Painter Diane Leonard shares her charming, nostalgic portfolio. She shares her journey to becoming a full-time artist.
ABI: What is your artwork about and why do you make it?
DL: My paintings are about light, color, vibrancy and feeling, and I paint to bring joy and happiness to the world. I want the viewer to relate to my subjects and feel the message of each painting.
The vibrancy of my canvases captures both the intimacy of my subjects and the imagination of the viewer. My extensive research into all of the great master artists who have come before me has inspired me, and challenged me to greater heights in my own work.
ABI: How did you transition to becoming a full-time artist?
DL: I have loved and created art since my childhood. After taking a workshop in Rockport, Massachusetts with renowned teacher, Helen Van Wyk, my life changed. I was hooked. All I wanted to do was to paint. Everywhere I looked, it was a painting! It was in my soul and in my blood. As a single mother, with a five-year old son, I worked as a freelance legal assistant in Boston, and painted at night.
When the going got tough, and it did, many, many times, I still found a way to paint. I survived by taking various odd jobs to support my son and myself, and supplemented that with painting sales. I know what it feels like to lose faith in yourself and your art, and I know how great it feels to find it again. And, over thirty years ago, my passion for art led me to transition into a full-time Artist!
ABI: What has been your experience with art gallery representation?
DL: Gallery representation has been rewarding for me with my work being shown in prestigious galleries across the U.S. and in Japan. All of my One-Woman shows sell out before opening night. Perhaps my most rewarding gallery experience was my One-Woman show in Nagano, Japan — truly a once in a lifetime experience. Art speaks a universal language and I was honored to have my work appreciated and collected in the mountains of Japan.
ABI: How do you sell your work today?
DL: Thankfully, my paintings sell quickly. It is always a great feeling to know that my work is appreciated and loved. I am so grateful to all of the people who collect my work.
It is the greatest compliment I could ever receive. Presently my works are selling through social media, art aggregation websites, collectors adding to their portfolios, and with The Wright Gallery in Cape Porpoise, Maine. Representation in a European gallery is pending.