My name is Toni Leefe, and I was born and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand.
When I was young I had no interest in art and could neither draw nor paint to save myself.
At the age of fourteen I had an accident on a trampoline and broke my neck. As a result of this I became a C5/C6 tetraplegic, meaning I am confined to a wheelchair with no use of my lower body and very limited use of my upper body.
While in the Spinal Unit during my rehabilitation, I witnessed other people in similar situations as myself painting by holding the brush in their mouth. At the time this didn’t really interest me as I knew I couldn’t paint before my accident using my hands so there was no chance I could be any good using my mouth.
Approximately eleven years ago I ran into a mouth painter doing a demonstration and he encouraged me to have a go. To my surprise I was quite good and decided to have some lessons. I have been painting by mouth ever since.
I am now a student member of The Mouth and Foot Painting Association and have been since the year 2000. Artists paint motifs and the Association prints them as greeting cards, wrapping paper etc to be sold all over the world.
I predominantly paint in watercolour, but have been experimenting with acrylic paints on canvas and venturing into the world of mixed media.
I enjoy painting New Zealand scenes, flowers and abstract paintings with a sense of New Zealand and the Pacific about them.
Thank you for viewing my artwork and I hope you enjoy it.
Toni Leefe – Student Member MFPA
I also have a large number of unframed watercolour paintings available for sale. Prices negotiable.
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