When Leroy was five years old, his grandfather gave him a box of crayons which he used for
drawing and sketching in a variety of different subjects. He spent a lot of time in the library
looking through the works of Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh, on top of spending a lot of time
in art galleries. Leroy felt that this environment so early in his childhood was a huge influence
on his life and work. Upon completing junior high school, he enrolled in the Commercial and
Industrial Vocational High School majoring in Art and Craft. Through three years of
extensive study, he grasped the real spirit of artistic expression through sketching, watercolor,
and oil painting. In addition, he also took classes in design, photography, and other such
related areas. After completing high school, he took his career further by majoring in Oils in
college, at the University of California-Riverside in 1988. In his own words, “It seems that my
revelation has begun its blossom as I staged on the ladder of college life, indeed, through my
four years in college, I have been nourished under an atmosphere of euphoria with well versed,
talented, and trained professors.”
Meanwhile, this new education introduced him to the likes of Fembrande, Vermeer, and
Sargent with whom his artistic nature struck a cord. Leroy greatly admits that Sergent is his
greatest influence, of whose striking expressions have indirectly affected Leroy’s work. “Now I
believe in the future I shall be freed from the shackle of technique than giving rise to the state
of ‘freedom’. I strongly feel that in the process of seeking self-elevation one would have to go
through the stage of variation in the hope that by ‘using the simplest technique to reveal
deepest thought’, for instance, Chinese classical painting which has metamorphosed with the
idea of imagination, stressing upon what you saw is not the true essence of the real world [is].”
Leroy currently is an art instructor at the Kim Art School in Los Angeles, California. He is also
the Senior Art Editor for COVER! Magazine.
"Heaven and Earth"

Joseph Thomas Galleries