Suzanne Leonard is relatively new to Charleston after spending almost 30 years living and working in Chicago, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from her art. Her work is all swirls of blue and green, the soft colors of beach sand and the moodiness of storm clouds.
“I’m inspired by the colors that I see around me,” said Leonard, who fell in love with Charleston visiting friends who had moved here. Many of her works look like the line where the water meets the beach or the winding networks of creeks and marsh that make up the South Carolina coast.
A native of Oklahoma, Leonard made the move to the Lowcountry herself last August.
Leonard is also somewhat new to resins, having a previous background in oil and watercolor painting. She picked up the basics of her technique in a Chicago art class.
“I really just loved it -- it’s so different from anything else I had seen out there,” she said.
Leonard makes all of her art in a home studio in Mount Pleasant. She said she is interested in exploring larger-format hanging pieces that could lend a contemporary look to newer homes. And her work can be displayed indoors or under cover outdoors.
The practicality of resin work -- she designs tables, benches, trays and other furniture -- also reflects her background in an industry in which functionality and purpose are everything.
“My previous career was in finance, and everything served a purpose and was organized so I like that in my art,” she said.
Leonard said she hasn’t missed many opportunities to spend time in the environments that inspire her work, including the Lowcountry coastline. “I have a dog so I take her and whenever I get the chance I love to walk on the beach,” she explained.
Visit Art Mecca of Charleston to see more of Suzanne’s work in person or check out a selection of her resin designs at www.artmeccaofcharleston.com/suzanne-leonard.html.