Local artist Marjorie Leonard specialises in watercolour, creating dreamy landscapes inspired by her beautiful surroundings. Here she tells the The Impartial Reporter where she exhibits her art, what inspires her as an artist and art means to her:

JC: What is your artistic background?

ML: I studied Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast, graduating with a B.A. (hons) degree.

I was elected to The Ulster Watercolour Society in 2002.

JC: What inspires your art?

ML: I am primarily a painter of the Irish Landscape. Nature has always been my inspiration and the beauty of my native Fermanagh and Coastline of the Northwest of Ireland is an endless source of inspiration to me.

The lakes, the woodland and quiet beaches, the ever changing moods and colours, the subtleties of light, and the rotation of the seasons provide me with a wealth of opportunity to paint.

My main objective is to capture the light. I like to paint early morning or late evening scapes when the effect of the light is at its most captivating, whether it is the sun breaking through the morning mists, or the sun dipping and setting down for the evening, I want to convey that natural beauty in my painting.

When I'm not painting landscapes I like to combine my love of Calligraphy and Poetry to produce smaller illustrated works with words from favourite poets.

When I am abroad I am inspired by the different quality of light, the beautiful old buildings, intriguing doorways, vibrant potted flowers on sunlit balconies. Always an impetus to paint.

JC: Who/what are your biggest influences?

ML: Although I have a great respect for Renaissance Art and the technical mastery of its renowned artist, I have always preferred Impressionism and its more atmospheric, romantic style. I find Impressionism touches my soul in a way Classical Realism never could. I like the works of Turner, Whistler and Monet.

JC: Is there a specific place that you do your work?

ML: I have worked from my studio/gallery in the Buttermarket , Enniskillen for eighteen years.

Wherever I go I bring my camera and small art pad to sketch and record ideas to be painted at a later stage.

JC: What medium do you use?

ML: These days I work solely in watercolour. It is the ideal medium for my style of work. I love its immediacy, its translucency and the lovely watery, misty, ethereal effects it allows me to achieve.

JC: What are you currently working on?

ML: I am currently working on a private commission for a client who originated from Fermanagh but no longer lives here. My brief is to capture his childhood memories of the view from his family home in a watercolour landscape.

I recently spent some time at Lissadell and I was enchanted by its wild natural beauty. I came away inspired and plan to series of new paintings based on that experience.

JC: Do you exhibit your work anywhere?

ML: I have exhibited in many shows over the years in Belfast,Dublin,Sligo,Wexford, Offaly and Kerry. I have also exhibited with The Ulster Watercolour Society and with The Royal Ulster Academy.

My work is always available to view/purchase at my studio/gallery in the Buttermarket Enniskillen. It can be viewed on my website: www.marjorieleonard.co.uk and also on my Facebook Page Marjorie Leonard Watercolours. A selection of paintings are available to purchase from galleries in Holywood, Co Down and Sligo.

JC: What are you up to when you aren't painting?

ML: I'm usually walking my Labrador Alfie, its our ambition to complete the 25 walks in Fermanagh! I love to relax with a good book and enjoy doing crosswords. I enjoy mini breaks here in Ireland and abroad.

JC: How would you describe your artistic style?

ML: My artistic style is soft. Subtle, ethereal, atmospheric and tranquil.

JC: What does your art mean to you?

ML: My art has been a constant from an early age. I recall how, in my school days, I used to fill all of my subject projects with drawings and painted illustrations, it was my favourite subject.

Today my art is a gift, a talent honed over the years and I feel fortunate to have built a career doing what I love.

It brings me great joy, fulfilment, solace and escape.