Paradise Valley Featured Artist of the Year:
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
An annual tradition at the Town of Paradise Valley is alive and well.
Elected leaders, local dignitaries and patrons of the fine arts in the evening hours last night came to Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive, to hear from renowned impressionist painter Leslie Sandbulte as her work is now transfixed throughout municipal hallways for the next calendar year.
The PV Arts Board, which is an all-volunteer resident commission at the Town of Paradise Valley, hosts a “Featured Artist of the Year,” whereas Mrs. Sandbulte was bestowed the honor Thursday, Oct. 25, as she was ceremonially installed as the featured artist by Laura Paquelet-Carpinelli, who serves as the arts board chairperson.
“I’ve known Leslie casually for a few years and yet with these sporadic and intermittent encounters my life has certainly been enriched,” Mrs. Paquelet-Carpinelli said at the onset of her introduction. “Leslie’s positive and gentle — yet strong — nature, to me, is the secret to her brilliance. I like to call it, ‘the essence of Leslie.’”
The arts board is an advisory panel to Paradise Valley Town Council on matters of planning and display of art works at the Town Hall complex. In all, Mrs. Sandulte’s impressionist works will be on display until about this time next October.
Once the crowd in attendance at Town Hall settled, the program began with Mrs. Sandulte offering insights into her painting process, inspirations and brief expert testimony on the artistic process.
“This line is eternal and that is sort of the joy that is painting,” she recalled of what seemed to be her earliest memory of expressing herself through color on her childhood bedroom wall.
“After college, of course, I could not make a living in art — everyone knows that — but I could teach and that was very exciting for me. I have taught adults. I have taught children, the art I wanted to do.”
Infectiously humble, Mrs. Sandbulte spoke of her education where she earned a fine arts degree at the University of Southern California then working with world renowned talents including Ron Lucas and Milt Kobayashi following graduation and teaching of her own.
“Everyone loves impressionists, it’s always the first gallery you go to when you go to a museum,” she said pointing out her perception of her own art has evolved saying she once was a “colorist.”
In her artist’s statement provided at the event, Mrs. Sandulte seeks to continue offering artistic expression that is simple but has an emphasized design. Her statement reads:
“Breathing in and breathing out is the process that keeps me energized in my art. I breathe in and take in all the theory, discipline of seeing and understanding what really exists in my vision. I learn the rules and take the majority of time looking at the subject. When I breathe out, I am creating what I wish existed. I then use the elements of line, color, space form and texture,” she said. “I defy the rules and spend most of my time allowing the image to emerge from the canvas. To me that is the creative process.”— Leslie Sandulte