Alden Leonard fell in love with art in an unusual place the back seat.
“We moved a lot as a family because my dad was in the military,” he says. “I felt like I was in the car for years as a kid, but drawing was a way to make it fun.”
Now the Washington, D.C., resident, whose ever-evolving style is often showcased at area galleries, focuses on sweeping landscapes and abstract portraits that draw upon our collective memory of balmy days at the beach or trips to the mountains.
His latest works are done not on canvas, but via iPad creating collage-style fine art illustrations. Although I love watercolour, I find this more interesting, Leonard says. “There is a huge amount of potential for this medium because it allows for exploration.”
To get a closer look at his behind-the-scenes inspiration, we spent a day with the artist in his D.C. neighbourhood:
For his second Lands’ End catalogue cover, this time for spring 2017, Leonard explored the ebullient feeling in Wisconsin at the start of the season. “Spring has a distinct look, especially the farther north you go – it’s the brightness of the green grass and pop of pink flowers, despite it sometimes being cold and blustery. You might still be wearing a jacket and boots,” he notes.
“My mom has been a Lands’ End person my whole life; I grew up wearing it. I think Lands’ End is a classic that everybody knows. My art is pretty accessible in a way that Lands’ End is, too.”