“I lean toward traditional art in my work.
I love getting inspiration from old black and white pictures even dating back to the forties. I am inspired by older times.
I got my inspiration for my painting of Felicita LaChappa from a faded black and white photograph of her I saw in the tiny Felicita Park Museum. The character with wrinkles in her face is what drew me in.
I had to invent the color of her robe.
When I painted the mural on 9th Avenue I read about her and Kit Carson and about the battle of San Pasqual. I was taken in by the way she contributed to local history.
She was born a Kumeyaay princess. Her father’s name was Pontho. Her name was Hal-ah wee.
When the padres from the San Diego Mission came to baptize the children, they gave her the name of Felicita which means “happiness.””
Leslie Mayer is a native Californian residing in North County for the past 40 years. She is passionate about her artwork and inspired by the beauty in this region. Her work has always been rooted in traditionalism strongly influenced by early California impressionists. Her studio work includes portraits and interior scenes which she prefers painting tonally, to create a timeless mood.
She enjoys painting subject matter from old black and white photos, portraits of children playing on southern California beaches, hydrangeas in her garden, and the open air cafés of Sedona, Arizona.
She most recently completed, with artist friend Cindy Peters, a 180 foot wall mural called “The Wall Speaks,” on 9th Avenue, a cultural and historical walk through Escondido.