Leah Violet Chappell was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1979. Her family made their way down the West Coast early on, finally settling in Oakland, California. She attended Oakland Public Schools and never took an art class, but spent most of her time drawing. The atmosphere of vibrant creativity that characterizes Oakland fueled her dreams of becoming an artist, and she was always encouraged by her family, teachers, and classmates to pursue a career in the arts.
In 2003, Leah moved from Oakland to South Florida after vacationing in Miami. She fell in love with the tropical climate and the Caribbean culture. The air in Miami provided her with a new outlook on life and an abundance of inspiration. There, she purchased her very first set of oils, and taught herself to paint.
After completing several paintings, Leah returned to the Bay Area. In 2005, her first group exhibition was held in San Francisco, with her first solo show following in 2006. She continued to create, drawing inspiration from the Bay’s rich cultural heritage.
In early 2008, Leah was invited to the Sakya Monastery in Seattle, Washington to observe the process of painting a protector diety statue. There, she met H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and learned techniques of traditional Tibetan Buddhist painting from Lama Migmar Tsering, the monastery’s resident artist.
In 2009, Leah started working full time as an illustrator/graphic designer/muralist living between Miami, New York/New Jersey and the Bay Area. In 2010, with the advent of her beloved niece Maya, she became a hands-on auntie, instilling in Maya the love of art and encouraging her creativity. At the end of 2013, Leah was in a car accident and sustained serious injuries, including to her drawing hand, which slowed her down a bit. After recovering, she returned to her art and to caring for Maya.
In 2016, Leah traveled to Nubra, India to volunteer with Art for Cause, a local program with the mission of using art to assist in the development of young people. There, she taught children in a rural village painting and drawing techniques. While she was in Ladakh, India, she was commissioned by several local hoteliers to produce paintings and logos for their establishments.
Leah currently lives in Oakland, where she continues to create art that she hopes will spread a message of love, peace and harmony across the globe.
commissionsplease direct all interest to:
Karen M. Chappell