Leslie (Lel) Newman was born in Berkeley, California, grew up in a Seattle suburb, and after 25 years in Seattle, now lives and works surrounded by nature in Indianola, Washington. She brings a fresh approach to her expressive, abstract iPad paintings, mixed-media originals, and modernist “Shapemaking” prints. Her career as a designer and illustrator and many years of art study with expressive painter Barbara Fugate inform her work.
In 2017 she completed an Instagram 100-day art challenge, creating and posting an original abstract daily. This experience energized and pushed her to reach new creative heights, including exhibiting her work in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and North Kitsap. She completed her fourth 100-day art challenge in 2021, 100 Days of Abstract Sketchbook. Follow her art journey on Instagram: @leslienewman
Abstraction is freedom. Without the constraints of representation, I explore space, form, line, and color, creating artwork that invites a long look and sparks imagination. I leave it to the viewer to dive in and discover their mood and meaning and hope it provides escape from the frenetic state of today’s world.
I use and am inspired by new media digital tools, methods of global online sharing such as Instagram, and digital and traditional painting. My process, while intuitive, draws on fundamental art principles. I aim to create compositions that are energetic and unexpected. Some of my influences include Matisse’s cut-outs, mid-century art and design, and the works of Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Stuart Davis, and David Hockney.
I look to art to inspire, surprise, and bring forth a wave of feeling that reminds us of our wondrous existence. I feel it in my process of creating these works. I hope the viewers of my work share in this sense of wonder.
Shows & Exhibitions
Juried: 2023 CVG Show, Bremerton, WA, Jan-Feb 2023
Juried: Bainbridge Island Studio Winter Tour 2022
Juried: Art in the Woods Studio Tour, Indianola, WA, Nov 2022
Group: 4×4 Art by Design, Northwind Art Jeanette Best Gallery, Port Townsend WA, Summer 2022
Juried: Bainbridge Island Studio Winter Tour 2021
Juried: Art in the Woods Studio Tour, Indianola, WA, Nov 2021
Juried: 2021 CVG Show, Bremerton, WA, Jan-Feb 2021
Juried: Bainbridge Island Studio Winter Tour 2020 (online)
Juried: 2020 CVG Show, Bremerton, WA, Jan-Feb 2020
Group: Wendy Armstrong Gallery, Bainbridge Island, WA Dec 2019
Juried: Bainbridge Island Studio Winter Tour 2019
Juried: Art in the Woods Studio Tour, Indianola, WA, Nov 2019
Juried: Expressions Northwest, Northwind Art Center, Port Townsend, WA Aug 2019
Solo: Wendy Armstrong Gallery, Bainbridge Island, WA Feb-Mar 2019
Juried: Bainbridge Island Studio Winter Tour 2018
Solo: Fremont Saturn Building, Seattle, WA Aug-Sept 2018
Group: Modern Touch 2, Lynn Hansen Gallery, Seattle WA 2018
Group: Modern Touch, BallardWorks, Seattle, WA 2017
Group: Nine Hands Draw From Life, BallardWorks, Seattle, WA 2007
I acknowledge that I reside on the traditional territory of the Suquamish Peoples, People of the Clear Salt Water, whose ancestors have lived here from time immemorial.