Beverly Leesman grew up in the Midwest in an area of family farms where any kind of city life was an hour or so away. She went to school in a small town of about 600 people where very few women went to college and only a handful actively pursued a career. Because she knew that she had to be an artist, Leesman left her hometown of San Jose, Illinois to follow her dream. She persevered and graduated from Illinois State University as a jeweler, painter, art historian and graphic designer. Since 1986, Leesman has devoted her talents to the exploration of realistic watercolor based on her own digital photographs.

Although born and raised in the flat plains of central Illinois, Leesman has lived in Paris, France; Liverpool, NY; Merrmack, NH; and in 1998, settled in Albuquerque, NM. After all these moves, she reopened her studio in May of 2002 and returned to full time painting.

Leesman has won awards for her realistic watercolors in National, Statewide and Regional Art Exhibits since 1992. Her paintings have been included in shows at the New York City National Arts Club and The Salmagundi Club. Her biography is listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the West and Who's Who in American Art.

"I have always been an artist even before I memorized all the names of my Crayola Crayons." explained Bev Leeman. "As a child no one knew what to do with my obvious talent. I never quite fit in with the 4-H, Home Ec. and Future Farmers crowd."

Selected Juried Exhibitions


Professional Affiliations

Signature Memberships

Juried Member

"I look for what is beautiful in the world and try to capture that feeling in my watercolors. My paintings focus on complicated subject matter marked by a strong, clean graphic design, accented by dramatic lights and darks. My world of watercolor seems to be always in sharp focus -- a slice of life, frozen in time, captured by my digital camera. I crop, slice, reduce or enlarge the photo on my computer and base my watercolor on that image. With this method, I turn the often ignored, everyday stuff of life into my Sharp Focus Watercolors."