Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Friend Leslie, More Amazing Local Talent

Rainbow Bird

My friend, Leslie, has an amazing creative talent that manifests itself in many ways. I featured her home a while back here and took you through a tour of her lovely home which is chock full of beautiful furnishings and great art. We love a lot of the same things and have been known to choose the same paintings for purchase without consulting each other - so far she's beat me to the punch, but I am sure there will be more opportunities!

Leslie is an artist in her own right and I have such respect for her diligence in painting and learning. I am an emotional decorator, artist, antique buyer and dealer - just about everything I do comes from my heart first, then my intellect - not always a bad thing, but I really admire Leslie's mind. She is intelligent, articulate, intentional, thoughtful, tenacious, educated and focused. She has chosen different subjects to paint to specifically practice her skill. I have included some still lifes, some whimsical, and some figurative paintings to show you her range of talent.

She is also a dear friend and I have wanted to share her work at Hill Country House for quite some time. I have asked Leslie a few questions and interspersed her work along the way.

When did you start painting and what led you to it?

There has always been a part of me that wanted to express and create, but I had neither the knowledge nor ability to even begin. The few times I would actually have the luxury of time to try, I did so poorly that I would give up and just assume artistic talent was something I did not have. So the energy was directed mostly toward the ‘crafts’ I enjoyed, like knitting and needlepoint. I started painting ‘for real’ almost 4 years ago, when Sandra Hulse came to spend a week with Sloan and Debra and graciously agreed to spend time every day showing Debra, Laura and me the basics. She was generous and patient, encouraging and accepting. And we were truly novices. Sandra is a fabulous artist, and a very dear woman.
(Leslie is referring to mutual friends and artists. I had the honor and pleasure of traveling to Italy last year with Debra, Laura, and Leslie.)

Watermelon Wedges

Are you self taught or have you had any instructions?

Both. Sandra gave us such a good grounding in the basics! And she lit the fire beneath with her humility and her acknowledgment of God’s role in creativity. The very first thing she did on the first day was read Rudyard Kipling’s poem, When Earth’s Last Picture is Painted (http://www.readprint.com/work-977/When-Earth-s-Last-Picture-Is-Painted-Rudyard-Kipling). It was new to me, very touching, and very freeing. Several months later, I took a workshop in Taos from a really talented artist, but was so frustrated and conscious of my inability that I left swearing I would never paint again as long as I live. It just did not seem like something I would ever ‘get.’ Fortunately, there is a stubborn streak in my personality, and even if I couldn’t paint like I wanted, the tenacity to keep learning and reading was there. After a few months, I did pick up the brush again and have stuck with it ever since. Last year I took a workshop with Carol Marine that was wonderful. She’s quite the dynamo, and is extremely talented and giving of her knowledge.

How often do you paint and how long does it take you to finish a painting?

I wish I could paint every day, but there’s no way. It works out that I paint in spurts. Sometimes every day or almost every day for a few weeks, then there will be weeks where ‘life happens,’ and there will be no opportunity to paint for a while. But always, I try to stay in the painting ‘mode’ by reading, researching, looking at the art of others, etc.

Jordan on Christmas Morning

This is Leslie's daughter, Jordan. I think is is an exquisite painting of a beautiful young girl.

St. Francis
(This is one of my personal favorites, and I think I may have to steal it out of her house one day!)

Do you have a favorite subject matter?

I would love to work toward a rather abstract figurative style, but I’m just not there yet. So I’m still working on mastering the medium and the basics of values, edges, color, form, seeing/interpreting, etc. Eventually, I’d like to veer more toward being able to express the impact that a subject has on me in a more direct, less incidental fashion.

Regay's Nest

Of course, I love the bird's nest.

Tea & Roses

Do you have a favorite place to work and do you prefer inside or outside?

Debra is very kind to share her studio space with me, and it’s always a pleasure to work there. It’s a perfect setup and a great location. I can paint at home if there’s no distraction, but how often is that? I am NOT an outdoor painter. I think it would be fun, but heat and bugs are too much distraction for me. I like my comforts!


Is there any one artist whose work inspires you?

There are many. I loved Cezanne’s work before I ever knew who he was. I think there are some wonderful artists out there today whose work shows not just talent, but hard work and deep knowledge of both subject and process. That knowledge and understanding is what appeals to me. Georg Miciu –Nicolaevici in Argentina (http://www.georg.com.ar/) is probably my favorite artist. His work is just thrilling.

Pink on Polka Dots

Hide and Seek

Still Life on Stripes

Figs and Pumpkin

What are your hopes artistically for the future?

I’d like to just keep trudging up the learning curve. And it would be very nice to improve my skills while I do. Painting is a sort of therapy …it gets me out of the everyday concerns and out of my own small world. It’s a great blessing. And although I’m really grateful I don’t have to make a living at it, it is also fun when something sells. It’s just a little extra encouragement for the effort and the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve left something behind that is appreciated.

Spring's First Blooms

Peasant with Fruit
(My other personal favorite!)

Could this be Dinner?

The precious little masterpiece was a gift to me from Leslie. I love the naive quality and the use of color. It fits right in with my folk art and Mexican things. What a treasured gift.

Thank you , Leslie, for sharing your talent and thoughts with us! I can't wait to see what you do next!


  1. Thank you for posting these so I can see Leslie's paintings and read about how she learns and what she enjoys. I love your work, Leslie! Katherine

  2. I too love Leslie's artwork and she IS a wonderful person. I love the use of color and her loosness with the brush stokes. I enjoyed reading this blog very much and look forward to showing more of her work in our gallery!
    Debbie Wilson - RiversEdgeGallery.net

  3. How fun! Your personal faves are exactly the same ones for me! I also love "Snuggling" as well. Is she local?
    ~ Anne

  4. Leslie...they are all wonderful! Barbara Mc

  5. Thanks for posting about Leslie's paintings. She is so refreshing and honest. I have two of her paintings and they are some of my prized possessions. I love your blog. Julia Lane

  6. Really like the artist profile and questions. I wish I knew the scale of the pieces. I could not tell if they were over-sized or small scale. I also was able to download the images.

  7. MOM. you are an amzing artist. i will virtually pinch you from north carolina everytime you say otherwise, and believe me I WILL KNOW WHEN YOU DO.

    your stalker-ish but loving daughter, Jordan

  8. I love that first colourful bird! And the orange and white flowers of course!
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog yesterday!

  9. I greatly enjoyed the artist's profile and posted art by the very talented Leslie. I love Leslie's use of color, her subjects that make me smile or engender a sense of peace, and her interpretive painting style. Her use of perspective in pieces like Figs and Pumpkin, and Tea & Roses is excellent. I definitely need a Leslie Bishop original (or several) in my home!

  10. Thank you for sharing these great images - what a talent! Thanks also for stopping by my blog - I'm so happy to have found your blog.

  11. I love her work, thanks for sharing it with I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I would like to invite you to come and participate in my giveaway.

  12. Charming! I think the painting she gave you is so fun!

  13. Oh, Leslie, these are beautiful! They reflect your sweet soul. Keep it up!
    Sharon A. in San Angelo

  14. Love the art...each one was 'my favorite' until I scrolled down to the next, then the next, .... I love them all.

  15. Thank you for spreading the word on Leslie Bishop, PAINTER. Leslie: I love my paintings; so happy I got them. It thrills me to no end to see you come through brilliantly on your hard work and heart's desire! KMJ

  16. Love your Blog. Do you have a book out Hill Country House? I recently bought Sandra Hulse's "The Lion shall lie down with the lamb" textile mural and would love to get in touch with her to find out more about it.



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