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Artist Bio / Studio

Hi, my name is LeeAnn Kress, and I am a wife and mother.  My passion is in creating one-of-a-kind whimsical sculptures.  Halloween, fantasy and faerie art is my favorite, but I can sculpt many other things as well.  

Over the years, I have been blessed by many creative people.  First and foremost, was my Grandmother, who is now in Heaven.  This wonderful lady was very crafty.  She was always making something, whether it was food, delicious cakes / cookies or creating a new doll.  Whatever it was - the outcome was FABULOUS!  My Grandma Valerie (who I named my beautiful daughter after), taught me so much about, life, love and all the stitches that keep it together.  As a child, my grandmother, mother and I took ceramics classes every week - this went on throughout my years of grade/high school.  How fun to be a child sitting next to your Grandmother and Mom sanding, painting, telling stories and laughing.  I miss those days!  I still have some very cherished pieces we've made together.  They are worth more than gold!

My Mother, too, is very creative.  She can whip up any flower arrangement and have it looking better than something very expensive from the florist.  She definitely has an "artistic eye" for color, textures and color combinations!  It comes natural to her.  

As for myself, I have always had a love of dolls, drawing and reading.  This started as a child and was nurtured by my family and Godfather, Fred.  My Uncle Fred would always send me a doll at Christmas.  How I love to get them!  As for reading and drawing, I could do this for hours (sometimes hiding under my beautiful canopy bed) and my poor parents would have to seek me out.  Reading and drawing fairy tale characters were my favorite!  Witches, ghosts, princesses (with very long eyelashes - my mother would add here), and faeries seemed to be my topic of choice.

Moving on years later, I starting making porcelain dolls in my twenties (a long time ago).  This avenue led me to meet the incredible married duo of Vada and Oscar Reeder, who owned a local doll shop, made their own dolls, taught classes and brought in well-known artists to teach us new techniques.  I have to mention them, because they started me on the path of developing my skills studying faces, proportions and the doll body.  While Vada taught me to paint realistic looking faces, Oscar taught me the mechanics and how to string doll bodies and overcome any movement issues.  He also taught me to sand to a silky smooth finish.  When their shop closed, some five/six years later, I then went into learning how to sculpt original faces and making molds.   I was tutored by some of the best doll makers too.  I look back now and was so fortunate to have been in their company, as they took me under their wings.

By this time, I am married and my baby daughter is on the way.  With her birth my creativity stopped.  She was definitely my "Magnum Opus" - My Great Work!  (and will always be).  Really, how do you compete with perfection?  Being left handed and a Scorpio as well, creativity for me is a necessity.  Once my daughter and I were diaper bag free, I was ready to pick up again and start creating.

My love of faeries and fantasy have always been with me even as a child.  I have always loved small, miniature things.  Since I did not have a kiln for porcelain, I needed a clay that could be used at home.  This is when I discovered polymer clay and then I saw my first sculpted faery!  I began to immerse myself in teaching videos.  Jack Johnson, Patricia Rose, Wendy Froud ... any sculptor who had one.  My knowledge grew with each and every lesson and the teaching books ... have I got books!  Soon, I was making faerie books, dust bottles and wands.   I have been selling on Ebay for years and doing various commissions for avid faerie collectors.  Escaping into the faery world is still something I love and will continue to do.  You'll see a few pop up here and there. :)

In 2011, I was introduced to Creative Paper Clay and found it to be the perfect medium on which to expand even more in my sculpting skills.  I have since tried out other paper clay mediums, apoxie clays and am now working on building various armatures.  My earlier doll making experience definitely comes in handy.   I am continuing to develop my "own style and credibility".    As it is time for me to broaden my goals and to show the artistic community that I do have some talent and experience under my belt. 

I would like to thank the teachers who have helped me grow artistically over the course of my life.  It was nice to have teachers that really took an interest in developing my artistic skills and who took pride in seeing my accomplishments.   I thank God for blessing me with the ability to bring my drawings to life through art.   My Grandmother always said ... "If the Lord gives you a gift to do anything - it is meant to be shared with others."  I hope that my art will do that for someone.  I thank God and all those who have influenced me from the bottom of my heart! 

It is my hope that people who collect my art will treasure them over the years and pass them down to younger generations.   I am so blessed to be on this artistic journey and I am enjoying meeting new customers and other artists who "share" my love of expression.   Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Here I am in my studio acting like I am concentrating!!   HA! HA! 

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