May Featured Artist: Leslie Rock at Castoro Cellars Art GalleryMay 1st–31st 00:00 Castoro Cellars Gallery
In 2005, with my children growing older, I found myself with extra time, and so I embarked upon my third career. Coming from a background in engineering and motherhood, art was a fresh and irresistible calling that I threw myself into wholeheartedly. I took my first painting class, open to wherever it would take me. Before I knew it, my life was transformed. Since then I have been working, playing, studying, experimenting and solidifying my identity as an artist. Oils are my first love, but I do dabble in mixed media and acrylics. I work primarily on canvas, though I have experimented with wood and paper as well. I prefer medium and large sized surfaces since they give me an opportunity to paint freely and loosely. Neal Donald Walsh’s quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” has inspired my artistic growth from the moment I heard it. With these words always in mind, I set goal after goal for myself. I am constantly evolving as an artist, and these goals ensure that I never stagnate.
The figure is my source of inspiration; no matter how much I deviate from the figure I cannot help but return. Being connected to my subject in some way, whether by acquaintance or memory, is very important to me and brings vitality to my work. The emotion I feel when I am painting is also critical to the outcome. My works reflect my state of mind, good and bad and everything in between. My current method of paint application has created rich pieces with many layers, making each one a thrill to view. Each one of these pieces is unique and cannot be recreated, given the looseness of my application and the emotions that drive it. I believe this is an interesting “turn in the road” for me, but, as always, I remind myself that I need to keep pushing that comfort zone, no matter how big it grows or how much I grow to love it.