Nothing excites Leigh more than figuring out a puzzle that begins as just an idea or a color, and turns into something beautiful and meaningful. Her passion for freedom and for making people happy is her driving force and inspires her every day. So, after making an honest go of it in the corporate world for several years, Leigh decided to follow her heart - Watson Murals, formerly Watson Design, was born in 2004. Since then, Leigh has thrived on taking a broad concept from a client and turning it into something that speaks directly to that person, whether it be a mural in the bedroom of a five year old boy, or a larger than life showpiece in a venue where thousands of patrons will see it and be inspired. What better way to focus those passions than by running a company that brings beauty, creativity, and joy to people? With Renee and Meredith as her talented artistic co-pilots, Leigh hopes to inspire other young women to never be afraid to venture out on their own and be creative.
Leigh Watson Acord was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She graduated from Highland Park High School where she was just your average sci-fi loving cheerleader and self proclaimed "art geek". After graduating, Leigh headed south to the University of Texas in Austin where she studied a broad range of subjects including her favorites: philosophy and graphic design. After graduating with a major in Creative Advertising and a minor in Business, Leigh worked in marketing for several years, but always had art on her mind. So, in 2004, Leigh chose to ditch the corporate life for the life of a starving artist. Being her own boss allowed Leigh the opportunity to explore art without restraint. In pursuit of turning her passion into a lucrative career, Leigh furthered her art education with classes in woodgraining, marbling and faux glazing. Then, in 2008, she spent 5 weeks in Italy studying Old-world style painting with other artists around the nation. Her time in Italy not only honed her skills as an artist, but inspired and reinvigorated her love of travel, freedom, and entrepreneurship. She hopes to instill those same passions in her darling daughter, Lilah. When not working, Leigh can be found taking advantage of all of Austin's great outdoor activities like running around Town Lake (because it will ALWAYS be Town Lake to her!), having a craft beer on a patio with her husband, Steve, and spending as much time as possible with baby Lilah.
Renee D'Arienzo grew up in Sugar Land, TX where she discovered a love of art very early at Colony Meadows Elementary. In middle school, when given the opportunity to choose her electives, it was all art all the time: black and white photography, painting 1 & 2, and drawing 1 & 2. By the time Renee entered high school, she had easily narrowed down her favorite medium to painting, and took watercolor classes and used every available opportunity in her art classes to paint her projects. While most college students struggle to land on a major, Renee didn't hesitate to decide on Studio Art: Painting at Texas State University. She spent lots of time in a dark room developing her black and white photography and focused her thesis on normal forgotten objects around the home, finding joy in giving ordinary objects a new life. Before joining the Watson Murals team, Renee interned with two Austin companies that use art as therapy for people with mental and physical disabilities; a cause that she is still passionate about. Outside of art, her passions are spending time outdoors with her husband and dogs, or relaxing at home in front of a good movie.
Meredith O'Neal was born in Houston, TX, but was raised in the small suburb of Magnolia. However, living in a small town did not keep her from thinking big. Always wanting to explore ways to be creative, Meredith was drawn to the arts from an early age. She excelled in academics and volleyball, but her true love was always art classes. She carried that love of art with her to Texas State University where she double majored in painting and photography, graduating in 2010. Wanting to explore art to its fullest, Meredith also studied philosophy and psychology which both play a huge role in her art. Always on a quest to expand her knowledge and creativity, Meredith furthered her study of art in graduate school at The San Francisco Art Institute, graduating in May of 2012. Since graduating, Meredith has used her broad range of studies to create art in several mediums including canvas work, sculpting, photography, textile work and printmaking. When she isn't working on her art, she can be found making gourmet masterpieces in her home kitchen with her husband, or taking advantage of the many great hiking trails around Austin with their dog.