Leslie Arnold Holland began drawing at age three on the edge of the Arabian Desert, where she was living, child-in-tow of cosmopolitan parents. The Arnolds returned to the United States in retirement and Leslie came with them to reside in Austin, Texas. By then, she had traveled through much of Europe and parts of Asia, once via the Orient Express, an adventure she experienced at such a tender age that she has only a few traces of memory of it now.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Visual Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and working in design and marketing, Leslie moved to Switzerland to pursue her love of typography and type design at the Schule für Gestaltung at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel.
Based on the principles of the Bauhaus, and shaped by design masters Armin Hofmann, Emil Ruder and Wolfgang Weingart, the School gave students a thorough grounding in the major design disciplines. The Weiterbildungsklasse für Grafik (Advanced Class for Graphic Design), the international postgraduate program conceived by Hofmann, Ruder and Kurt Hauert, offered an intensive study of basic design principles and a broad range of form-related design processes.
Leslie studied in Basel for almost two years, concentrating in typography under Weingart. Formative influences on her work also include her academic studies in engineering and architecture, and readings in history.
In drawings that display expressive lines and balanced proportions, Leslie explores three-dimensional forms on a two-dimensional plane and the movement between light and dark. Her methodology derives from her interest in point/line/plane/volume/space-time. Her medium is graphite on paper, with the very occasional addition of pastel, gouache or ink. She employs a sculptural technique, applying the graphite aggressively to meld it with the paper fibers.
An award-winning designer, she has more than thirty years of experience in the field in addition to her portfolio of drawings. In the series Observations from the Natural World, she joins her interest in botany with her command of chiaroscuro technique, creating forms that seem to emerge from darkness.
Leslie and her husband moved from Texas to his native Florida in 2014. They live near the Atlantic Ocean in Ormond Beach.