LEL’S BLOG

Hello and welcome! Here you'll find news and musings about art, inspiration, and upcoming shows.

North Kitsap Art in the Woods Studio Tour 2022

Save the Date: Fri-Sun, Nov. 11-13, 2022


100 Days of Shapemaking 2020 – Covid Edition

This year I completed my third 100 day project, creating and posting artwork on Instagram. After skipping it in 2019, I felt a void. The project keeps me making. It allows time to tune out distractions – focus only on space, edges, flat fields, the sense of tension, and dimension. I started April 8, 2020, a day after the official start of the 100 Day Project. Previously, in 2017 & 2018, I completed the project exactly in 100 days. Not this go-round. Pandemic in process, I gave myself a lot of slack. With my day job keeping me busier than ever, fitting in art-making every consecutive day was adding too much pressure. I wanted to be easier on myself. Mental and physical health during this time of the Pandemic is precious and requires effort. Sadly also during this time, my Mother-in-law became ill and passed away. Not to COVID, but cancer. It was shockingly fast, and we miss her very much.

So when it was too much I skipped days and ultimately I finished no. 100 on August 14.

More minimal

Grid of nine abstract bold shapemaking images by Leslie Newman
Shapemaking 2020 No. 83 thru 91 (July 27 – August 5)

The world was/is on edge, agitated, and overwhelming, so I seek simplicity and refuge. When creating the 2020 series, I pared down to essentials, worked with just one color plus black and grays, and limited the shapes. In my toolbox are edges, flat fields, space, and tension. The process is carving and molding shapes and negative space to create something out of nothing. They nudge the brain to see dimension in a flat surface and the eye to explore form and space. Take a breath. Stir something indescribable. Calming or invigorating? Curiously satisfying. 

Community support

When you post your work on Instagram, you get instant gratification. (And that’s not always a bad thing, right? 😉 Art people are kind and generous. Truly, engagement and comments provide energy to keep creating. It feels good to be putting something out there. I know my work’s not for everyone. And it pleases me that I really don’t care about that. I want to satisfy myself and create an expression that is unique to me.

COVID and Black Lives Matter

The intensity of the year can’t go unmentioned (and it’s not over yet.) While the pandemic rages, the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other BIPOC at the hands of police push us towards a reckoning. America begins to wake up and starts calling out racial injustice and systemic racism. Many white Americans look in the mirror and join in the mourning and protests. There’s a glimmer of hope that we can pull together, face reality, and make progress. It’s a task that has no end. And after the close election results, it’s clear we indeed have a very long way to go. It’s heartbreaking all around.

So it goes. I’ll keep making art and strive to stay hopeful. Be well


To commemorate this series, I’ve produced three affordable, 13″ x 19″ inch mini-posters. 

Night and Noon showing at the 2020 CVG Show

I’m happy to announce my digital painting “Night and Noon” has been accepted into The CVG Show – the 2020 Washington State Juried Art Competition and Show. This is a diverse exhibit featuring 151 works by artists across the state. Jurors award over $10,000 in prizes and it has a rich offering of related events. Preview the art, artists, and event schedule on the CVG website.  

Bainbridge Island Winter Studio Tour Dec. 6-8, 2019

It’s the start of the busy, busy season. Lots of fun, socializing, eating, and squeezing in work when you can. I’m happily prepping for the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour, happening the first weekend in December. I’m framing up my limited edition abstract paintings and Shapemaking prints. If you’re in the area, consider getting out of the house and taking the tour. It’s a fun way to explore Bainbridge Island and get in the holiday spirit. There are 56 Artists at 8 venues.

Our first open studio

Fernwoods Studios Art in the Woods
Tim’s shop was transformed for Art in the Woods

We were happy to see so many folks make the trek to Indianola and up Fern Street during the Art in the Woods Studio Tour Nov. 8-10. After living in here for over 11 years, we’re accustomed to the long dirt road drive, but it’s an adventure for many. Yes, Fernwoods Studios is “Art in the Woods”, literally!

Western sword ferns on Fern Street
Fern Street, Indianola, Washington, USA

Thanks to all who came by, including former West Seattle neighbors, dear friends and family, and a favorite high school teacher I hadn’t seen since that time! It was a pleasure for us to see you all and to meet the many folks who regularly do the tour. Once the memory of all the heavy lifting fades, we’ll very likely decide to do it again next year. It was a good time.

Art in the Woods – our first open studio at Fernwoods & you’re invited

What the heck is Fernwoods? That’s what we call our place in Indianola, Washington where my husband, Tim Celeski, and I live and work. It’s tucked up in the woods, and yes, it has a lot of ferns! 

Tim and I will be showing our art together as part of the North Kitsap peninsula Art in the Woods Studio Tour. It’s a self-guided tour of 21 Artists’ studios, with over 60 participating local artists. 

Art in the Woods Studio Tour

Fri., Sat., Sun., Nov. 8-10, 2019, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Tour website)

What you’ll see at Fernwoods Studios (besides ferns)

I’m showing my limited edition abstracts: expressive digital paintings and the modern Shapemaking series