Lesley Thiel


Lesley Thiel is a self taught contemporary realist artist known for her highly detailed figurative paintings. Even as a child she was an observer of the world around her, often seeing artistic compositions in the most mundane settings. Her style and choice of subject rely heavily on her love of the beauty she sees as inherent in all living things, and in a desire to share what she sees with the world. It is this motivation that pushed her to draw and paint from childhood, and which is a constant in her artistic journey. Her work has been influenced by such old masters as Caravaggio, Vigee LeBrun, and the Pre-Raphaelites.

Lesley tries to create work that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also carries deeper meanings and messages. Working in oils, either on canvas or on wood panel, her paintings begin with a detailed drawing, which is followed by underpainting, and then finished with the meticulous details for which she is known. Each work takes many hours to complete.

Lesley was born in England, but has spent much of her life in Europe and the United States. She studied sciences at London University, obtaining a PhD and working in medical research for several years before deciding to pursue her first love of art. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions, and can be found in collections throughout the world. She lives and works near Charlotte, North Carolina.


My work explores culture and its relationship with the earth. I see our society and its rules as akin to an old traveling circus, filled with the bizarre and whimsical, the illogical and the distorted. The ruffs, corsets, or hats in which I dress my models represent the cultural rules that we consider immutable, but which are really often a result of whims, fashions, or negotiations. I want to convey that they will become irrelevant and be replaced, just as the accessories of the past have been discarded. The rules of the earth, on the other hand, are finely balanced and breaking them has consequences.

I see a painting as a conversation in which the opening sentences are created by the artist. The goal of my efforts is to try and create work that suspends disbelief to the point that it slips effortlessly into communication. Beauty has a role to play in that exchange. Not the superficial appearance that we tend to associate with the word, but the accidental beauty of the turn of a head, a fleeting emotion playing across a face, or the grace of an unaffected gesture. Beauty has the capacity to open our souls and make us sharply aware of everything around us. It can transport us and yet keep us truly in the moment, longing to hold onto that emotional rush we feel. It allows us to create a zone of comfort in which we can discuss ideas and feelings, and how our world will change. It is my hope that it takes others on a journey in which they create their own conversation with my work.


Awards and Publications

 Winner of an ARC Staff Award in the ARC Salon 2018

Certificate of Excellence by the Portrait Society of America in 2015

PoetsArtists Magazine issue 95. ’Painting The Figure Now’ 2018

PoetsArtists Magazine 10th Anniversary issue 2018

PoetsArtists Magazine issue 91. The art and poetry of ‘Visions Of Venus’ 2018

The Guide Artists Issue 11 pages 47 – 59. Cover story with interview. 2018

“Moonchild’ selected as one of ’50 Great Figurative Artworks 2017′ by PoetsArtists Magazine in their issue 89, curated by Steven DaLuz.  2018


Select Exhibitions

13th International ARC Salon Exhibition

Salmagundi Club, New York City; Sotheby’s, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern European Art, Barcelona

21 September, 2018 – 31 March, 2019


BIG ART, small canvas, RJD Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY

November 2018 – January 2019


‘Painting T\the Figure Now’

Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art

Wausau, WI

7 July – 28 September, 2018


‘Visions of Venus/Venus Visions’

Zhou B Art Center


20 April – 8 June, 2018


Women Painting Group Exhibition

Dacia Gallery

New York City

20 February – 3 March, 2018


Belgravia Gallery

Christmas Exhibition

Albemarle Street, Mayfair


December 2014 – January 2015


American International Fine Art Fair

Palm Beach County Convention Center

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

4 February – 9 February, 2014


Belgravia Gallery

Two woman show with Susan Swartz

Albemarle Street, Mayfair


7 October – 28 October, 2013



Berkeley Square



25 September – 29 September, 2013


Art Trove

The Royal Show

Waterloo Street



22 August- 30 September, 2012

Belgravia Gallery

Christmas Exhibition

Albemarle Street, Mayfair


December 2011 – January 2012



Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport

March to October 2011


Fine Art Asia

Hong Kong

3 – 6 October, 2011

Frost and Reed

King Street, St. James’s


16 September – 20 October, 2010


The Bronze Gallery

Sporting LIfe Exhibition

Hartley Wintney

11 September, 2008


Square 1 Gallery

Kings Road, London

25 October, 2007

Forest Gallery


“Elegance” exhibition

Guildford, Surrey

28 September, 2007


Society of Equestrian Artists Autumn Exhibition

Palace House, Newmarket

28 Sept.ember – 16 Oct.ober, 2006


Society of Equestrian Artists Summer Exhibition

Mall Galleries, London

17 July – 22 July, 2006


Art Culture

Two woman exhibition together with Penny Warden, figurative artist.

Art Culture, Marlow

19 May – 21 May, 2006


Art Culture

One woman show of 26 originals.

Art Culture, Marlow

3 March – 5 March, 2006


Available Works

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