Life is renewal. Well paced, health conserved...nature replenishes itself, and renews the witness.
Who is Phil Leonard?
Like you, perhaps, I spend much of my free time exploring woodland, mountains and shoreline. I seek the outdoor places to renew my spirit through contemplation, exercise and simple relaxation. Over the years backpacking and hiking trips have led me to many beautiful locations. I try to share this experience with others through my drawings.
My work is rendered in black graphite pencil typically on bristol board, but occasionally on other drawing papers. I work from my own photographic material, memory and imagination.
During a span of thirty years, I have produced landscapes, portraits, character vignettes for a book, and architectural drawings for professional organizations. Some of this work has been displayed internationally.
My creativity and the use of pencil and paper to express it was probably founded in youth. I watched my father draw wonderful portraits of family, historic figures and other personalities. Eventually I began drawing whatever interested me: automobiles, sports, cartoons, surrealistic landscapes (60's/70's influence). Eventually the real landscape, which I found myself photographing during hiking trips, found it's way into my drawings.
I suppose the foundation of my intense interest in the outdoors is also rooted in childhood. I could never find enough time to wander around in the woods and fields near my home climbing trees, wading in brooks and ponds, following paths and stone walls. There always seemed to be something mysterious and new to discover. This feeling continues to this day. Never a day goes by without my thoughts turning to the outdoors. Wherever I drive or walk I take notice of how the landscape unfolds; the shapes of trees, rock formations, reflections in pools of water, the way the light falls upon the forest canopy, forest floor or buildings, and even how man has shaped the land.
Ultimately my artistic focus and what drives me to produce the work you see in this exhibit, is the attempt to invoke distinct moments or sometimes an unusual place in the outdoors, and tell a story as realistic and true as I can render. I hope that you enjoy that moment or place.