I’m Veronica Leigh (V Leigh) Carr, serial creator and oil pastelist with head in the clouds and feet in the forest.
My joy is revealing the extraordinary that is hidden in the ordinary.
What I’m about: A Q&A
Where are you from?
I inhabit a partly wooded corner of the Missouri Ozarks, USA–where deer traffic on our street is nearly as common as cars. It’s just a few miles from the growing creative community of Joplin, MO. Born to a secluded family of artists carving an unconventional path through life, I was meant to create and rarely finish a day without doing just that.
What is your academic background?
My father, Robert Neuenschwander, was a world-reknowned artist of his time. His love for technical excellence in art and the outdoors was inspiring to me. My mother, his wife and creative partner, has passed down her zest for life and resilience. They both raised me and my siblings to respect and appreciate art. Their example laid the technical groundwork for my art. I am continually learning, with life and the great creative masters as my teachers.
What got you creating?
I’ve always had an irrepressible calling to create, whether art, jewelry, clothes or woodcraft. It picked up speed in my teens, when family struggles made art a retreat and haven for me. This calling resurfaced after my daughter was born. I was battling severe PPD and I found hope and renewal in nature, prayer, and art. I used my little bits of quiet time to draw and paint, and never stopped since.
What do you call your style?
Illustrative, colorful, frequently surrealistic. My style has evolved over time and continues to evolve. I love the storytelling aspect of illustration and some of my favorite artists are illustrators. Currently I’m inspired, like many others, by the color and movement of Impressionism. I also enjoy revealing the magic of light and its influence, like the luminous work of Albert Bierstadt or Thomas Kinkade. This is mixed with my love of science, and an unexpected dash of hippie-psychedelia. It’s an unusual recipe, but it works.
What is your favorite medium?
I’ve worked in everything from watercolor to wood ash, but I especially enjoy oil pastel. A newcomer to the art world, it’s like oil paint in a crayon. It has intense colors and a smooth but sculptural texture. I hope to inspire more people to try this versatile medium, there’s nothing quite like it.
What do you most struggle with?
My body has a lot of genetic issues, and I’m frequently in pain. Each of my physical difficulties becomes a facet of my art.
Autism-Spectrum Disorder creates in me a fascination for the small details and unusual patterns of the natural world. My ever-increasing nearsightedness requires that I look closely to take in these details. The connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome necessitates a methodical approach with frequent breaks and reflection. And past traumas have given me a glimpse of perspectives that I may not have well understood otherwise.
These things that limit my daily life give depth to my creative experience.
What is your motivation?
What inspires me most is the beauty and complexity of nature–witnessing the great work of the original Creator. If my art can reveal in some small way, the wonder of this mysterious world, or help others share a better understanding of the joy and pain that lives within each of us, I have done the work I was put here for.
What are your other passions?
My little family: husband, daughter, and rambunctious cat. Long bike rides, landscaping, proofreading, disaster movies. Naps. Strong coffee and dark beer.
How do I order your artwork?
Prints are available here on Fine Art America:
To inquire about purchasing an original piece, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org