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Shirley Leonardi

Watercolour / Pen & Ink / Pencil / Batik

Jasper, Alberta


Born and raised in the Peace River Country of Alberta, as a child, Shirley has enjoyed nature walking in the treed areas and along the creek of the family farm. All the wonders of the area were hers to enjoy – the sights, sounds, textures, and scents. Family vacations through the Canadian Rockies were always an inspiration and fascination for her. Her passion for the mountains, even as a child, was demonstrated through her sketching of the mountains as she travelled through the Rockies with her family.
Shirley has always enjoyed art, with sketching being the prominent form of the discipline that she involved herself in throughout her life. Her style has always been between realism and impressionism.
After two summers working in Jasper, she married and has resided in Jasper permanently since 1970. The emotional connection she felt as a child with nature, has continued to grow through her activities of hiking, biking and skiing. She became seriously interested in watercolors in 2001 and has been actively painting and depicting our beautiful and majestic mountains ever since. Her artwork provides a visual experience which captures the spirit of the outdoors, the awe and beauty of nature. Other subjects that she has painted are: birds, animals, flowers, farmlands, desert scenes, seascapes, and recently portraits and the joy of childhood. She also expresses herself in pen and ink drawings and batiks on rice paper, using watercolors.

Artist Statement

Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed creating three dimensional objects on a flat surface, such as paper. Since I live in the heart of the Rockies, it never ceases to amaze and challenge me to try to capture the majestic feeling of the mountains in their various atmospheric elements. I have done a fair amount of hiking in the backcountry of Jasper and Banff National Parks, where I have been enthralled with my surroundings. It has provided me with lots of opportunities to create paintings from. The beauty of nature is awe-inspiring and I hope to convey that message in my artwork.

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