Studio Sundays: Lesley Frenz

Lesley Frenz (b. 1972) is an emerging artist working in acrylics and watercolors. Born and raised in coastal North Florida, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Florida where she studied Art History and Painting. An avid hiker and backpacker, Frenz finds inspiration in wild places and her current practice is centered around the exploration of the natural world and landscape through its expression in color.  Soft and atmospheric, her paintings evoke the vast mystery held in places few truly explore.

Frenz and her husband travel throughout the Pacific Northwest, working and searching for inspiration and a place to call home.  She is currently painting in Tacoma, Washington.


Growing up in North Florida and years of travel through the West and Northwest have filled my inspiration cup full to overflowing.  As I walk miles of wilderness trails, I find myself enraptured with the way the fog settles between mountains, how the light finds its way through the tallest of Redwoods, the kiss of sun glistening on coastal waters.  It is these moments that capture my heart and my imagination and move me to put paint to canvas.  I carry them with me in photographs and memory until I am ready to allow them to spill forth in color.  Through acrylic paintings on canvas and panel, I am seeking to capture the feeling not just of a place, but of a moment.  From that inspirational scene, I begin my composition, building up layer upon layer of acrylic color and transparent glazes, until the surface is transformed into a representation of my experience of that locale and moment in time.  The surfaces convey the sense of atmosphere and mystery I find in these wild and untamed places, mirroring the wildness in us all.

Since my husband is currently working as a contract medical traveler, we are usually in a new temporary spot every three to six months. I have to be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to paint anywhere. My studio can be a corner of our bedroom, the dining room table, a spare bedroom or a borrowed space as big as some of our apartments!

My traveling studio consists of a folding table, aluminum travel easel, portfolio case, and two plastic bins full of paints, brushes, and other supplies.

Nearly every weekend we are exploring the wilderness areas around us-- mountains, beaches, forests - this is my real studio. It is in these places that I discover shape and form and color and composition, all flow out of my subconscious when I'm back in the studio approaching an empty canvas.