For Leslie Anderson, painting is an analogy for life—a balance of risk and control, knowing when to go with the flow, knowing when to stop.
Growing up in Connecticut, Anderson wrote and illustrated entire novels, scripted and designed puppet shows, and wrote, produced, and starred in innumerable plays. She discovered art in high school and squeezed in as many studio art courses as her college-prep course load would allow. At Colby College, she loved Harriett Matthews’s drawing classes, but felt clueless and inept in Abbott Meader’s painting class.
Anderson graduated from Colby in 1971, having majored in English. Her first jobs were as a copywriter and editor. Later she became skilled at fundraising and became Maine College of Art’s first development director. Eventually, though, she found her niche in Boston’s computer-software industry, juggling corporate identity, public relations, publications, advertising, investor relations, and trade shows. One year, her husband gave her a watercolor class as a Christmas gift, thinking it would ease the stress of her sixty-hour work weeks. Getting back into art was exactly the right thing at the right time. Approaching her fiftieth birthday, Anderson was ready for a major change. She has been painting full-time ever since, eventually transitioning into oils.
Summer Stories was a joint project with Christine Cote of Shanti Arts Publishing, who had previously published Anderson's collection of 26 figurative landscape paintings in her Still Point Arts Quarterly, and with Joshua Bodwell of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, who ran a short-story contest inviting writers to create stories based on the paintings.
Anderson and her husband live in Portland and Sedgwick, Maine.