Lesley Soldat was born in Ottawa, Ontario to artist and avid art collector Zoe Wyndels-Touhey and NHL player and hotelier Bill Touhey. Growing up, Lesley was surrounded by her mother’s art collection; original works of Emily Carr, AY Jackson, David Milne, Arthur Lismer, and Carl Schaefer, to name but a few, provided a formative impact on her creative taste and approach to painting.
Educated in Ottawa by the nuns at Notre Dame Convent and St Joseph’s High School, Lesley’s strength was always Art and she continued to pursue her passion at university, earning an Arts Degree from Carleton in the early 70s.
After graduating, Lesley moved to Toronto with her young daughter Samantha Johnson and revelled in the social and creative scene that was Toronto in the 1970s. From fashion modelling to playing bass in Toronto rock bands — all the while attending classes at George Brown, Central Tech and Ontario College of Art — Lesley flourished as an artist.
In the 1980s Lesley moved into an exciting career in the Record Industry and later in Radio Broadcasting; living the life, absorbing the culture, always expressing her emotions through painting.
Fascinated by the relentless energy and romance of big cities, Lesley created a series of ‘Urban Landscapes” capturing their cultural idiom and architectural density.
It was a natural progression from the graphic portrayal of ‘City Scapes’ to large abstract expressions of light, colour and movement.