Painter takes inspiration where she can find it

Leslie Blacklock now draws inspiration from the spruce trees that dominate the landscape in Paddockwood, where she lives. Photo Susan McNeil.

Given her background on a mixed farm east of Saskatoon, it’s no surprise to hear the Leslie Blacklock enjoys painting skies, cattle and clouds.

Blacklock now is finding herself more inspired by the scenes around her home in the RM of Paddockwood near Christopher Lake, which leads her paintings to feature more spruce trees and even water.

“I love clouds so I paint a lot of skies. I paint a lot of prairie, I have painted some cows and of course, we’re losing our elevators so I painted a few of those,” explained Blacklock from the location of her first exhibit at the John M. Cuelenaere Library in Prince Albert on Nov. 6.

“I grew up on a beautiful farm with a great big red barn east of Saskatoon, so I do a lot of barn paintings. But, as I now live in the Lakeland area, I do a lot of painting spruce trees and I’m starting to paint more water.”

In her early 60s, Blacklock has only been painting since 2018, so her show a select number of paintings, although she was ecstatic when one sold prior to the start of the exhibit.

“I’m in my early 60s so I have no time to waste so if I’m going to have a show, I had to just do it.

The library was so accommodating. They’ve been so good about allowing a new artist to show their work,” Blacklock said.

Her Cows, Clouds, Barns and Elevators exhibit opened on Oct. 29 and will be available at the Grace Campbell gallery until Nov. 30.

It was a recent inspiration to show her artwork to the public.

Blacklock paints primarily with acrylics, but does dabble a little in watercolour and graphite and is an eager but busy pupil of her new discipline.

“I’m not a prolific painter. I’m involved in a number of others things too but painting is something that I really have a passion for and want to do,” she explained.

She also has a vision in her head of the style of painting she wants to do, but has no label for it.

“I don’t want to be a realist and picture perfect. I prefer more abstract but my work is clearly landscape. I don’t know what you call it but I just paint what I love and I love to paint,” she said. 

Her paintings reflect her personality and have a bright and energetic vibe, which is a deliberate choice in her approach.

“I like my painting technique to show energy of the joyful variety so I feel my most successful work is when it’s had energy, physically, in the painting of it,” said Blacklock.

The work hanging in the library starts from 2018 and has some pieces from 2019 and up to this year as well.

She has no qualms about watching them go to new homes. In fact, it gives her excitement and happiness.

“It’s like raising kids, you raise them up so they leave. I don’t paint to sell, but I love it when something sells. There is a joy about seeing them go to a new home.”

Buyers should be aware that despite being happy when her paintings sell, Blacklock asks them to send her photos of where they are hung.