About the Artist
Leigh Austin Ritter
A little bit about me…
I am a Sunshine Coast local, born in Caloundra and I have spent most of my life here on the coast. I have always been a passionate creator, making art in some form or other throughout my life. I became serious about painting in my early twenties and have worked with many paint mediums over the years though for the past decade, I have focused on working with acrylics. I describe my style of painting as contemporary impressionism with a touch of abstract and a dash of whimsy. Creating art makes my heart happy and I could not imagine my life without art or painting. In each of my paintings, there is a little piece of ‘me’ carefully translated into ‘art speak’ with just the stroke of a brush.
My current floral works continue to be a fascinating journey of self-discovery. Over a year ago when I first started to put my ideas down on paper with notes, rough sketches and small studies in my sketchbooks, it was very clear that this was to be a new direction for my artwork. I was not sure if this change in my work would be well received but I felt I had to remain true to myself, not allowing self-doubt or others’ voices to cloud my vision. I felt that if I did not follow my desire to explore these new ideas for my work then my art would no longer be authentic. I always paint from within and I try not to reign in my emotions, letting the painting evolve organically. The outcome of this is that whatever is going on inside me at the time ends up manifesting onto the canvas so it took a while for me to trust my instincts and begin producing this new work, but now I am so pleased that I followed my heart.
I feel that these paintings show all the expected hallmarks of my painting style. They are colourful, bold and passionate and yet there is still a gentleness that emanates from each piece. Natures many moods and simple beauty inspires me daily and I love to capture these feelings in my artwork. Without hesitation, I am happy to be known as a tree hugger and I freely admit that I talk to my plants. Flowers are just so inspiring, the way they hold their heads high and bloom with all that they are, not pausing to wonder at the loveliness of another flower, just radiating their own natural beauty. I get so much pleasure in seeing their varying shapes and colours and I often take pictures for future inspiration.
My paint palette selection has evolved over the last few years, choosing and narrowing down the colours that I use in my artwork until I found my happy place. Consistently using the same limited colour palette throughout my work allows me to create harmony and connection between my paintings. I enjoy using a variety of styles and sizes of brushes to create my artwork and I have recently incorporated Posca pens into my new work for mark making and adding the final details to a painting, which has added a new layer of visual interest to my creations.