Artist Statement

During many walks in nature, I have used observational drawing and photography to capture and store images and memories in my mind. What I choose to record is often based on particular processes associated with nature that interest me, such as repeated patterns and cycles, movement, competition for survival, growth, decay, harmony and discord. I am not just interested in what things look like, but how they feel and how they behave. Back in the studio, these observations from life inform dynamic abstractions that are composed spontaneously by combining a variety of materials. An array of different marks, colors, textures and layers incorporate both what I see in nature and how I experience it. I use acrylic ink because I enjoy its tendency to change and transform on its own, forcing me to let go of control. Collaged elements taken from cut portions of past drawings, vintage maps, tape and found paper become building blocks for playful arrangements that spontaneously evolve into imaginary formations.



Leslie Shellow was awarded the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Works on Paper in  2019, as well as, 2016, 2013, and 2010. In 2015, she was selected as a Sondheim Prize semi-finalist and exhibited her most recent solo shows at Vis Arts in Rockville and the Greenbelt Community Center.

Leslie was born in Washington DC and currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.  She has exhibited in such venues as The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, the Silber Art Gallery at Goucher College, the King Street Art Gallery at Montgomery College, the National Institute of Health and the Fraser Gallery in Bethesda, MD.

She holds an MFA in Painting from Towson University, a BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA in Education from the Evergreen State College. Her work consists of ink drawing on paper, cut paper installation, printmaking, bookmaking and oil painting on panel.

Pulling her imagery from observations of nature, both in the visible world and through microscopes, Leslie addresses natural processes such as growth, decay and regeneration. Mold, lichen, corral, cells, viruses and bacteria are among the many natural elements that influence her work.




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