Because of my interest in the asymmetrical lines and forms of the human face, my portrait drawings generate turbulent movement. The individual renderings are reminiscent more of landscape than traditional portraiture. As I draw and paint, I am thinking about how to traverse the terrain of the cheek to reach the bridge of the nose, or layering the foreshortened and successive hills of shoulder, clavicle, neck, and shoulder. The switchbacks and organic curves of Art Nouveau, and the personal and sculptural aspects of Austrian and German expressionist art influence my work.
The drawings are created on watercolor paper, using graphite, pastel, and charcoal. The paintings are executed in gouache and sumi ink on watercolor paper.
Raye Leith lives in Maryland and has a studio at the Union Arts building at 411 New York Ave, NE. She has taught artistic anatomy and figure drawing at the Smithsonian, U of MD Department of Theater, McLean Center, and Walter Reed Military Hospital, over the course of 30 years. She is represented in galleries in Berlin and Tel Aviv.