Center for Global Art

Leona Brown
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Artist Gallery


Tell us about yourself.
I have led courses internationally in the USA, Mexico, Cuba, Greece, Italy, France and Spain. In 1998 I lived & painted in China for a year as well as later teaching in the River East School Division - Winnipeg, Canada for six years prior to moving to Montréal, Québec. All of these experiences have been major contributors to my art.

Promotion image used for River East School Division

Born & raised in Winnipeg MB I primarily taught myself watercolour painting techniques. At the University of Manitoba I received a degree in Education & Human Ecology. After that I attended the University of Saskatchewan to augmented my art education with History of Art & Art Appreciation.

In addition, I expanded my artistic learning taking courses with other professional artists - Robert Sinclair, Jack Reid, Christopher Schink, Skip Lawrence, Maxine Masterfield and Michael Schlicting & Gerry Brommer.

With Gerry Brommer Myrtle Beach 2012

What is your artistic style?
I can’t imagine being ‘stuck’ in one style of expressing myself; it’s too limiting for my taste & restrictive in the sense that it would stop me from exploring the different techniques & mediums available.

If anything, I’d have to say my style is Eclectic - you never know what I’ll dive into next!

Where or who does your inspiration come from?
The sumptuousness of love, sex & passion - the fluidity & liquidness of it & of water, reflections & the distortions they create in our perception.

Music influences my work a lot & gets my creative juices flowing – a strong beat or subtle phrasing or tempo let the ideas flow without really thinking about them; that’s when the feeling dominates & takes hold of whatever tool I’m using at the moment particularly in the abstract work I now lean toward.

Describe your artistic approach and creative process?
One day you might find me with a 4 inch brush on the end of a stick swathing colour on a large canvas & the next I may be cutting things up to use in a collage or building up surfaces before I apply ink, paint or colour.

It depends on what is percolating in my head on any given day.

4” brush on the end of a broom handle painting large!

How did you start on your artistic journey?
One of my fondest memories is lying on the hardwood floor of our sunroom on a lazy weekend day, warm sun pouring in & flipping pages of a giant art book when I came across a picture of a girl in a straw hat that I just wanted to try & recreate myself. So, taking out paper & coloured pencils it was one of the first things I remember wanting to draw.

My parents always encouraged me & enrolled me in courses at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as well as always taking art classes in school.

Van Gogh painting that first inspired me

At a WAG show - Summer in the Park

Are you trying to communicate with your art?
Years ago, I remember being SO angry & painting in brilliant reds with swathes of black, fluorescent pinks & acid yellows & even though the person I was angry with apologized, I wanted them to just ‘go away’ so I could stay with my initial emotion & finish the piece.
I express how I’m feeling at the time I create a piece.
When people pick up on what I was feeling when they see one of my paintings, that is a bonus to me & if so – then I got the message across & that’s the icing on the cake.

‘Bridging’ found a forever home with someone who got the message & the painting is dedicated to her.

Should art have a 'point' or 'purpose?'
My art is increasingly a vehicle for self-expression & I find that people who have spent time in self-examination & have developed a depth of wisdom & understanding are the ones who pick up that expression most often.

I hope my art lights a spark of passion in people & I’m always interested to observe their reactions & hear their thoughts on a piece.

What are you currently working on?
I tend to jump from one piece to another, depending on my mood.

I am currently exploring a long narrow canvas that is 72” x 12” in the vertical orientation – a slice of something – not sure yet exactly what.

Also, revisiting a large cloud canvas pictured here, building up actual textures to enhance the voluminous aspect of the looming clouds over the flat prairie landscape.
Cloud Landscape

Commission work, like a large a pen & ink drawing I’m working on now, fill in the gaps between bursts of inspiration for my own work as always.

Also working on a revision to this piece because I think I like it better in a horizontal orientation

Roundness - revisited

What is your one favorite piece?
This watercolour is my favorite - not because it is my best but because of the sweet memories it brings forth; the salt water smell, the love that permeated the island. I thought at the time that I had captured the wind & the strong shadows. I can still taste the salt on my lips & feel the wind thru my hair, while a good friend sat behind me while I painted this cross legged in the grass.

‘Arthritically Bent’

Do you have other interests outside your art that directly influence your creativity?
Travel & living in a variety of places across Canada & abroad sparked my interest in other ways of life, cultures, food, the sensuous experiences there so, travel has always been something I enthusiastically embraced because it fueled my mind to create.

I have taught & taken workshops in Spain, France & Italy & find association with other artists is always exciting & stimulates my creative flow.

Teaching a landscape class in Italy

What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Be persistent. Do it, ART, every day. Take pen or pencil to paper, splash some colour around, muck about with different materials & create & if you don’t feel “in the mood” to make something, do something artful every day – go to a gallery, read a book about art or artists, watch other artists as they create visit a studio or go online – there’s lots of this available. Live large, love passionately & have more sex!

What is your dream, aspiration, or goal for your art career?
After the impact of COVID_19 has eased, I want to show my larger more recent works around the world in prestigious galleries or exotic places so I have another reason to travel. I have exhibited in Italy – Artrom Gallery, Rome, China – Jhong Gallery Nanjing, & the UK – London, Saatchi Gallery in the past & it was very rewarding to discover how people around the world respond to my what I have created.

Meanwhile, participating in shows like this & connecting online with other artists around the world has been a rewarding experience.

View a selection of Leona's work