Lesley Linley: watercolour artist

There is something calming about the paintings of Lesley Linley. 

As you take in the landscapes you find yourself drifting to a peaceful place with the sounds of nature ringing in your ears. 

It’s true, believe me – you can almost hear the splashing and roaring of the waterfalls she has chosen as her signature work.

Even Lesley seems to have been transported back beside the rivers as she talks about her work – there seems to be an air of nostalgia and a sense of longing in the room.

Once she has explained the reason for her emotion it is easy to understand why she might be a little melancholic.

Fifteen years ago Lesley and her husband embarked on a huge adventure, leaving their roots in Amber Valley for a new life on the Isle of Skye.

“We had dreamt of living a new life somewhere remote and when our circumstances changed here we decided to go for it and found a house on Skye which suited us perfectly. 

“There was plenty of space for a studio and gallery and the views were just spectacular. It was just such a wonderful place to live with endless inspiration for my paintings,” said Lesley with a bright smile on her face as she remembers.

The couple immersed themselves in the community and for many years were blissfully happy as Lesley’s career as a full-time artist took off.

However, they were always torn by the fact their family was miles away back in Derbyshire and a year ago, as the regular journeys south began to take their toll, they reluctantly agreed they had to move back.

“Obviously I was sad to leave, but now we are back in a county I have always loved I want to recreate what I had there as far as my work as an artist is concerned,” explained Lesley.

“I can’t help being a bit nostalgic as it was so wonderful having my own studio on Skye but I am determined to get going again here.”

So instead of the icy waters of the Cuillin Mountains the artist has turned her attention to the likes of Lumsdale, the Derwent and the Cromford Canal.

Lesley paints in transparent watercolour without the use of masking fluid or body colour so her depictions of water on the move in painstaking detail take many hours.

She has been working hard in the 12 months since arriving back and already has work regularly exhibited at Leabrooks Arts Complex in Somercotes. 

She has a joint exhibition there with another of the gallery’s artists,  Johanne Danielle, from April 6-May 3 and she will have an exhibition at Cromford Studio and Gallery in May.

As well as her painting Lesley also offers watercolour painting classes at the Strutts Centre in Belper and Smalley Institute. She also offers other locations and details are on her website lesleylinley.co.uk

She is a member of the Smalley Art Group which is based at the Institute. The group currently has vacancies for members on Tuesday morning and evening sessions. Go to http://www.smalleyartgroup.org.uk for details.