February 25, 2015

Leah Lopez’ dynamic, evocative art has been exhibited in many prestigious national shows. She teaches drawing and painting at the New York Academy of Art, and at her Union Square Studio. We are thrilled that Leah will return to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach a Workshop in oil and acrylic, Still Life to Landscape, March 15 to 21, 2105.

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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching? 

I’ve been teaching over 15 years.  I was offered a great teaching position and really enjoyed it.  I continued to teach through the years wherever I went, and discovered that there is always more to share and so many ways to help students develop their own personal artistic goals.  Eventually, it made the most sense to open an atelier style school, in my studio, enabling my to truly share my personal experience and help others to develop their own unique work.  It is an enriching experience for both mentor and student.


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What is your favorite part about teaching?

Seeing another person really let go and begin to create art. 


What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

The Three-I’s are the best reasons: workshops are an Intensive, Inspiring and Interactive learning experience.

  1. You leave feeling like you’ve been bathed in exactly what was needed to return back to your studio with renewed gusto.
  2. Experience an infusion of inspiration that comes from working side-by-side with a successful, professional artist/ skilled teacher and a group of enthusiastic individuals all aspiring to be the best artists they can be.
  3. Camaraderie and life-long connections are made at workshops.  In a relaxed environment you can interact with others by sharing your love and appreciation of art and learn from their perspectives, as well. 

What are you currently working on in your own art?

I like to work on a variety of things at once, while maintaining a harmonious thread so that what I learn in one piece can help in the development of another.  My painting subjects are still life, landscape, cityscape, and figurative – all often revealing a hint of allegory.  Composition is the thing that always ties them together.  More than subject matter, I’m primarily focused on Composition and the fascinating uses of color, texture, value, and edges.  

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Throughout the year I exhibit nationally.  I have gallery representation in Portland, ME, Carmel, Pasadena and Oklahoma City.  I exhibit frequently in New York.  As a member of esteemed organizations like American Women Artists, my artwork travels across the states to new galleries and museums every year.  


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Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

Yes and a very good topic.  A few hints to get started are

Do your research…

Get organized and be prepared

Plan to make an impression

Follow through professionally and develop a mutually beneficial alliance.

If it turns out that it isn’t a good fit, don’t waste valuable time, find the right fit.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Occasionally, my work is a part of an online auction or exhibition.  The next auction is the Salmagundi Club’s “Spring Auction” at www.liveauctioneers.com.  The auction schedule is:

Friday, March 13, 2015, 8:00 PM

Friday, March 20, 2015, 8:00 PM

Friday, March 27,2015, 8:00 PM


What is your favorite art quote?

“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde


Describe your studio.

People say, when they enter my studio, they feel as though they’ve been transported to a distant place and time or an old world master’s studio.  I absolutely love it.  I don’t like to leave at night, and toss around the idea of sleeping over just so I can awake and immediately start painting and catch every minute of the light.  It has a high ceiling and a big wall-to-wall skylight window that faces north, from Union Square toward the Empire State building.  It’s up on the 11th floor so unless I decide to leave I almost forget there is a bustling city outside.  The wooden floors are a dark walnut.  My walls are a warm olive grey and my paintings hanging about.  I have floor-to-ceiling thick black drapes which I use to control the amount and direction of the North-light that washes in, which creates atmosphere that cannot be duplicated artificially, and has long been sought by artists and photographers alike.


Name five of your “can’t” do without tools/products.

Flake white

Old Masters Maroger Medium

Italian Wax Medium

Rosemary & Co. Ivory flats and filbert brushes

Real hog’s hair filbert bristle brushes




Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:


An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist

An Interview with David Daniels: Artist in Watercolor + more

An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.

Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor

Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching

An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter

An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist

An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist

An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt

Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing