Leslie Strain Wilson
My work is inspired by contemporary interior design and vintage botanical images which translate to a piece of art with an intense, yet playful, blend of pattern, color, texture and depth. Growing up in a family in the carpet industry, I developed an appreciation for repeating design elements. I began creating artwork in high school, continuing this interest while studying Fiber Arts at Savannah College of Art & Design. As I refined my technique, during my sophomore year, I discovered the brilliant effects of silk thread on my art pieces. I loved the way the thread made my work have more depth and texture. I enjoy building layers and complexity with fabric, paint, design and thread. The foundation of each piece is the silk screening process on raw linen, which builds a painted surface of various patterns and shapes. I start by creating screens for printing, based on black and white images which are then burnt onto the mesh. Most of my inspiration for these images comes from traditional books, magazines and fabrics. Once I have created a screen, I begin to imagine the composition. I rarely sketch out my design in advance, but instead prefer the spontaneity of printing the image repeatedly while considering placement and juxtaposition during this artistic process. Interior design trends provide ever changing colors and textures for my work. Once I have completed the foundation, I start to sew. The needle and thread become my paintbrush as I enhance the depth already created on the foundation through the use of opaque and transparent inks. By using many different threads, I am able to add contrast, depth and color. After much contemplation and reflection on the piece, I am finally ready to add oil pastel for a final effect, highlighting the thread. I work the fabric extensively and do not allow myself to complete a piece until I am satisfied with the overall balance of textures, colors and shapes. I feel an enormous sense of fulfillment once a piece is complete. I have an unrelenting desire to express myself artistically and to share this expression with others through my artwork.