Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays

Kristin Leachman Xylem 10 Oil on canvas on panel, 2016 60 x 80 inches

Kristin Leachman, Xylem 10, oil on canvas on panel, 2016, 60 x 80 inches, courtesy the artist

Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays
Laguna Art Museum
October 16 – January 15

Fascinated by patterns, textures, and the seemingly chance imagery that can emerge from them, Kristin Leachman bases her latest series of paintings on the tissue that transports water from the roots of trees up to the leaves:

“Conceived as mystical messages and artifacts, they are an exploration of the sinews that bind us together, both physically and metaphysically. Nature is my guide as it was for the first Angeleno artists, Native American women. I consider them landscape paintings because they incorporate the landscape into their making. I allow the xylem to communicate information from the California forests through naturally occurring symbols, celestial bodies, natural phenomena, and animal imagery. Each painting describes for me the mythic history and essence of the landscape.”

A native of Virginia, Leachman studied Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and Production Design at the American Film Institute, working for several years as a production designer in Hollywood before returning to full-time painting. Examples of her work are in the collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others. She lives and works in Pasadena.

Kristin Leachman: Xylem Rays is a key element in the museum’s annual Art & Nature festival (November 3-6). It is accompanied by a film about the artist and her work, and a booklet that includes an interview with longtime admirer Professor Derrick Cartwright.