Elaine Leslie

Can you tell us about yourself and your background as an artist/maker?

I have been creative since a very young age, probably inherited from my family. My granddad was a sign writer, my Uncle a carpenter and my Nana and Mother were seamstresses. I was horse mad and constantly drew horses and ponies in graphite. I won a national completion to design a health and safety poster at the tender age of nine. Then life got in the way, working full time, getting married and having a family. Fast forward 20+ years and I was lucky to have a couple of years of time out. This gave me the opportunity to rekindle my passion for creating art.

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

As a self taught artist, I am enjoying learning different techniques. I mainly use Acrylic but also enjoy watercolours. My subject matters have flipped and flopped over the last 2 years and to be honest I don't really have an idea of what I am going to paint until I start. My tendency is to start 2 or 3 canvases at the same time, putting down the first layers and then I get the feel of were each one is going. I love this bit as it is such a free way to create. My works can take anything from 10 - 15 minuets to a few hours.

Where you do usually work from?

My Studio.!! I'm super lucky to have a cabin in the garden where I spend my time. It has everything I need, Space, good light and an inspiring view.

Have you developed any unique or unusual techniques in your work?

I'm still learning and enjoying trying out all sorts of stuff. I have my favourite brush which is actually an old decorating brush which has done many a house renovation. Its very worn but gives me a wonderful effect of waves when i am painting a sea scape.

Tell us about a favourite piece of work and what it means to you.

That would be "Pebble Tower". A large canvas I did of a Zen Pebble balance with crashing waves behind. It was featured in my very first appearance in an international art magazine. I had a 3 page spread all about me! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever get noticed so for that reason it has to be my favourite.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Cornwall. We always went to this beautiful county for family holidays. Dad was a naval man and I guess I have always had an affinity with the sea. It is constant inspiration and all of my works are sea inspired. I have dabbled in florals but I always end up coming back to seascapes .

What advice would you have for artists who are just starting out?

Just go for it. Don't get hung up about whether your art is good enough. Enjoy every work you do. Your own style and inspiration will come your way without you even realising it.

If you sell your work, can you tell us more about how you do this?

I have an Instagram page, Etsy shop and gallery within a local interiors emporium. IG is brilliant for being part of a art community. I have made some lovely friends world wide, who are supportive and encouraging. It has lead to me gaining commissions which is very exciting. My Seagrass collection has been very popular and I am still painting these, interspersed with Cornish Coastlines and Milky Ways. I pride myself that ALL of my work is unique as I never replicate them in anyway.

How has lockdown changed your creative process?

I have loved Lockdown. I have had an amazing time to concentrate on my art, set myself up as a full time artist and honed my skills. I do find it quite lonely sometimes, and when I do, I just pop onto IG. There is always someone I can reach out to. I don't get artist block as much as the pressure is off to create a work in a limited time.

Tell us about any future projects you have planned.

My gallery in is its early days, but I hope one day to be able to exhibit my work in my own gallery in Cornwall. I am in the process of writing another article for Hidden Talents magazine and cant wait to see my relationship with them grow.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Follow your dreams, think positively and good things will come your way

See more of Elaine’s work on her Worcestershire Artists page.

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