Drawing and painting have always been a part of my life. Music and art do “run in the family.” I cannot imagine NOT being able to paint. Growing up in Maine and Nova Scotia gave me much scope for landscape study. I would take my sketchbook along when my family went clam digging in the tidal river. Always I was provided with the tools to create.
When the time came, I went off to be classically trained in art at Bob Jones University in SC and learned under Darell Koons, Emery Bopp and Carl Blair. They not only inspired and taught me well…they believed in me. Whoever said that “those that can, paint, and those that can’t, teach” has no idea what they are saying.
When I teach, my students are not allowed to say, “I can’t.” They know I believe in them too. When one of them looks up from painting and says, “Mrs. Leigh this is so fun!” this is my reward and my joy in passing on to them some of what I know. We have to pass on to others this knowledge, and teach them how to create truly fine art.
New Hampshire is a truly beautiful state. It gives me so much to use in painting that I can scarce decide what to paint. I see everything in terms of composition. Painting plein-air does help me to focus-though the weather and bugs tend to make me quit sooner than I would like. Usually, I finish up a painting in my Franklin studio. My landscapes are more naturalistic with a hint of nostalgia for how life used to be growing up in rural Maine in the 60’s. Marblehead, MA and Monhegan Isle are favorite places where I can get away to just paint.
Recently I have gotten back to oils and pastels. The New Hampshire Antiquarian Society Annual Art Show in Hopkinton is a favorite venue. My work is also in many private collections, the Hopkinton Public Library, Merrimack County Savings Bank, and Trinity Baptist Church.