PO Box 223
4625 Pine Island Road NW
Matlacha FL 33993 US
Painting the new "Gecko Gate" at WildChild
Leigh Ann is originally from Wisconsin and always experimented with various art and music activities growing up, but kept those interests in the background. Starting young, her passion was advocating on behalf of people who have disabilities. For decades, she has taught in the Early Childhood Education and Psychology Departments of many colleges and continues to do so, promoting inclusion and diversity. She has earned degrees in Special Education, School Psychology and a doctorate in Educational Psychology. Leigh Ann has also traveled the world – all 50 states, over 70 countries and all 7 continents. While her focus when traveling is primarily learning about culture and education in other parts of the world, the art, music, color and people of each new place always stand out and inspire her to come home and create. She moved to Naples, Florida when her grandchildren were born there and that kicked off a whole new wave of colorful creations and opportunities.
About Leigh Ann’s Art Philosophy
Leigh Ann enjoys working with mixed media, experimenting by combining ideas she’s seen in her travels and using recycled or every day materials to make something colorful and add a happy vibe. Her favorite courses to teach are Positive Psychology and Positive Guidance. A key aspect of Positivity (the science of happiness) is finding our “flow” – something that we enjoy doing so much that time stands still while doing it. For Leigh Ann, it’s painting, glasswork, or anything that incorporates free-flowing use of bright colors. It’s mesmerizing, calming, encouraging, and rejuvenating. She’s taught art classes to future teachers, not to teach specific techniques, but rather to help parents and teachers recognize that ALL children can create and express themselves through art and music, even if some modifications might be needed. Art is not about coloring inside the lines, but instead in these classes, “ART” is child-directed! It is a learning experience in itself. There is no need for any type of project to be the end result. Just exploring with the materials, making something or nothing at all, is what matters. It’s the PROCESS, not the PRODUCT.
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About Leigh Ann’s Art
Her guitar art began in 2015 when she passed a rummage sale that had 2 guitars sitting by a mailbox ready to be tossed. She came home and painted mini-masterpieces that are still her favorites today. She discovered that she could rescue old guitars, violins and ukuleles from thrift stores and on-line auctions, and hence, her new favorite canvas was in place! She is very willing to take custom orders of color schemes and general design and can usually deliver within 4-6 weeks. This can be arranged with the help of the Gallery. If you have your own instrument, that helps! Otherwise, acquiring the "canvas" is the first step. Leigh Ann’s glass art started when she stopped at a glass studio with friends just to do something new for an afternoon – and found “flow” in a way she never expected. She’s been hooked ever since, making scenes from her travels such as “Windows of Ireland”. Her gecko art was inspired by travels in Australia where she saw an acre or more of gecko tessellation walkways and had to come home and recreate it on canvas – over and over – a perfect Florida fit. The stories of the inspirations are endless, and so are the new ideas and items that she creates and shares with others.
Artists at Work in the Heart of Matlacha
About Leigh Ann