Leila Lebreton

The current focus of my painting practice is portraiture. I am primarily interested in oil painting, and how the traditional art of portrait making can be reimagined in today’s world to discuss timeless and timely issues pertaining to the subject’s inner life.

I strive to create portraits which explore the inner psychology of my subjects as well as the tension between multiple subjects in a portrait. Though I seek to achieve a likeness for my subjects, what interests me most are the hidden depths of the individual and the ways in which they can be unearthed through painting. The traditional ideas of masculine and feminine roles within a partnership and the unconscious ways the individual strives to belong to or negate them are an essential part of my portrait painting.

Using the tools at my disposal, such as cropping, lighting, mark making, distortion and colour schemes, my portraits exude a somewhat uneasy atmosphere. The subjects are often in a moment of contemplation or discomfort, though at first seeming to be in a familiar domestic situation.

As one gazes at the painting, they start to feel that things are not quite as they seem. It could be that the figure’s proportions are slightly off, or the pose is a little too stiff to feel natural. There is a discomfort in what should be a familiar scene or environment.