Laura Leeder with one of her paintings of a Creston Museum teacup.

Laura Leeder with one of her paintings of a Creston Museum teacup.

Travel through history with teacup paintings

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“Steam rises from a cup of tea and we are wrapped in history, inhaling ancient times and lands, comfort of ages in our hands.”

—Faith Greenbowl

 

“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.

— Catherine Douzel

 

For the past several months, Creston artist Laura Leeder has been focused on developing a series of teacup paintings for an upcoming show at the Creston Museum’s Old-Fashioned Tea on Aug. 13. Leeder will be painting on-site during the tea and she will be giving away one of her original teacup paintings.

The catch? You must attend the tea to be eligible to win. The winner will be announced at the end of the afternoon.

All of the paintings, along with a selection of giclée prints and gift cards will be available for purchase, with a portion of the sales from this series going to the museum.

Leeder has selected several of the museum’s vintage bone china teacups used during the annual tea to be featured in her paintings, along with a few of her personal favorites from her own collection, and one very special antique china cup (featured in Ethel’s Teacup — A Family Treasure) loaned to her by a friend. Each teacup was selected for its distinct personality, and as a result, each painting has its own unique feeling and story to tell. The paintings vary from the simple addition of a spoon, tea in the cup, flowers, a lace napkin and, of course, the lace tablecloths that Leeder is known for.

As each painting is completed, Leeder has been documenting its journey on her watercolor blog, www.lauraleeder.blogspot.com. Through her blog entries, readers come to understand the process and some of the challenges involved in putting together a series of over a dozen paintings. They will also be taken back in time as she shares bits of information about pottery making and some of the early companies, plus some facts about tea and famous quotes on the subject.

Her paintings are highly detailed, elegant and sparkle with rich, luminous colors. She develops each painting through meticulous layers of hue, producing rich, jewel-like colors and textures.

The abundance and beauty of the Creston Valley provide a never-ending source of inspiration for her floral and still life paintings. The fruits, produce and flowers grown in the valley are showcased in her work, capturing forever, a taste of the magnificent beauty that she says she is surrounded by everyday.

Leeder and her husband moved to Creston from Edmonton, Alta., six years ago. She has since donated her time to the Community Arts Council of Creston, in particular, assisting with the Art in the Library project. She has served two years as vice-president of the Creston Art Club.  Her paintings can be seen in the Kootenay Gallery of Art, History and Science in Castelgar and at Art Works Gallery in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Last fall, Leeder relinquished her volunteering duties so that she could focus on developing and improving her painting skills and create some new paintings.

“The teacup series has allowed me to do this and still give something back to the community,” she said.

For a sneak preview, stop in at the museum’s gift shop, where a small selection of giclée prints and gift cards are available for purchase.

When she’s not painting, she enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, taking long walks and on Kootenay Lake fishing and boating, and enjoying the scenery with her husband and their dog Kenya, who just happens to be a teacup Yorkshire terrier.

For more information, contact Laura Leeder at 250-402-6599 or lleeder@telus.net.