We’re so pumped about our conversation with Leah Kiser. Leah is Painter and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Leah below.
Hi Leah, so great to have you join us again. For folks who might have missed our earlier conversations, can you please take a minute to briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Leah Kiser, and I am a fine art painter based in Casa Grande, Arizona. I paint silly whimsical paintings in a realistic style with Oil on Canvas. I love details, colors, textures, and ideas that make me laugh out loud!
How have things changed for you and your business with the pandemic?
I’ve had to do a lot of things differently! I’ve made my website a more welcoming place for people to visit my work virtually, and on Friday, March 5th, I’m doing my first ever Live Virtual Art Show from my website artifactfa.com entitled “Just For Fun.” It features 5 of my latest paintings. It’s cool, because anyone can attend – even people who live far away, and they can do it from the comfort of their own home.
Prior to the pandemic I brought my work to art fairs and festivals in Arizona and California. They have all been postponed month after month. I also had my first Solo Art Show in Painting scheduled for January and then March, and then that was canceled too. I really miss seeing everyone in person, but hopefully I’ll see you at the Live Q&A portion of the Virtual Art Show on March 5th.
What artwork have you produced over the past year?
Without any shows, I spent the past year focusing on completing work of the highest quality I could muster – which I always strive to do, but in this case, I had some advice from a friend, and that advice moved my work in a new direction. My friend Duffy Sheridan is a world renown realist painter who lives in a neighboring town. He gave me some tips on how to prepare my canvases, what brushes to use, how to thin my paints, and encouragement to stretch my abilities. Just seeing his work and learning about the time and focus that the he puts into it, and the success that he has had- it is inspiring to me -it makes me want to see what I can do if I really push myself. I maintained the silly subject matter, because that is an important part of my motivation to paint. Even with the move toward realism, the humor is still there. It feels a little like a dry comedy – like you wouldn’t even notice it was funny if you didn’t take the time to look or think about it. I like the way that feels. I hope others enjoy it too.
How has your work evolved?
My work has evolved a lot. I’ve always loved to draw from life, but in college around 2005 I moved in a nonrepresentational sculpture direction. Even then, playfulness was important in my work. After college, I gravitated back to drawing. I explored color with colored pencils and eventually decided to try painting because I wanted to make larger colorful illustrations. When I first started painting at the end of 2014, I decided I wanted to try making large scale realistic paintings that felt like they could be in a children’s story book. I thought it would be fun to make them life-sized like you could step into them. At the time, I was fixated on these dinosaur toys that my daughter dressed up in barbie tutus. The concept made me laugh for multiple reasons, and they were really fun to draw and paint. Eventually, I moved on to other animals. I went to an illustration conference around 2017, and had an art director offer some tips about pushing my work to look more like illustration. That was a fun direction to explore, but details and realism kept calling me back. I continue to find new avenues to explore that satisfy my needs at the time. As I mentioned, I’ve been on a realism kick lately, but I may revisit illustration again in the future.
Where can people see it?
artifactfa.com is my website. You can also sign up to attend my virtual art show “Just for Fun” by clicking on the “events” tab. Subscribe to the mailing list to get the most up to date information on events and new work. I’ve created a welcoming email sequence that includes stories about the paintings, my history, promotions, and artist spotlights about other artists I think people will want to see. Browse the shop to see available original paintings, prints, greeting cards, and I recently added T-shirts, phone cases, and travel mugs. Find works in progress on Instagram @artifactfineart & Facebook @artifactfa
What will your virtual art show entail?
After 12pm on March 5th, viewers can go to artifactfa.com to watch a five minute video that takes viewers on a close up tour of the five featured paintings. The video includes upbeat music and recordings of excerpts from my artist statement. In addition to the video, viewers can read the story of each painting in the product description for all five of the original paintings. The featured original paintings will become available for sale on my website along with prints, greeting cards, and other merchandize. At 7pm, there will be a live Q &A session via Zoom where I will also present a coupon for $10 off T-Shirts. Even if you can’t make it to the opening for the show, come check out what is new at artifactfa.com on or after March 5th – all of the new paintings will be there, plus all the old ones, waiting to make you smile!
How can people attend your virtual show, “Just for Fun” on March, 5th at 7pm?
They will need to sign up to receive an email with the Zoom Web Conference details. Go to artifactfa.com Click on the “Events” tab from the main menu Select “Virtual Art Show Sign Up” Select “Get Your Invitation” Add your email to the form, and the email will be sent to you with the zoom details. There is no cost for this event. Mark your calendar for March 5th at 7pm Arizona Time, and a few minutes before the event, use the login details from the email to access the show.
It was so great to reconnect. One last question – how can our readers connect with you, learn more or support you?
Get your free invitation to the “Just For Fun” Virtual Art Show at artifactfa.com Subscribe to the email mailing list at artifactfa.com On patreon.com/artifactfineart -I just started offering monthly $14 off t-shirt coupons for $5/month subscribers – there are only 25 spaces available. Follow my work on Instagram: artifactfineart and facebook: artifactfa
- Website: artifactfa.com
- Facebook: artifactfa
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtakxcpkC6x9wULPzfg7OYQ
- Other: Pinterest: artifactfa0036 https://www.patreon.com/artifactfineart
Photos by Leah Kiser and Charlene Rule