Last week while on Vancouver Island for one of Don Farrell’s Talking Art sessions, I was invited to come to Spider Lake where Leslie Gregory-Morgan lives and creates.I first saw Leslie’s work when I browsed through the TOSH10 gallery in Qualicum Beach and was struck by her beautiful detailed graphite work (see below for three examples). I then met her last fall when I attended Steven Aimone‘s talk at The Old School House in Qualicum Beach.
Leslie was born in France, but spent most of her early life in London Ontario. She received her BFA after having studied at both York University and University of Western Ontario. For a long time her special interest was photography. In 2004 she moved out to Vancouver Island where she has been working in graphite, stained glass, acrylic and teaching workshops out of her studio.
Her studio space
Leslie and her husband designed their lakefront home which includes a 26 by 26 foot studio with a view of the lake and a patio. She has enough room to have separate work stations for creating in her different media, a morgue-rescued stainless-steel sink and basin for clean-up, and an awards wall above her desk and library.
Leslie’s current work and influences
Having recently taken Steven Aimone’s Spiritual Language of Art workshop in Nanaimo, Leslie is pushing the boundaries of her non-representational work and really enjoying the not-knowing-where-a-painting-will-lead-her feeling. She openly acknowledges the influences of Don Farrell and Kandinsky in her work. Below is one of her recent works entitled Moon over Fukushima which won a 1st Place award at the Federation of Canadian Artist‘s annual abstract show in Vancouver in February. To me this a beautiful merging of the subtleties of Farrell’s work and palette with the playful geometric intricacies of Kandinsky’s.
The abstract artists I have come to know over the past year or so on Vancouver Island are very excited because a beautiful new gallery has just opened in Qualicum Beach called The Art Worx Gallery. I visited it two weeks ago as they were taking down an exhibition of Morrisseau’s work. Norval Morrisseau was an Aboriginal Canadian artist who passed away in 2007. Next up at the gallery…a group show with my new friends Leslie, Chris Kazeil and Susan McLennan in April.
Thank you Leslie for sharing your space and I hope to make it over to see that abstract show!