Martin Leman RBA RWS
Martin Leman was born in 1934 in London. He attended Art school in Worthing which was followed by National Service in Egypt after which he studied at The Central School of Art and Design Holborn. For several years, he worked as a graphic designer and taught at Hornsey College of Art, London College of Printing, St.Martins School of Art and Medway College of Art. He started painting in 1969 and had his first one man show in London in 1971. His work quickly acquired an international reputation through the publication of many books of his cat paintings which appeared regularly throughout the 1980s and 90s Martin’s work of this period has been compared to the portraiture of Tudor times and to Henri Rousseau with their abstract compilations of pattern shape and colour.
Since 1971, he has shown paintings in galleries across the UK and beyond. His paintings of cats formed the basis of over 20 books, and made him well known at home and abroad – especially the USA and Japan. Now working on still life, Martin is exploring the possibilities of landscape. Himself a keen gardener, he is drawn to the exciting and mysterious shapes of formal topiary gardens and floral patterns as well as the wild spaces of the imagination. Martin is a member of The Royal Society of British Artists and The Royal Watercolour Society. Martin has had many one man shows and participates regularly in mixed exhibitions including The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and the Discerning Eye.
Sir Roy Strong in a foreword to one of Martins books wrote “I can think of few other contemporary painters who are able so powerfully to distill the essence of cat on to canvas or paper”. The same can be said of his wonderful still lifes.