Featured Artist – Leonard Duarte

“I can do that…!”

Leonard Duarte may consider himself “a woodworker whose artwork just comes through”, but the second-year Art-A-Fair exhibitor’s “can-do” attitude has landed him squarely within the company of artistic talent. Though fairly new to artistic pursuits, Leonard’s 40-years’ woodworking experience provides an oak-solid foundation on which to grow his art.

He seeks out raw materials with character, which he then delights in turning into “something exciting”. Materials are typically found, rather than purchased – cutting room scraps, discarded woods, and materials from some of the unlikeliest places… including a prized chunk of felled tree that once stood on the Art-A-Fair grounds. Leonard’s work then goes through several stages before ever coming in contact with industrial-grade woodworking equipment: envisioning the outcome of the piece, selecting and gluing woods, and then cutting the works to near-size. His artwork comes to life in different settings as well: in a nearby wood shop, and on the patio of the two-bedroom Anaheim apartment he shares with wife and fellow artist, watercolorist Natasha Emereyeva-Duarte.

This man is not afraid of trying new techniques. That same “can-do” attitude constantly expands his capabilities as it enhances the appeal of his work, which artfully combines colors and textures into exquisite inlaid boxes, cutting boards, candle holders, bottle stoppers, custom “bolt-action” pens and even a full-sized chess board. And, Leonard’s passion for woodworking doesn’t end there. He builds staircases during the work week – a specialty that demands extreme technical and woodworking skills.

Besides Natasha and woodworking, Leonard’s passions include fishing and creative culinary adventures. He is as talented in the kitchen as he is at the lathe. His wealth of experience and skilled eye make Leonard Duarte an artist to watch in the upcoming 2016 Art-A-Fair season.

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