As far back as I, Leslie Ditto, can remember I have always been drawn to self expression through visual arts. As a young girl, growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, I was not exposed to any classical surreal artist until I attended Overton High School for the performing and Visual Arts. Before that I was raised around an “old school” Harley Davidson shop that my father and his brother owned.I spent many summers helping my father there at the shop and watching him build Harley motorcycles from the ground up and then painted the gas tanks ( and anything else he could find on the motorcycle) with fantasy images that were inspired by such artist as Franzetta and Boris Valleo. I then became fascinated with the beautiful, powerful and sexy women that these artist created.
I was accepted into Otis Parsons in Los Angeles. After only two month of training my father had become terminally ill and I was forced to return home to Memphis. I was never able to return to school but could not deny the artist in me the opportunity for expression just because I had never been formally trained.
Over the years I researched techniques of the “Old Masters” such as Leonardo DA Vinci, Rubens, Raphael, and Rembrandt .I fell in love with the technique of glazing transparent oil color over a neutral colored under painting. With strong influences from fantasy artist, surreal artist, and the “Old Masters”, I create disturbingly beautiful oil paintings that interpret to the viewer my deep emotions that are conceived from my views of current social, political, and religious dynamics. My ideas come to me in an organic fashion. Starting with a seed of a simple idea and growing into many complex symbols and images. My main goal is to capture my audience and bring them to my emotional state in the hopes that my test for an echo will be a success.