Eileen Oda Leaf has been creating art since childhood beginning with graphite pencil drawings of people, places, street scenes, everyday life and fantasy that carried over into colored pencil drawings. After decades of fine tuning her detailed drawing skills, she wanted to expand what she had learned and now creates art for impact through oil painting with the use of vivid, bold color that creates art that’s made for enjoyment.
Largely self taught with influences from her favorite artist, Vincent van Gogh, her art is unfettered by rigid concepts or what art should be; she is interested in what art can be. With this spirit, and a lifelong love of nature, she has crafted a unique approach to how she sees the world and wants to share it.
Eileen wants to connect with people in a tactile, new approach to painting through a style of painting she calls, exsculpainting: 3-D oil painting on canvas/es, and sometimes underneath on the backside. The “ex” represents the expressionistic use of color, “sculp” describes the use of a sculpting medium that leaps off the canvas adding dimension, and, “painting” that gets layered on top with a vibrantly joyful approach.
Through this method of painting, she has created 3-D landscapes, portraits and food art. Some of the oil on canvas exsculpaintings have dozens of hand cut canvases that are shaped, sculpted and then individually applied to another sculpted background canvas. Some of her exsculpaintings have movement through the use of colorful wiring that cradles these sculptures that can move with the wind.
Eileen has taken her art public and has donated many works of fine art to medical centers in the greater Los Angeles and Orange counties, including the French Embassy of Los Angeles. She also donates her art to a charity that raises funds to support homeless families and underprivileged children. Her public art has won awards and she continues to select art for an annual student art exhibition for grades K-12 in the local school district where she lives.
Creating art is like magic because feelings can be converted into pictures allowing the viewer a unique opportunity to be able to visualize it with an interpretation of their very own. I have an enthusiastic response to seeing our world and creating art in a style I have coined, “exsculpaintism.” This method uses densely applied oil paint creating textures that offer a wide range of emotions. Loading a paintbrush with a generous amount of paint and placing it on a canvas creates a three dimensional effect similar to sculpting with paint. The overall effect exaggerates the intensity and overall feel of the painting, creating a more visceral response for the viewer. Oil painting allows a direct, bold interpretation of the world in a free manner with an immediacy and impact that I hope will draw people to come in for a close examination.
Solo Exhibitions: May 15, 1999: Donation of “The Dream” for the Hyperion Dedication for the Environmental Learning Center City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works for posters and cards, El Segundo, CA January 22, 2016: Donation Presentation of the drawing, “A Parisian Wreath” to diplomat, Ms Lilya Israleylan at the French Embassy for the People of France, Los Angeles, CA March 2016: Presentation of donation, “Flight of Hands” to art curator, John T. Lange of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA April, 2016: Presentation of “Flight of Hands” to Playa Vista Medical Center, on display in their permanent collection, Playa Vista, CA May 24, 2016: Presentation of “Flight of Hands,” to art curators, Debby Doolittle and Bob Sage at UCLA Medical Center, on display in the permanent collection, Los Angeles, CA June 11, 2016: Donation presentation of “Flight of Hands” to Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Donald Chang, on display in the permanent collection at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, Los Angeles, CA August 8, 2016: Presentation of donation, “Flight of Hands” to Chief of Voluntary Services, Sadie, Stewart at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center for display in the permanent collection at the Radiation Oncology patient’s waiting room, Los Angeles, CA February 28, 2017: Presentation of donation, “Flight of Hands” to Chief of Oncologic Surgery, Dr. Lawrence Wagman, at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA Group Exhibitions: February 1-March 16, 2017: Why I Heart MB Art Exhibition at Manhattan Beach City Hall, Manhattan Beach, CA June 25, 2017: Storrier Stearns Japanese Botanical Garden Art Festival, Pasadena, CA July 7-9, 2017: Outside the Lines Art Exhibition at the Manhattan Beach Art Center, Manhattan Beach, CA October 1-30, 2017: Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Art Exhibition at the Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena, CA October 14, 2017: Pasadena ARTWalk, Pasadena, CA January 20-February 10, 2018: Pasadena Society of Artists New Members Art Exhibition at Towns Burr Gallery, Burbank, CA Awards and Honors: May 15, 1999: Official Commendation from the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works for Outstanding Contribution for the Dedication of the Hyperion Environmental Learning Center of art work, “The Dream,” El Segundo, CA September 9, 2017: Guest Artist Speaker for Gaze: An Art and Movement Workshop for Cancer Survivors at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA September 20, 2017: Nominated by the SBBEC for a SEED Award for donating art to the City of Los Angeles Collections: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Artist Registry, New York, New York French Embassy of Los Angeles, CA Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA Playa Vista Medical Center, Playa Vista, CA The Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, Los Angeles, CA The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA Individual Private Collections Affiliations: Harvard Club of Southern California Neptunian Woman’s Club of Manhattan Beach Pasadena Society of Artists Education: Santa Monica College University of Hawaii