High Country Art Association Member Leigh Hill

Gourds by Leigh

Leigh Hill spent the majority of her career exercising the left part of her brain as a Vice President and Senior Trust Officer of a major banking institution. After going through six acquisitions and even more computer conversions over 10 years or so, she opted for early retirement and decided to release her artistic side.

Leigh always had a creative gremlin trying to get out and, after moving to the Southwest in 2009, she laid her hands on a gourd for the first time and knew she had found the right “canvas” to work on. Leigh says that she has never found a craft that she didn’t like (except knitting!) and she was able to apply the various skills acquired over the years (including scale miniatures, decorative painting, faux finishing) and to combine them with intensive reading research and technical classes from outstanding gourd artists to learn the usage of new types of tools and the various requirements for working on gourds. Being organic, each gourd is individual and challenges the artist to bring out its particular story. Sometimes, if the artist is lucky, it even tells her what to do!

Almost all of Leigh’s pieces are first detailed by pyroengraving (wood burning techniques) while others may be ornately carved or woven with reed, pine needles or other natural fibers. Some may also be inlayed with stone, glass, metal and various other materials. All are colored with ink, alcohol, or leather dyes and, possibly, embellished with feathers, beads, or whatever else may catch Leigh’s fancy.
Although Leigh originally created Southwestern art, at client’s requests, she has added Contemporary, Abstract, Steampunk, and she has even interpreted Frank Lloyd Wright styles. Her works include everything from vessels to masks to her “Village People”.

Leigh works both from her home in Sun Lakes, Arizona and, in the summer, escapes the heat to enjoy creating in the “High Country” of Show Low, Arizona. She can be contacted at 302-249-5859 and by email to leighpaints@aol.com. Her website may be viewed at GourdsByLeigh.com.


Email: leighpaints@aol.com