“Art has always been around me, like a guiding spirit, from my father and his father’s Native American art and silverwork or my sister’s inspiring artwork or my own time with theatre arts and photography. I have had this passion for the expression of emotion and story through our senses, I just had to discover myself to be able to create it.
Lesley Rae hasn’t always been my name. I grew up rather confused about myself, I was raised in a sheltered lifestyle to kind parents in Utah, and without any explanation to what was wrong with me, because nobody knew what was right with me. Living with such confusion, my life reciprocated from being rather successful to a complete wreck in overwhelming waves. One moment I am a national wildland firefighter and EMT, the next I am sentenced nearly a decade for a federal felony all before I am legally able to drink. After seeing my life from the inside and spending a lot of time talking to myself, I allowed myself to become who I am today, which I feel like is the real me, on the inside, and well, almost on the outside too, I finally feel normal.
As I began to find myself, I started to discover that I had a bit of an ability to create things artisticially. Starting out with pastels, which I currently teach classes on, I’ve learned to become flexible in whichever medium that is accessible or creatable here, depending on what I can get mai paws on. I paint and doodle in styles that range from realism to non-objectionalism, but I typically stay in the middle with the surrealistic flavors. I am always collaborating with my long-time partner Jonathan and together we discover and create new ways to paint that are not normally available in this environment. Jonathan has also been my biggest support with my self discovery and he is my anchor in the most difficult times. When I create I am in a place of Zen, freed from the dual prison where I am trapped in this place and body. Art to me is the ability to express the emotions that words simply cannot, art takes the mind and spirit on a mystical journey with the freedom of a dream. We can use the canvas like a secret passage and a paintbrush to light the way. To witness this is delightful, but to create it is ethereal. “