A pastel painter’s art studio brings her joy in Northfield home
“My Happy Place” is a weekly series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home.
NORTHFIELD — Renee Leopardi’s “Happy Place” in her home, her art studio, exists as the spot that brings her joy and sparks her creativity.
Leopardi, a full-time pastel painter, spends a majority of time in her studio, where she estimates she has created about 250 paintings during the last six years that she has lived in this small Atlantic County city.
“This room is my center of operations, from marketing, website design and updates to www.reneeleopardi.com, to getting ready for upcoming exhibits, such as my October show at the Ocean City Arts Center ... and preparing lesson plans for teaching to painting and creating,” Leopardi said.
When Leopardi cannot plein air paint — which means in the open air — she can at least feel close to nature in her studio with its many windows and high ceilings.
“It also serves as the creative center for the entire family, with an area dedicated to my children’s art. While, in recent years, my son, Sam, has become musical playing guitar and saxophone; my daughter, Gabriella, creates visual art quite often in our shared space.”
The furniture in Leopardi’s studio consists of two Craftsman style antique desks that her husband, Brett, refinished years ago. She loves the clean lines and the sturdiness of them.
“My work area has an easel and nesting tables with storage bins that I designed and Brett helped me build. The room is a closed-in, three-season room with a tile floor that gets quite cold in the winter, so I have placed pieces of carpet to insulate, but that can also take a beating from all of the artful messes.
Leopardi’s second favorite space in her home is her living room, which reflects her artistic life with the paintings she has on display.
“They are what makes my happy place happy. I paint most days and have a large inventory, because it is necessary to have a body of work ready to go for whatever gallery opportunity comes my way. Most paintings make their way to galleries for exhibit and sale, with the exception of paintings of my children, which are in my permanent collection,” Leopardi said.
PHOTOS of pastel painter Renee Leopardi at her Northfield home