This week’s featured artist: Lesley Giles, member since 2012:
ME: My experience as an artist started in early adolescence when I became a pseudo hippy. Heavily influenced by psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd, the French existentialist writers & anything Avant-Garde in the London art galleries I joined an evening nude life-drawing class when I was 16. I graduated (failing art), and was accepted into the BFA painting class at Goldsmiths’ College, after which I won a three-year master’s scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London. As a professional artist, living and working in London, and exhibiting extensively, it was a big shock when my American husband’s work moved us to Ormond Beach, Florida in 2003! It wasn’t city life, but I did experience the beauty of the tropics. Missing the art galleries & concert halls, we re-located in 2012 to the Eastern Shore, Maryland, in spitting distance of DC, Philly & NYC. I work in my downtown studio overlooking the Choptank River.
MY ART: I am fascinated by derelict huts, gas stations, water & floating fabrics. My style is formalized & post-cubist. I work with traditional media to focus on contemporary issues like the effect that urban development can have on our landscape and how the “ordinary” prevails. Important influences are Hopper and fellow alumnus Hockney.
My architectural landscape paintings are inspired by my “Journeys” along the Eastern Shore and Florida, inspired by hurricanes and the over-developed A1A that follows the beautiful Florida coast.
I have exhibited extensively in galleries and museums in London, Europe, the USA, and in China following a Visiting Painter invitation to Urumqi, Xinjiang in 1996. My work has been published by Harper Collins in “Watercolour Masterclass” and “The Challenge of Landscape” as well as being featured in several magazines. My paintings are in private and public collections all over the world.
My painting “World War Two Tower” was selected as “signature” image for the bi-annual Biggs Picture Exhibition at the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, De. I am currently exhibiting in Easton, MD, and Peter Trippi, editor-in-Chief at Fine Art Connoisseur magazine is writing an article about my paintings in early 2015. Check my website for upcoming shows: www.lesleygilesart.com
MFA & ME: I loved the Circle gallery the very first time I visited & the variety of the art exhibited there is a gift for Maryland. I have met some wonderful & interesting artists at all the other venues where the MFA exhibits & I have to congratulate Joann Vaughan for her limitless energy & ideas for the Federation.
Spread the word about…YOU: Every week, we feature an MFA member for “Me & My Art Monday.” If you would like to be featured, please submit a photo and three paragraphs: one each about YOU, YOUR ART, and MFA & YOU totaling approximately 350 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org.