photo by Jane Shirek / www.janeshirek.com

“I think it was growing up around all of this water and light that must have influenced my choice of watercolor.”

Florida artist, Robert Leedy, believes there were early events that may have had an influence on his art. His mother took painting lessons in New York while she was pregnant. He has an early memory of frequently gazing at a reproduction of a Joan Miró painting from his crib. As a young child, he remembers his architect father rolling tracing paper down the hall and dropping pencils and crayons for the young Leedy to entertain himself.

Born in Winter Haven, Florida in 1956, Robert grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and showed early promise as an artist. While attending college at Valdosta State University, Leedy changed his major from Biology to Art after taking a very inspiring Drawing class - on a whim - as an elective. The professor teaching the class was surprised to learn he was not an Art major.

Upon graduation in 1979 with a BFA in Art, Robert returned to Jacksonville and worked as a graphic designer with a small design firm. He eventually landed into a job as a fine wine consultant with a local distributor. This launched a 12-year career in the wine business which led to a position in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico where he met his wife, Vicky.

Leedy began painting full time and the couple spent many years living in places like Paris, Brussels, Buenos Aires and the Caribbean before returning to Jacksonville in 2010. “I think it was growing up around all of this water and light that must have influenced my choice of watercolor,” the artist claims. In 2013, his painting, “Ocean & Ahern” was included in Splash 14: Color & Light – The Best of Watercolor published by North Light Books. He has exhibited his work throughout the US and Puerto Rico and has past affiliations with Asociación de Acuarelistas de Puerto Rico, The Indiana Plein Air Painters Association and The Colorado Watercolor Society. He is currently a member of The National Watercolor Society. 

Robert Leedy maintains a working studio in the CoRK Arts District in Jacksonville’s Riverside area. The studio is closed to the public though tours can be arranged in advance by contacting the artist.