Though she also works with figurative, landscape and cityscape subjects, still life is the primary focus of New York based artist Leah Lopez.
It was a particular quality of her still life paintings that most captured my attention. For lack of a better word, I might call it “presence”. Her still life subjects have immediacy, a painterly, tactile surface quality and a refined sense of composition. Along with her nuanced control of color and value, those qualities produce that elusive feeling of “being here” that I have difficulty describing, but find particularly appealing in still life paintings.
There are certain characteristics in her approach that, combined with the listing in her bio for study at the Art Students League in New York, incline me to guess that she has at some point studied with David Leffel and/or Sherrie McGraw, though I don’t know that for certain.
Lopez in now a teacher herself, teaching at the New York Academy of Art, Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, and at her own Leah Lopez Atelier in Manhattan. Her website includes a Studio Notes Blog, and a trailer for her first instructional video.
Her portrait and figurative subjects are often moody and theatrical, with figures emerging from deep chiaroscuro. Her landscapes and cityscapes are more direct, but also often deal in shadow.