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American River Messenger

Artist Inspired by Local Roots

Mar 05, 2024 11:15AM ● By Judy Andrews

Leslie McCarron's paintings are currently on display at Archival Gallery through March 30.  A reception will be held for the artist on March 9, 5-8 p.m. Photo by Judy Andrews

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Leslie McCarron’s earliest memories of growing up in Carmichael are of running through inviting fields covered with trees and playing in neighborhood creeks filled with frogs, minnows and tadpoles.

The artist fondly recalls how her family’s rural backyard garden brimmed with colorful fruit, vegetables and springtime flowers.

“Our home was always filled with fragrant fresh cut blooms and interesting looking branches my mother arranged in an assortment of vases,” she said.

McCarron is a California native and has lived in Carmichael since she was 5 years old. A Del Campo High School graduate, her “lifelong dream of creating art” became a reality almost 20 years ago while attending fine art classes at American River College.

“I was encouraged to keep on doing art and studied under several established artists and mentors,” McCarron said.

Today, McCarron resides in Carmichael near the American River where she continues to draw inspiration from the natural beauty she finds near home.

“I’m inspired by spending time outdoors, whether it’s by walking my two Springer Spaniels (Sierra and Spencer), working in my garden, or gazing out the windows of my house into the surrounding tree canopy and seasonal color,” McCarron said.

'Colorful Mystery' (24"x30") is just one of 16 of McCarron's paintings exhibited at Archival Gallery through March 30. Photo courtesy of Leslie McCarron

Although the artist played with different art mediums early on, McCarron prefers painting in oil due to its “rich creamy texture and versatility.” Strongly influenced by her love for color and nature, McCarron’s paintings almost always include a pop of vibrant bold color using strong brush strokes and thick paint to enhance the compositions.

“As a colorist and modern painter, I like to include elements of realism and abstraction with emphasis on light, shadow and movement,” shared McCarron, who is just as comfortable handling a pallet knife as she is with a brush and often uses both tools to create a single painting.

“I never run out of ideas,” McCarron said. “For florals, I set up vases on a shelf, study the arrangements and move things around while playing with light until it’s time to dive in.”

For landscapes, the artist studies photos that she collects: “From these, I create my own landscape composition and use colors that I love.”

'Overflowing Red' (24"x24") is just one of 16 of McCarron's paintings exhibited at Archival Gallery through March 30. Photo courtesy of Leslie McCarron

McCarron’s paintings have appeared in several solo shows and numerous group exhibits in galleries throughout the Sacramento area. She has won top awards in local juried shows and paintings have graced two covers of Inside Sacramento magazine.

The artist enjoys supporting local art auctions by contributing her paintings for charity, including the PBS KVIE Art Auction, Crocker Art Museum, Effie Yeaw Nature Center and Jesuit High School.

McCarron’s paintings are located in many private collections throughout the U.S. For more information about the artist, visit her website at

Meet the artist at Archival Gallery

McCarron’s most recent work will premiere at a two-person art exhibit at Archival Gallery in Sacramento from March 1 to 30. The show’s title, “Contemporary Nostalgia,” best describes her modern take on 16 new paintings that McCarron produced exclusively for the exhibit, and the iconic photos by local street photographer Carol Mott-Binkley. Both artists are represented by Archival Gallery.

The public is welcome to attend a reception for McCarron and Mott-Binkley at Archival Gallery from 5 to 8 p.m. March 9 “Second Saturday.” You can also meet McCarron at the gallery from noon to 3 p.m. March 30. or call the gallery for an appointment at 916-923-6204.

Archival is located at 3223 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information about the show and reception, visit

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