back to artists

Alison Leigh Menke

Fine Art – Plein Air Oil Painter


Alison Leigh Menke is an expressive impressionist. She loves painting directly from life and creating work in Plein Air. Her approach emphasizes the importance of expressing a true sense of light and place while showcasing the rich qualities of oil paint, palette knife, and brushwork. Painting thick and thinking abstracted scenes, she uses composition, texture, and vibrant color to move a viewer around her paintings. Alison’s currently focusing on scale. She has been exploring a balance between a loose and controlled sense of mark-making in her petite paintings and translating those ideas to a larger surface. Alison’s latest works are on brushed anodized aluminum. It’s a ridged surface sandwiched with a polyethylene core. This inorganic material is strong and enduring. Paint flows with ease and is a joy to work on.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1987 and raised in Clarksville, Maryland, Alison is fluent in both Spanish and English. She graduated in 2010 from the University of Maryland with a degree in Art and Art History and studied abroad in Amsterdam and Greece. Constantly traveling, she has competed in nearly one hundred national and international Plein air competitions and festivals over the last seven years. As she strives for greater challenges, Alison has produced massive size works. Commissioned work is permanently on display at the National Harbor in DC. She shows in several galleries, predominantly HorseSpirit Arts Gallery in Savage, MD, and is featured in Plein Air Magazine’s Dec – Jan 2020 issue and many other publications.

Just married, Alison currently resides on the island of Puerto Rico. It’s an exciting new adventure and a place of colorful inspiration! She hopes to create artist retreats in Humacao, PR, and share this paradise with artists and art lovers of the mid-Atlantic and beyond. She will continue her travels around the country to Plein Air Festivals and art shows and hopes to see you at HorseSpirit Arts Gallery soon!

2022 Plein Air Schedule
4/16/2022 – 4/24/2022 – Olmsted Plein Air – Atlanta, GA
5/09/2022 – 5/14/2022 – Wayne Plein Air – Wayne, PA
6/28/2022 – 7/04/2022 – Telluride Plein Air Festival – Telluride, CO
9/05/2022 – 9/10/2022 – Sonoma Plein Air – Sonoma, CA
10/01/2022 – 10/09/2022 – Cape Anne Plein Air Festival, Gloucester, MA  

Download the Artist’s full, detailed resume.