When I was a young painter, there were a few things that were prominent in the artists’ lexicon of the day. One was not to call yourself an artist: that was to be arrogant and arrogance was the killer of creativity. We were to be, at most, painters or sculptors. Looking back even this seems arrogant, this modesty. Yet in some way, there is a lot of truth to this restrained nomenclature, although I would probably state it as integrity is the birthplace of creativity.
Another favorite thought was to be so pure in your work, have so much integrity, that only other artists could fully appreciate you. The ultimate compliment, and Bruce very graciously said this about my work. Ideally this does not rule out a non-painter appreciating the work. Otherwise my very full studio would be overcrowded, and useless, for sure.
Here is what Bruce said about my work in the catalog for the exhibit at St. FX:
A painter’s painter, Leya began working in abstracts early in her career and her works are lush experiences of color saturation and the subtle language of innuendo.
In abstraction, art is pure form: the physicality of object and paint is forefront; the inherent humanity of mark making always present, with color, as physiological and psychological agent continuous.
To interpret and ascribe meaning to Leya’s art demands that one must go beyond the relatively simple process of contextualizing producer and consumer. As we are dealing with an art form that does not fit nicely into realism, our mapping must use signposts, the articulation of which will bring us uncomfortably into the realm of emotions. One must reach beyond what one has learned and into the gaps of the unknown.