Sydney artist Leni Kae is a finalist in the Mandorla Art Award with her artwork “The Ways I Feel When You Call My Name”; a 9-piece watercolour series on 300gsm paper.

The religious art prize calls for a reflection on a verse from the Bible:

‘’He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does THE LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”

Artist Statement:

“To me, the essence of what is required of us, is LOVE. The choice to give love, and the journey of growth from experiencing love, is the purpose and essence of what connects us. Love is also reflected to us in nature; when we give it love, it returns both sustenance and spiritual healing.

The reflection of love through nature is what I explore in this artwork. I take 9 abstract representations of the landscape and reflect on how different kinds of love each plays a part in our growth and healing; romantic love, friendship, love for a child, self-love, passionate love, family, mature love, love reborn, spiritual love.

The abstract river represents a ‘break’ in the emotional self that seeks healing. The flowing patterns of leaf forms symbolise growth, renewal, connection. The 9 pieces reflect the number’s spiritual significance.”

Leni Kae, Artist & Illustrator

STALA Contemporary Gallery
12 Cleaver St, WEST PERTH WA 6005
Saturday 16 May – Saturday 6 June 2020.

Opening hours are Wednesday to
Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

Posted on March 19, 2020

Leni Kae’s artwork “Love Through Purple Haze (Jacaranda Lane)” 75x75cm is a finalist in Aspire Gallery’s ‘A Florists Delight’ Art Prize & Exhibition 2020.

Love Through Purple Haze (Jacaranda Lane) is a pink and purple coloured abstract landscape, painted in acrylic paint on stretched gallery canvas. It will be for sale for the duration of the exhibition, with enquiries to be directed to the gallery

The contemporary abstract landscape painting is inspired by Jacaranda Lane, and expresses the emotional landscape of digging below the surface of emotions to a layer that exposes the purity of passion and unconditional love.

The painting is part of Leni Kae’s series “Healing Landscapes”; a series of paintings which incorporate the patterned flow of growing leaf forms and blossoming petals with the healing power of colour to draw a connection with the emotional landscape . Leni Kae (dip colour therapy) applies colour science to this series.

EXHIBITION DATES 20 March 2020 – 4 April 2020 (Three Weekends – Friday & Saturday)

Aspire Gallery 53 Kennedy Tce, Paddington QLD 10:30am – 4:30pm

Posted on March 17, 2020

Leni Kae’s artwork “Immersion in Blue” 50x50cm is a finalist in Aspire Gallery’s Petite Pieces Art Prize & Exhibition 2020.

Immersion in Blue is a blue abstract landscape, painted in acrylic paint on stretched canvas. It will be for sale for the duration of the exhibition, with enquiries to be directed to the gallery

For the art prize and exhibition, all artworks will be 50x50cm and under; making it a great place to find unique, affordable art to begin or extend your art collection journey.

EXHIBITION DATES 21 February 2020 – 14 March 2020 (Four Weekends – Friday & Saturday)

Aspire Gallery 53 Kennedy Tce, Paddington QLD 10:30am – 4:30pm

Posted on February 12, 2020

FOLLOW & JOIN 👉 @figurativefeb @lenikae on Instagram with a new February art challenge.

Join Leni Kae on a February Art Challenge to create daily art inspired by the human figure. It can be a sketch, painting, ink drawing, photography or any medium! Just get the #figurative flow going, and see where it takes you.

  1. Use the daily prompts to create art inspired by the human figure in any medium #figurativeart
  2. Post your art on Instagram based on the daily prompts for inspiration
  3. TAG #figurativefeb,#figurativefeb2020 so we ca find and be inspired by eachother’s works.
View this post on Instagram

One more for @figurativefeb Day 1 prompt ‘RECLINE’ > watercolour painted nude reclining 💕 #figurativefebDay1 #recline #figurativefeb #figurativefeb2020 . . FOLLOW & JOIN 👉 @figurativefeb @lenikae on Instagram with a new February art challenge. Daily prompts to create art inspired by the human figure in any medium #figurativeart . . ***SWIPE FOR PROMPT LIST*** 1) Post your art in ANY MEDIUM based on the daily prompts for inspiration 2) TAG #figurativefeb #figurativefeb2020 . . #figurativefebruary #promptlist #promptlist2020 #artchallenge #instagramchallenge #februaryartchallenge #februaryinstagramchallenge #instachallenge #figurativeartist #illustratorsaus #illustratorsaustralia #australianartist #australianart #sketchbook #watercolour #paint #figure #nudes #lifedrawing #nude #sketch #bluethumbart #artloversaustralia #bluethumbartist #watercolourart

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Posted on February 1, 2020

Leni Kae’s artwork “In Flight” has been selected for the Art Lovers Australia Prize, 2020.

“In Flight” is an original artwork painted in watercolour on 300gsm paper, artwork size 28cm x 40cm (43cm x 55cm including matte board mount). It is a painting of a bird in flight and expresses freedom, confidence and new adventure; symbolising embracing new journeys with a sense of bold determination and excitement.

The artwork is EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE on Art Lovers Australia. Vote for it while in competition to be in the running to win $500 prize. VOTE NOW >

Painted in a minimalist style with a monotone indigo colour palette, for versatility in matching with various interior design settings. A wonderful art collection piece for bird lovers, and lovers of adventure.

Posted on January 9, 2020

Leni Kae’s new artwork ‘Ascension and Awareness in Blue’ makes a beautiful statement piece for the home. Both beautiful and full of meaning. The blue abstract landscape painting tells the emotional landscape of opening the mind to “a landscape of new possibility”. The blue colour denotes an openness of space; and the leaf patterns represent a growth of awareness.

‘Ascension and Awareness in Blue’ is sized 108cm (width) x 132cm (height). This artwork is painted with fine acrylic paints on rolled canvas, unstretched. It is suggested to be presented on stretched canvas, or framed with a thin floating oak frame. A beautiful artwork piece for a lounge room, bedroom, home entrance, commercial foyer.

This blue colour abstract landscape artwork is from the series “Healing Landscapes”; a series of paintings which incorporate the patterned flow of growing leaf forms and blossoming petals with the healing power of colour to draw a connection with the emotional landscape . Sydney artist Leni Kae (dip colour therapy) applies colour science to this series.

Posted on December 11, 2019

Join a wonderful mix of artist-illustrators for the opening night of ‘Grow’ 9×5 Exhibition on the 6th December 2019 at The Victoria Artists Society. Come celebrate 30 years of creativity, meet and greet other artists and discover what it means to ‘Grow’. All works will be 9 x 5 inches on wooden panels, paying homage to the Heidelberg School’s famous paintings on little wooden cigar boxes.

Included in the exhibition is Leni Kae’s illustration “Bloom Goes the Heart”, which will be digitally printed to wood as part of the exhibition.

The illustration print will be available for sale during the exhibition.

Opening night:
The Victorian Artists Society 

430 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
6 pm to 9 pm on Friday 6th December 2019
Light refreshments provided.

Exhibition runs:
6th – 16th December

10 am – 4 pm weekdays 
1 pm – 4 pm weekends during exhibitions

Posted on November 12, 2019

Leni Kae’s artwork “The Evolution of Blue: 6 days to Sunday” is a finalist in the Georges River Art Prize, 2019.

This 6-piece artwork series is an abstract representation of the physical landscape, mirroring the emotional landscape of healing from emotional hardship. The colour transition depicts the journey of healing from ‘being blue’ to lighter emotions reflected by lighter colours towards Sunday; ‘the day of light’, marking a new beginning.

The artwork is painted with watercolour on 300gsm paper, total dimensions approximately 95cm x 60cm, and will be available for sale for the duration of the exhibition.

Exhibition Dates and Opening Hours

Saturday 26 October 2019 – Thursday 30 January 2020.

Hurstville Museum & Gallery:14 MacMahon Street, Hurstville

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00am – 4.00pm Sunday: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Posted on September 20, 2019

I recently completed the illustrations for ‘Year of the Dragon’; a children’s book aimed at young readers, telling the story of Holocaust survivor Ilse Charny.

It proved a challenging but beautiful journey as an illustrator, to convey such an emotional story with whimsical illustration. It was the vision of writer Nicky Gluch to apply whimsy and symbolism rather than historically accurate illustration; softening the harshness of the truth for young readers.

Illustrative Symbolism

For my illustrative concept process, Nicky’s words (based on Ilse Charny’s testimony) and understanding of the emotion behind the main character’s experiences were pivotal in bringing about my initial concept visions.

Ilse’s and the Toy Boat

The very first illustration was of a girl sitting on flowers, holding a toy boat. She sits on a bed of flowers that symbolise happiness and the comfort currently surrounding her and her life; the boat symbolic of her journey to come. The flowers and flowing bow on her dress become a constant symbol in the book – of joy, or the lack of joy from Ilse’s life. In small moments of happiness you will see the presence of flowers, and the bow on her dress is floating and full.

Ilse Peeling Potatoes

There was a part of the story in which Ilse is sad and frustrated to be made to peel potatoes all day, and I immediately saw in my mind a picture of a young girl sitting on top of a large pile of potatoes. For children, emotions are still hard to navigate, so I felt that capturing emotion through exaggerated visuals was of high importance to show how Ilse felt. Maintaining symbolism of the bow and flowers, we see a sunflower crushed beneath the potatoes, and her bow is limp and without life to reflect her feelings and experience.

Alice in Wonderland Inspiration

The story of Alice in Wonderland also played a major inspiration to me; the idea of a little girl, lost in a land that she must learn to navigate and understand. The illustration showing Ilse lost in languages, is a prime example of this idea. Carrying on the bow symbolism, her bow is tangled to symbolise her own tangled emotions.

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s challenges also lead to strength, discovery, and sometimes even small pockets of joy or adventure. I saw elements of this in Ilse’s journey and these pockets of joy became vital for me to capture as part of her emotional survival journey. The idea of finding joy in small moments, adventure in new friendships, and Ilse’s excitement in discovery of the arts felt like an important emotional story to convey. In fact, it felt like a powerful life lesson in emotional resilience to all of us. The illustrated dance scene is hence such a meaningful part of the story to me, and I know it also became a favourite of Nicky’s.

Dragon Symbolism

It was Nicky who suggested the idea of the Dragon as a symbol of the evil that existed, and as a metaphor or symbol for the soldiers. In my illustrations, I carried this concept on throughout the story as a symbol of Ilse’s experiences, but also Ilse’s emotions too. I transition from a fire-breathing dragon (German soldiers) to a less fearful dragon, and finally a beautiful Chinese dragon. Author Nicky Gluch had discovered a beautiful tie-in with Ilse being born in the Year of the Dragon, so I represented Ilse’s freedom at the end of the book by showing her riding a dragon; free and in control of her destiny.

Cover Illustration

It was lovely to have the opportunity to present one of my illustrations in colour for the cover. I created a new artwork concept for this piece. The illustration in essence ties the story together by bringing illustrative elements from various parts of the story into one piece. Ilse is shown sitting below a tree, reading; she is essentially reflecting on her own story. Surrounding her, and coming out of the book, are illustrative segments from different illustrations in ‘Year of the Dragon’ to hint at the story to come.

In the image above you will see the original hand painted illustration, then on the right is the designer’s adapted version to create a more vintage feel to further the concept of a historical tale being told.

Illustration Time Lapse

Share the Story

Keeping these stories alive to educate the next generation is so important.
Whether you are a parent or teacher at a primary school, I’d strongly suggest sharing stories like this with your children.

Please get in touch with Sydney Jewish Museum for more information.

Posted on September 7, 2019

The Sydney Jewish Museum is proud to launch Year of the Dragon, authored by Nicky Gluch and illustrated by Leni Kae; a story written for the younger reader based on the story of Holocaust survivor Ilse Charny.

Ilse escaped from Vienna with her family to Shanghai during World War II. She bases Year of the Dragon on her life as a child in the Shanghai ghetto. As a child, Ilse first perceived the Nazis as dragons, and then the Japanese as dragons–and Ilse herself was born in the Chinese year of the dragon.

Nicky Gluch and Ilse will both speak about the story and the process of writing Year of the Dragon.

Wednesday 4 September
2.30pm | FREE

Sydney Jewish Museum
148 Darlinghurst Road
Darlinghurst, NSW
Australia 2010
+61 2 9360 7999

This is a free event but bookings are essential.

Posted on August 12, 2019
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