Raised in the open ranch land of Northern New Mexico, Leon developed an affinity for the Southwestern landscape. He was greatly influenced by his grandmother’s involvement in Northern New Mexico art circles. Later study at the Colorado Institute of Art along with private study reinforced his abilities. Stationed in Germany while in the army, he was able to travel extensively throughout Europe, visiting museums and maintaining sketching journals. In addition, he studied painting techniques of the old masters for two years, finishing by copying a Franz Hals at the Stuttgart Stattsgalerie Art Museum. Long having an interest in pen and ink, etching took on a special meaning from the museum’s collection of etchings.
On his return to Colorado, Leon began to study the intaglio techniques and selling the prints in mountain galleries. In 1998, Leon purchased his first letterpress and received immediate success with the woodblock prints he produced. The layering of color in the woodblock process allowed him to better capture the atmospheric qualities of the Southwestern Landscape that have such a strong meaning for him.