About the Artist —
What Would You Like to Know?
About the Artist
Lea was born in Louisiana, and spent her early childhood moving from state to state until settling in New Jersey in third grade. Then at the age of 48, she painted a tropical beach scene mural in her garage! The success of this venture inspired Lea to get some serious art instruction at Mercer County Community College and ArtWorks. A few years later, she studied a more impressionistic technique under Susan Sarback, based on the technique taught at the Cape Cod School of Art.
Lea enjoys painting flowers, seascapes, and landscapes, and works both from photographic references and en plein air. She also paints portraits (of children and of pets!) on commission, working from photographs using a method similar to grisaille (but not quite the same).
Lea made her first sale in 2005, and had her first solo show in 2007. She has been juried into many local and national shows, including the Ellarslie Open, the Artists of Yardley, and the Mercer County Artists shows locally, and the 6th Biennial National Art Exhibition in Punta Gorda, Florida. Her work has also been accepted in online shows, including the American Juried Art Salon, and 21st Century Art. Until the gallery closed, she was represented by the Farnsworth Gallery in Bordentown, and is a member of ArtsBridge and TAWA, and an associate member of the Oil Painters of America.
- Artists of Yardley Juried Show - 2013: Cornflower
- Street fairs: I was juried into Communiversity 2013 in Princeton and the Cranberry Festival 2011 in Bordentown, selling both art and jewelry.
- Hamilton Public Library: In addition to several works on display at the Hamilton Public Library, I have also had two shows displaying my smaller pieces in the cases in the foyer.
I paint because I want to capture a scene so I can remember it forever. I want others to see what I saw of the beauty God made for a moment—light dancing in the tree leaves or on the surf, glowing through petals and waves, or peeking through leaves or clouds. Sky and water are constantly changing, and flowers are so ephemeral! And frustration with what a camera does and doesn't capture leads me to try to capture what I see in paint, so that others can see the beauty I saw.
I like to paint things that people will recognize, so I use a realistic but slightly impressionistic style. I struggle to simplify, to not include every detail I see, but keep my focus on the primary reason for painting the subject. Details can so often distract from the focus of the painting. Often, I don’t know if a painting is going well until I leave it and come back.
When I paint, I lose track of time. I’m living in the moment, focused on what I’m seeing and how to get that down with paint on canvas. I love the colors, and the feel of the paint. I like the way the paint goes onto the canvas, and how forgiving it is. The painting process offers constant challenge, fueled by the reward of accomplishment when it all comes together. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I can walk into the studio, look at what's on the easel, and think, “Wow! Did I do that?!”
2007 “Scenes from the Summer (and other memories),” Triumph Brewing Co., 138 Nassau St. , Princeton , NJ -- See article from November 2, 2007 Packet Publications
2013 "Artists of Yardley Juried Show 2013," Artists of Yardley Arts Center, Yardley, PA
2010 "28th Ellarslie Open," Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2010 "AJAS Fine Art 11th Exhibit," American Juried Art Salon (online)
2010 "Flowers Exhibition," Center for the Arts in Southern New Jersey, Marlton, NJ
2009 "Artful Giving and Spirited Surprises," Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, Millville, NJ
2009 "Mercer County Artists, 2009," Mercer County Community College, Hamilton Twp., NJ
2009 "LBI Small Works 2009," LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, Loveladies, NJ
2009 "Sand, Beach, and Glass," Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, Millville, NJ
2008 "6th Biennial National Art Exhibition," Visual Arts Center, Punta Gorda, FL
2007 "25th Ellarslie Open Salon des Refuses," Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
2007 "American Juried Art Salon," American Juried Art Salon, Plano, TX
2007 "MCA Members Juried Exhibition," Montgomery Center for the Arts, Skillman, NJ
2006 "21st Century Art 4th Quarter 2006 - Horizons," 21st Century Art
2006 Best in Show, 21st Century Art 4th Qtr 2006 Juried Exhibit - Horizons
2009 Workshop on Color and Light with Susan Sarback
2005-2006 Completed classes in Landscapes, Portrait, and Life Drawing at ArtWorks in Trenton, NJ
2004-2005 Completed classes in Basic Drawing and Painting at Mercer County Community College
1976 BA, Douglass College
2007 Associate Member, Oil Painters of America
2007 Member, Trenton Artists Workshop Association (TAWA)
2007 Member of Montgomery Center for the Arts
2006 Member of Arts Council of Princeton