More about Leim

Art is the place where everyone can be free.

The main sense of paintings is colour.

I grow up between wild nature and urban city and and soon found out that you need a very peaceful  state of heart to deal with both. The mind can blow you up very quickly, which heart never does.

I studied art at a university. When I started to work at a national museum of art, I left my brushes and canvas behind because it felt like a sin to paint and to work with the greatest painters in Latvia at the same time. If I can’t be as good as they are, I said to myself, I shouldn’t touch my brush. 

After 15 years of working in the museum field and a few bad divorces later, I fell in love again. It just happened and has slowly led me back to who I am. The struggle between fears of losing myself again and the desire to open up and find trust in happiness is very similar to what I experienced when I started to work in museums and art galleries. Back then when I chose to be smart and tamed, I always said to others that art is the place where anyone can be free, but I somehow never let it be so for myself. I became an art viewer and a guide for others. This freedom that art holds is about self-esteem, self-love and courage to speak and finally to be who you actually are. 

I remember clearly a few times in my childhood when I was in real danger. When I was a toddler, I loved to play with sleepy cows. I sneaked under their necks and gently heckled their soft, brown, fluffy skin. It was like magic for me, as the water’s skin of a river that you don’t know so well. I was the only child in my family, there were no other kids around. Animals kept me company and were my friends. I spoke to them in my mind.

One time I put my arms around a cow’s neck and looked into her sad brown eyes. I gently brushed her skin, she looked back at me quietly but something was different. I had a strange feeling in my stomach that something was wrong. I took a rope to which it was tied and pulled up a bit. When the cow got up on her feet I immediately recognized that she was a bull. To approach a bull was a big taboo for children, my parents were very strict about that. You never knew what was on his mind, a bull is unpredictable, strong and aggressive. Only my dad could feed and lead him to pasture and back in the barn. When my grandma was young she was famous for how good she could be with mad bulls in leading them from barn to shielding. She was a tiny woman with a very tender heart, but bulls somehow listened to her. When I stood next to this huge animal I didn’t know that yet. I turned to stone because I knew I had done something wrong, fear rushed through me like lightning. The bull behaved as a mirror, his nostrils blew air nervously and his eyes were wide open. I was three or four years old but I already knew deep inside me that if you want to deal with animals, no fears are allowed. So I put my hand again on bull’s neck as if nothing had happened and left him quietly and peacefully. I didn’t know all legends about my grandma yet, but later when I was nine, she put me in a horse-drawn carriage and put a horse leash into my hands. “Lead it as if you are stronger than a horse,” she said, “but do it with tenderness and peace. The horse has to trust you when it will be obedient.” Many years later these words came back to me when I had to present projects to sponsors or directors and defend my ideas to a very skeptical audience. Somehow it always helped me to get through the toughest parts of my life. No doubts, no fears. The peaceful state of heart will lead you better when you know. 

The same feeling I get in the painting process. Art and nature to me are the same because both hold the same instincts of creativity and death. You can’t do good art if you aren’t brave enough or haven’t freed yourself from mind’s programs and cages. Of course, there are many professionals doing magnificent conceptual art, carefully calculated and based on personal philosophy. But for me, I have to free myself from any calculating and lose myself in creativity like in giving birth, to let everything else go, to be relaxed and go with the flow, let it be dirty and not so painful. For me making art is like falling in love again after a broken heart. So now I let myself touch canvas gently with small brushes but I dream that one day I will paint huge paintings with abstract objects on them and lead these compositions with love as wild quiet animals.

My paintings are made to become a part of someone’s life. Someone’s very special…