Her already detailed drawings became more detailed. Instead of using pre-printed paper to embellish her drawings, she started experimenting with drawing her own patterns. She added colored pens and watercolor.
"I'm a pen-aholic," she said, adding she has tried numerous types of ink pens in her efforts to achieve sharp edges and just the right colors.
"I can be more playful in color," she said. "In black and white, I have this idea of an elevated sophistication."
This exhibit will include a large room-like installation inspired by one of her drawings. It features "wallpaper" created from patterned scrapbook paper and larger-than-life images from the drawing, which will be hung nearby.
"I'm very excited about this," Leech-Cornell said.
Leech-Cornell said she's recently been working with Janet Miles, an art manager who has helped her focus and market her work. Miles pointed out that quality framing was important, particularly with works on paper, so Leech-Cornell enlisted her illustrator husband, Justin, to order professional supplies and frame the pieces.
The hard work has paid off. Leech-Cornell's work now sells at Tamarack and she has plans to seek out gallery space in the region as time permits. She has one full-time job as director of the Clay Center's 21st Century Learning Center, where she works with students in Boone County.
Artwork gets turned out evenings and weekends. Leech-Cornell said she's never short on ideas, which she jots down in a notebook.
"My sketchbook doesn't look much like a sketchbook — it looks more like a journal," she said. The name for this exhibit — "Soliloquy" — came from the notebook and is fitting.
"It is an inner monologue shared aloud," she said.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.