Barbara Belle Sloan

Barbara Belle Sloan

www.barbarabellesloan.com

Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, creativity was part of everyday life.  I have vivid  memories of asking my father to draw Mickey Mouse, or another Disney character--or anything else at all.  He was a natural artist albeit a colorblind one.  I like to think that I inherited my artistic talent from him.  Throughout childhood I was always drawing pictures, coloring, or making paper dolls.  In elementary school, my favorite assignments were the ones that included creating illustrations.  High school art introduced me to a wide array of processes: silk screen, linoleum printmaking, soap carving and copper enameling in addition to the usual drawing and painting.   In college I took classes in etching and ceramics but it was woodblock printing that captured my attention and the media to which I have devoted my talents.

I am fortunate to have been able to combine my printmaking skills with an interest in costumes and textiles.  A graduate degree in European costume history combined with museum experience in non-western clothing provided me a worldwide view of the history of dress.  Recent travel to Japan has influenced my most recent prints.

Raised in the open ranch land of Northern New Mexico, Leon developed an affinity for the Southwestern landscape. He was greatly influenced by his grandmother’s involvement in Northern New Mexico art circles. Later study at the Colorado Institute of Art along with private study reinforced his abilities. Stationed in Germany while in the army, he was able to travel extensively throughout Europe, visiting museums and maintaining sketching journals. In addition, he studied painting techniques of the old masters for two years, finishing by copying a Franz Hals at the Stuttgart Stattsgalerie Art Museum. Long having an interest in pen and ink, etching took on a special meaning from the museum’s collection of etchings.On his return to Colorado, Leon began to study the intaglio techniques and selling the prints in mountain galleries. In 1998, Leon purchased his first letterpress and received immediate success with the woodblock prints he produced. The layering of color in the woodblock process allowed him to better capture the atmospheric qualities of the Southwestern Landscape that have such a strong meaning for him.Leon has continued to develop his printmaking skills and currently owns a publishing company, producing his Reduction Style Woodblocks as well as limited edition books. His woodblocks are exhibited nationally and collected by numerous museums. He and his wife also own a gilding studio, producing and restoring hand carved gold leaf frames for museums and collectors.
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