Leslie has a true passion for color + clouds.
Leslie Banta is a Staunton, VA-based artist and educator. She is fortunate to live in an idyllic valley of Virginia, where she can always see the clouds and minimalist landscapes she loves to paint. She finds the landscapes and color compositions are a great way of keeping nature’s beauty close at hand.
“I spend a lot of time inside my head, solving daily problems or trying to keep a grocery list handy…basically, my thoughts are turned inward or my head is literally turned down, focused on a project. It’s so easy to look up at the sky; but it’s also easy to forget what’s waiting right over our heads because it’s always there. We forget to see it because we always see it, if that makes sense. I paint to remind myself to stop and look, to experience the beauty of color and texture, to drink in the sky for a long moment.”
The bed boxes explore ideas of enclosure and privacy, while stereo photos help me share enclosure ideas.
Leslie grew up in Alabama and moved to the DC area after undergraduate studies in oil painting. Under the direction of artist mentor, Joyce McCarten, she began exhibiting in the DC Metro area at spots like The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria's Old Town, attended The Georgetown campus of The Corcoran School of The Arts & Design for abstract drawing & painting, where she found fellow Tuscaloosa, AL native, Bill Christenberry to help guide her early landscapes and collage guru, Mindy Weisel to direct layered explorations into abstraction; she traveled to Provence, France to further study "colour" and plein air landscapes with British colourist Richard Kenton Webb, and she established a studio discipline in the midst of changing work and home life with a growing family.
Leslie resides in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, where she owned & operated an art supply retail store from 2007 until 2016. She and her writer husband have two sons: a high schooler and a second grader, both of whom keep the entire household on their creative toes. She has taught mixed media workshops through Staunton’s Beverley Street Studio School as well as through Blue Ridge Community College’s continuing education program. She loves teaching art to kindergarten through third grade students and high schoolers at a private Christian school in Staunton, and serves with other Arts Guild members to curate, install, and administrate art exhibits at 292 North Gallery in Harrisonburg, VA.