight facing these noble creatures. Using acrylic paints on canvas or board, she works with the paint to create texture, and subtle nuances and she adds unexpected colours or marks.
"The skin of rhinos and elephants feels ancient, like they carry a life time of stories and experience. Somehow through the paint I want to capture that depth, so I layer and scrub and layer and I work with thick and thin layers until I get the result that I want. I also tend to work with magnified views, as I feel that pulls the viewer in, and creates a more powerful experience that best represents the feeling of seeing these animals in person”.
Artist Website – www.lesliecline.com