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Lesley Crawford Fine realistic, expressive and fantasy art portraits inspired by Gaia Mother Earth. Giclee prints, originals paintings and drawings and commissioned portraits available. Untitled Document

The Artist

Ever since I was small there has always been a pencil in my hand.  When I was not roaming the London parks and collecting feathers, animal skulls and the shells of hatched nestlings, I was trying to draw them in a childish way - reading myths and legends by torchlight under the bedclothes at night, and drawing unicorns, dryads and dragons by day.

In 1993 I began to exhibit my work, and it began to sell.  In 1996 I won Best Amateur Award in the National Wellingborough Open Art Competition, and from then on art became my career.  I was invited to teach by Adult Education, and studied to gain a City and Guilds qualification in teaching adults.  Since then it has been my great pleasure to help adults release their creativity in Northamptonshire, and running courses at Knuston Hall.  I have taught in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, and run courses at my studio in Angus, Scotland.

I have exhibited with the Wildlife Art Society at the Westminster Gallery in London and London Zoo, the North-West Wildlife Art Society and many venues around Northamptonshire.  My work has sold in this country and around the globe.  I have written articles for Leisure Painter and Artist & Illustrators magazine.  In 2001 I joined with other artists who love using coloured pencils to form the United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society, to promote the status of this lovely medium, and was Editor of the quarterly magazine for several years.

In 2002 I realised a lifelong dream when we moved to beautiful Scotland, where I live with my husband and entourage of dogs, 'between the mountains and the sea.'


My inspiration is the natural world - the very Earth itself, its bones the rocks and minerals, the oceans teeming with life, the animals living on its surface and the plants rooted in its soil, the creatures that have lived in ages long gone and left their imprints in the rocks.  All this for me is perfectly summed up by the Gaia philosophy - that the Earth is a living, self-regulating system, where everything interlocks in a wondrous harmony.

I approach my subjects in two ways.  Part of me wants to examine everything in close detail and reproduce that detail in exact realism.  Every wrinkle on an elephant's skin, every hair on a beloved pet, every striation in a shell. Rendering these details in pencil and paint is utterly absorbing.
My other approach is more experimental and is related to the great mystery behind all this life - its unity and diversity, its harmony and exuberance - the great Dance of Life taking place on this beautiful jewel in space, our Earth.  In these works I am responding emotionally to the essence of what I see, and that which can't be seen by our eyes.

As well as art, poetry and literature have been a great influence in my life - from the lyrical poetry of Sappho in ancient Greece, the wonderful images of Keats, the rhythm of the Anglo-Saxon sagas, and of Shakespeare and Tolkien.

And especially the myths and legends that mankind has conjured from our dream-time, when we were closer to the Earth, trying to make sense of the world around us; gods and heroes, druids and dragons, sacred and mysterious places - these are a constant source of inspiration.

It's all tied in - the living planet, its flora and fauna, the stories, the poetry, and music of the Spheres - Gaia - and if I can portray and share a little of this wonder and joy, then my art has fulfilled it's purpose.