According to Alan Watts, the word “hallelujah” is the powerful joyful expression of nonsense. This is how Genevieve feels about her own organic abstract paintings and drawings: they are celebrations of the human experience of life in all its strangeness and complex fragile beauty.
Genevieve Leavold is a British freeform painter with a studio in Belgrade. Predominantly known for her organic abstract paintings, her reverence for spontaneous gesture in her paintings draws from Zen, Buddhism, and other ancient Eastern philosophies which embrace the beauty of purposelessness and play. Her whole approach is one of immediacy, working wet color into wet and layering glazes gives her work its recognizable softness and form.
Organic Abstract Paintings by Genevieve Leavold
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The heart of an artist
“Like a lot of artists, I was definitely one of those children who was off in her own world,” says Genevieve. “I would spend hours in the garden creating worlds and making miniature gardens from moss and leaves and things. I was always drawn to the undergrowth.”
Genevieve had a love of fairy stories from an early age, those spaces and places in between, where the lines of magic and reality get blurred. She also drew a lot and taught herself to scale up images from magazines. “I was not a confident child,” she says, “so my route to becoming an artist was a bit convoluted.” She, however, never stopped being an artist in her heart. In 2006, she took up her brushes again and started the slow journey to being a professional painter.
Full of inspiration and joy
Genevieve is mainly self-taught. One artist whose work did influence her profoundly was Mira Schendel. She went to an exhibition of Mira’s work at the Tate some years ago and the joyful curiosity which filled all her work was visceral. “I knew nothing about her when I arrived, but when I left I was full of inspiration and joy,” Genevieve says. “It was wonderful and this is something I seek to bring into my own work.” Genevieve hopes to find the balance between skill and spontaneous self-expression.
The genius myth
Genevieve is about to start work on three huge paintings for an exhibition called “Traces and Remnants”. The themes in this series come from the idea of the genius myths – that within each individual there is a story or a spark of genius which wants to come out. It’s very much in the developmental stages at the moment. She is collecting images and stories and creating some drawings.
A legacy of trees
“I hope that in my lifetime I am able to leave a legacy of kindness and encouragement to others who want to follow a dream,” Genevieve says. “I would also like to leave a real physical legacy of trees.” Genevieve supports a tree planting Charity and has a great interest in re-wilding. She believes that there is nothing more important than changing the way we view the natural world from one of seeing resources to seeing ecosystems. If we do not reconnect with nature on a spiritual and emotional level we will not survive as a species.
To see Genevieve’s latest work, visit Saatchi Art >
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