Two artists. Two kindred spirits. One very special exhibit. Paintings by one of the Southeast’s best contemporary fine artists Elizabeth Stockton and special guest artist Sammie Leiter shared the spotlight at their pop-up art show at the Metal Lofts Old Fourth Ward.
A little bit of history…
Elizabeth Stockton was born in Atlanta, GA in 1958. A true Georgia girl, she received her BFA in Graphic Design + Fine Art from the University of Georgia in 1981. Elizabeth’s professional career in the arts began in 1999, when her husband Manley bought her a set of paints, initially drawn to landscapes now her work reflects an abstract expressionism as she continues to evolve. Over the years she has been selected for a residency through The Art Students League in New York in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016. In 2012, she received the best in show prize from the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club in NYC.
Stockton’s landscapes are particularly noteworthy for the emotions that they evoke. “I never put any man-made objects in my paintings,” she says. “I want them to convey a sense of tranquility through my use use of color, composition and light.” Her recent abstracts reflect her color sensibility, and love of minimalism. These are produced adding and subtracting oil by scraping, brushing, and sometimes taping off certain areas until the painting is completed. “My paintings always find me, I’m definitely a let-it-happen artist, not a make-it-happen one.”
Elizabeth’s paintings are prominently displayed in fine homes around the country, as well as in important corporate collections, Her work has been seen in a variety of magazines including VERANDA, ATLANTA HOMES & Lifestyles, and MAINE Home + Design. Currently, Elizabeth works in her studio in Atlanta and is represented by Spalding Nix Fine Art and Restoration Hardware Contemporary Art.
Samantha ‘Sammie’ Leiter, also a true Georgia girl was born in Atlanta, GA in 2004. She attends Jacobs Ladder Neurodevelopmental School and Therapy Center in Buckhead. Sammie suffered a non-traumatic brain injury at 2.5 weeks old, when a blood clot lodged unknowingly in her brain and caused significant damage. The doctor’s prognosis was bleak, but her parents never gave up hope. Sammie works hard, has an amazing support system of friends and family and a “don’t ever quit’ spirit.” She enjoys riding horses at Chastain Horse Park and paints as often as she can during the week. Sammie loves to bring happiness through her art and her personality. Sammie’s work can be found in many private collections and schools in Atlanta. Sammie works in any studio where she is invited.
Let’s back up to the beginning of the story…
Amy Leiter, Sammie’s mother recalls her first memory of a piece of Elizabeth Stockton’s art. Amy, her husband and two children Sammie and Grayson were moving to accommodate Sammie’s special needs in a public school located in Dekalb County. They looked at one house that had an Elizabeth Stockton marsh scene over the fireplace. “The painting sold the house, I could never forget it. It was really beautiful and just spoke to me and we bought the house.” Unfortunately, the painting didn’t come with the home so over the years Amy looked for Elizabeth on-line and in galleries. Flash forward nine years, Amy got up the nerve to contact Elizabeth and they arranged to meet. Wait, the story gets even better.
Next thing you know, Amy and Sammie were painting together in Elizabeth’s studio in Brookhaven, GA. The two of them discovered a very special creative connection. “Children paint with such freedom, their intuition leads them, and the result is often remarkable with a rare genuineness,” says Elizabeth Stockton. Elizabeth allows Sammie the freedom and uninhibited flow of bold strokes and choice of color with use of different brushes, spatulas, cardboard to create amazing depth + character in her paintings. Elizabeth enhances Sammie’s art by adding areas of contrast or color. The collaboration is simply a one-of-kind gorgeous abstract…we’d like to share a few.
Certainly an inspiration.
Many thanks to Elizabeth, Sammie and her mother Amy Leiter, for the photography and this awesome story.