Artist in Focus - Lesley Dabson

Lesley graduated with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and after taking a career break to raise a family, she returned to her passion to paint in oils. Her first love is marine art and in all her work she looks to capture the abstract quality of nature combined with a solid object. Lesley often works en plein air, but her larger size work is produced in her London studio. She exhibits regularly with the Royal Society of Marine Artists and is a member of many other societies. Her work is in private collections throughout the World.


For someone discovering your work for the first time, can you paint them a picture of your background and your style?

My ‘hook’ is often the overlooked, something that most people may not give a second glance to. I like to see construction in a painting, and I admire elegant brushwork.

Have you always been creative? And is there a particular moment you realised you were?

As a child, my play time was often spent with a pencil drawing, copying favourite characters from books. I remember visiting London as a child, my mother had taken me to Buckingham Palace to see the queen. I can’t remember much about the queen, but I remember visiting a gallery on the Mall, thinking to be a painter must be the best job in the world. I’ve subsequently shown work in that gallery.

What do you want people to think or feel when they see your work?

I find it fascinating hearing responses to my paintings, for me it’s important for a piece to enable a viewer to project their own story and ideas.

Do you listen to anything while you work?

When I’m painting en plein air, I love to listen to the sounds around me and absorb the complete moment. When I’m in the studio, I enjoy listening to audio books although when I’m lost in a painting I can miss long passages easily.

What exhibitions have you seen that have stayed with you?

I lived briefly in Amsterdam and loved visiting The Van Gogh Museum. Work was displayed in the order in which he produced it. It was incredible to see what happened when Van Gogh lived in Paris as an artist, meeting the impressionists, suddenly there was colour!

Do you have a favourite Art Gallery?

I love the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden in St Ives, part of the Tate. When I visit Paris, I head straight for the Musee d’Orsay, and I often pop into the National Gallery when I’m at the Mall Galleries to draw.

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