Art reflects and enhances life.

"Art makes me happy. Seeing other people's art, creating art myself,

or looking at the natural world and seeing all the shapes,

shadows, colors, and light... it all fills me with joy!"

Leah Perlongo - Visual Artist - New Hampshire, U.S.A

 

My first memories are all visual and I remember wanting to draw everything at least as early as age six on a family outing to Denver Botanical garden. I carefully tried to draw every twig on a tree we rested near. 

Though born in Denver, Colorado; my family moved to Wichita, Kansas when I was ten. The first first of my mother's eight children, I helped raise my siblings as a homeschooling teenager. My favorite classes we went to were all arts classes and I still count my teacher Terri Fleming as my art mentor.

For college, I knew that artist was my career choice, but I was completely unprepared for how many choices there are in the field. What sort of art? What materials? What subject matter? What art style? How do you want to present your art? What do you want to say with your art? I love seeing, creating, and sharing, and constantly want to do it all at once!

After two years studying graphic design and sculpture, I earned an associate degree in computer animation. Then I studied metal welding , fiber arts, lamp-work glass, and oil painting.

Painting stuck with me, but I switched to acrylic paints. I feel acrylic is more versatile than oil because you can treat it like oil or watercolor depending on how much you thin it out. Also, acrylic is thinned by water instead of turpentine.

Painting with actual brushes rather than digital feeds my need to work with my hands. So, now I am trying to remember the digital side to get my paintings out in the world. Looks like I might need to learn some photography skills next!