Leslie Buck

Theme/Style – Still lifes

Media – Oils

Artistic Focus – Leslie Buck’s still lifes focused on the beauty of materials such as glass, copper, ceramics, textiles and pottery, and she achieved distinction for the classical values and consummate skill associated with her work. She said that she preferred to sit unhurriedly and meditate on her subjects, resulting in an accomplished technique – and elegantly beautiful work. Buck’s still lifes often included Oriental subjects and incorporated subtle light effects, prompting one critic to describe her as “a master painter of chiaroscuro, the blending of light and shadow.”

Career Highlights –

• Born Leslie Helen Binner near Chicago in 1907, Leslie Buck enrolled in night classes at the Chicago Art Institute while working a day job as a secretary.
• After studying with Claude Buck, she became his wife in 1934. Their association was both personal and professional, and they sometimes exhibited their work together.
• Leslie Buck began exhibiting her work in 1935, and in a 1939 exhibition review her works were described as “an intriguing group of the most perfect still life paintings one could find in a year’s search.”
• By the late 1950s Buck had evolved into an acclaimed, award-winning artist, having had over 10 one-artist shows around the United States.
• Leslie Buck moved to the Santa Cruz mountains with her husband in 1943, then in 1959 to Santa Barbara, where she lived until her demise in 1991.