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WHY AND HOW I CREATE

I create art because it's a need--like needing to breathe. Making art has been my favorite activity since age 6, when I was given a watercolor set.  I sat there painting for 12 hours! Hard to believe, but it happened!  A shy and quiet child, I had suddenly discovered my key to connecting with the world. 

My work is colorful, vibrant and energetic.  I'm very fortunate that my work helps not only me but others to connect with that fun, happy, wondrous, bright spark of individuality inside. Original art has timeless, magnetic and magical qualities of providing happiness, inspiration and sense of well being. It's great to receive so many compliments about how my paintings help others to have, connect and reconnect with positive, pleasurable states of mind and experiences over and over again.

Being a contemporary artist is the path in life that enables the best expression of myself. I work intuitively, picking up colors with no prior thought in mind. In creating each unique piece, I use layers of different mediums, surfaces, tools and techniques.

I strive to create a push-pull of opposites; flat against texture, a color against its opposite, shiny against matte. I love using palette knives, spatulas and whatever different and unconventional tools add to the mix. Using different mediums and varying the tools for different genres is a natural component of my creative process.

There is no intention to develop something with a figurative reference, but this often emerges during the process. This always comes as a surprise and I don't fight against it. As a former fashion designer and illustrator, I often find this very amusing. From that career, I bring a great sense of line, color, proportion, texture and the skill set to confidently and responsibly research, create and realize products that cater to a diversity of tastes.

Although I embark with no set plan in mind, my instinctive reactions are based on years of being immersed in the arts. Each choice of medium, tools, each mark I put down on the surface, every brushstroke, the type of texture, the way the colors relate to one another and the decisions about the placement of every element in my composition--all this is based on my entire life history up to the moment I create a piece. You might say its impulse with a lot of history behind it.

Painting for me is a journey rather than a destination. I observe, looking for clues and taking the turns I feel that lead to the happy outcome of a beautiful interplay of colors, textures and proportions that is uplifting to the onlooker. In creating a piece reaching that point brings me serenity. 

EXHIBITIONS

2018 Sizzle Arts Group Exhibition ( juried) Chelsea, New York
2018 28th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT
2018 Group Exhibition, The Delight of Plein Air,, ArtWorks Gallery, Norwalk, CT
2018 Art to The Avenue, Greenwich, CT
2018 Synergy, Group Exhibition, Blends Gallery, Bridgeport, CT
2018 Solo Exhibition, Garelick & Herbs, New Canaan, CT
2018 Solo Exhibition, Dolce Hotel, Norwalk, CT

2017 Solo Exhibition, Rockwell Art and Framing, Ridgefield, CT
2017 Solo Exhibition, Hurleyville Arts Center, Hurleyville, NY
2017-Group Exhibition, Six Summit Gallery at Faust-Harrison Pianos, Fairfield, CT
2017 CCNS Annual Art Show (juried) Rowayton, CT
2017 Wild and Balanced Global Juried Exhibition, Gallery 222, Hurleyville, NY
2017 Solo Exhibition, Lillian August, Art to the Avenue, Greenwich, CT
2017 Group Exhibition, Schelfaudt Gallery, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT
2017  Neoteric Abstract; International Juried Exhibition,  Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY
2017 Sheroes:  Honoring Women Veterans, (juried) The Grove, New Haven, CT
2017 Art Hearts Fashion Global Juried Exhibition, Angel Orensanz Foundation, New York, NY
2017 Second Annual Juried Exhibition, Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2017 Edgy Elegance Show (juried) Buddy Warren Gallery New York, NY
2017 Winter Exhibition, Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2017 African-American Artists of the Hudson Valley (juried) Howland Cultural Ctr, Beacon, NY

2016 Small Works Show (juried) Catalyst Gallery, Beacon, NY
2016 Holiday Exhibition (juried) Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2016 Celebration (juried) National Society of Women Artists, Mulberry Street Library, NY, NY
2016 New Member Exhibition (juried) National Society of Women Artists, NAWA Gallery, NY, NY
2016 National Society of Artists 32nd National Juried Show, Galveston, TX (juror: Nathan Madrid, full time lecturer, Texas A&M State University)
2016 Fall Exhibition (juried) Maple and Main Fine Art Gallery, Chester, CT
2016 Artists at Grove Street Plaza (juried) Darien, CT
2016 Art Hearts Fashion Global Juried Exhibition Angel Orensanz Foundation, NY, NY
2016 86th Annual National Open Juried Show, CT Women Artists, Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, CT
2016 CCNS Annual Art Show (juried), Rowayton, CT
2016 Aqua (juried) Maritime Gallery, South Norwalk, CT

2015 Small Works Show (juried) Clover's Fine Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2015 Small Works Sampler Exhibition at Read's Art Space, Bridgeport, CT
2015 Collective Member Pop-Up Show Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
2015 Alternative Spaces at City Wide Open Studios, New Haven, CT
2015 Solo Exhibition, The Mayor's Gallery, Danbury City Hall, Danbury, CT
2015 Ridgefield Art Walk (juried) Ridgefield, CT
2015 Roton Point Art Show, Rowayton, CT
2015 Stamford Art Walk, (juried) Stamford, CT
2015 CCNS Annual Art Show (juried), Rowayton CT
2015 Art About Town (juried) Westport, CT
2015 Art to The Avenue, (juried) Greenwich, CT 
2015 Bloom (juried) Art and Frame, Danbury, CT
2015 Annual Spring Show, Art Society of Old Greenwich, Cos Cob, CT 
2015 Still Life (juried) Clover's Fine Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Solo Exhibition, Brendan's 101 Gallery, Rowayton, CT
2015 Solo Exhibition, Nature's Temptation Market, Ridgefield, CT
2015 Inspiration, Rowayton Arts Center, Rowayton, CT (juror, Alex McFarland)
2015 Annual Members' Show Easton Arts Council, Easton, CT
2015 From the RAC Studio, Rowayton Arts Center, Rowayton, CT
2014 Bruce S. Kershner Gallery Holiday Show (juried) Fairfield, CT

2014 37th Annual Juried Show, Ridgefield Guild of Artists, Ridgefield, CT (juror: Anne Strauss, former Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC)
2014 Rockwell Art and Framing, Westport, CT
2014 Sounds of Summer (juried), Loft Artists Association, Stamford, CT
2014 Rethink the Ordinary, Greenwich Art Society, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT (juror:  Elizabeth Sherman, 
Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC)
2014 Ridgefield Art Walk (juried) Ridgefield, CT
2014 Westport Art About Town (juried), Westport, CT
2014 56th Annual Art Show, Darien Art Center, Darien, CT
2014 Paint Rowayton, Rowayton Arts Center, Rowayton, CT
2014 Art in the Country, Easton Arts Council, Easton, CT
(juror: Joel Spector, internationally acclaimed artist, teacher)

2013 Picking up the Pieces, Greenwich Art Society, Flinn Gallery, Greenwich, CT
(juror: Laura Phipps, Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC)
2013 Annual Members' Show, Art Society of Old Greenwich, Greenwich, CT
(juror: Claudia Seymour, former president of The Salmagundi Club, NYC)

CHARITY PROJECTS/BENEFITS

2017  Annual Paint Out Benefit, Do Ngak Kunphen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace, Redding, CT
2016 Benefit for the Annual Silvermine School of Art Children’s Scholarship Fund, New Canaan, CT
2016 19th Annual Art Show, Pequot Library, Southport, CT
2016 RoCo International Small Art Phenomenon, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY
2015 BRAG Gives Back, benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Bridgeport, CT
2015 The Rowayton School Annual Fall Fundraiser, Rowayton, CT
2014 Art For The Love of It, Charity Exhibition, Norwalk, CT
2013 Greetings from Black Rock, Auction, Black Rock Art Guild, Bridgeport, CT

AWARDS/PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

2016 Juried Member of The National Association of Women Artists, New York City
2014 Award of Merit, Easton Arts Council Annual Regional Juried Show, Art in the Country

EDUCATION

The National Academy School of Art, New York, NY
Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT
The Art Students League of New York
Parsons School of Design, New York, NY

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If you are not completely satisfied, please contact me by email: info@lesleykoenigfinearrt.com within 48 hours of receipt of purchase. Upon confirmation of refund/exchange request, please return the item in original protected packaging. Customer is responsible for return shipping charges. A refund will be issued of the item only, minus the shipping charges when order was placed. Refund will be issues upon receipt of the package if returned within 14 days of my confirming your refund/exchange.

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My work is created using high grade professional artist materials. The surfaces I use are archival and expertly prepared to accept the materials I use. The finished art is protected with professional artist grade sealants and varnishes. You can be assured that your purchase is durable and with normal care will stand the test of time.

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