Leila Valencia

VOICES: Stockton Women's Art Collective Exhibition, "Alone Together" 




Leila Valencia is an artist whose work has been influenced by many movements throughout history. Some of the styles that most influence her work include, abstract expressionism, impressionism, surrealism, cubism, and minimalism. With the use of color and line she is able to capture the desired mood with mediums such as painting, pastel, charcoal, photography, and printmaking. Experimentation and spontaneity are key to Leila’s work.​

Growing up in a Hispanic home in a diverse community, as well as traveling throughout the country, has exposed Leila Valencia to many artists, people, ideas and beliefs. In 2011, after graduating high school, she joined the military then relocated to Illinois where Leila attended McHenry County College working as an Art Gallery Assistant while completing my degree in studio art. In 2016, she transferred to University of the Pacific where she earned her BFA in the studio arts and is working on her MFA in single subject art education.

Artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Jenny Saville, George Condo, and Willem de Kooning influence Leila’s work, allowing her mind to grow and to fuse the old with the new. As Picasso once stated, “Good artist borrow, great artist steal” by learning from old styles and applying that to current events, Leila is able to apply different techniques and hopefully one day achieve her own signature style.​

Leila’s work explores life beyond appearance and physical matter. It has a darker essence that creates mystery and expresses a sense of discomfort. The goal of her work is to create mood, a reenactment through the five senses. For you to smell what it feels like to be in that environment and trigger some kind of emotion or memory through the atmosphere of the artwork.

Artist Statement:

Everything around me has influenced what I have become as a person and especially as an artist. Growing up in a traditional Hispanic home has taught me the value of hard work and how to respect all forms of life. Some of my influences include, Keith Haring, Willem de Kooning, and Wilfredo Lam, for their use of line work and variation of colors.​

My mediums include painting, printmaking, and drawing. With the use of gestural line work and color I am able to capture certain essences that is influenced by personal experiences and current social issues. My work is a disfiguration of my own reality that is meant to evoke a sense of pleasure and unease. It is an abstract visual representation of vague retinal stimulation that is interpreted by the observer as continuous pareidolia.

My art deals with the unexpected moments in life which are meant to hypnotize, to keep the viewer constantly in wonder of what’s going on as they delve deeper into the layers of movement. The colors and strokes create a sensation of play that tell a story with the use of simplified figures where one is able to create their own story within each image that they see. Abstract thoughts navigate the brush to create an image of what cannot be heard but rather experienced.


Immigration Cycle, 2020
oil on canvas, 54”h x 94”w

Painting Process Interview
Video Link


Tribulation of Migration Mural, June 2020
Janet Powell Art Center
University of the Pacific


Tribulation of Migration Mural (detail)


Tribulation of Migration Mural (detail)


Tribulation of Migration Mural (detail)


Tribulation of Migration Mural (detail)


 Video Link



Quit Monkeying Around, 2020
acrylic on canvas, 4” x 4”


Healer, 2020
acrylic on canvas, 4” x 4”


Dreamsickle, 2019
oil on canvas, 20” x 24”