Leah Balestieri

Leah's Artwork

Welcome to my web site!

I was born in Pipestone, Minnesota and later moved to Phoenix, Arizona.  I found my artistic and creative talents in Art and Interior Design classes.  Some of my tile mosaics, sculpture, and other art pieces were chosen for College Art Shows. Since then, painting has become my passion.  In the process of creativity I find the end result my reward.  When I see one of my paintings enjoyed by others, that is the ultimate reward. The joy of painting for me is to choose something that expands my ability and transforms the problem solving into a beautiful work of art.

     When my husband and I retired we moved from the mountains to Redlands, California, where we now reside.  In October 2008, I was the featured artist at Redlands Art Association (RAA).  In January 2009, I received a 3rd place award for my painting, “Orange Trees in Light” painted especially for the Redlands Conservancy Art Show at RAA.  In 2008, I won a 3rd place for my “Croton Plant” at the Loma Linda Cultural Art Association show at the Drayson Center.  In 2007, the “Croton Plant” painting was juried into and shown at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino.       I was a self-taught artist for years and painted whenever time away from family and career permitted. Although I have done other mediums, my love is oil paint because of its brilliant colors and freedom of expression.  I did my first portrait in 1979.  When we moved to the beautiful and inspiring San Bernardino Mountains I found myself painting obsessively.  My artwork was hung in the local gallery.  I  became even more inspired to paint when I was introduced to artist Helga Batman, a well known floralist and landscape painter from Lake Arrowhead, California.

     I have shown my art work throughout the Inland Empire including Art in the Park, in both Redlands and Yucaipa, Newell’s Art Show in Yucaipa, and at the Edward Dean Museum in Cherry Valley.  My work also can be seen at Redlands Art Association (RAA) in November and December every year.  I am also a member of Riverside Art Museum and Vision Quest in Yucaipa. In 2015 my painting, "Picking Oranges" won an Honorary Mention at the 2015 National Orange Show, in San Bernardino, CA. 

      Striving to improve my skills, I have studied under Helga Batman, Susan Sprigg, Hummingbird Ferne Sirois, Joline Biss and David Fairrington.  I enjoy 'plein aire' painting of the local Orange Groves and Historic Homes in the area. I have done several paintings of the University of Redlands, Oakmont Park, and Prospect Park.  I also love to do portraits and still life paintings, often adding copper or bronze.

      I have been commissioned by the Historic Landmark 'Kimberly Crest' in Redlands, California, to paint their “House and Garden”.  The mansion was designed after a French Chateau.  The Italian gardens are celebrating 100 years in 2009; and so the original painting is in celebration of these beautiful gardens.  The painting will be hanging in their Gift Shop until it is sold.  Calendars, note cards, giclée prints,  and other items featuring this anniversary painting will also be for sale in the Kimberly Crest gift shop as well as by contacting me. 

      To purchase any of my paintings, please click on the "Rates & Contact Info" button above.