Leslie’s layered, nuanced oil paintings are driven by a sense of narrative mystery. Recurring themes in her work are landscapes, discovered on daily walks through her old Toronto neighbourhood. Particularly captivating is the glorious chaos that results when industrial infrastructure meets unconstrained nature. She is constantly struck by how the appearance of even the most familiar places and objects is always changing.
Photographs are employed as memory triggers for developing compositions. Often Leslie collages the photos — the old fashioned way, with scissors and tape – to gently guide the image around what the camera saw, to reach back and recapture the sensory memory of being present. Eventually, the photos are put aside as each work is painted, overdrawn, scratched, and scribbled on until it’s messed up enough to be called done.