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Archive for the ‘Artist Spotlight’ Category

Hey everyone. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Right now at the woods near Skyline Drive, we are experiencing beautiful blue skies and trees shimmering with the sun and light breezes. I love it!

Today, I’m shining the creative spotlight on my cousin, Lee Anna Will. Besides being inspirational, she is an artist and teacher (formerly a public school art teacher). Like me, she loves color as you can see through her art. Color permeates her art and her home décor whether she is painting walls, furniture or her accessories.

I certainly learned a lot more about her through this interview. I hope her story inspires you to explore, discover, develop and play with your creative gifts.

When did you realize that you were creative?  I vividly remember at the age of five or so, sitting at the kitchen table drawing a palm tree on an island. I was thrilled that it looked like something and it gave me such confidence. I drew it repeatedly because I was so excited I could do it. That was my first understanding that creating something from nothing exhilarated me. 

What were some of your earliest creative explorations?  Flowers. I went through a flower phase from adolescence into my early 20’s. They are beautiful, vibrant, and full of color. It was the vocabulary I resonated with for quite some time.

Which artists inspire you the most?  To this day the work of Matisse just makes me happy with it’s loose form and color. Robert Rauschenberg who is so inventive with found objects. O’Keeffe for her strength of character and composition. Music is a huge inspiration for me. I listen as I paint and it reminds me to play. Don’t take it too serious. 

What did you do to discover your particular talents, such as painting as opposed to ceramics?  I dabbled in a lot of things and found my strengths. Painting, sculpting, and photography are my thing. I love ceramics and appreciate those who can do it. I learned by doing it that it’s not my forte so I played to my strengths!

Would you explain how you developed your skills? It’s that old adage practice makes perfect. I practiced. Just as important, I played! I let myself play with the zeal of a child. 

Do you consider your art to be like play for you? In what ways?  Absolutely! I give myself permission to play. I remember doing a painting with a sort of cathedral type interior. I used reverent colors and then thought about the kids I taught at the time. If they wanted something to be pink, they didn’t think “I have to be reverent.” I added permanent rose madder and alizarin crimson and voilà- it came to life! It was a big lesson. Let yourself play. Life can be daunting enough. You’re imagination doesn’t have to play by the same rules!

Do you have any creative/artistic goals? What are they? I showed for years and did commissions and achieved those goals. It’s hard and takes thick skin. I learned that and then I learned what became more important- make yourself happy. I create art for fun- for my own enjoyment. At some point I may get back into the business side. For now, the importance of creativity in my life is to nurture me and give a place to play.  My day job, project management, is very structured and an art in itself. Painting provides a balance that I need. 

Please describe your style.  My style really does evolve as I do. Whatever interests I have or whatever is on my mind influences my work and style. I’d say my style is consistently colorful and beyond that hard to put into box. Regardless of how it changes, there is always a common thread that stamps it as “my style.” I liken it to my voice. Regardless of what I say, my voice stays consistent.

You Are Here art

How can someone get in touch with you if they’d like to find out more?  leeanna.will@gmail.com

What or who inspires you?

Amy

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