Léonard Lassalle From France
From the youngest age I was surrounded with oil paint and the smell of turpentine: my mother was a painter and so was my father, Henri Valensi, (whom I only met twice). From childhood I always wanted to be a painter. Art must be ingrained in my DNA !
I studied art in Paris and in London where I met my wife, Mélinda. Together we had seven children. I quickly realised that I would not be able to earn enough money as a painter. So I started a business of Antiques and Interior Design where I managed to use my talent painting large murals in egg tempera. It was only when our children had left home and when we moved to the South of France that I began to paint full time.
This inspired my paintings for a few years, I also love exploring relationships between female/male. I love painting nature including flowers, landscapes and still-lifes. Then I had to stop painting for some 15 years until I was able to re-educate my eyes through daily exercises. Recently, in April 2020 I started painting again.
I was brought up with no religion and discovered that most other people believed in a God. It was only when I was in my early teens that I discovered the different worlds of Religion. In 1957 I became a Subud member and started “Latihan”. Soon I became conscious that in me was a “consciousness” that did not belong to the ever changing world of my ego, but to a place I understood to be my soul. My interests started to open to what is called the spiritual world. I discovered the Bible and the Koran and started reading them and found that I was getting, through the practice of the latihan, my own understanding about spiritual matters and what was written in these holy books.
During the horrific explosion of 9/11, I had an amazing experience of the angelic forces above helping the many souls that were raising from the devastation from below, this painting was produced rapidly from this completely extraordinary spontaneous experience and is now hanging somewhere in San Francisco.