Sunday, February 25, 2018

Life and Art - A (sometimes never ending) Series of Do-overs

Before - Nocturnal Dreaming - 2012

After - There is Music in the Spacing of the Spheres - 2018

Quite often as I am painting I think about the similarities between life and art, and never more than when I am working on a do-over.  I have discussed in other blog posts the concept of "when a painting is finished" and shown several examples of paintings of mine that have fallen prey to the do-over, sometimes years after they were "finished" (the first time).  As in life and card games, each of us players must constantly hold, play, and discard.  What gets held in the hand, what gets laid on the table, what goes onto the discard pile - for every one of us, every day, these "keep, play, discard" choices are made.  In a lifetime, we make millions of them, many of them unconsciously.

In art, as in life, we also continuously keep, play, discard.  As artists, our styles, palettes and subject matter morph and change; in response to events in our lives, new information, and the inevitable growth and change we experience as humans. 

The above painting, "Nocturnal Dreaming", has been altered, and is now named "There is Music in the Spacing of the Spheres."  What is equally important to what has been changed is what has remained.  Sometimes what remains - the "keep" - can be subtle, compared to the more obvious "discard."  This piece not only got a re-orientation from a horizontal presentation to a vertical, but the colour palette and subject matter changed too.  Spheres, a face, the inevitable houses - they are all new.  But tucked away and scattered all over the painting are bits and pieces of the original painting - altered, yes, but still visible if looked at closely.

I think about my own journey as I paint, and those journeys of my nearest and dearest.  Our reflections on what is working in our lives, what no longer serves us, and what we discover through growth and change, result in an unbroken chain of "do-overs."  From birth to death, we re-visit, analyze, tweak.  We keep.  We play.  We discard.

As an artist I may be a bit of an outlier with my continuous do-overs, but my take on art, as on life, is that it is never too late to enthusiastically embrace a fresh start, nothing is carved in stone, if you learn new skills and talents use them, and, most importantly, it's just paint.  The act of creating is the point, for me, not the end result, which is why morphing an old stale painting into something fresh and new by applying newly learned techniques is such a satisfying enterprise.

A special note to my students here, who so often worry about the end result and how they will know when they have reached it - just play and have fun, take breaks if you feel stuck, try new scary things, and if those things don't work do something else, and most importantly of all, don't get frustrated and paint everything white.  Or black.  Or brown or green or blue.  

There is always, alongside of what to discard, plenty to keep.

If you own one of my paintings, lock your doors. You never know when the do-over urge may strike.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Letting Go, Welcoming Change

 Alchemist of Change

Freedom From Within

Last week I took the painting Alchemist of Change that I had painted six years ago and transformed it. It even got a new name: Freedom From Within.

My style and color palette has changed over the years, and I felt it was time for this piece to change too. One of the things that is hard to do, in life and in painting, is let go. There were several elements in this painting I was very attached to - the birdcage, the bird, and the words embedded in the bottom right corner. These were two quotes that really resonated with me at the time that I painted the original piece:

Let your history be the alchemist of change


A diamond is a piece of coal made clear under pressure

It was very difficult for me to let go of those words. I struggled with working around them for hours, but in the end I let them go, and welcomed the changes that letting go brought to the newly transformed piece. Besides, they are still there, just hidden, which pleases me.

Creamy and dreamy now where it was formerly colourful and exuberantly busy, the piece feels fresh and new. The bird and the birdcage still feature, as they are the essence of the painting, as is the cluster of houses that I debated painting over but decided to keep.

Letting go of what is no longer working, and welcoming change, even if you have resistance. As a former student once remarked to me "Intuitive painting is like a metaphor for life."


Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I have 7 paintings to gift to the first peeps who contact me to claim them:
(Update - all paintings have found new homes)
or on facebook - Lesley Fountain Studio

 Challenges Are Gifts - 24 x 24   GIFTED

  Infinite Riches - 16 x 16   GIFTED

 Hopes and Fears - 16 x 16   GIFTED

  New World Emerging - 24 x 20   GIFTED

It's Written in the Starlight  10 x 24  on board   GIFTED
"It's written in the starlight, and every line in your palm" 
- Dire Straits

This one is a particular favourite of mine. It is one of the nine paintings in a celestial series that showed up a couple of years ago. Here is a blog post about the series, how it came about, and a little bit about the paintings.

  All My Bags Are Packed - 16 x 20   GIFTED

Together We Glide Through The Blue Velvet Dark - 24 x 24   GIFTED

Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Art Sale - Make Me An Offer (I Can't Refuse)

It is time for a big ole summer sale!

I have quite a few paintings stacked up everywhere I look in the studio, and it is time for a clear out. They are all shown below, along with their original prices, but please, if you see something you love, make me an offer!  I would love for these paintings to find new homes, if not I will use them as canvases in new projects.

Take a look below, then message me at or on my Lesley Fountain Studio facebook page to make me an offer. All offers considered!

I have grouped the paintings into categories for convenience.


 You Own The Story Of Your Life - 16 x 20  275.00

All The Time In The World - 16 x 20  275.00

  All My Bags Are Packed - 16 x 20  275.00

Saskia's Wall - 18 x 24  300.00


Fireflies Tangled in a Silver Braid - 18 x 24  300.00

 Eight Hundred Light Years Away From Earth  10 x 24  200.00

It's Written in the Starlight  10 x 24  200.00


The Only Steps That Matter (are the ones you take yourself)  24 x 30  450.00

Pieces of Light, Love, History and Stars - 24 x 24   SOLD


 For Maya - 24 x 30   450.00

My Three Angels - 18 x 24  300.00


 Waiting Around For Friday Night - 24 x 36  450.00

Second Chances (diptych) 12 x 24  (total 24 x 24) 500.00

 Out of the Dark Soil Grows a Tiny Bud - 24 x 24  400.00

Challenges Are Gifts - 24 x 24  SOLD


 Nocturnal Dreaming - 48 x 24   800.00

On the Way to Mairi's Wedding - 24 x 24   400.00

Together We Glide Through The Blue Velvet Dark - 24 x 24  SOLD

 All The Things I Thought I'd Figured Out (I have to learn again) - 24 x 24   400.00

 Infinite Riches - 16 x 16  250.00

 Hopes and Fears - 16 x 16  SOLD

 New World Emerging - 24 x 20  325.00

 Little Drift 12 x 24   SOLD

 Every Falsehood Reveals a Deeper Truth - 40 x 60  1600.00


Menagerie - 24 x 24  400.00

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Go On and Make a Joyful Sound - Lessons From My Guardians and Spirits

And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know  

These lyrics from the 1973 Jackson Browne song For a Dancer strike a deep chord with me.  I have been blessed in my life to have met many people who have walked along beside me - sometimes for many years, sometimes for a short time - and while we walked together they shared with me their intrinsic beauty, their insights, their earthly gifts, and their own unique wisdom. 

Whether you believe in spirit guides, divine intervention, guardian angels or kindred souls, for each of us, as we walk our solitary path in this life, there are those who share our journey with us, and if we are open and curious about the fate, destiny or serendipitous circumstances that placed each of these particular people in our path, it is my opinion that we can continue to learn, evolve, and accept and embrace the change, uncertainty, and the inevitable loss and pain that all humans must face with a sense of inner calm and peace. 

Interactions with these guides or spirits can bring us a greater understanding of ourselves, and can help us to make sense of the often seemingly random events we each encounter in our lives.  (This from a reformed concrete thinker!)  As I have written in previous blog posts, it is my belief that when we reveal who we really are with others and embrace emotional risk, our lives are immeasurably enriched.

The five figures depicted in the painting Go On and Make a Joyful Sound are people I have had the great fortune to walk with for a time.  Some walk this earth no more.  Each one has enhanced my life, made me reflect, question, and deepen my efforts to live my life with my eyes, ears, and heart wide open.  I consider them guardians or kindred spirits, and while I have actually met more than five (I know, such luck!) it is the lessons of these five that have special significance in my life today.

Here are the qualities each special soul has shared with me:

self knowledge

Some time ago, when I was questioning whether I was "fulfilling my destiny" and worrying that perhaps I was not, that I was possibly squandering my life and talents and wasting my precious time on earth, I read Anita Moorjani's book Dying To Be Me.  In it she puts forth the idea that the only purpose of each of our lives is to be our self and live our truth.  What a relief!  That, I thought, I can do. 

We may never know why we are here, why we meet the people we meet and have the experiences we do, but according to Anita, we don't need to.  Be ourselves.  Live our truth.  That's it.  A nice, short, do-able list.  I would add one thing to that list, and that is pay attention when a guardian angel or spirit appears in your life.  Listen to what they whisper in your ear.

Be your best, let go of the rest, stay curious, and go on and make your own joyful sound.

Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
The world keeps turning around and around
Go on and make a joyful sound

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The 100 Faces Project Available as Downloadable PDF

I have created a photo book of the 100 Faces Project paintings.  For now it is available as a PDF download only from, (viewable on any device) with a soft cover to be available very soon (at a realistic price, not blurb's!)

The instant download is 6.99 CA  -  click on this link to view the preview and order:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Celestial Visitations

Now that 2016 is in the rear view mirror and my 100 Faces Project is completed, (and I have had my winter "nap" where I don't get much done except hibernate by the fire with tea and a good book) I have been enjoying creating the first few of what appears to be a new series of paintings. Working on large pieces of ripped, raw edged canvas, I have been exploring ethereal imagery in a creamy, dreamy palette with predominantly whites and blues. So far I have completed seven pieces, take a look:
(update - July - painting #7 is the final one in the series, time to move on to something else!)

 An Angel Falls From the Sky - 6' x 3'

Little Things Are Hard to See - 5' x 5'

First Roots, Then Wings - 4' x 5'

 Go On and Make a Joyful Sound - (Lessons From My Guardians and Spirits) - 5' x 5'

 Words of Love a Ladder to the Heavens - 3.5' x 3.5' 

Protect Me - 2' x 4' 

You Are The Magical Enchantment in Your Existence - 4' x 4'