Encaustic painter Leslie Stoner grew up in northwest Montana on a 50 acre mink farm tucked deep in the woods of the Rocky Mountains. Her close observations of darkness and light started early; with a childhood laced by angry, unpredictable tongues and strict religious fundamentalism. To escape the storms that raged through her home she would flee outdoors, racing through the fields of stinging knapweed, playing hide and seek with the trees, wrestling with the creek, or cocooning herself in a burrow until the thunder had gone.
Those light-stippled woods of her childhood would continue to feed her ongoing engagement as an artist with what lies beneath and what rises up; the gleam of found treasure and the slither of movement; what is protected and what is revealed. The darkness is a safe place, a hollow offering shelter in the quiet calm of the mind. Upon observation lies an inky, playful swerve beneath a bright reflection. A weight lifted, released. Mark of a scar, spin of a tail. Growth and rest. Engaging the imagery of the natural world, often playing with notions of scale, her paintings bear clear marks of the fire in which they were created, revealing the unsettling beauty of scarred textures, gradient mists, scattered pockmarks, and sooty webbed lines. Her abstracted landscapes resist a single narrative, instead creating a space for discovery, revelation and renewal.
Leslie Stoner creates paintings using heated beeswax. Her studio is nestled safely in the back of her home looking out into an array of plant life that creates the shelter she craves while living in the city. Collections of shells, stones, and tiny intricate statues and artifacts adorn her windows and shelves. Her walls are embellished with paintings in various shapes and sizes. She finds inspiration from listening to a myriad of singer/songwriters who weave together visual landscapes using their poetic voice. She studied under encaustic artist Betsy Eby, and is influenced by the line work in Asian Sumi-e paintings as well as the tradition of northwest Native American arts. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors at Cornish College of the Arts, double-majoring in Painting and Photography. Her work is showcased and collected throughout the West.