Hi, I’m Anne Leeds. Welcome to my website. I’m a Vermont artist specializing in pastel landscapes. The inspiration for my pictures began at an early age. Although I’m not a native, my family has a long-time connection to the state. My mother, siblings, aunt, and cousins spent many years here at summer camp. My earliest Vermont memories are around the age of four. I recall the dense lush green of the landscape, the particular smell of fern and earth in the forest, and the sound of summer rain on a tin roof. I returned to Vermont for a couple of summers in my teens and finally made a permanent move here in 1997. My family and I have been full-time residents of Tunbridge since that time. I’m happy to say that the sensations I experienced in my youth are still the same today!
I was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in the south. I’ve been making art ever since I was able to hold a crayon. I come from a family of artists and educators who greatly influenced me. Of particular significance is my maternal grandmother, Gladys. She taught herself to paint in mid-life by spending time at museums and galleries. She came home and tried copying the work of some of her favorite artists like Paul Klee and Joan Miro. Through her own initiative she ended up developing a distinct style of painting. I think that my own art training began in a similar vein. I was exposed to art, encouraged to make it, and given access to lots of materials. Then, I was pretty much left alone to make my own discoveries. Gladys’ example is inspiring to me because it speaks to the “create impulse” that, I believe, is inherent in us all. We create because it feeds the soul.
I’ve been lucky to make my living by being creative. I earned an Associate’s Degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Atlanta and freelanced for many years as a graphics designer for clients such as Art Papers and Georgia Magazine. When my son was old enough to go to school I decided to return to school too to complete my Bachelor’s Degree at Vermont College and, simultaneously, earn my teaching license. I’ve been teaching art to elementary students since 2002, in addition to leading various types of workshops and retreats. One of the pleasures of teaching has been the chance to fill in gaps in my fine art training by attending continuing education classes at such esteemed institutions as the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. These have been vital learning experiences for me and I look forward to continuing to develop my work through these opportunities.
My art making interests have varied over the years. I’ve experimented with folk art-inspired assemblages, abstractions in oil, and soft sculpture. My current work, featured here, is focused on the rural landscape of Vermont. I love pastel for its intense rich color and for being relatively easy to manipulate. Although I paint with pastel I would say that my medium is really light. The light in Vermont is, at times, magical–creating long and low shadows that stretch across the ground and through my imagination. My work is about these negotiations of light and dark, both in the visual world and in the soul. I hope you enjoy my work and that you’ll contact me with questions and comments.
2016 The University of Vermont Medical Center Artist’s Calendar
2015 Fleeting Moments: Why We Go On, Barre Opera House, Barre, VT
2011-2013 Gallery in the Gardens, Justin Morrill Homestead, Strafford, VT
2011 Artists Envisioning Tunbridge: Celebrating 250 Years, Tunbridge Library ArtSpace, Tunbridge, VT
2006 Five Artists: Four Generations, Tunbridge Library ArtSpace, Tunbridge, VT
“I took these photographs near my home. They show the wonderful interplay of shadow and light that I find so intriguing.”Anne