Leslie Watts

AN INDELICATE PRACTICE: Paintings by Leslie Watts

<--break- />January 15 - April 27, 2012

Leslie Watts uses one of the oldest and most versatile painting methods – egg tempera – to create her portraits. The mixture of egg yolk, water and raw pigments is applied to a gesso made from rabbit skin glue, ground chalk and talc warmed in a water bath, for a beautifully sleek and absorbent surface. A single small egg tempera painting may take hundreds of hours. A similar process is replicated for the acrylic works, in which the artist gradually refines the image through glazing.

The exhibition also includes a new body of work inspired by the artist’s source photos taken on a trip to England in 2010. The purpose of sites such as Oxford Castle and The Foundling Museum has evolved over time. The artist captures the renovated spaces with modern elements, yet marks of the past remain. The interiors are void of humans, but evocative of the atmosphere and people who occupied the hospital rooms and prison cells. The contrast of the historical and contemporary is further emphasized in a series of works in which the Townley Caryatid is removed from the British Museum and placed in a hangar in Montreal.

About the Artist: Leslie Watts was born in 1961 in Weston, Ontario and raised in Toronto, where she received a B.A. in Psychology from York University. After spending year in Italy writing and illustrating her first children’s book, she moved to a small town in southwestern Ontario. Since then she has worked full-time as both a writer and artist.

In 2004 Leslie moved to Stratford, Ontario. In 2007 she gave up commercial illustration in order to paint full time. Her paintings in acrylic and egg tempera may be seen on line at www.lesliewatts.ca.

Image: Leslie Watts, "Corpusse", egg tempera on panel, 16"x16", 2011.