Q + A: Leslie Fitzsimmons


How would you describe your work?

My art is my personal response to natural landscapes I’ve immersed myself in. Colours of the land deeply resonate within my visual memory, often provoking me as I paint to amplify what I see. I paint intuitively, unsure of what abstract forms will emerge. Each painting is its own. I don’t follow rules and I remind myself as I create to not be so precious.

How long have you been practicing as an artist?

I have studied graphic design and earned a Bachelor of Visual Art Education degree. I went on to spend eight years facilitating in art museums both in Australia and the USA. I made a switch to my painting practice about two years ago. From a young age I photographed landscapes and sunsets and sketched flowers and plants. Even now, I’m always keen to learn or experience something new.

What is your studio like?

My studio is a place where I heighten my senses. While my visual memories always dance around in my head, I become more attached to them if I create a space mentally and physically for them to flourish. In the background are stacks of art and travel books, my journals and sketch pads, collections of wood and stone scattered among jars of brushes and paint tubes. Essential and personal, these are my resources.

What is your process?

I begin by mixing a colour palette inspired by nature. I then allow intuition to take over. My compositions form as I paint – nothing is pre-sketched or predetermined. It is all a very responsive process. Once I create a shape or space, another forms. I never know how the finished painting will look. I am comfortable with uncertainties. I realised if you can’t break loose or give yourself a break, you will break.

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