Leanne Barrett: About Me

About Me

I am on my the pathway to becoming a empty nester and I am loving the opportunity of living my creative life in two locations.  Part of each month hubby and I live in our Canberra home with our newly graduated university student and the other days of the month, hubby and I live, play and work in Gerringong on the South Coast of NSW.

I am an avid reader, art lover and writer. I developed a passion for picture books - especially illustrations - during my university years (BEd - Primary School & MEd - Teacher Librarianship) but my other love has always been art. 

The promotion of art and literature is very important to me and I love attending art exhibitions, book launches and supporting local writers and artists. 

I have been a stay-at-home mum and wife, a relief primary school teacher, teacher librarian, Landcare volunteer, volunteer guide at the National Gallery of Australia, genealogist, book reviewer for Kids' Book Review and Reading Time, and I spent 5 years volunteering for The Children’s Book Council of Australia ACT Branch holding the positions of Author/Illustrator Visits Coordinator and President.

I am member of the Artists Society of Canberra and Strathnairn Arts. 

My creative work and exploration...
  • drawing and painting
  • writing both fiction and non-fiction
  • viewing art with my friends
  • talking about art with colleagues
To find out more about this see my blog.

I like to;
  • read adult historical fiction and fantasy and I adore reading children's picture books
  • attend all manner of lectures and talks - as I love to learn
  • go to art exhibitions and movies
  • listen to music
  • sing and play the piano (badly)



Leanne Barrett is an artist, writer and founder of the Canberra Children’s Illustrators Group. She is currently working at creating new paintings for her next exhibitions. She has a MEd (Teacher Librarianship), and is the former president of CBCA ACT Branch. Her paintings are created in a whimsical style using ink, watercolour and acrylic paints. She has reviewed books for the website Kids’ Book Review and was a roving reporters at the 2019 SCBWI Conference in Sydney. Leanne lives in Canberra and Gerringong.


Artist Statement:

I am an artist who has worked as a children’s librarian, Landcare volunteer and art gallery guide. I have lived in Canberra and on the Monaro Plains and more recently the coastal town of Gerringong. My curiosity of a landscape’s topography and my favourite colours of yellow, green and blue have found their way into my whimsical illustrative paintings.

My landscapes are created using watercolour and ink pen. Each artwork is created with lines to produce a patchwork of sections that show; how the subject’s surface rises and falls, patterns depicting texture and the reflections of light. I gradually add layers of paint to each section to build the richness of colour that each location demands. I approach portrait painting in a similar way. The face is my landscape and the colour palette chosen depicts a story that connects to the individual eg. popular colours of the year they were born. 

I paint subjects that inspire my curiosity and I hope that each artwork brings joy or a connection to memories for the people who view them.

Leanne is the founder of the Facebook group Canberra Children's Illustrators Group

This is an informal group of children’s illustrations that like to meet face-to-face. It is a small localised group from the Canberra Region that likes to support each other's creative journey. 

Leanne's original blog was the creative blog Ladybird's Flight


Leanne is a member of the following organisations/groups.

Artists Society of Canberra - member
Australian Picture Book Authors and Illustrators - member
Canberra Children's Illustrators Group - founder
The Cardboard Box Illustration Challenge - member
Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Botanic Art Group - member
IllustrationBiz - founding member
Just Write For Kids - member
The National Gallery of Australia - member
Sketchbook Revival - member
Strathnairn Arts - member
Woman Unleashed: Inner Circle - member

Leanne is a guest reviewer for Kids' Book Review. She was a regular reviewer during 2012, 2017-2019 and her reviews can be found here

Leanne was one of the Roving Reporters at the SCBWI Sydney Conference 2019 see her profile here and her two articles:

Leanne was also a reviewer for Reading Time: The Journal for The Children's Book Council of Australia 2011 - 2013

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