Lesley uses simple but interesting shapes, as well as true to life color relationships, to convey the essence of her subject. She prefers to paint on location, where the entire experience of the scene can inform her work. Painting en plein air is full of challenges, such as fast-changing light and weather conditions, which require a painter to make a hundred decisions in the space of a few hours. Lesley believes that these challenges elevate her work. They lead her to grasp the single most compelling aspect of the scene, which then becomes the heart of her painting.
Lesley likens painting on location to racing in the Kentucky Derby, and painting in the studio to going on a leisurely trail ride. Although they are vastly different, each has its place. For example, a painter on location is usually limited to a small canvas. To achieve a larger scale, Lesley often paints a small study on location, which she brings home to her studio as a springboard for further work. Supplementing her field studies with reference notes, sketches, visual memories and photos taken on location, she is able to create larger works that retain the energy and immediacy of her field work.
To read more about Lesley's current inspirations and works, check out her weekly updates here.