Leigh Tuckniss is a fine artist from Cape Town who graduated in 2010 from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town and whose love affair with ink as a medium, manifests itself in her magical and eerily beautiful paintings.

We asked Leigh Tuckniss to tell us a bit about her work and where she draws her inspiration from.


In The Beginning

Before starting my very large oil paintings, I would sketch ideas simply with just black India ink and a paintbrush on a very small piece of paper. The ink sketches were messy but presented something which I grew fond of and confident in. I was intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed the pursuit of producing a sketch using a medium which was so deceiving.

Ink is cheeky, it’s very present, as soon as you open the lid. It spills. Big beautiful spills. It’s a bugger to get off anything because it dries so quickly. Its pure, concentrated colour, which requires just the perfect amount of water to mix with to achieve the right shades and washes.

Every time I paint I become an alchemist. Measuring and mixing the perfect potion. Spending quality time with the medium is a very important part of being an artist. You really have to get to know your medium, much like you would a lover.

Subject Matter

The subject matter of my work is ever evolving. I cannot pin it down at the moment because I like to paint everything and to be honest, I feel like I’m in a place of transition. The mysterious is something I am always inspired to paint and I love painting creatures, humans and bones; sometimes combining them all in a surreal way.

I aim to tell a story using minimal imagery and lots of space because suspending something in space isolates it from all the noise that surrounds it. I guess in a way I am forcing the viewer to engage with what interests me, maybe that’s very self-centred? I want to pay homage to a passing moment in time and want to translate this for the viewer”.


You can check out more of Leigh’s art on her website, Instagram and Facebook.


%d bloggers like this: