The visual charm of artist Linda Leslie & filmmaker/musician John Witham's home/studios begins as you step through the gate into their diminutive courtyard - urns laced in vines; a stone lamb basking under a violet clematis; and an imposing bronze bust diligently guarding the front door, eyebrow cocked...
Bust of Artist David A .Leffel by James Leslie (Linda's Father)
Then you step inside and the charm continues. Richly-painted, faux- finished walls, handsome paintings and sculpture - every surface artfully composed by this talented Santa Fe couple.
Talent obviously runs in the family. The wall leading to the second story showcases Linda's paintings hung with an amazing cord system designed by one of her sons, Hutch DuBosque.
"Sketching keeps my eye working. It helps to keep my work loose and more confident. I feel calm, peaceful and happy when sketching. I try to think of nothing. I feel less pressure and more freedom than when painting."
And sculpture and sketches by her father - noted artist James Leslie - take pride of place throughout the house, including the bust at the front door.
And lest I forget the other two residents of this
lovely home - Kayla and Sally .
Both John and Linda are working artists and each have their own studio that reflects their aesthetic and work style.
The walls of John's studio are painted a soothing green; an inviting and quiet space for someone focusing on creating/editing an independent film - THE TWILIGHT ANGEL - that has already garnered a Silver Remi Award at Worldfest Houston 2014.
The studio has the essentials - a desk with a computer stocked with state-of-art film editing software, surround sound (John produced the music for the film as well as playing the music with long-time partner Rusty Kirkland), a custom-built video camera, his favorite guitar, and a mega 62-inch monitor that he fired up so that I could take a few shots and get a sense of the film.
A film by James Koskinas (the artist), Julie Schumer and John Witham
ABOUT THE FILM
A talented, successful artist is painting a powerful series of twelve angels for an exhibit that will be a culmination of his life’s work. Attempting to paint the last painting he finds that he cannot and goes into depression and a deepening creative void. In this crisis he becomes locked in a confrontation with the last canvas, his ‘twilight angel.’ However, his paintings and the painting process provide a path out of the darkness . The paintings become proxies for characters and events in his life, forcing him to search for missing parts of himself, lost in war and family conflict.
If you could show your film anywhere in the world,
where would that be?
" A nice white wall in New York's Museum of Modern Art."
Linda takes an orderly approach to her drawing/painting. - the skeleton is a constant companion and she does a lot of measuring, using a beautiful plumb line (below) that was a gift from John. Her studio is romantic and personal, designed/arranged by Hutch and filled with her paintings, her father's sculpture, her other son Jamey's handmade furniture and frames, shelves and shelves of books, and objects that she loves.
Glass envelope/letters by Joanne Teasdale
She works in oils and also encaustic - an ancient technique of using warm beeswax, resin and pigments, creating an ethereal, luminous surface. She describes her work as dreamy and peaceful. "It takes me out of myself."
If you could step into a time machine and choose
any age to be an artist, when would that be ?
"The early 1900's. I love the style of those artists, many are my heroes."
L I N D A L E S LI E
Jane Hamilton Fine Art
200 Canyon Road
Friday, June 20
(show runs through the 30th)
J O H N W I T H A M