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Leslie Safford

As a native New Englander who has lived in every Northeast state except Rhode Island, I take great pleasure in seeing and experiencing and painting mountains and valleys, rocky coasts and broad beaches, streams and rivers and marshlands, stormy skies and tranquil sunsets, sometimes populated with animals and people, sometimes pure landscapes. Some of the places I paint in plein air and from photographs; some I recreate from memory and dreams; some are places I visit only in my imagination.

I started drawing when I could first get my hand around a crayon. My Old Faithfuls, those humongous crayons that were flat on one side and round on the other, gave way to the rich splendor of the sixty-four pack of Crayolas (complete with gold and silver crayon and a little crayon sharpener) and I graduated from jam jars filled with water and big brushes and little pots of paint to the sophistication of a thirty-two-color paint tin. My father, who was in radio for many years, started bringing me leftovers from the studio teletype machine, and I drew pictures and make up stories to go with them on as many as six continuous feet of manila paper. As my verbal skills increased, I began creating stories and making up pictures to go with them, and I added music to my list of great joys. I graduated from Vassar College with an AB in music, though I continued to write and illustrate my own novels. I also enjoyed emulating illuminated medieval manuscripts. Eventually I put art aside as I pursued an editorial career with an avocation in music. Around 2010, however, I took a workshop in Chinese brush painting and so returned to my first love. I’ve been experimenting since with watercolor and acrylic landscapes and waterscapes, watercolor pencil botanical drawings, figure drawing, portrait drawing, and photography.

Now that I’ve moved from New England to the East End, I have a whole new world to explore and beautiful views to paint to add my paintings, which serve as journals of my travels through the real world and in my mind.

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