Local Painter Uses Entire City of Vacaville As Her Canvas

Originally posted on TheReporter.com on Nov 30, 2015 By Dom Pruett
Local artist, Leslie Molera works on a mural for the Kairos School in Vacaville. Dom Pruett — The Reporter
Local painter uses entire city of Vacaville as her canvas
Leslie Molera’s name may not sound familiar to most Vacaville residents, but they’ve surely seen at least seen one of her colossal paintings that are scattered throughout the city.
In fact, Molera couldn’t even give an estimate when asked how many murals she’s done in Vacaville to date.
“Some of the big ones I did are RW Garage Stores and the banquet room at the Stars Recreation Center,” she recalls.
One of her latest ventures is a graphic logo on one of the walls at Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy.
Molera unofficially launched her art career in kindergarten.
“The teacher wrote a note home to my mom that I wasn’t sharing the easel with the other kids,” she said. “I didn’t want to take turns doing other things. That’s all I wanted to do.”
By fourth grade, Molera was doing the artwork for her school’s plays. When Molera got to high school, she continued to fine-tcune her craft.
“At my school they didn’t have honors art, so my teacher would give me and one other girl special projects.”
In college, Molera decided to focus on commercial art, which primarily dealt with graphics and logos.
“It was boring and tedious, so I switched to Fine Art,” she said.
After college, Molera continued to paint, but it took a backseat to her other obligations.
“I was working for Raley’s, and had five kids to raise, and was doing painting part time,” Molera said.
Molera worked for Raley’s for 16 years as a grocery clerk. It was there where she discovered her passion for creating big art pieces.
“When Mr. Raley was alive, he had competitions between branches for who had the best displays in their store,” she said. “So I would design some displays that went throughout the entire store, and our store won merchandiser of the year one time.”
But it was Molera becoming a homeowner that sparked her interest in murals.
“I started doing murals after we bought our first house,” she said. “That’s when I was able to start painting on walls. It’s just paint. If you mess, you can paint over. And it was my house, so I didn’t feel intimidated about it.” It was the freedom and expanse that Molera said she enjoyed the most about it all. And as Molera used her new home as her personal easel, her following began.
“The lady at the paint store started requesting pictures, then saw what I was doing and told me about how she could get me jobs,” Molera said.
The first job Molera booked was a dentist office. Once the paint was dry, patients from the dentist office called, requesting her to do work for them. Word of mouth quickly spread, which meant more work for Molera — from private residences to businesses.
“I never did any advertising,” Molera revealed.
With her name and work out in the community, Molera decided to quit her job at Raley’s to focus on her art full time. Business is booming to say the least.
“I do about one mural a month,” she said.
This, of course, is on top of the other types of art that she does. Recently, Molera was atop a scissor lift, painting at Kairos. She’s also in the midst of revamping several Jimboy’s Tacos while painting in a Trompe-l’œil style. She’s also finishing a mural at the Moose Lodge in Fairfield.
Molera’s schedule remains busy with projects all over the North Bay and Sacramento. Though her success affords her the luxury of painting for a living, her satisfaction largely comes from those who appreciate her art.
“Seeing the joy in people that my work brings them. That’s part of my payment,” she said. “People will tell me: I wake up every day and walk down my stairs and look at your painting. That makes me feel good.”
As an artist known mostly for her larger than life paintings, Molera admitted she will likely make some drastic changes in the ensuing years.
“The direction that I am going is smaller,” she said. “As you get older, you startLocal painter uses entire city of Vacaville as her canvas.2 thinking about 10 years down the road. And 10 years down the road I want to be painting on an easel, at home.”
Molera also wants to show her versatility as a painter.
“I paint realistic very well, but I’d rather do abstract,” she said. “That’s what I’d like to start doing. My name is out there. They know me for my murals, but maybe they’ll start to know me for my canvas work.”
For booking or to see past work, visit www.lesliemolera.com.