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Lesley Powell paints in oils with a classical approach to composition and color, but she has a point of view that is fresh and contemporary. Whenever possible, she prefers to paint from life. She often paints on location, composes still lifes in her studio, or works with models. Lesley also enjoys painting interiors. She is inspired by rooms from her own home, as well as by historical homes and museums. Lesley says, “Working from life allows me to see forms without distortion. It also enables me to discern color more truly, and to capture the light and shadow that animate a subject.”
Lesley loves to travel, and her paints and easel always accompany her. She likes to complete small plein air studies on location, which she brings home to her studio as the basis for larger works. The plein air studies, together with reference notes, sketches and photos taken on location, are tools that help her create successful larger works. She says that she challenges herself to preserve the freshness and liveliness of her field sketches when she translates them into larger works in the studio. This approach brings a sense of directness and immediacy to Lesley’s work.
France and Italy are particular sources of inspiration for Lesley. She is drawn to their bucolic villages, as well as to their cosmopolitan cities such as Paris and Venice. European architecture, terrain, people and daily customs are expressed in many of Lesley’s paintings.
Lesley has studied at workshops with plein air painting master Kevin Macpherson, as well as with California plein air artists Ken Auster and Peggi Kroll Roberts. She has also participated in workshops with noted artist Maggie Siner. Lesley lives in Charlotte, NC, where she has studied with local artist Connie Winters, and with Andy Braitman at the Braitman Studio in Charlotte.