A native of St Ives, Cornwall, UK, Lesley Ninnes started painting many years ago whilst living on the Island of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean, a stone's throw from the final residence of Napoleon, Longwood House.
With a repertoire that encompasses a range of styles, she still finds painting exciting, stimulating and rewarding - frustrating and challenging too on occasion - but who doesn't like a challenge?
Interested in light, reflected light, symmetry, balance, colour and tension, her working method, whether using oil, acrylic or watercolour, is that of a building up of transparent and opaque layers. She likes to work on several projects at once, preferably a mix of abstract and representational subjects.
Paintings evolve from ideas that have formed over time or are inspired by a particular place/weather condition, and those that start with one colour on a blank canvas. The last is a sort of quest, reviewing, modifying and refining the painting over days or weeks until arriving at a natural conclusion.
Lesley started painting on a regular basis while living on the Island of St Helena. Her botanical paintings were reproduced as stamps in (1989) and published in book form (2000)
She experimented with different media while living on the Turks & Caicos Islands, BWI, painting land and seascapes
Returned to St Ives. Later attained an HNC in Art & Design, Illustration, at Cornwall College.
2000 - Joined Art Space Gallery seven member co-operative
Produced pen & ink illustrations for a series of distance learning workbooks
Took part in mixed exhibition ‘Contrasts 3’, Mariners Gallery, St Ives. Name listed in publications ‘Who’s Who in Art’ and ‘Miller’s Fine Art Price Guide’
Moved with Art Space to larger premises close to Smeaton’s Pier, St Ives. The larger exhibiting area leading to the production of bigger, more adventurous paintings
First solo exhibition ‘Vista’ at the Bay Gallery, Hotel Penzance. Abstracts and landscapes inspired by West Cornwall.
Joined St Ives Arts Club - took part in members September Festival exhibition. One of 12 artists showcased in ‘Panorama’ - an exhibition of Land and Sea’ at Vitreous Contemporary Arts, Truro
Second solo exhibition 'From Land and Sea' at the Bay Gallery, Hotel Penzance
Paintings selected for exhibition in the RWA's '21st Century Watercolour’ competition at Bankside Gallery, London. Exhibited at Bristol Affordable Art Fair, Edinburgh Art Fair and the Northern Art Show, Harrogate
Works selected for the mixed show (members of St Ives Society of Artists) at Artmill Gallery, Plymouth. Paintings accepted at Bath Society of Arts annual Open Exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
Bath Society of Artists 107th Exhibition, Penwith Society Winter Exhibition
Mixed show at Artmill Gallery, Plymouth, Bath Society of Artists 108th Exhibition
Artworks selected for the annual Discerning Eye exhibition, Mall Galleries, London; Bath Society of Artists 109th Exhibition
Artworks selected annual Discerning Eye exhibition, Mall Galleries, London; Bath Society of Artists 110th Exhibition
Work exhibited at Bath Society of Artists Annual Open and Battersea Affordable Art Fair, London (with Beyond the Sea gallery, Padstow)
Since 2014 a number of Lesley's small seascapes in oil on board have made their way across the Atlantic Ocean each year to the Island of Nantucket. See the Thomas Henry Gallery website.
The pencil drawing above, 'Kate's Garden' started out as a sketch, which is why lowly cartridge paper was used, but over several visits evolved into a fully fledged artwork. Created on Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands in the early 90s.