Cornish born Lesley Ninnes comes from an old St Ives family and is a versatile artist whose career spans two decades. With a repertoire that encompasses a range of styles and subject matter, using various media and supports, this is a person who continues to find painting an exciting, stimulating and rewarding vocation.
Interested in light, reflected light, symmetry, balance, colour and tension, her working method when using oil and acrylics is the same as when painting in watercolour, that of a building up of transparent and opaque layers. She likes to work on several projects at once, preferably a mix of abstract and representational subjects.
Paintings evolve from ideas that have formed over time or are inspired by a particular place/weather condition, and those that start with one colour on a blank canvas. The last is a sort of quest, reviewing, modifying and refining the painting over days or weeks until reaching a conclusion.
Started taking art seriously while living on the Island of St Helena. Painted the endemic flora (25 flowering plants) in watercolour.
Returned to St Ives. Attained Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Art & Design at Cornwall College. Joined St Ives Society of Artists and Penwith Society of Arts as an associate member.
A book featuring the botanical illustrations painted in St Helena was published. A commission to produce 40 pages of pen & ink illustrations for a book on inland fisheries was completed. Joined Art Space, a small gallery run on a co-operative basis with six other artists.
Produced pen & ink illustrations for a series of distance learning workbooks.
Took part in mixed exhibition ‘Contrasts 3’, Mariners Gallery, St Ives. Name listed in publications ‘Who’s Who in Art’ and ‘Miller’s Fine Art Price Guide’.
Moved with Art Space to larger premises close to Smeaton’s Pier, St Ives. The larger exhibiting area leading to the production of bigger, more adventurous paintings.
First solo exhibition ‘Vista’ at the Bay Gallery, Penzance. Abstracts and landscapes inspired by West Cornwall.
Joined St Ives Arts Club - took part in members September Festival exhibition. One of 12 artists showcased in ‘Panorama’ - an exhibition of Land and Sea’ at Vitreous Contemporary Arts, Truro.
Second solo exhibition ‘Fact & Figment’ at the Bay Gallery, Penzance. Participated in two separate summer events: the countywide ‘Cornwall Open Studios’ and St Ives September Festival Open Studios.
Work shown at the Wonderwall Gallery, Cirencester, ‘Art of Cornwall’ exhibition. Painting ‘The August Flood’ raffled in aid of St Ives September Festival. Paintings submitted to the successful fundraising auction ‘Alzheimers 4 Art’.
Paintings auctioned at The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, ‘Cornwall Hospices Appeal’. Painting accepted for the annual ‘21st Century Watercolour’ exhibition, Bankside Gallery, London, home of the Royal Watercolour Society. Work exhibited at Bristol Affordable Art Fair and Edinburgh Art Fair.