We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Thiessen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have always been a creative. As a child I never stopped making, drawing and developing my artistic skills. My mother was a painter so growing up in this environment gave me the confidence to pursue a career in the arts. I tried many different pathways from ceramics, fashion design, sculpture and finally fell in love with painting.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I live in a beautiful part of Australia. My studio sits on the waters edge, nestled amongst the bush and mangroves in Northern NSW. My paintings are abstract landscapes. My work captures the mood and energy of the natural terrain. I connect to the chaotic lines of the mangroves and the ebb and flow of the waterways. I am most proud about being represented by numerous galleries in Australia and also selling my work globally. I was able to get to this point by focusing my time and energy on pushing my work and always challenging myself as an artist. It has by no means been an easy ride, I have developed a thick skin and strong determination to keep going when things get hard. There are lots of knock backs in this industry but you have to keep believing in yourself and your abilities.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living near Coolangatta beach, you’ll find a range of things to do, from rainforest river cruises and houseboat holidays, to whale watching and deep- sea fishing charters. My studio is surrounded by natural oyster farms. The “Catch a crab” tours offer a chance to experience the nature of the scenic tweed river and try the succulent taste of the mud crab and fresh oysters straight from the river. Husk Distillers is a favorite place to visit. Nestled in the tweed Valley, the distillery is set on the family cattle and cane farm and focusses on sustainable farming and innovating gin distilling. The Husk Farm Distillery is open to the public with cellar door, bar , cafe and tours available. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Well firstly a heartfelt thank you to my mother. She was my first mentor, the one that opened the door to abstraction and challenged the way I look at art. I was lucky enough to have many wonderful lecturers at university, each one bringing their own encouragement, pushing me out of my comfort zone and helping me develop my own language and style.
Facebook: Leah Thiessen