Monday, 24 August 2015

meet challenge admin - Leonie Cheetham

Leonie Cheetham

1. Your name, location
Leonie Cheetham, Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW
Week 8 2015: Coffee

2. Describe your family
I’m married with a semi-retired husband and a son who no longer lives at home. My son has more creative genes than my husband, but having said that my husband is handier at fixing things than I am. We love living close to the ocean. We’re avid travellers and can often be found exploring some unique part of our planet.
Week 26 2015: LAND by Leonie Cheetham

3. Describe your work
I currently work as a personal trainer and run my own outdoor fitness company, PinkFit. This means I’m up very early a few mornings a week to run around some very scenic beach and harbour locations keeping myself and others fit and healthy. I also get to see some stunning sunrises as well. This allows me time during the day to do art as much as I want – bliss!

In regards to my art, I’m working my way through a list of commissions, preparing work for gallery consignment and have just completed a fun project where I created the artwork for a travel brochure on Japan for an Australian based small group tour company.

My art is bright, fun, whimsical, loose in style and all self-taught apart from a travel sketching course. I prefer watercolour (pencil and paints), fine liners, and small A5 works, but am gradually experimenting with larger works.  I’m focusing on exploring using bright colours in unusual ways, exploring some mixed media and improving my digital skills.

Week 21 2015: STRIPES by Leonie Cheetham

4. What is your career goal?
Ironically, I don’t have a specific career goal at the moment, apart from having fun with my art. I’m loving the combination of arty projects I’m involved and it would be magic if a picture book illustration contact came my way, but at the end of the day I just wish to continue enjoying creating  art for myself and others.

Last year I was a virtual assistant to children’s author and illustrator, Tania McCartney. This was an invaluable experience for learning about the other side of the publishing industry and how multi-skilled, hardworking, patient and proactive you need to be as successful.

 I wouldn’t mind exhibiting some of my artwork somewhere in the future, perhaps in a small, local beachside cafĂ© or alternatively a little online gallery. Oh I do have a small goal – to get my blog up and running by December this year … it has been way too long in the making.

I’m also exploring some picture book and novel writing when I’m able to drag myself away from arty projects. Ideally, I aspire to combining travel, writing and art in some way – now wouldn’t that be fun! Did I mention I really like photography as well, but that’s another story.

Week 17 2015: FLUFFY

5. Describe you art background
Like so many other Challenge members, I too had lost my way with art. I did art in high school until my mother decided that French would be better for my education. I don’t remember a lot of my French, but I certainly haven’t forgotten my art!

My creative outlets over the years have involved sewing, knitting, silk painting, photography and it wasn’t until I joined a local travel sketching group three years ago that I rediscovered my love of art. This progressed to some urban sketching, which I still enjoy and then I discovered the Challenge group on Facebook through another friend at the beginning of 2015. It was love at first brush/fineliner/pencil!

Week 7 2015: FARM by Leonie Cheetham

6. What do you love about the Challenge?
I love the imaginative interpretations of our weekly themes and enjoy seeing how new Challenge members grow in their arty contributions. Best of all I love the global camaraderie of the group. I know for sure I’ve made lifelong friends who are only too happy to assist with arty advice and support, a shoulder to cry on or just a laugh or two along the way. I learn so much from you all each and every day!

I’ve discovered that I do have a style through being experimental with my contributions to the Challenge and I know if you had asked me a year ago what my style was, I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you that. I started at Wk7 in 2015, caught up and have not missed a week since … I truly couldn’t be that dedicated to something I didn’t love with my heart and soul. It’s a wonderful example of what an online arty community can be and I’m so grateful that Tania McCartney decided she needed a little help with her illustration skills by starting the Challenge. It’s truly immeasurable in the multitude of ways it has changed my life.

Week 2 2015: ITALY by Leonie Cheetham

7. Tell us something that we don’t know about you
I was a librarian for 30 years before becoming a personal trainer.
I hate spiders and have been known to leap out of cars at traffic lights if there is one spotted inside my car.
I’ve trekked to Everest Base Camp

Follow Leonie online:

Facebook page:



Items for sale
Commissions welcome and sale of artwork direct

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