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Leslie Watkins


Paintbox Detail

Painting A Beautiful Life,

Main Street Magazine, article by Brandon Kralik, March 2015

Artist Statement

"I am a painter who loves nature, or maybe a naturalist who loves to paint. A student of color, design, light and shade, and their interaction with texture and form. I take pleasure in contemplating nature at length and in depth. I devote time to learning the construction of a duck’s wing, the mechanism of a hawk’s talon, understanding the patterns on an owl, depicting the sheen on an orchid leaf. Studying how one flower petal overlaps another. Watching the golden light creeping up the trunks of the trees as the sun goes down. Capturing the dawn exploding across the sky with a palette knife. Anticipating a light effect on the mountain or clouds. Painting willows on a hot summer day or retreating into the forest to paint a woodland interior. How to paint the atmosphere, making the invisible visible. Sometimes art does not render completion, or elaborate compositions. Sometimes it’s the result of close observation as in meditation. Sometimes it’s just “being” and blending colors with a brush, watching one pigment melt into another, working out details, and being still.”

Artist Biography

Leslie Watkins is an artistic descendant of the Old Lyme Art Colony, considered the bedrock of American Impressionist landscape painting whose luminaries include Child Hassam, William Metcalf, and Frank Vincent DuMond. At the Art Students League of New York, DuMond taught Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, Norman Rockwell, and Frank Mason. Mason later taught at the League, where Watkins studied the prismatic palette, alla prima (wet on wet) painting, and techniques of the Old Masters. Watkins continues in this cherished tradition.

Watkins is a plein-air landscape painter. When a scene attracts her attention, she paints an oil sketch in one session, and sometimes returns for several more studies. In the studio, these studies serve as reference for larger compositions in which she attempts to capture a sense of place, and the quality of the day.

Watkins’ botanical watercolors and nature studies have decorated note cards, placemats, textiles, Battersea enamel boxes, and educational materials. Her illustrations have appeared internationally on postage stamps, and in books and magazines. Clients include Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Tiffany & Co., Caspari, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Nickelodeon.

She has instructed enthusiastic students for over 25 years. Both aspiring and experienced painters benefit from the classes, and have fun learning. Leslie has taught at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts, The Lyme Art Association, the Washington Art Association, the Garrison Art Center in NY, the Berkshire Botanical Garden, the Housatonic Valley Art League, and at Noble Horizons in Salisbury, CT.

Watkins has exhibited at The Columbus Museum, The Lyman Allyn Art Museum, The National Arts Club, The Salmagundi Club, The Union League Club, The Hudson Valley Art Association, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Lyme Art Association and elsewhere, including Japan.

Watkins is the founding director of the newly formed NWCT-Berkshire Plein Air Painters and offers plein-air painting and watercolor workshops throughout New England, the Berkshires, and in and around Norfolk, CT.

For more information please visit the classes page and she can be reached at (860) 542-3920.

Click to read more about Leslie Watkins, from an article written by Raymond J. Steiner of ART TIMES Journal

Click for Biography PDF

Contact Information:
Leslie Watkins
Dandelion Cottage
PO Box 584
Norfolk, CT 06058
Studio: (860) 542-3920
E-Mail: lesliewatkins@lesliewatkins.com

click here for information about: Dandelion Gardening Arts

All images and text on this website are copyrighted © by Leslie Watkins. All rights reserved.
For authorization to reproduce any of the images or text, please contact the artist.