My name is Leigh Elise, and I draw the things that go bump in the night.
Ever since I was little, I've adored ghost stories. My favorites have always been of the "true" variety -- those based on historical accounts of tragedies, where either the violence or emotion was so great, it left a physical -- sometimes even a recordable -- memory behind. As I grew up, I began to notice certain similarities among the real ghosts I loved -- Alice in the South Carolina marshes; Emily in a Vermont covered bridge; the Green Lady of Fyvie Castle; Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London. Each woman is beautiful, each woman is tragic -- and, of course, each woman is terrifying.
In all, it seems that the way we imagine our spirits is a larger reflection of how we imagine death. To those who believe, a ghost's beauty is both compelling and repellent, tempting and terrifying. In the same way that Frost's woods were "lovely, dark, and deep," the ghosts of our literature embody an exquisite terror, to which we are innately drawn, and mortally terrified.
I love this duality of our spirits, and this is what I attempt to capture in Drawing Ghosts. By merging the nostalgic with the modern, the dark with the light, and the raw with the refined, I try to provide form for something that is invisible. And I try to do justice to our modern folklore by making each piece as lovely as it is haunting.
But my work isn't all spirits and specters; in addition to the Apparitions series (which contain the ghosts and their stories), I have also created the Lovely Eccentrics -- for those pieces, I take a single line from what sounds like a fantastic story, featuring a protagonist who is just a bit unusual. My love for the whimsical comes out in that series, but it is also present in my section of ACEOs, which are tiny works of art. And finally, and with no creativity at all, the Assortment features all of those pieces that don't fit anywhere else.
Drawing Ghosts is truly an experiment for me. My previous work has been shown in galleries, sold in boutiques, and collected by people all over the world; the pieces showcased here, however, are all new. They mark the final result of many years of dabbling in various mediums and styles; here, I feel like I have finally found my voice, and I am able to incorporate all of the elements I love in one place. With these pieces, I am finally satisfied.
Turning to the technical, each painting is constructed from a variety of materials, including the pages of vintage books, antique photographs, found objects and decorative papers. I also use acrylic paints, pen and inks, graphite, oil crayons, and gouache. I work on paper, canvas, wood, and anything else that looks intriguing. I am a terrible planner, so I never know what I am painting when I begin. Finally, although I am primarily a self-taught artist, I have performed extensive research into the methods and materials I use to ensure that my artwork is both archival and of the highest quality.
Thank you so much for viewing my art. I hope that it whispers to you of something lost, and something lovely. And I hope that it makes you smile just a little the next time you hear something go bump in the night.
AND NOW, UPDATE: Okay, so, maybe I've canceled some of the creepy with my new series, but please check out the Antique LOLs; they crack me up completely.