LESLEY McLAREN was born in Glasgow in 1959. She graduated from Exeter College of Art and Design (Painting) in 1982, after falling for the beautiful countryside in Devon. Lesley has been exhibiting steadily through a number of galleries throughout the UK for the past 25 years and has established a strong reputation. She paints from memories, stories and feelings. This often gives her work an ethereal quality, seldom depicting specific real geographical locations, but more evolved from the mind and spirit. She collects images from camera, sketchbooks and memory references, often merging them into an imaginary composition.
Recently she has developed a strong passion for painting birds from her garden — detailed simple studies, uncluttered and with the entire focus being on the character and intricacy of the bird itself. My paintings reflect the fascination I have with the natural world, mostly that which surrounds me in my immediate environment. I live in the Scottish Borders, where the landscape and light is beautiful and varied — a rich source of inspiration, from Belted Galloway cattle roaming on the hills to Scottish Blackface sheep, silver birch trees and barn owls to wrens. I live in a small community beside a busy farm where there is an abundance of subjects to paint.