New Feature Exhibition in April March 14 2024

Paintings by Leslie Neumann

On Exhibit: April 6 - May 25, 2024
Opening Reception: 
Saturday, April 6, 4-7 PM
Artist Talk & Encaustic Demo: 
Friday, April 19, 11 AM


About the Exhibition:

Leslie Neumann is an encaustic landscape painter based in Aripeka, Florida.  She moved to this small fishing village after living in New York City for 20 years. Her home and studio are surrounded by 15,000 acres of coastal wetlands, which have influenced and inspired her as a painter. Blending abstract and representational forms, her paintings capture both the sublime, seductive beauty of the landscape, and an adventurous spirit.
Under Nature’s Spell is Neumann’s inaugural solo exhibition at Arts on Douglas, and for this display she will be showcasing paintings from her Wetlands Series, Transitions Series, and Cosmic Series.  All three bodies of work were created using encaustics, a method that incorporates hot beeswax and colored pigments. This process creates a uniquely luminous surface, full of dramatic colors and textures that bring Neumann’s landscapes to life.

Neumann’s Wetlands Series is a celebration of the natural spaces surrounding her homestead, characterized by close-up views of lush, tropical spaces. While these paintings began as observations through the windows in her home, over time she shifted her perspective to a “kayak point of view.” These landscapes from within the salt marsh depict a more immersive experience. 

In her Transitions series, Neumann’s landscapes emphasize vibrant skies in fiery reds and golden yellows against intense, dark storm clouds. This series came about as a response to concerns over the state of domestic and global politics in recent years. Neumann explains, “I see Danger. I see Hope. Then I see The Transition back and forth.” In these large-scale paintings, the ground makes up a modest portion of the composition in contrast to the vastness of the sky.  Neumann elaborates that this is symbolic of having “nowhere to stand, no ground beneath our feet.”

Neumann’s final body of work in this exhibition is from her Cosmic Series. In these paintings, her imagination unfolds as she takes viewers on an imaginary journey into deep space. Inspired by early Hubble Telescope imagery and visual scenes revealed during meditation, this series evokes a state where “there is no attachment to land, and we’re free from Earthly time and gravity, floating in the galaxy.”

About the Artist:

Leslie Neumann is a self-employed, professional artist based in Florida who paints landscapes with encaustic (hot beeswax.)  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California College of the Arts in Oakland, and a Master of Arts degree in painting from New York University in Manhattan.  Neumann’s work is in the permanent collections of 9 museums, 75 corporate collections nationwide, and has been exhibited in 90 shows in the past 30 years. In addition to earning numerous grants and awards, her artwork can be found in private and public collections throughout the United States, including Nissan Motor Corporation, ADT Securities, Marriott and Ritz Carlton Hotels, Baylor College of Medicine, National Space Biomedical Research Institute in Houston, and 43 Firebirds Restaurants throughout the USA.

Neumann is also a committed citizen activist, working with others in her local community to preserve thousands of acres of pristine coastal wilderness.  She and her fellow land conservationists successfully negotiated with both private and public agencies, advocating for permanent, connected corridors and greenways.  

Image 1: Leslie Neumann, Reflections 61 (Rainbow Marsh #1), oil and encaustic on panel, 12 x 16 inches, From the Wetlands Series.
Image 2: Leslie Neumann, Between the Storms, 36 x 44 inches, oil and encaustic on panel (click to download the high-resolution file). From the Transitions Series.
Image 3: Leslie Neumann, Approaching Infinity, 60 x 45 inches, oil and encaustic on panel (click to download the high-resolution file). From the Cosmic Series.