Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Favorite NC artist

Posted May 18, 2009

Who is your favorite North Carolina artist? This question came to mind recently when I received a beautiful book from Goldsboro artist Brenda Behr. Several of Brenda’s beautiful images are included in Kimberly C. Maselli’s book Painting North Carolina – Impressions en Plein Air.

I grew up with an artist. My dad, William Leslie, Jr., was a watercolorist who captured the beauty of the North Carolina mountains in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. His paintings are showcased in my book Blue Ridge Reunion.

What about you? What artist speaks to your soul?  Please share.


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  • Squirreling Dervish May 20, 2009

    My absolute favourite is Raleigh resident Bob Rankin. Not only is Mr. Rankin a superb artist, but he was also my High School art teacher.

    I LOVE his work and had one of his paintings in my house for many years. Alas the painting burned down with the house several years ago, but I love the man's work. It helps that he is a super nice guy!!

  • westoflyra May 19, 2009


    No, that is not him. The artist I'm talking about creates work that is darker and moodier. Thanks for looking though.

  • wilfhh29 May 19, 2009


    Could it be Phillip Philbeck? He paints a lot of old houses and lives in the southern foothills of NC near Shelby.

    Phillip Philbeck is my favorite NC painter. I think it is because I grew up in the Rutherford/Cleveland County areas he has painted. I can look at his painting "Secret Place" and remember playing in the creek near my grandma's house.

  • christye May 19, 2009

    My favorite local artist is Richard Dobbs. Richard lives in Fuquay Varina and is well known in the area for his paintings, murals, and illustrations. If you happen to attend any of the Holly Springs School of Dance recital shows at the Progress Energy Center you will see the wonderful props he has created for the studio. If you have a special project in mind, check out his work.

  • leeo May 19, 2009

    My favorite artist is Ronald Ragland. He is from Granville County but lives in Raleigh now. Mr. Ragland's work can be found at

  • MrsL May 19, 2009

    JACK SAYLOR!!! His paintings are so amazing I feel like I'm in them and can feel the wind blowing. There was an exhibit of his works in the Progress Energy Center a few years ago and I was in heaven there. Too bad I'll never be able to afford one. If I ever win the lottery...

  • arbcmb May 18, 2009

    Bill, my vote goes for Bob Timberlake. I realize that he is highly commercialized, but his works speak for themselves. Always enjoy your blogs. Arnie

  • tarhillmom May 18, 2009

    What about Ruth Russell Williams from Vance County? Her style is somewhat reminiscent of Grandma Moses. I have a favorite print of hers of the cantaloupe stand: "Ridgeway Fruit."

  • blytle May 18, 2009

    We love William Mangum of Greensboro. We have two of his large prints and a number of his miniatures. He does beautiful watercolor scenes from North Carolina.

  • no more - no less May 18, 2009

    My favorite NC artist is William Branson III of Durham.




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Bill Leslie