Leela was greatly influenced by her upbringing in the tri-cultural rich heritage of Northern New Mexico and extensive travels throughout the States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe with her family. Her first boost in the world of art came when she won a class art contest by unanimous vote in the third grade. Her earlier years in art through college were mainly in drawing, ceramics, and sculpture. In college she was given prominence in a ceramic show at Scrippts College and represented the college at a display at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry.
Leela has a BA in Humanities from Pitzer College, Claremont Colleges; an MA in Education from Fresno Pacific University, and DMQ from the Beijing Western District Medical Qigong Science and T.C.M. Research Institute of Beijing China. She taught elementary school for sixteen years. She has taught yoga, vegetarian cooking, art and helped run a medical qigong clinic among her many pursuits. She has been married since 1974 to Robert and has three children and three grandchildren. Currently, she and her husband own The Works, a tea/coffeeshop, bookstore, and gallery in Pacific Grove, California.
Her exploration of watercolors and painting took hold as an adult awaiting the birth of her third child, the now-or-never plunge. With limited time to follow her passion, Leela taught her children, neighbors’ children, and others ceramics, drawing, and painting. This was extended into her years of teaching elementary school and finding every possible moment to include art in the curriculum.
Finally semi-retired, Leela is able to indulge more time in art.