Lesley Grainger: Freedom, Passion & Color

Architerior talked to California based artist Lesley Grainger. She shared her thoughts on her abstract mixed media artworks and talked about what inspired her to create. We touched on special moments in her art career and what working with art means to her. Enjoy!

How did you find your way into art?

At the age of five I painted with my aunt and from that very moment, I knew I would be an artist. I still remember that wonderful day so clearly.

Was education in art a part of your journey to become an artist?

Yes I studied illustration at the University of Humberside in England (UK).

What techniques do you use?

I use a variety of techniques with mixed media materials.

How would you define your art style?

Mixed media abstract that pushes boundaries of creativity through intuition.

Has your style or technique changed over time?

Yes, my style has become more experimental and intuitive.

If you had to summarize your art in three words, what would they be?


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Which artists or art styles have inspired you?

Klee, Picasso, Kandinsky.

When other people view your work, what are their reactions and thoughts?

They love the freedom and vibrancy. They are usually very inspired.

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Is there something in particular that you wish to convey to the viewer through your work?

I want them to feel the work and for them to feel the passion that I feel. To feel alive and joyful.

How does your planning and creation process look like?

I often try to clear my head so that I have nothing blocking my intuition, that guides my process. I don’t have a vision, color palette or an idea. I completely follow what is inside and wants to be revealed. I usually go through layers and layers until I finish a piece and it feels alive and complete to me.

What are you working on right now?

I usually work on several paintings at once, I am currently photographing and cataloging new pieces.

How has Covid-19 affected you as an artist?

I’ve gone through many stages since March 2020. I lot of my collectors purchased during quarantine. I introduced online classes so that people could create from home. It has affected me, in that people didn’t see my work in person during 2020.

Inspiration is important when creating, where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is all around, from shadows on the ground to color on a candy wrapper. Color inspires me and pushing boundaries to find more unusual techniques to incorporate in my work. I collect scraps of paper, I’ve done that since I was a child. I also love to see other artists work at shows and Museums. I recently visited SFMOMA and I couldn’t wait to get home and paint.

Is there any artwork that you’ve created that is extra significant to you?

There are a lot of pieces that come to mind. The more I push myself in the process and let go, those are the pieces that shine.

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How do you define “good” art?

Art is so subjective, but for me it’s when I feel an emotional connection.

What are the best things about being an artist?

Being who I am created to be. Meeting other artists and people that love art, sharing my art with the world and being creative.

What are the worst things about being an artist?

Yeah! Not enough hours to paint!

Are there any special moments in your art career that you’d like to share – moments that perhaps brought you forward, gave you clarity or changed you?

One of my recent moments, was renting my first studio away from home, after working in my garage for 10 years. It felt so fantastic and liberating to have my own space. I was now able to create and work on larger pieces and explore my art with a deeper freedom.

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What does it mean to you to be able to work with art?

It is a dream come true for me. I’m grateful everyday for the joy of being able to paint and create. I love being able to share my passion with people that appreciate art, and to be able to inspire other artists.

In ten years time, where do you see yourself and your creative work?

Continuing to paint, explore and show my work. That would be a wonderful gift.

If you could go back to the beginning of your art career, what advise would you give yourself?

To not be so critical of myself, and doubt my creativity.

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