Leslie Goodwin started working as a commercial artist before going on to lecture in art at the Adult Education Centre, Leicester and later Leicester University, a position from which he retired in 1994.
He has been a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy London. He was awarded the MBE in January 2000 for his charitable work. This has involved the auctioning of many of his paintings to help children's organisations such as the NSPCC, Barnardo's as well as research into multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Among those cited as having an influence upon his work are John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Antoni Tapies.