I specialize in contemporary realistic oil paintings. I am partial to landscapes and still
life because those subjects lend themselves to stories. I love telling stories. Like the
master painters of the past, I try to tell a story with each of my paintings. I hope to engage
the viewer so thoroughly that his eyes need to wander all around the painting picking up
details and nuances.
I am inspired to paint everyday life and I find delight in depicting seemingly insignificant
occurrences such as a colorful batch of peppers vying for the chance to be made into
salsa or an abandoned farm ready to be recycled into an elementary school.
I am fascinated by the way light falls on a subject with the resulting shadows and
variations of color. I try to show energy, vibrancy and movement by depicting strong shadow
and light. I hope that each of my paintings engages the viewer with something to say.
Hopefully, the viewer comes away with an enlightened vision of the subject.
My work has been exhibited at juried shows at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria,
VA and the Art at the Mill, Millwood, VA. Additionally, my work has been displayed at
the Red Barn, Waterford, Virginia; The Living with Cancer Institute, Fairfax, VA; the Fairfax
County Public Library and the Great Falls Studio Tour, Great Falls, VA.
"Ever since I can remember, art has always been my passion. Painting, in particular,
gives me a sense of beautiful energy and free movement. It allows me to express myself
visually and emotionally. My style is varied, ranging from realistic impressionist to
abstract painter, and more recently, portraits. My favorite media is oil, and the delicate
brush strokes are soothing to the soul. Oil painting allows me to create luminous
effects on my subjects, and I am able to highlight and cast shadows as I see them,
in order to best interpret the art with radiance and glimmering freshness.
During my high school and college years, I studied the Old Masters, mainly Europeans
prior to 1800s, and I studied a great deal of impressionist techniques. My art is also
influenced by French culture, having lived most of my childhood in and around it.
Architecture, both historical and modern, as well as Parisian scenes have always
intrigued me. Using my brushes, one of my favorite subjects is to depict Parisian life,
illustrating historical buildings and monuments, people strolling along streets and
sitting in sidewalk cafes. More recently, I have enjoyed turning my treasured
photographs of my travels into veritable works of art."
Layla resides in Great Falls VA. and is one of five founding members of Artists on the
Green. Contact Layla at [email protected] for more information.
I am a retired Federal executive who began taking art classes as a change of pace from
working at the Office of Management and Budget. I have always loved art and wanted to
learn more about the how the masters saw the world by learning how to draw. In my mid forties,
I signed up for a Saturday morning drawing class at the Spring Hill Recreation Center in McLean
based on Betty Edward’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It worked. From there
I took drawing night classes at the Washington Studio School, The Torpedo Factory, and the
Corcoran School of Art.
When I left the Federal Government in 2001, I worked as a VP at a national consulting firm and
stopped drawing almost completely. Finally in retirement a couple of years ago, I had the
time to focus on oil painting. I took painting lessons with Adrienne Kralick’s at her Studio
on the Green at the Village Center in Great Falls and Jack Boul at the Washington Studio
School. Their teaching and painting style encouraged me to join with four other of Adrienne’s
students and we created a painters coop, Artists on the Green.
My main interest in oil painting is leaning how to look and see shapes and colors. For me, it’s
about the challenge of understanding the perspective of what we see and then to create on canvass
an experience that lasts and can be shared. I especially like to find tension and harmony in the