As a child, Leslie recalls being obsessed with drawing dogs, attempting to capture the differences in each breed. She had won her first major art award by grade 3 – first place in a province wide school competition sponsored by the University of Manitoba. A few years later, her portrait of a Lion Tailed Macaque Monkey was selected to represent the Assiniboine Park Zoo at Winnipeg City Hall.
Upon graduating high school, Leslie opted to further her formal education with a Bachelor of Science while augmenting her thirst for artistic knowledge through seminars and workshops. She studied portraiture at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and has a certificate in Composite Drawing for Law Enforcement through Stuart Parkes Forensic Associates. She has studied watercolour under renowned artists Alvero Castagnet, Jean Haines and John Lovett.
Working mainly in watercolour and ink, her style combines elements of realism with free flowing, non-traditional, vibrant colour producing expressive, unconventional results. Although she does not limit her subject matter, her work primarily explores the interaction of humans and animals with their environment. Her science background also tempts her to experiment with interactions and combinations of mixed medium. She is fascinated with the reactions of different density pigments as they compete for dominance on a substrate.
Leslie has been exhibiting her art professionally for over 30 years in art galleries across Canada and the United States. She has had many solo shows with her first one being at Eaton’s Gallery of Fine Art at the age of 21. She is a select member of the Manitoba Society of Artists, Northern Plains Watercolor Society, Assiniboia Group of Artist Cooperative and St James Art Club.