Lea Colie Wight is an award-winning oil painter and teacher with a unique perspective. As a former student of the prestigious atelier, Studio Incamminati. Lea now teaches about 20 students each year at the very same school. While she was a student, Lea studied under and alongside some of the founding members of the atelier including world renowned portrait artist Nelson Shanks.
Part of Lea’s process when painting is to “identify with a subject, whether still life or figurative.” She explains, “When I was a child, I would feel sympathy for inanimate objects or imbue them with emotional characteristics. I think when I’m painting, I tap into that type of connection again. A room or still life is a portrait of the absent person or a state of being. I often go into a painting with a new model having a concept firmly in place only to have it blown apart once I begin to know my model. I can’t seem to disregard the core person I’m painting and the painting becomes about them.”
Currently, Lea is working on publishing a book about painting that is tentatively titled, “The Fundamentals of Oil Painting.” Of her book, she says, “It has been a huge project, bigger than I’d anticipated when I signed on! It covers the building of a painting from the very beginning sketches on to a finish, materials, studio layouts and a lot more. The book focuses on painting from life and includes many demos including four finished paintings: Figure, Portrait, Still Life and Landscape. This undertaking has consumed my time for the year, but it was a labor of love and I hope it will provide solid information for artists.”
Lea’s favorite brushes to paint with for the past 15 years have been Silver Brush Grand Prix® Filberts. They are the brushes she reaches for every time she paints and recommends to all of her students. “I use them from the block in of a painting all through to the finishes,” she says. “The filberts give me the ability to cover a broad area with the flat of the brush and to achieve a thin line using the side. They hold their cup beautifully and after washing they don’t have stray bristles splaying to the sides.”
When asked what advice she would give to artists who want to make a career out of their passion, she responded, “Paint with authenticity and don’t chase a trend. Keep working to reach the next level of excellence. Work every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes of sketching.”
To see more images of Lea’s work just google Lea Colie Wight painter