Artist Statement -

Leslye Bloom has always been special. She was one of the very few people allowed to earn Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees in Penn State?s prestigious Art Education program. In addition to her traditional art studies she branched out into computers in 1967, becoming the resident graphic artist in Penn State?s Computer Assisted Instruction Lab, working on a timeshared IBM 1100 with all of 16 kilobytes of memory. She thought she had died and gone to heaven when she got an Apple II in 1981 with 64 kilobytes all her own. That was when, as head of Virginia Tech?s Art Education program, she began to integrate traditional and computer art.

As a pioneer in the field, she has had to invent many things, including the name for what she does. “Computage” combines the digital medium with traditional media. That synergy results in works that transcend the pure digital and the traditional. The art world can be surprisingly conservative, but over the past decade Leslye?s work has become accepted into the mainstream, winning prizes in competition with the best of current traditional artists.

Leslye jokes that she has a “Make Art” button on her computer. In more serious moments, she says “Computers are easy. Art is hard.” She may start with a computer image, often from a digital camera, but that is only the start. She?ll “whack” the image in her computer, print it out, whack it some more with encaustic, watercolor, graphite, whatever to get the effect she wants. If she?s still unsatisfied, she will photograph what she?s done, copy that into her computer, and start the process anew.

This show presents examples of her recent work in three general areas: photography based works like Daybreak, works based on life drawing like Weight of the World. and — always with Leslye — pure whimsey like Ducka Lisa's Finger Nails and The Dog Ate It. Even her serious works have a whimsical touch. Each contains one impossibility. Can you find them all? Any of them?

Works in art texts:

•3 Irons 2 is featured in "Digital Collage and Painting" by Susan Ruddick Bloom
ISBN: 0240807057, Focal Press, Paperback, Publication Date: 2006.
•Spring Thaw is one of 15 works featured (with 1 page statement) in Theresa Airey's "Digital Photo Art," Sterling Books, ISBN: 1579905803.
•Technicolor Daydream is one of just a handfull of examples of digital art in Spotlight on Art, books and CD-ROMs, grade 8, by Dr. Rebecca Brooks, ©2005, Scott Foresman, Student Edition: ISBN: 0328080381

Brushes don't make paintings and computers don't make art - Computers are easy. - Art is hard. Computers, acrylics, encaustics and collage fuse in my work. A reviewer has called it "mixed media on steroids. It is invigorating, flexible and lively!" My chief goal over the years has been to push the "new" computer medium to its expressive limit, while retaining the best of traditional studio media.

Artist Exhibitions

----------2012 Exhibitions
2-person with Lisabeth Weisband, Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea, Blacksburg, April 15 to July 15, 2012
2-person with Lisabeth Weisband, VTLS, Blacksburg, July 15 to October 15, 2012
----------2010 Exhibitions
Solo: : "Redux - brought Back in Abundance," Montgomery Museum, Christiansburg, January 4 - February 30, 2010

----------2006 Exhibitions
Solo: "Computage," at Perspective Gallery
VA Tech, Blacksburg , Virginia
November 1 to December 6, 2006
Reception: Sunday November 5, 2006, 3 to 5 pmSolo: City Gallery, Galax, VA; May 5-June 3, 2006

Juried: 2007 League of Roanoke Artists Showcase
Jefferson Center Gallery, Roanoke VA, October 1st to October 31, 2006
Eleanor Cox, Juror, Juror's Choice Award - Out of the Darkness

invitational: Along the Path
The Gallery, 1019 E Main Street, Radford, VA, September 23 - November 1, 2007

two-person: Two Voices, with Lee Penny Baker
Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center
Clifton Forge, VA
September 18 - October 14, 2007

Juried International,Traveling: Bridging Cultures through Arts - Partners of the Americas: 2006 - Virginia, 2007 - Brazil. Three works were selected: Craig Creek Fog Flag, Street Spam, Ocho Rios Flag, and Waterscroll with Rocks.

----------2005 Exhibitions
Juried: New River Art 2005, Juror Don Black, October 1 to November 6, Hayloft Gallery, Jacksonville Center for the Arts, Floyd, VA
AWARD OF MERIT : More Studio Artists – Digital Acrylic
and Rasta Polaroid – Digital Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Juried: League of Roanoke Artists 2005 Showcase, Juror: TBA, October 9 to November 14, The Jefferson Center, Roanoke VA
Annabella’s Grotto – Digital Acrylic and
Street Shadows – street shadows

Juried: This piece was purchased by the Juror! Two Cows, Roanoke City Art Show at the Art Museum of Western Virginia
Juror: Gina Greer, Associate Director of the Spanierman Gallery, New York, NY
Dates: August 25 - November 13, 2005

Invitational:DDay Twilight, 14.5"h x 27"w, "Regional Art Alley" inaugural exhibition
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospitals on Belleview (map). August 5 to February 5, '06, co-sponsored by the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge.

Juried: HONORABLE MENTION: Street Shadows, Gallery: Critique - The 57th Annual Virginia Highlands Festival 2005 • Abingdon, Virginia
Open to the public Saturday, July 30th through Sunday, August 14, 2005Juror Robert Heiks

solo: "Computage," Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea, 700 N. Main, Blacksburg, July 3 - August 14, 2005

solo: "From Here to There," Mish Mish Gallery, 125 N Main, Blacksburg, May 6- June 3, 2005

juried: Carver (Rasta Polaroid) - "Top Forty" International Juried Competition,Juror: Rex Bruce, March 10-April 2, 2005

four person:"Photoshop Tennis" Collaboration with Craig & Sally Shaffer, Kathy Kudlin and Leslye Bloom
February: Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA
March: Bedford Library, Bedford Virgiia
On-Line Show :

Juror 2004 Member's Show, This Century Art Gallery, Williamsburg, VA, June 21, 2004...

Artist Publications

BOOKS & CD-Rom's:
• "3 Irons 2" is featured in "Digital Collage and Painting" by Susan Ruddick Bloom, ISBN: 0240807057, Focal Press, Paperback, Publication Date: 2006

• "Technicolor Daydream" is one of a handfull of examples of digital art in Spotlight on Art, books and CD-ROMs, grade 8, by Dr. Rebecca Brooks, ©2005, Scott Foresman

• Student Edition: ISBN: 0328080381 Price: $53.24
This hardbound book places fine art and engaging text in your students' hands. Every lesson exposes your students to art and artists while studio activities provide them with opportunities to be artists through a variety of styles and media.

• Fine Art Gallery Builder CD-ROM: ISBN: 0328147257

• "Spring Thaw" is one of 15 works featured in the gallery section of Theresa Airey's book "Digital Photo Art," Sterling Books
ISBN: 1579905803, Format: Paperback, 208pp
Pub. Date: May 2005

ARTICLES: August 1, 2003
""And Then We Were One" is the first digital work to win an Award of Excellence in the (Virginia Highlands Festival fine arts juried show's) history."

Blending art and technology by Tonia Moxley, The ROANOKE TIMES:

"If you’ve never heard of “thermal wax transfers.”“encaustics,” or “computage,” you‘re not alone. Neither have many of Leslye Bloom’s peers. But that didn’t stop the Blacksburg artist from winning a top prize at Abingdon’s Virginia HighlandsFestival Juried Fine Arts Exhibition in July...The process is best described to the novice as 'mixed media on steroids.'"

Ann Weinstein: Leslye Bloom combines highly technical procedures and organic energy. She uses the computer as a medium, as other artists use paint, charcoal, or the earth. But there is nothing in her prints that readily suggest the hi-tech mechanics used to make them. In addition she often resolves them with added collage, paint, and encaustic. With a play of her imagination, she can create as many singular images from her original multiples as she chooses to.

A special award for a special piece of artwork

When Blacksburg artist Leslye Bloom learned last week that her work had been recognized at the 2001 Lynchburg Area Juried Show, that was good news. But when she learned that jurors created a special award on the spot just for her, that was even better.

A piece by Bloom called “Blue Ridge Snow” was awarded “Most Innovative” in the show, which opens today at the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center. Bloom calls her creation a “computage.’, She created it on a computer by manipulating a digital image shot by camera; then, she added pigments by hand.

“I worked from the image and I started painting it inside the computer.... l was in Jamaica then’ and the mountains and snows turned into reds and yellows and all kinds of wonderful, vibrant’ tropical stuff,” she recounted. “When I got home, I printed out one proof. I needed to see how big it wanted to be."

“For me it’s a very rare piece” Bloom said. “It grew in a straight line, in terms of development of the piece.” Bloom was on her way to Jamaica, traveling from Roanoke to Charlotte. The triptook place between two snow-storms in late winter 1999. The image she shot from the plane window forms the basis of “Blue Ridge Snow.”

Bloom used a thermal wax transfer printer. As it turns out, it wanted to be 38 inches high and 27 inches wide, so the final product is cre-ated of 16 panels, which Bloom cut together and bonded onto hard board. To finish the piece, she overworked it with encaustic media which the artist describes like melted crayon. “The pigments are hand-ground” she said, “and they just glow.”

Bloom’s work can be viewed online at

An opening reception for the show takes place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. today, at the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, 1825 Thompson Drive (804) 846-3804.

The Roanoke Times,New River Current
Sat. February 24, 2001, pp.3 &6.


Charles Goolsby (Washington County News, August 2, 2000 • Page 1B):
"Leslye Bloom of Blacksburg explores her thoughts and feelings through the contemporary medium of digital art. Her manipulated photographs appear to have been printed in many layers. This creates intensity in the color. In addition, the method provides the viewer with multiple vantage points in contrast with the traditional perspective of the western landscape. Her computage “Hot Dry” has a surface that simultaneously appears old and new.

Feature Article: “The Computer Made Her Do It”
by Donna Alvis banks, The Roanoke Times, Thursday, June 22, 2000. pp. NRV 3, 14 (“Ja-maica Jazz” was lead image)
“The results are striking images, often abstract or impressionistic, that make viewers look critically and contemplatively.”


Ed Falco, newiver journal, 1998:

With this number of the New River we manage for the first time to bring a visual artist onto our digital pages. Leslye Bloom's work is not hypertext, of course. It's visual art created through experimentation with digital technology. It is included here because it provides another piece of the answer to the question posed in the first number of the New River: what kind of art will be made with hypertext and hypermedia? The distinction, in any case, between visual art and hypertext has always been a complex issue. Hypertext is not another manifestation of the linear narrative, with its roots in the oral traditions of storytelling. Hypertext is something different, more closely connected to the first scratchings on cave walls than to the first tales told around the fire. Art like Leslye Bloom's, arising out of the digital image, seems exactly appropriate, then, to the content of the New River.

Working with, among other soft- and hardware, Photoshop, GraphicConverter, Color IT!, Pagemaker, Kodak Picture Transfer Application, Photoenhancer for Kodak, Posterworks, a Kodak digital camera, a Power PC with a monster motherboard and graphics accelerator card, Zip
and MO drives, a Nikon slide scanner, LA Cie color scanner, and a flat iron, Bloom creates unique final images of intriguing depth and complexity. In the stained-glass-window-like panel of Tranquility, for example, Bloom uses her various technologies to add sensuality and texture to what would otherwise be an interesting photo montage, making it something different, a digitized merging of painting and photography.

I find much to admire in these pieces: the way, for example, under an umbrella of petals the crane looms above a solitary figure on the shoreline in Tranquility.

Or the way Ms. Bloom's hand subtly disappears, in Me with Jamaica Apple, to be replaced by the silk screen of her hand rendered on the T-shirt she's wearing.

Or the way the very air seems scratched and marred around the ominous black cenotaph in Salutamus.

These are pieces that reward your attention....

Artist Collections

Permanent Collections:
Harmony Hall, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Miller off Main Gallery, Blacksburg, VA
Rescue Mission Gallery, Roanoke, Virginia
Private Collections: Patrons list is available on request.

Artist Favorites