Leon’s need to paint came about because of an “unusual life situation.” One morning Leon lost the ability to speak and his sight. For two years he lived in darkness and fear. He never lost his faith though. Miraculously both returned at the same time. It was at that moment he decided to paint “to keep the darkness away.” His daughter, Molly Bee, encouraged him to paint his poetry, and that is why she is the light of his life.
Molly Bee acquired her nickname at the age of two. Named after Leon’s great-great grandmother’s sister, the first Molly Bee lived to be 119 and died in 1970. Her first memory was of seeing her parents chained together at a slave auction. She lived a rich, full life that she shared with Leon.
It was these stories that Molly Bee began to paint in her own style at the age of nine. n 2007 a family friend, Duane Garner, asked her to paint something for his antique store which proved to be a wonderful idea because Molly has not stopped since. Molly Bee is a teenager, but tells stories with the “color of life.”
See biography of Leon Collins, folk art painter and father of Molly Bee, who runs a gallery with her father in Navasota, Texas.
Submitted by Ande Rasmussen, whose sources are the website of Old Art Guy, Russell Cushman Art blogspote, and liveauctioneers.com.