Born in Kingston Ontario Canada I was raised with strong values having always had artistic influence in my life. Both my parents always put family first. My education began living overseas, I attended a British school during my families 4 years living abroad before moving to Manitoba, then back to Ontario. I discovered at a young age my talent in visual arts painting and creating. I worked extraordinarily hard to build my career in the arts, I started working full time at the age of 17 after leaving highschool. I have a technical diploma in LAN Administration and CSAO Certified. In 2005 I decided after saving up and many hard years of work to pursue my art career on a full time basis, knowing it would take time to create a body of work I could show, it was always my goal to get my self in a position where my only focus was my art career. I invested my savings in my home art business.
While painting and creating is natural to me, other things are not, painting is natural to me. Something some people find hard to comprehend is I don't draw. Sometimes I may do a quick sketch on the canvas, like the horizon line or where the landmark features of my painting will go then I just start painting. Water is my favorite subject, its natural to me, I feel water, water is not linear, it has a flow. I'm also water sign, not sure that has anything to do with it, but a painting without some element of water is rare. Artists who had influence on me during my mothers painting career told me I am what is referred to as a colourist and I have found that to be true all these years later. I have work in private, public, corporate, and National collections, including - City Of Ottawa Art Collection, The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and Canadian War Museum.
My artwork is deeply personal.
Though my artwork I hope to inspire your desire to preserve our landscapes and natural heritage for generations to come.
Time, like most things is required to create truly original pieces of artwork. I'm a self taught artist. Unlike some I never competed against other artists the art world can be very cruel. I've shown with other artists, I'm not competative by nature. Never was, my greatest competition was always myself. When I had work accepted in to a National Museum that was it, forever. Shelley Leach will forever have artwork in a National Museum, no one can take that away. For me it was the start of my work being acknowledged. Keeping in mind I have been painting since about 5 years of age and I was 42 at that time so it took a bit more than a university degree to hone my creative abilities. Artwork evokes emotions, and those emotions are completely individual, its not like a book there are no words, it is up to the viewer to decide what they see and how that image makes them feel.
What you see and feel is not necessarily the thoughts of the artist who created the work. ( that would be me)
I never thought it was about how you paint, I thought it was about did you paint something that made a mark or is important to our identity and will that picture will still be important in 150 years or 1000 years.
One thing I am assured of is, my work will out live me and you, it will always exist in some sense especially with the internet.
Who came up with the saying " your worth more dead than alive" really, to whom? The internet is not the best format for visual artists becasue people think they can do what they like with the images. I didn't work all this time to have people take my labour and profit on it without payment to me or my permission. I have to believe people who are knowledgeable see impact of the art I created, these are real paintings not photographs. We get lost in this online world of disposable images.
Major solo exhibits - Outdoor & Adventure Travel Show and Cottage Show at the CE Centre in Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa International Airport , and the Canadian Museum of Nature.