Leski studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, has a M.A. in Fine Arts from Montclair State College in New Jersey, and learned painting at the Art Students League of New York, with Hughie Lee Smith, David Leffel, and Isaac Soyer. He has a BA in history and was a schoolteacher for six years. Leski is also a Vietnam vet, and worked outside for Gannett Outdoor advertising as a Grade A pictorial billboard illustrator for fifteen years.
"I've always been a realist painter, with oil paint, my medium for describing perceptions of a circumstance of social or human interest. I paint what I like. Sometimes I paint what I don't like. Apart from its role in basic composition, non-representational conceptions are usually not enough to satisfy the need to paint. I like painting real objects and it could be a dog or a cow, or carpenter's tools. It is not so much the subject that counts, but the way it is painted. I manipulate paint, mold and align recognizable colors and forms into a logical composition, into my personal language."
"Paintings start with a composition inspired by field trips nearby and across the country. I look for wedges of light and shade. Sketches and photographs are part of the creative process. They are made as reference material forpaintings to be worked out in the studio. I am always out looking for paintings. I usually paint on a medium-toned ground, working in the highlights and dark values, experimenting with brush-work and color. I might sketch in the basic composition with thin washes of quick drying alkyd paints. It's usually burnt sienna, or raw umber. I block in main masses and establish lights, darks and planes by wiping out or adding more thinned paint. When this is dry I refine the composition with color. I use a variety of filberts, flats and brights. Fine details or accents might be painted with a sable round, or scraped with a painting knife."
Favorite painters include Edouard Manet, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Edgar Degas, John Singer Sergeant. Leski's work has been in galleries and Juried exhibitions in the metropolitan area, including the Newark Museum, Squibb Galleries/Princeton, Ward-Nasse Gallery, NYC, S. E. Feinman Fine Art, Ltd., NYC, Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, Summit Art Center, Summit, NJ, Drue Chryst Gallery in Sparta, NJ, Victory Frame, Lafayette, Star Gallery, and Middletown, NY. His work is in numerous private collections across the country and abroad.