Leslie Watts

Home: Stratford, ON
Title: The Bookseller
Media: Egg tempera on panel, frame by artist
Dimensions: 60 x 50 cm
Website: lesliewatts.ca

Artist Statement

My recent work has been inspired by 15th – 16th century portraiture, where subjects were often depicted at a window, their hands appearing to extend onto the frame itself. I began by building a tabernacle-style frame to which I applied a veneer on the sill and upper insets. His hands rest on the sill, which continues as a trompe l’oeil beyond the actual frame. The book titles were chosen to provide a layered story about the sitter. The Mr Grumpy mug pokes fun at the sitter’s serious expression and sense of humour. The painting was made on his 60th birthday; thus the ribbon bookmark reads “Anno 2016 – Aetatis Suae 60″.


Leslie Watts’ portraits in egg tempera have been exhibited three times in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition in London, UK. In 2015 she won Honourable Mention in the Kingston Prize. This year her work is included in two exhibitions in London, UK: The Royal Society of Portrait Artists Annual Exhibition and “Women in Art”, at Burgh House, Hampstead Heath. Leslie also paints landscapes, still life, and interiors, and she has been the subject of a short documentary, Following Heart: The Artist, by JacksGap.