Featured in the Santa Barbara SentinelJanuary 29, 2016
Last month I sat down with the Santa Barbara Sentinel for an interview about my work and what inspires me. See the fab feature in their January 15-29, 2016 issue.
Featured in American Art CollectorNovember 23, 2015
Thanks to American Art Collector for the lovely feature in their December 2015 issue. See the full article here, and a preview of a few paintings that will be included in Revival at George Billis Gallery December 15, 2015 – January 23, 2016.
Process of a PaintingAugust 18, 2015
Uppercase MagazineOctober 28, 2014
I’m pleased to share that my artwork and studio is featured in the latest issue of Uppercase Magazine. You can order your own copy at the link above.
Thank you to Janine for the lovely feature.
Santa Barbara Newspress Review of EquipoiseMay 9, 2014
By Josef Woodard, News-Press Correspondent
May 9, 2014
For locally-based realist-with-a-mission painter Leslie Lewis Sigler and the East Coast-based photographer Esther Pullman, currently blithely cohabitating the Jane Deering Gallery show “Equipoise,” there is nothing especially exotic at hand in terms of subject matter, or the iconography of what comes before their artistic crosshairs. Yes, Ms. Sigler has honed her skills and insights by painting a series of poetic still life “portraits” of antique silver, of the fanciful, heirloom sort, and Ms. Pullman has been taking pictures of niches in old, evocative houses in New England. And yet the underlying mantra of each artist has more to do with celebrating and elevating the commonplace, finding beauty and mystery in the everyday.
Together, the two related but individualistic artists get along famously here. The show manages to nicely showcase and gain strength from their efforts to invest common objects and domestic spaces with uncommon meditative focus.
Ms. Sigler, whose work occupies a distinctive place in the pantheon of Santa Barbara painters and who has had impressive shows at the Faulkner Gallery and the Architectural Foundation in the past few years, has a style that is identifiable at a glance. A canny still life painter, she lavishes her patient realist style on silver pieces that take on the feel and the personality of separate characters, with unusual descriptive titles, i.e. “The Intended,” “The Pilgrim,” and “The Sidekick,” drawing our narrative feelers into play while in the act of looking at the art.
In these strangely compelling (and compellingly strange?) paintings, we’re lured by the sensuous reflective glistening surfaces and curves, the ornate designs and portrait-like centrality of each object. Shadows cast on neutral gray/brown backgrounds remind us of the material “objectness” of each subject, while distorted reflections in the silver hazily hint at the environment of the objects, as in “The Luminary,” the pitcher in “The Cultivator,” and the serving utensils of “The Three Graces” and “The Utopian.” Through these fuzzy reflections, our reality panorama expands to an unseen domestic space beyond the precious silver object.
Said space, in the figurative sense, could be a space where Ms. Pullman’s camera does its exploratory work, in her “domestic geometry” series. In contrast to the vaster scale and sweep of her large photographic works, seen in a memorable show at the old De la Guerra Street location of Jane Deering Gallery a few years ago, these photographs are intimate and spontaneous, elliptical up-close views that ferret out intriguing angles and “found” or forced geometric designs, seeking expressive possibilities in a common house.
Most intriguingly in this exhibition, which affords each artist their own separate corners as well as blending their visions, are the intuitive pairings. On one wall, Ms. Sigler’s small, vertical spoon studies are matched, in size though not necessarily in form, with Ms. Pullman’s probing images taken during a residency at noted late American artist Fairfield Porter’s house in Great Spruce Island, Maine. What results in this east-meets-west artistic linkage is akin to an alluring, half-abstract visual conversation of imagery, with harmony and rhythm arising between them.
If art could speak — in words, that is — the conversation might be something circling the subject of the ample magic lurking in the mundane, awaiting liberating expression through the filters of artists with their lights on.
Equipoise at Jane Deering Gallery, Santa Barbara, CAApril 8, 2014
First Thursday at Industry HomeFebruary 5, 2014
Review: Small Images at Atkinson GalleryOctober 9, 2013
From miniature sculptures of couches to amusing self-portraits, the 28th annual Small Image Contest at City College has outdone itself yet again.
The Atkinson Gallery at City College is hosting the Small Image exhibition, which allows artists to enter in a piece of their work no larger than 18” in every dimension, including the frame.
While touring the gallery, bright photographs are highlighted under soft white lighting making each portrait look more alive. “Trinidad,” by student, Yi Mao, is the scene of two older men, one with a rooster resting on his head.
“Leonard and His Big Mouth,” by Monica Wiesblott is a linocut drawing, printmaking style using a sharp knife to cut into surface. It was hard not to stop and look at. Her small image won an honorable mention at this years award ceremony.
Jim McAninch, another honorable mention winner, entered his sculpture, “Hot Date.” This tiny couch is raised on a pedestal with vintage teal-green colors and worn-out features. With the use of vibrant bronze encasing the sculpture, McAninch gets viewers to take a second look.
First prize for 3D sculpture, “Astronauts Love Cheese,” was awarded to Dan Levin. Levin takes ordinary objects and arranges them together like a vivid memory, with some comedy in mind.
An old cutout cream cheese container is the outer casing on Levin’s piece. A magnifying glass is propped up facing forward, distorting the size of the stamp that rests on the wall behind the glass.
This was a particular impressive idea on Levin’s part. The story unfolds itself as one gazes straight at his work. The detailed lettering on the sides of the cream cheese box adds emphasis to the unique character of his art, generating personality and eloquence.
From porcelain-made cups to papier-mâché and newspaper creations, the work of these students seems to further mystify viewers each coming year.
Leslie Lewis Sigler’s painting, “Silver Spoon, The Venus,” was another tiny work of art. Sigler’s oil on board is not any less detailed than a large mural. With silver and white oil paint highlighting a metal utensil, the realistic spoon is sophisticated and delicate.
These small works of more than 30 artists allow viewers to focus on certain aspects of each person’s artistic vision and see an immense amount of talent within a confined amount of space.
The different mediums and techniques these artists used produced something original and special about each one of their works. The contest pieces are for sale and the gallery will be displaying the small images until Nov. 1.
Relatives installed at Jane Deering Gallery, Gloucester, Mass.September 18, 2013
Upcoming Exhibition: RelativesFebruary 21, 2013
Relatives | Recent Paintings by Leslie Lewis Sigler
Architectural Foundation Gallery
229 E. Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA
March 8 – April 12, 2013
Opening Reception Friday, March 8, 5 – 7 pm
1st Thursday Reception, Thursday April 4, 5 – 8 pm
Tuesday – Friday
9 am – 2 pm
100 Grand at Sullivan GossDecember 1, 2012
December 6, 2012 to February 3, 2013, Sullivan Goss presents 100 Grand, their fourth annual salon exhibition of one hundred art works priced at $1,000 or less. My piece, Kinfolk (above), will be in the exhibition. Come out December 6, also First Thursday (and downtown Santa Barbara will be festive with the holiday season), to the opening reception from 5-8pm.
7 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
December 6, 2012 to February 3, 2013
Opening Reception December 6, 2012, 5-8pm
Santa Barbara News Press Review of Oil & WaterJune 19, 2012
From the Santa Barbara News Press
May 25, 2012
by Josef Woodard
If the everyday household stuff of cutlery, shirts, silver vessels and crackers seem less than worthy of serious artistic reflection and passion, think again. With the two-person show called “Oil & Water,” part of the ongoing series of worthy art shows at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club, Santa Barbara artists Leslie Lewis Sigler and Lily Guild — the former working in oil, the latter working in watercolor and graphite — confer the dignity of their serious artistic skills and attentions on household matters, and to surprisingly meditative and considered ends.
Sigler, whose presence around the local art scene included a show at the Faulkner Gallery (recently reviewed in these pages) is a strong painter specializing in still life canvases of silverware. Guild’s artistic efforts have gone mostly into graphic arts and design, but her impressive work here makes us wish she’d delve into the gallery sphere more often.
Together, this cohesive show basks in self-aware subtlety and delicacy, but also humor and the hypnotic sum effect of multiple small variations. Both artist have settled on highly selective, self-limited themes and supposedly mundane subject matter, and their exacting, understated style of rendering draws our senses inward to a unique artistic space and a rather strangely contemplative state of mind.
On the first wall of the designed artspace of the Tennis Club lobby, Sigler show a series of luminously painted forks, varied in size and style and presented with a whimsical stateliness on small, vertical formatted canvases. More eloquent utensil still life paintings can be found deeper into the exhibition, as well as shimmering espresso vessels of a series she calls “The Ritual” (we assume she’s a caffein affine, turning her vice into art fodder).
Sigler may find her inspiration in the kitchen and dining room silver drawers, and wherever precious silver lurks. Guild’s primary body of work here comes from the closet. She has deftly created a beguiling set, 36 in all, of small images of shirts, in the series she coyly dubs “Lilywhite Shirts.” The shirts pictures, cleanly realized in graphite and watercolor, amount to posed shirt “portraits,” configured on hangers and floating against white voids. With these, Guild captures the literal feel and the dimensionality of the garments, in line, fold, texture, fabric quality, and give.
From quite another part of the house, Guild further demonstrates her calm aplomb with studies of crackers — all manner thereof, for both human and canine consumption. She also lends her cool hand and eye to discrete, porous pieces of toast, sometimes half-eaten.
This consumable subject series might smack of some post-ironic, post Pop Art strategy at work, but Guild manages to sidestep the wink-wink air of novelty. There is a dry, lightly crunchy wit and grace to her art, individually and as a collective, rhythmic whole. She seems committed to the project at hand, without over-thinking or overselling.
For anyone who stops to notice the deceptively quiet art here, a gentle breeze of serendipitous beauty can be sensed blowing through the roon. Who knew the potentially transformative power of shirts and forks?
Oil & Water at the Tennis Club of Santa BarbaraMarch 21, 2012
I’ll be exhibiting new work at the gallery space at the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara May 11 – June 2, 2012. Save the date and please join us for an opening reception on Friday, May 11 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Oil & Water
Tennis Club of Santa Barbara
2375 Foothill Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
May 11 – June 2, 2012
Reception Friday, May 11, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Gallery Hours 10 am – 9 pm daily
100 Grand at Sullivan GossDecember 1, 2011
December 1, 2011 to January 29, 2012, Sullivan Goss presents 100 Grand, their third annual salon exhibition of one hundred art works priced at $1,000 or less. This year I’m excited to be included in the exhibition. Come out December 1, also First Thursday (and downtown Santa Barbara will be festive with the holiday season), to the opening reception from 5-8pm.
7 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
December 1, 2011 to January 29, 2011
Opening Reception December 1, 2011, 5-8pm
5×5: An Invitational at Westmont Museum of ArtNovember 29, 2011
Over 400 artist have been invited and have submitted work to Westmont Museum of Art’s 5×5: An Invitational. I’m honored to be included. Each piece—created on a provided 5×5 piece of paper—will available for purchase via online auction, the proceeds of which will benefit Westmont Museum of Art.
5×5: An Invitational
Westmont Museum of Art
November 30 – December 16, 2011
Reception Wednesday, November 30, 4-6 p.m.
Online auction opens at 4 p.m. November 30 and closes at 5 p.m. December 16, PST
Learn more about the auction here.
Small Images at Atkinson GallerySeptember 30, 2011
Two of my paintings were accepted to Small Images, Santa Barbara City College’s annual juried exhibit. This year’s juror was Miki Garcia, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum. Small Images opens September 30 and runs until October 28th.
Art From Scrap One Night StandAugust 9, 2011
Santa Barbara’s Art From Scrap is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary with an exciting fundraising event called One Night Stand and I’m honored to be participating.
One Night Stand is a benefit in support of Art From Scrap, a leading environmental education and art organization, now in its 20th year of encouraging creative expression in the arts and promoting a greater understanding of environmental issues.
This art exhibition will be up for one night only – Saturday August 20, 2011 – at Gallery 27, a professional art gallery affiliated with Brooks Institute in downtown Santa Barbara. Contemporary artists from around the country are being personally invited to contribute artwork in all mediums. Over 200 artist have donated work to the fundraiser.
The element of surprise is essential to One Night Stand. The artist’s name will only be revealed after the artwork is purchased. Sophisticated art patrons and first time collectors will trust their instincts as they hunt for works of art that both intrigue and excite their sensibilities. Once selected, each work of art will be purchased for $200.
Learn more about One Night Stand and how to purchase tickets here: www.onenightstandafs.com.
Santa Barbara Independent Review of Objects of My ReflectionJuly 25, 2011
From the Santa Barbara Independent
July 21, 2011
by Elizabeth Schwyzer
ALMOST FORGOTTEN: It’s easy to forget about East and West Faulkner (40 E. Anapamu St.), the two little galleries adjacent to the public library’s main exhibition space. This month, it’s worth re-familiarizing yourself, though.
Through the end of July, West Faulkner is filled with an assortment of family heirlooms à la Antiques Roadshow, all classically rendered in oils. Leslie Lewis Sigler calls this collection of still-life paintings Objects of My Reflection, which is both a straightforward description and a play on words. In the mirror-like flanks of a convex sugar bowl or the polished silver of a vintage coffeepot, the artist captures refracted light and patches of darkness. Is that smear of peachy pink cast by a setting sun, or by the hue of her cheek as she leans in for a closer look?
Sigler’s subjects include old-fashioned cameras, vintage fans, and a china cabinet’s worth of tea sets. She’s interested not just in the classic lines and reflective surfaces of these nostalgic objects, but in the roles they play in our lives—treasured, yet no longer utilized, and often stored away from view. She treats each piece with loving attention, yet pictures them in isolation, standing on flat planes, accompanied by little but their own shadows. “Cameo” pictures a lonely rotary telephone in profile, as if it’s sitting for a formal portrait, while “Revival” and “The Wedding Gift” each consist of four canvases; every pitcher and every teacup occupying a world unto itself. There’s a sadness here, and a world of nostalgic wonder, much like you’d find in an antique store where relics stir ancient memories of places and people long gone and half forgotten. For more about the artist, visit leslielewissigler.com.
Santa Barbara News Press Review of Objects of My ReflectionJuly 19, 2011
ART REVIEW : Back in Optical Action – After being closed to the public for renovations, the downtown public library’s grand Faulkner Gallery has re-opened, reminding us of its importance as a centralizing cultural force
LESLIE LEWIS SIGLER, ‘OBJECTS OF MY REFLECTION’
By JOSEF WOODARD, NEWS-PRESS CORESPONDENT
July 8, 2011
When: through July 30
Where: Faulkner Gallery West, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.
Gallery Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
Information: 564-5608, sbplibrary.org
Walking into the newly reopened and renovated Faulkner Gallery in the downtown library, you might find yourself feeling a bit more warm and tingly than before. Absence has made the heart grow fonder, as the large gallery, cultural center and social gathering hall has been closed to the public for a couple of months, for renovation.
Whereas we might take this space — actually, one large, tall-ceilinged room and two small flanking galleries — for granted, the Faulkner is actually an important, anchoring cultural presence downtown, regardless of what art is on view here. With the Museum of Art just across the courtyard, and the Sullivan Goss and Channing Peake galleries across the street, the Faulkner is literally in the center of artistic action, and has a democratic reach, to members of the public not necessarily plugged into the comings and goings of art.
In the current list of exhibitions here in the new, improved Faulkner complex, the largest spread goes to the SCAPE landscape art consortium. Among the more impressive works in the densely populated show are the ruggedly brushed “Valley at Dusk” by ccc and Margaret Nadeau’s “Showers are Coming,” conveying an air pregnant with impending precipitation. Filiberto Lomeli’s “Ocean View” is a seascape with a difference, a mystical light source on the ocean’s horizon, and Suzan Dougall Christenson’s “Summer in the Sierras” is an etude in rolling, lulling hillside contours and arid beauty.
Back in the small Faulkner Gallery East, David Orias’ kindly “Reflecting on Waves” photography show lovingly details oceanic action. Traditional wave-obsessive ocean photography mixes in with painting-like textured photographs on canvas. By land, he shows some standard photo op favorites in SoCal, from the Santa Barbara Mission to the shimmering arcs — waves, come to think of it — of Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall architectural showpiece and landmark.
The most compelling show in the building is in Faulkner Gallery West, Leslie Lewis Sigler’s quite lovely painting show “Objects of my Reflection.” This is Sigler’s first solo show, and it makes for a good impression, in terms of single images and the cohesive, calmly expressive élan of the whole.
In this show, Sigler brings a meditative, realistic still life aesthetic, a painterly eye and attention to objects both mundane and ceremonial. Shiny sterling silver vessels and heirlooms hang happily alongside lovingly fastidious paintings of a desk fan, an espresso pot and a vintage telephone, looking gracefully iconic in this setting.
Some of the more “precious” objects and heirlooms are presented in triptychs and other multiple panel contexts, giving works like “Revival” and “Family of Heirlooms” the character of personality-endowed object worship and transformation into art. From the evidence here, Sigler has a real gift, as a painter and thinker about how painting functions.
See it now, in your public library.
Objects of My ReflectionJune 8, 2011
I’ll be exhibiting a small series of work July 1 – July 30 at the Faulkner Gallery West at the Santa Barbara Public Library. If you’re in Santa Barbara, please come check it out, or better yet, come to the opening reception!
July 1 – July 30, 2011