Personal Biography:  Leslie Ashton Martel

Leslie's interest in art began while living in St. Simons Island, GA.  As a ten year old she started painting at an art center there and feels those classes influenced her life long love of art and painting.

Leslie majored in Interior Design in college and worked in that field for several years before opening Ashton Studios near Palm Beach, Florida.  Her studio designed and painted sisal rugs for the Interior Design industry.  Leslie, who originally created and began the process of painted sisal was the owner and head designer for 18 years.  Among her clients were Stark Carpets; Horchow Collection; Frontgate; Macy's and Bloomingdale's.  Many of her rugs are in some of the finest homes, including palaces, around the world.

Upon the sale of Ashton Studios, 13 years ago, Leslie became more actively engaged in watercolor painting.  She studied with many of the country's finest watercolor teachers in classes and workshops, including Charles Reid, Mel Stabin, Robert Burridge and Alvaro Castagnet.  She has enjoyed the time she has spent studying with Marie Natale, who has had a profound and positive influence on her work.

Leslie has shown in Chautauqua, NY; the former Art Center of the Norton Museum, West palm Beach, FL; the Chalfonte Hotel, Cape May, NJ; the Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL, where she received the First Place prize for Watercolor at the Member Show; and the Soma Gallery in 2012.