Lesley's summer vacations as a child weren't complete until they were abusing the family Volvo on back country roads throughout the western United States. These trips brought into focus for Lesley the physical landscapes that surround us, and a degree in Geography from Humboldt State University helped further develop an appreciation for the shapes and colors of the land.
While obtaining her certificate in Graphic Design at the Pacific Northwest College of Art Lesley was exposed to many great Portland area artists. After spending several years as a graphic designer at Columbia Distributing Company she quit to stay at home with her first child. Ironically it was at this point that Lesley found the time and energy to focus completely on her painting.
She became a founding member of the Spiral Gallery Co-operative in Estacada, Oregon in April of 2004. In her two years with the gallery Lesley had a featured exhibit in June, 2005, and her show was a highlighted in an article in the Oregonian. She also participated in several Spiral Gallery group shows and thanks to her graphic design background acted as the gallery's Promotions and Marketing Chair. Her art has been shown at a number of venues in the greater Portland area, including a year-long show through the Clackamas County Arts Action Alliance. Lesley was born and raised in Southern California, and currently lives in a multigenerational household in Northeast Portland.
Lesley likes to think of her work as geography run amok. She takes her eye for the physical landscape and shapes it into slightly surreal pieces that are touched with emotion. The shapes and patterns she sees around her influence the spirits and topography of these painted dreamscapes: the curves of mountains and rivers, the density of clouds, the movement of limbs and leaves and hair.
Her most recent series of paintings focused on the mythology of the full moon. For centuries cultures across the globe have given a name to each full moon. Lesley's paintings explore and interpret theses names, culminating in a body of twelve pieces of art. She continues to explore and map the landscape of the universe as she sees it, pulling out patterns and shapes to create an endless world.
She works primarily in gouache, though Lesley does explore with ripped paper, oil pastel, acrylic and pastel. She uses gouache in diverse ways, from thin washes to smudges of paint straight from the tube. She then manipulates the wet paint further with applications of salt and wax paper, revealing unpredictable patterns that can be embellished.