About The Artist
Though deLeiris sketched in her early years, her career in art began around 1978. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in zoology, she spent a summer as a research assistant at the 2000 acre Smithsonian National Zoo Conservation and Research Center in Virginia. While observing deer behavior, she did field sketches from the jeep, studying their forms and postures. She then stayed on at the center to illustrate the book, The Biology and Management of an Extinct Species, Pere David's Deer (B. Beck and C. Wemmer. ed., Noyes Pub., '83), and to do an animated introduction for the Zoo documentary The Last Chance (Skrentny/Ames Productions, '79). For this she spent hours in the marmoset enclosure sketching the little monkeys as one rode her arm and wrapped tiny fingers around her pencil. This six months living at the breeding center was a turning point in her life. Her interest in the workings of the natural world had expanded to include its visual interpretation. From then on, deLeiris illustrated several books and articles, including two Dover coloring books and posters for National Geographic Special Publications. She illustrated articles for magazines including Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, Cruising World, Ocean Realm.
Her continuing interest in science often finds its way into her art. She has traveled widely, painting in the Russian Arctic, South and Central America, Greenland, and Europe. She took three trips to Antarctica under the auspices of the National Science Foundation Artist and Writer's program. There she lived in science stations and field camps painting, sketching and illustrating. She illustrated several books, including: Natural History of the Antarctic Peninsula, (Moss, Columbia University Press '88,) Antarctic Journal, text by Meredith Hooper, (Frances Lincoln and National Geographic 2000,) and The Island that Moved by Meredith Hooper, (Viking, and Frances Lincoln, 2004.) As well as exhibiting in group shows, she prepared several solo exhibitions of paintings at museums and galleries including Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, MA, Newport Art Museum in Newport, RI, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, and Happy White Gallery, Barrington, RI.