“A Day in the Life” with Montreal Oil Painter Hannaleah Ledwell

Hannaleah Ledwell, an emerging oil painter and my close friend since college has had a remarkable year in her artistic journey. Over the past year, she secured a prestigious grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and showcased her talent through two impressive solo exhibitions, in addition to various group shows. Her artistic aptitude was unmistakable from the moment I met her, where she consistently outshone her peers, displaying not only a deep understanding of herself but also an extraordinary level of artistic skill.

Our shared educational path continued at Concordia University, where she pursued Fine Arts. Her passion for painting continued to flourish, ultimately transforming into a thriving career. Just last year, she took the bold step of leaving her position at a prominent Canadian gallery and decided to wholeheartedly dedicate herself to her art. This courageous decision has proven to be worthwhile, as her work is now receiving the recognition it truly deserves. It’s been incredible to watch her pursue her dreams, and a testament to the rewards of following one’s passion—I couldn’t be prouder.

-Written by Ericka Cicchillitti, friend

Hannaleah Ledwell
Ledwell Studio with works-in-progress.
Hannaleah Ledwell
Painting in the studio.
Cacaphonie, 72×48″, Oil and Graphite on Canvas, 2022.
Love Languages, 30×36″, Oil on Canvas, 2020.
Oceans and Oasis hung on display at Galerie POPOP.
Embrace and Crépuscule at Parfois Expo.
Hannaleah Ledwell
Second view of Ledwell Studio.
Hannaleah Ledwell
Portrait of Hannaleah in her studio.


Which ‘hood are you in?

I’ve been living in Verdun in Montreal for a few years now. It’s a great neighbourhood, extremely diverse and right by the river, I love it!

What do you do?

I am primarily an oil painter – but I also do ceramics and installation art when I can. I am interested in the way memory works and I explore this by relying on both visual and haptic memory as opposed to reference images to create my paintings. This explains why there is a lot of movement, as well as a “butterfly” effect on the way I treat my subjects – limbs and bodies, may often appear numerous as I recreate the way elements shift as we attempt to recall them. I use these notions to explore intimacy and love languages.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a new painting series thanks to the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. The project continues to explore similar themes to what I have been exploring for a while, but in this case, I aim to move away from the flatness found in prior paintings and start playing with light and lighting. This shift gives more of a sense of time and space as if you are looking into fleeting moments.

Where can we find your work?

My work can be found on my website and Instagram.


About Emilea Semancik 89 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: