Michigan Lakes and Artistic Inspiration

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I decided it was time to take a break from artwork and instead devote some time strictly to relaxation and inspirational pursuits. Bruce had I just spent a glorious few days with family in Northern Michigan. Travelling in Michigan reminds me of my homeland of New Zealand (except for the missing mountains) as the countryside is lush and green and there is plenty of water at every turn. Well what do you expect in a state with 9,700 lakes!  Our destination point was beautiful Lake Arbutus where we stayed in this little cabin. You can see the sleeping porch where Bruce and I slept. It was just as good as camping in the great outdoors but you still had all the basic home amenities. Absolutely perfect! Here are some shots…
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Craftsman, Victorian and Cottage House Portraits in Grand Rapids, MI

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Expanding my Grand Rapids Home Portrait Series As always I like to tackle a variety of styles with my home paintings.  I last featured one of my favorite subjects in Grand Rapids, a Dutch Colonial Revival home, but thought I should display some of my other house paintings as well. As you can see from this selection there is a rich heritage of Craftsman homes, both the classic Foursquare Craftsman (note the beautiful garden) as well as bungalows. You will also see one of my Victorian subjects and an attractive mid-century cottage to add to the electic mix!  There are many beautiful large Victorians in the Grand Rapids Historic Heritage area that are also quite stunning. Many of the homes are now starting to be restored in order to return them…
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House Portrait Watercolors of Lansing Westside Neighborhod

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Craftsman, Victorian and Tudor House Portrait Orginals Spending the last weeks in Michigan has enabled me to add to my Lansing series. Here are some of my favorite, including a Foursquare Craftsman, a simple Craftsman Bungalow in a nice shade of blue, a stately yellow Victorian-Queen Anne home and a classic Tudor which the Lansing Westside Neighborhood is famous for.  All thee homes are close to 100 years old. What I find sad is that despite the fact that Lansing and East Lansing has a huge numberof historic homes around this same era, only a few buildings are historically protected, unlike other Michigan cities such as Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids which have also historically played a major role in the hsitory of the state. Until next time.  Leisa  …
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Home Portraits of Grand Rapids, Michigan

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My Grand Rapids House Portrait Series is taking shape! I was in Grand Rapids again today and have now painted a number of Grand Rapids home portraits which has been most enjoyable. This cute Dutch Colonial Revival home in East Grand Rapids which was built in the 1920's would have to be the one I had most fun with. Love the color of the home and the flowers really compliment it.  The owner and I sat on that little porch -- which is as bright and cheerful as the house -- when I showed her the painting.  It is now proudly hanging in her home. We have had a great time in Grand Rapids. What an interesting city. Comparatively, the homes and historic architecture is quite well preserved. Here's a little about the city.  It is located on…
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My Favorite Home Portraits of East Lansing, Michigan

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I  am writing this post from the Lansing, Michigan, the city from which my husband, Bruce, hails and has family.  I have been busy expanding my Lansing House Portrait series but now have a growing collection of pen an watercolor paintings of East Lansing homes as well.  East Lansing has an array of interesting homes that cover a broad spectrum of architectural styles, including Craftsman homes and bungalows, Tudors and Colonial Revival.  A  majority of these homes were built around the beginning of the 20th century to the early 1930’s.  Here are some of my favorite East Lansing house portraits I have now created. East Lansing is located directly east of Lansing, Michigan, the state's capital.  It is best known as the home of Michigan State University which was founded in 1855. For the first four…
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Sierra Madre California Home Portraits

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I discovered Seirra Madre for the first time recently and fell in love with this community. Besides there being a beautiful array of house portrait watercolor subjects, the area has a laid back relaxed feel about it. When sitting outside the local coffee house in the center of Sierra Madre, it felt as if we were in a holiday resort town, miles away from civilization!  We found an number of elegant Craftsman homes -- small and large -- as well as some interesting Victorians.  Here are some samples.  Each of the pen and watercolor Sierra Madre house portraits below are now being displayed by their respective homewoners. The homeowners of the lovely home directly above are very active participants in the famous Sierra Madre Halloween celebration that has now become a major tourist attraction in the area. This…
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Tudor House Portraits in Pasadena California

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Like many cities in the US, Pasadena has a wide array of Tudor style homes, which make for great house portraits. Here are three examples, and each of these homes are close to 100 years old. Inside they have wonderful original woodwork, tile and stained glass features. I painted these homes while in California recently and in each case their owners have taken loving care of them to ensure their uniqueness is preserved. Tudors are a very interesting architectural style. They are easily recognized by steeply pitched roofs and exterior timber frame walls.  Tudor revival homes often resemble a medieval castle, yet exude the old world charm of an English country cottage. Originating in England, the style gained popularity in America in the 1920s and 30s with homes constructed in prominent communities…
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House Portraits with San Gabriel Mountain Backdrop

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Craftsman Homes and Mountains -- A Perfect Combination! One of the greatest things about staying in Pasadena and the surrounding area is that you are able to enjoy the changing colors and moods of the San Gabriel Mountain Range. They provide  such a wonderful backdrop to any house portrait painting. As you can see here I especially love to capture the mountains around sunset when they turn shades of soft blue and green. It  makes the darker, natural tones of the craftsman homes in Pasadena stand out. Located in northern Los Angeles County and the western San Bernardino County, the San Gabriels also have wonderful walking trials and I never failed to find pockets of interesting house portrait subjects nestled into the hills. Architectual styles mainly included Craftsmen houses and bungalows, Spanish Revival…
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House Portrait of a Victorian Beauty

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My Artist Loft Studio in Pasadena, California When staying in Pasadena California we found the perfect place to live and work. Here is it.  When the  owner asked me to do this house portrait commission for him and I couldn’t have been happier.  The loft studio  is up there in the roof and it was quite a treat to also have our own private turret!   Here’s what it's like inside!           Only ten minutes from the heart of Old Town Pasadena, we found the loft on Airbnb, which is an online service that matches people seeking vacation rentals  with private people who have rooms in their home to rent. This is the link that we clicked on and it also has more photos inside the house.  http ://www.airbnb.com/rooms/411493 The…
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