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Tessa LeBaron


2. Installation view, Ken Lum_ Death and Furniture, Art Gallery of Ontario. Artworks © Ken

"Mushroom Mama" by Tessa LeBaron

Tessa LeBaron by Manda Specht

sM | What does a strong colour palette contribute to a final piece for you?

TL ── I like to contrast vibrant warm tones like tangerine and marigold, against subdued cool tones like mauve and turquoise, to create a charged depth. I have developed illustrative qualities in my work over time by making use of a palette of vibrant colors which emote a range of feelings, from fervent to tranquil. Using a bold palette and focusing on somewhat psychedelic subject matter and strong feminine leanings imbued with elements of our natural world, I feel I’m able to transmit a sense of joy and whimsy in my art.

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sM | What is one social issue that your art speaks to the most?

TL ── The environment and human connection are a big focus in my work. The Earth is being decimated through pollution. When I paint, I draw from my emotions and from my past experiences of how society imprints on my psyche, creating an organic relationship between my surroundings and what transmits through me and onto the canvas. Although my art doesn’t necessarily always address social issues directly, there are elements of femininity, healing, and coping with pain which resonate throughout my work.

sM | What is in the pipeline for future projects?

TL ── Not only do I work on canvas, but I paint large scale murals throughout northeast Ohio for public institutions like libraries, school buildings, and businesses like salons and restaurants. I am always learning. I have aspirations to travel to other regions of the world, to use the inspiration of different surroundings and cultures to broaden my perspective, and to allow my work to continue to blossom and grow in depth and in scope.

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