artist interview

Wednesdays are artist interview days at Create Everyday.  Please assist me in welcoming today's featured artist, Leah Jesse.

Is there a particular rhythm you have around your creative work time? If so, what does it look like? 

Lately after my morning routine I go straight to the studio to work. There are days that are harder then others, but Its important to me right now to just keep painting and to paint everyday.

How many work spaces do you have and how/why do they work for you?

When my husband and I first moved to Seattle in 2007 I rented a studio space. It was biking distance from our apartment and I loved it. At the time I was sewing and hadn't started painting, and it was nice to have the space for laying out fabrics. We then moved into our tiny cottage and I gave up the studio because I had my own room I could dedicate to art. Its cozy but with a big window facing north, and gets lots of light. I also paint en plein air so the outdoors would be my second studio. 

Do you do any "cross training" (activities that may enhance or spark your creativity)?

Yes! I sew quite a bit, and keep a journal. Just recently I got the idea in my head I'd like to relearn how to play the piano and read music.

Where do you seek inspiration for your work?

I am constantly awed by nature, the colors, the ever changing light, its all so inspiring. I also love museums. Someday I'd like to road trip across the country visiting all the great museums, and paint as I go.

Generally, how long are your work periods?

When I'm sitting at the easel I try to work 4 -6 hours, but sometimes its an hour here, an hour there throughout the day. I paint whenever I can. 

When do you know that you need to "take a break" or stop working (for the moment)?

If I'm too focused on the little details I know I'm probably fiddling around with the paint, and that usually means I'm making things worse, rather than fixing anything.

Do you suffer from perfectionism and if so, what techniques do you use to manage this? 
If you don't, what experiences do you feel are responsible for taking you off the hook here?

I think procrastination more than perfectionism can take me off the hook. I could spend so much time on the internet its sad. So I have a routine and I make myself stick to it as much as possible. 

Do you have a creative support system? How important is this to your process?

I just read somewhere that Seattle has more that 200 arts organizations. Its filled with creative people doing fun and sometimes wonderfully kooky things. When my husband and I decided to move from the Bay Area it was important to go to a city that had a thriving art community. I'm also lucky to have the most supportive friends and family.
Leah Jesse lifelong painter, maker, creator. I’ve been tinkering, sewing, and generally making a happy mess since I could pick up a crayon. Currently living in Seattle with my husband and dog in our tiny cottage. I run The Painted Finch a business where I get to pour all my creative energy into making and selling my artwork.

Led by a passion for the natural world around me, my work is a mix of what inspires me, and an expression of my heart. Mainly self-taught my curiosity and love of Art have lead me to some great artists, teachers, and communities.


  1. This interview couldn't have come at a better time! I've been following Leah Jesse on flickr for a long time, and have been loving her paintings more and more. Just the other day I tried to do some snooping to find out more about her, and I feel like this interview finally satisfied that curiosity! So glad you are doing these artist interviews!

    1. Me too, A (see, I have my "me too"s with you too! - ha)! I love Leah's work as well. Thank you, Leah, for "playing" along here! Stay tuned, Anika. There are so many artists in the pipeline. Next Wednesday is Shelley Savor.


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