Suzanne Leslie mixes painting with playing (the piano)
About Menlo Park resident Suzanne Leslie you could say “it’s all about the hands.”
Her first love was piano, a career that had her concertizing. Today that instrument is still very much a part of her life. “I teach piano to have a fine group of people, mainly adults and some children,” she explains.
Plagued with pianist injuries, she took up oil painting in her 40s. “It filled a void when I wasn’t able to do music,” she says.
Suzanne turned to pastels when she met artist Kim Lordier. “I saw her painting plein air and was fascinated,” she recalls. “I took some workshops from her and she encouraged me to keep going.
“And I still take workshops, now in France and Italy, too!”
Suzanne paints every day — and always outside, even in the winter months. “I find that can’t see the colors as well indoors.”
She’s recently began experimenting with different mediums, including mixing oil with cold wax and also gouache, which is more opaque than watercolor. “The challenge is learning now to use it properly,” she says. “I use it as a foundation on the bottom with pastel over it.”
About her passion for painting she says: “I get lost in the art. It’s almost like meditation. It’s a stress release. I think it’s good for me!”
Photo of Suzanne by Robb Most (c) 2019; painting is Half Moon Bay Sunset. 12×16. Soft pastel on archival paper