Stacey Leigh Ross at The Old School Studio with her 10-month old baby in tow doing prep work for The Manor House Mural commission for J. D. Wetherspoon, by Leigh 2013

I paint for mainly two reasons:

 1) To release emotion, and

 2) To create art that shows people their best selves.

Bright colours, our beautiful Earth, bubbling personalities, the way we communicate with just our bodies... all of it inspires me to feel the emotion and movement and amazing sense of life around me. All that raw feeling has to be released somewhere and 9 times out of 10 my canvas gets it. These are the paintings that just erupt from me. These tend to be my pure acrylic pieces because then I don’t have to wait for a texture gel or collage to dry before I can move on. I find acrylics to be vibrant and free enough to allow me to just paint and not think too much about what I’m trying to do or how I plan to do it.

On the flipside, I love doing my Life Story Art projects – taking someone’s story and then planning the best way to make sure that every time they look at that piece of art they see their best self staring back at them. As a teenager, I learned the hard way the importance of self-confidence. It’s so easy for most of us to pick out our flaws and focus on those. Art has the power to make people see and feel without saying a word which is why I use Life Story Art like a bespoke magic mirror. I will try every technique I can find on any support that fits the story to create the perfect feel-good show and tell. And all of it excites me. I love getting to know someone new, exploring the things that make them happy, researching new painting and craft techniques, experimenting on different supports, creating visual stories, and most of all seeing the client’s face the first time they lay eyes on ‘themselves’ in art.

 There probably couldn’t be two more contradictory ways to create but I truly love and enjoy them both.


Originally from Trinidad & Tobago, Stacey Leigh has lived in the UK for over 12 years. In 2006, she achieved a Masters with distinction in Applied Imagination from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. She is a member of the Royston Arts Society. Stacey lives in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom with her husband and two children.