LEL’S BLOG

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


4×4: Art by Design – Northwind Art Jeanette Best Gallery, Port Townsend

I’m pleased to be included in a group show at Northwind Art, Jeanette Best Gallery, June 9 – August 7, 2022. Read on for the Northwind Art press release.

4x4 ART BY DESIGN, Tim Celeski, David Owen Hastings, Leslie Newman, Brian O'Neill

Port Townsend, WA – An exhibit featuring four regional artists, 4×4: Art by Design, opens June 9 and will run through August 7 at Northwind Art Jeanette Best Gallery, 701 Water Street, gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, noon-5 pm.
There will be an Artists’ Talk and Meet + Greet: Saturday, June 11 at 1 pm.

“All of these artists share a common career path,” says Kathleen Garrett, Exhibits Director at Northwind Art. “They all started out as graphic designers and continue to use those skills as they have migrated to the world of fine art.”

The exhibit features works by Tim Celeski (Indianola, WA), David Owen Hastings (Sequim, WA), Leslie Newman (Indianola, WA), and Brian O’Neill (Bellingham, WA) and focuses on abstract art in mediums including prints, quilts, ceramic vessels, digital painting, and abstract wood sculpture.

Tim Celeski – abstract wood sculpture
David Owen Hastings, stitched paper collage
Leslie Newman, contemporary abstracts
Brian O’Neill, ceramic vessels

Art in the Woods Studio Tour & upcoming shows

After this long Covid-induced break from in-person art shows, I’m delighted to be participating in three events this season. I hope to see you.

TLDR: 2021 Upcoming shows

  • Art in the Woods (our place is on the tour!)
    Nov. 12-14, 10 am–5 pm
  • Indianola Holiday Art Fair, Nov. 20, 9 am–3 pm
  • Bainbridge Island Winter Studio Tour, Dec. 3-5 
  • Masks required for all events

You’re invited to Fernwoods

Art in the Woods2021 brochure cover

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 18 Artists’ studios, with over 50 participating local artists. 

Art in the Woods Studio Tour, Nov. 12-14

Fri., Sat., Sun., Nov. 12-14, 2021, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Tour website)

Waiting Dream in 2021 CVG Show

Expressive abstract painting in earth colors and soft aqua and salmon pastels

I’m grateful my digital painting Waiting Dream was accepted into the 2021 CVG Show. The annual CVG Show is one of the largest and most prestigious art competitions in the Northwest. This diverse exhibit features about 130 works by artists across Washington state. Jurors award over $9,000 in prizes. For a complete list of artists, the entire show, and exhibition events, visit www.CVGShow.com. All works are for sale.

The show is up now and will continue through February 26. Collective Visions Gallery is located in downtown Bremerton at 331 Pacific Avenue, just four blocks from the ferry terminal. The Gallery is open Wed. – Sat., 11 am to 4 pm. (Following COVID protocols.)

Waiting Dream
Limited edition archival print
15.5 x 15.5 in image size, edition of 20
20.5 x 20 in. framed $450 (unframed $300)

In good company

Long-time art buddies Mitchell Albala, Sandy Haight, and Obadinah Heavner also have artwork in the show. Along with Indianola friends Sklyar Kaster and Sydni Sterling. Thank you to juror Michael D’Alessandro for making exciting and diverse selections from almost 550 submissions. That’s a daunting task!

For a complete list of accepted artists, the view the entire show, and exhibition events, visit www.CVGShow.com.

Art Fundraiser!

2020 is a year for the history books: global pandemic, Black Lives Matter awakening and a democracy-on-the-line election in the US. It’s a tragic and desperate time for many. I want to do something helpful and hopeful. I’m not an essential worker. I have the luxury to work from home with lots of space and nature around me. I’m humbly grateful for my circumstances. So…

30% to CAMFED and OneGoal

Now and through the end of the year, I will donate 30% of proceeds from my art print sales to organizations that make the world a better place. Funds will be split between CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education in Africa) and OneGoal – Helping close the college divide in the United States. Both organizations transform lives and create long-term progress through education. I learned about these organizations from Nicholas Kristof’s NYTimes “Gifts that Change Lives”article. Every year he produces a holiday guide suggesting “gifts with meaning” and awards his Holiday Impact Prize to organizations that make big impacts for good. They receive matching funding and lots of visibility. Below are excerpts…

CAMFED

Educate a girl. My grand prize winner is Camfed (originally called the Campaign for Female Education), which helps girls in African countries get an education. One of the world’s best bargains is the chance to help a girl go to school in a country like Ghana, Malawi or Zimbabwe: A year in high school costs $150, elementary school about $30.

— Nicholas Kristof

OneGoal

Send a young person to college. Another prize winner is OneGoal, which mentors low-income students in the United States, helping them graduate from high school and succeed in college. OneGoal ensures that Black lives matter: 96 percent of participants are students of color, and it provides a bridge for them to complete high school and get a solid start in college.

— Nicholas Kristof

If you’re considering adding art to your walls, this is a win-win. If not, please consider donating or volunteering for organizations listed at Kristoffimpact.org

Thanks for reading. Be well.

Visit the Shop

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. 

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