Hi...I'm Leslie!

I am an illustrator, musician and educator living in Upstate New York; the part where there is open space and plenty of trees...just how I like it!

I love experimenting with gouache, acrylics, ink and digital media to create illustrations and settings that are both fun and whimsical.  I have never been an artist that focuses on one aspect of art making, but I love this about myself.  I have always been drawn to storytelling, whether it’s through visual or auditory media, and am always searching for magical ways to combine the two in my own artistic expressions.  I dream of illustrating children’s books and performing in Carnegie Hall! 

My Story

Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to create.  ​The means of creation when I was a kid wasn’t as straight forward as only drawing and painting, crafting, taking pictures, sewing or playing a musical instrument.  I wanted to do it all...so I did.  Well, not all of it, but I really did try! 

Feeling the pull of many creative directions as I grew older, I began my adult career as a professional musician, studying Music Performance on the flute.  Among flute concertos and jazz solos, in graduate school I began experimenting with the combination of musical performance art and illustration through contemporary musical composition and recognized that this was something that I felt deeply connected to. Regardless of this connection, I felt there was something missing, just outside of my grasp.  In the meantime I fell in love with teaching children about the magic of music. What was I too make of all of this?  
 

Four years ago, I sustained injuries that would keep me from playing my flute for three and half years, something that I had done almost every day for 25 years.  During this challenging time, the only thing that I could do was sit at a table, so I pulled out my long neglected art supplies seeking a way to release my creative voice again and take my mind off of the discomfort I was experiencing both creatively and physically.  This took a lot of adjustment, but don’t challenges find a way of opening doors we never thought were there in the first place?  Creating a visual art practice made my creative life look completely different; more than I ever imagined.  Now, I thankfully practice both my art and music to equal capacities and feel that I have found the missing puzzle piece! 

I believe illustration, whether it’s visual or musical, to be  a message; a declaration.  They are both languages to be told and listened to, seen and imagined. These messages are sparks of the imagination that seed their way through the audience creating an ever evolving narrative. I love this about art.  Through the visual image and sound, I seek a balance where both have a place in the room at my side, sometimes alone, but even better...  together!