Léonie is an artist and a teacher whose paintings are appreciated by many. She shows her work at Le Centre d'Art Visuel in Edmonton Alberta and in her own gallery, Sunset Studio in Bonnyville Alberta. Léonie belongs to the Society of Western Canadian Artist and Aurora Visual Arts Association. Her paintings are found in numerous corporate and private collections.
Léonie's paintings are mainly representational with a touch of impressionism. She paints in all mediums but particularily in watercolour. The choice of medium is determined by the subject and the mood she wants to convey. She loves the fluidity and immediacy of watercolour along with its transparency which she uses to depict sunsets, water scenes and florals. “Watercolour”, she says, “can interpret the fragility and transparence of a flower's petals in a way that no other medium can.” She also feels that there is no other medium that can portray the effects of light on objects as effectively as watercolour. On the other hand, she loves the thick impasto of oil and acrylikc paints to depict the ruggedness of mountains, trees, rocks and many other subjects. Since her latest trip to the southern countries of Africa, Léonie has embarked on a new journey in her artistic life, wildlife painting. Although, she agrees, she has much practicing to do to be able to call herself an accomplished wildlife artist, she is truly enjoying painting animals and their habitat.
Many people have contributed to her growth as an artist. As a young child, her parents always articulated their admiration of the beauty of nature which contributed to her ability to see beauty in the smallest little insect or plant to the grandiose sunsets and landscapes of the Canadian prairies. As a teacher, a mother and now a grandmother, she strives to also teach others to appreciate and respect the environment and its fleeting beauty.
Her development as an artist was influenced by many. Having chosen visual art as her major for her education degree, Léonie taught art at the elementary and secondary levels. Throughout her teaching career, Léonie mostly painted in oils. When she retired from teaching, Léonie was able to pursue more seriously this lifelong dream to be an artist. She took a few watercolour painting courses through the University of Alberta extension program. Barbara Hartman and Jerry Heine both sparked in her the love of watercolour painting. A week long workshop with Tony Couch also helped her believe that watercolour wasn't as challenging as it seemed to be. With another workshops with Fabio Cembrenilli, Léonie now uses watercolour as her main medium and is determined to master and use it to its fullest potential, even painting wildlife. A painting workshop with Terry Issac, a wildlife artist, has given her the incentive to tackle wildlife painting. Now with many photos and sketches of African animals, she looks forward to painting in this genre.
Léonie also teaches art classes to adults and youths in her studio on Moose Lake near Bonnyville Alberta. Through her teaching, she hopes to instill in her students the ability to see the beauty that is everywhere in nature.