Leo’s devotion to capturing the grandeur of wildlife in her paintings was first nurtured with trips to the zoo as a child with her father. She continues to visit zoos and wildlife sanctuaries regularly, where she observes, gains reference materials, bonds with precious wildlife families, and joins in the solace of these sanctuaries. Many new works presented in her featured artist exhibition, Majesty of the Cat, are a result of a full year of study and concentrated effort.
“In my communion with wild animals, I have long felt their equality with humans, and abhor the notion that humans are inherently superior to these grand living beings. They feel every emotion that humans do: pleasure and pain, hardship and joy, parenting and family bonds, stress and repose,” Leo states.
“I try to capture the personality and dignity of these creatures, much as a portrait painter attempts to capture not just a likeness, but the essence of the individual. Once I achieve a distinctive gleam in their eyes I feel a rush of accomplishment and I know I’ve turned another corner in my painting process,” she adds. Leo is committed to supporting conservation and preservation of wild animals in their native habitats.