Q + A: Anne Leisner

ARTIST ANNE LEISNER FINDS SUBJECT AND SOLACE IN THE BACKSTREETS OF SYDNEY.

How would you describe what you do to someone who hasn’t seen your art?

My urban landscapes are vibrant impressions of the streets and back lanes in the heart of Sydney. My use of light and colour creates an atmosphere of quiet stillness, a juxtaposition to the city as it is known to Sydneysiders. Through art, I aim to capture the rich layers of unappreciated beauty present in the simplest of scenes.

Did you attend art school or are you self-taught?

I’ve always been drawn to visual arts and I’ve been creating artworks since I was young. However, it wasn’t until my children were grown that I decided to take my passion to the next level and enrol in a Diploma of Fine Arts at St George TAFE, Sydney. It was there, supported by incredibly talented teachers and peers, that I learnt the trade secrets that have allowed me to truly express myself through my art.

What is your process?

I work from photographs captured during my backstreet explorations. This way, every painting is personal and attached to an experience. I paint with oils on canvas, primed with black gesso. I loosely sketch the scene and then begin by painting the sky. I let the colours lead the way around the canvas. I allow some black gesso to show through the oils to create lines and shadows, which adds layers and depth to my work.

When do you feel your most creative?

I generally work in the afternoon. It’s so much easier to relax and focus on my canvas knowing that all the routine jobs for the day are done. This is my time and, with some music, I can really get into the artistic zone.

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