Leslie Morgan is an artist, an open water swimmer, and, more than anything else, an adventurer.
In her earliest days at summer camp, she would dauntlessly climb the highest trees, hold her breath underwater the longest, and dive from the highest diving boards. In her adult life, she has swam with great whale sharks and manatees, guided 6 women through Cuba, and swam from Alcatraz. Her lifetime poised as a testament that Leslie Morgan never backs down from a challenge.
“Adventure makes me feel alive,” says the artist. “I try to communicate these feelings in my paintings.”
As a mixed-media painter, her childhood double-dog dares and remarkable adulthood challenges, visually manifest themselves in Leslie’s Summer Camp Group Show series of nostalgia-soaked, environmentally aware paintings. As paintings explore swimming venues, vintage bathing suits, and her own summer camp memories, they have a deeper, more serious undercurrent.
“I use reclaimed object, nostalgia and whimsy to also get across an environmental message about us needing to take care of our waters or they will just become a memory of what used to be,” says the artist.
Whether with an environmental or nostalgic aim, Leslie strives to evoke a more innocent past. This overarching project reaches the viewer through bright blues, vintage cutouts, aqueous striations, and a compositional uprightness that gives her work its inlayed geometrical structure.
Even in process, Leslie embodies her essential fearlessness, where mistake-making and risk-taking are allowed, if not, championed.
“I carry risk-taking into my art on the canvas. I am not afraid of making mistakes, covering it up, and redoing,” says Leslie. “It makes for some interesting details just under the surface which often draws your eye in for a better look.”