Columbus artist and interior designer Holly Leonard exhibits a collection of oil paintings at Highline Coffee Art Space in Worthington, February 3-March 3, 2020.
“To me, painting often feels like an act of discovery,” Leonard reveals. “I am continually drawn to subjects that allow me to create interesting compositions where I can manipulate color and shape, particularly subjects found in nature. I am inspired by the organic forms found in the shape of a tree branch, the pattern of leaves on a plant, or the texture of grass in a field.”
After graduating from Gordon College, a small school near Boston, Massachusetts, Leonard returned to her native Columbus, establishing a studio practice out of her home while also developing an interior design business. Primarily using oils, she creates works ranging from still life compositions to more abstract botanical pieces that always feature a vibrant color palette.
“When I paint, I'm not aiming for realism but attempting to evoke a certain feeling or emotional response as the painting evolves,” Leonard explains. “While I usually use photographs as a starting point, I like to abstract what I see, emphasizing certain lines, distorting shapes, and tweaking colors to make a more compelling image.”
Leonard’s work has been shown at several local galleries, including Blockfort and the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, and is a part of the book In Between Everywhere, a collection of 42 central Ohio artists. A member of the Ohio Art League, she has participated in the Worthington Arts Festival and has paintings in private collections ranging from New York to Colorado.
“We’re delighted to be able to exhibit Holly’s expressive work for the first time at the Art Space,” says Christie Bruffy, owner and manager of Highline Coffee Co. “Our expansion in 2019 created a welcoming, light-filled venue to show the diverse work of our talented local artists.”