The central struggles for painters and producers of any art form are finding inspiration to create, deciding what to produce and why? Leanne Fink is fond of Picasso’s quote “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” and in his words she finds some confirmation that art can be emotionally and physically healing. “Art speaks to our soul and we can feel it in our heart. I want my art to be uplifting and that’s why I use such a vibrant color palette.” All you need do is see one of Leanne’s paintings to feel that emotional transfer for yourself.
Fink began producing art as a child and she credits her uncle, a landscape painter, and other family members for nurturing her early efforts. She and her uncle lived in the same house and he taught her oil painting. She “had a voracious interest as a child” and as she began to win art competitions, her parents supported her success by providing art supplies. As a teenager, her first commissioned works were black and white portraits of “rebels” for a local Irish Bar. Fink completed a BA in Fine Art and Communications and became an Art Director in New York City while she lived in New Jersey. She and her husband Richard opened an Advertising Agency in the 1980’s and says “the advertising business affected my art in that it taught a good sense of design, composition and media such as photography.”
When asked if she thought there were any original ideas, Fink says, “Yes, give 3 artists a germ of an idea and you will see each express the idea differently. I feel I am wired a certain way that influences my finished painting…it changes over time because of practice, learned skill, my methods and process that includes a lot of emphasis on sketching, underpainting, drawing the basic shapes, composing and then layering more and more detail. But there are always surprises that were not part of the original concept.”
Fink finds inspiration in nature, other painters work and, often, from her photography and photos taken by friends as they travel. Ms. Fink is also an art teacher in Loudoun County , VA and one of the most important lessons she provides regards “transformation” of those inspirational sources. She says, “I explore imagery and what’s banging around in my head. But, I alter those images and concepts to transform them into art. I am not bound by the composition of a reference photo and I’m willing to move a tree if it makes for a better painting.”
Leanne Fink is a seemingly fearless colorist. Her art depicts scenes that provide the viewer with an augmented experience. The sky may be blue in her landscape but it is a saturated blue that is of her making. Her work draws us in for a closer look the way extraordinary sunsets make most of us believe there is a higher power at work. Fink is no slave to the traditional rules of representational painting. The viewer certainly recognizes the subject matter but it is Leanne Fink’s powerful artistry that makes the art transcendent, exceptional and truly original.