About

Leonard Aitken is an australian artist and has been painting for 30 years. He has a love for all types of art, music, literature and film. Lenny prefers to paint realistic and surrealistic works. The natural world around him is his first inspiration, but most of his work is transformed by a prodigious imagination. His output is prolific and doesn’t confine itself just to painting but also music (composing, playing piano), writing (stories, poetry), film and animation.

Leonard discovered he could paint at the age of 15, but it wasn’t until the age of 32 that he decided to get serious and enter university. In 1995 he completed a Bachelor of Arts (visual arts) at Charles Sturt University, (Wagga Wagga), which he passed with distinction. Since then he has completed a Diploma of Education and has taught art at schools, Tafe, various adult education institutions and at home. However art is his first love.

“I ‘m effervescent and lively and can’t cope with just doing one thing all the time. I need constantly to experiment, use different mediums and explore different genres.” Usually he has about 20 paintings “in progress” at once, while simultaneously working on various musical, writing and animation projects. His paintings are usually built up in many layers of stains and glazes. His floral and landscape paintings tend to concentrate on the properties of light and colour and have a calm beauty despite their brightness and vivid detail. Some of his more “whimsical” paintings have been described as resembling “animation stills”; and his animations as having the quality of “paintings come to life”.

Prizes/Awards

2008: Winner of the $5,000 Local Government Area Prize at the second EMSLA award for Still Life at Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery.

2007: Finalist in the EMSLA award .Coffs Harbour

2004: Sawtell art Show. 1st prize open section

2004: Sawtell art Show. 1st prize in oil/acrylic section

2004: Winner of the More Property prize at Salute to the Arts (Coffs Harbour)

2004:Finalist – Country Energy.

2002: First prize in animation section in “Open Slather Film Festival”

2000: Deniliquin Community/Business Awards. Art/Culture Award.

1999: Deniliquin Art Exhibition: 1st prize in Sculpture section.

1995: Wagga Wagga Quota Art Competition. Oils section

1995: Wagga Wagga Quota Art Competition. Encouragement Award

1994: H.R. Gallop Perpetual Award for best overall result in first year visual arts (Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga)

1993: Oil prize at Deniliquin Art Exhibition.

Education

Education

(2012 – ) Master of Arts (Honours) Charles Sturt University. Wagga Wagga. The production of a dissertation about a specified topic of the student’s choice.

(2010 – 2011) Master of Arts Charles Sturt University. Wagga Wagga. The production of a body of works about ideas relating to the concept of eternity. (Passed with Distinction.)

(2005) Bachelor of Education. Southern Cross University. Various skills related to teaching art at secondary schools.

(2004) Website Design Tafe (Coffs Harbour) Various skills involved in the creation of websites.

(2003) Multimedia Tafe (Coffs Harbour) Learned all aspects of multi-media (eg: Photoshop, Flash, Authorware, Premier, etc.

(1993-5) Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) (Passed with Distinction) Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga)

Course included painting, drawing, video, photography, animation, multi-media, etc.

(1992) Screenprinting Deniliquin Included hand cut and photographic screenprinting techniques.

(1988) Short Story Writing and Freelance journalism Tafe (external) (Two separate courses)

(1980 – 81) Visual Communication Sydney College of the Arts Course covered: design principles, combining words/images, packaging principles, film and T.V.

Exhibitions

EXHIBITIONS

Solo

Medical Centre Exhibition

An exhibition of mixed paintings held at the Coffs Harbour Medical Centre (October 2010 – present)

The Federal Hotel

An exhibition of mixed paintings held at the Federal Hotel in Bellingen (April – May, 2012)

Club Coffs

An exhibition of mixed paintings held at Club Coffs April 2012.

Roads to Eternity

A collection of works depicting ideas relating to the concept of eternity.

Open Studio 14th – 28th, October, 2011

Paintings in this ongoing exhibition are due to be changed in late 2011.

Extempore (2010) Quasi – surrealist works. (Open Studio)

Open Studio

Part of a three man surrealist show at Open Studio, Coffs Harbour. (December, 2009)

Jetty Theatre Exhibition

An exhibition of mixed paintings held at the Jetty Theatre. (Feb. 2008)

Now and Then

An exhibition of paintings inspired by natural forms – in conjunction with Sandra Finn and friends. Liminal Space Gallery, Coffs Harbour (November, 2007)
Natural Response

An exhibition of paintings interpreting various aspects of nature
Bunker Cartoon Gallery (April 2007)

Botanicals

An exhibition of paintings and animation based on images and ideas inspired by the Coffs Harbour Botanical Gardens
Coffs Harbour Botanical Gardens (Exhibition room) (December 2006)

Living Light

An exhibition of paintings exploring the various qualities of light in nature and other subjects
101 Bellingen (July 2004)

Confection, Invention, Creation

An exhibition of paintings, drawing, animations, etc exploring the various themes surrounding different types of creation
Wagga Wagga Community Art Gallery and Deniliquin Peppin Heritage Centre
May and September 2000

Phases

An evolving exhibition involving drawing, painting, sculpture, found objects and animation
Wagga Wagga Community Library, (July 1997)

Group. (Continuing – present)

Tide and Pilot.

An exhibition of marine paintings held in the Tide and Pilot restaurant near to the Coffs Harbour Jetty.

The Professional Centre

An exhibition of mixed painting held in the Professional Centre on Park Avenue, Coffs Harbour.

(1990 – 2007) Various competitions and group exhibitions (Wagga Wagga, Deniliquin, Campbelltown, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Sydney, Port Macquarie

(1993 – 1995) Various drawing, painting, installation exhibitions at H.R. Gallop Gallery (Wagga Wagga)

Electronic Art (1993-5) An annual exhibition involving installations, animations, performances, conceptual works, etc. (Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga)

Press

Prizes/Awards

2008: Winner of the $5,000 Local Government Area Prize at the second EMSLA award for Still Life at Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery.

2007: Finalist in the EMSLA award .Coffs Harbour

2004: Sawtell art Show. 1st prize open section

2004: Sawtell art Show. 1st prize in oil/acrylic section

2004: Winner of the More Property prize at Salute to the Arts (Coffs Harbour)

2004:Finalist – Country Energy.

2002: First prize in animation section in “Open Slather Film Festival”

2000: Deniliquin Community/Business Awards. Art/Culture Award.

1999: Deniliquin Art Exhibition: 1st prize in Sculpture section.

1995: Wagga Wagga Quota Art Competition. Oils section

1995: Wagga Wagga Quota Art Competition. Encouragement Award

1994: H.R. Gallop Perpetual Award for best overall result in first year visual arts (Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga)

1993: Oil prize at Deniliquin Art Exhibition.

Influences

The surrealists have influenced my way of working a great deal. The experimental work of Max Ernst has had a huge impact - his collages, frottages and other experimental work have inspired me to play with paint and other mediums and use titles to further enhance the impact of my work on the viewer. The 'automatic drawing' techniques of Matta, Masson and Miro have taught me to start many of my works with no pre-conceptions and to work with and build on, whatever 'comes out of me'. More traditional artists like Rubens, Courbet or Gericault (quite diverse traditionalists) have inspired me to attain a sold technique on which I can then build to create artworks which shimmer with an inner light. This light has been further influenced by Rembrandt, John Martin and Caspar Friedrich and hopefully creates a spiritual quality and peacefulness to my work. I also love the frivolity of the Rococo period - in particular the improvised confections of Fragonard.

120cm (W) x 100cm (H)
Oil Paint
$3,900
100cm (W) x 75cm (H)
Oil Paint
$1,590
100cm (W) x 100cm (H)
Oil Paint
$2,800
60cm (W) x 90cm (H)
Oil Paint
$1,350
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Oil Paint
$1,010
100cm (W) x 75cm (H)
Oil Paint
$1,900
100cm (W) x 75cm (H)
Oil Paint
$4,600
100cm (W) x 75cm (H)
Oil Paint
$3,050
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Oil Paint
$1,600
100cm (W) x 75cm (H)
Oil Paint
$1,830
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