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Announcing my Grand Rapid MI Historic Preservation Awardee!

Announcing my Grand Rapid MI Historic Preservation Awardee!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
Meet my Grand Rapids MI Preservation Hero!  INVITATION TO THE COMMUNITY I will be presenting my next Historic Preservation Award to East Grand Rapids resident  Mary Beth Grey for her historic renovation of 268 Paris Ave SE, Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids Since starting her home renovation business 2 1/2 years ago, Mary Beth has brought eight historic homes back to life in the greater Grand Rapids area. The majority have been in the City of East Grand Rapids, however this is her first Heritage Hill home and her most recent labor of love. It's also her most extensive project to date. Mary has a very hands on approach with all her projects and it took her several months to bring this beautiful Victorian to a state that is now close to…
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House Portraits in Vibrant Tampa FL neighborhoods

House Portraits in Vibrant Tampa FL neighborhoods

House Portraits, News
Announcing Completion of my Tampa House Portrait Series Craftsman, Bungalow, Tudors, Ranches and tasteful new builds... Tampa has it all! What a diverse architectural experience Tampa has proven to be! I had no idea of the number of interesting architectural gems that were hidden in the city;s leafy tree-lined streets and historic urban avenues. I started my Tampa house portrait series two years ago and feel I now have a eclectic and interesting mix of architectural styles in my collection. I will be including my favorites in the Tampa section of my coffee table book that will be released later this year.  In the meantime I wanted to show off this lovely array of homes that depict the best of Tampa and show the pride and care that Tampa residents,…
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Completion of my East Grand Rapids MI House Portrait Collection!

Completion of my East Grand Rapids MI House Portrait Collection!

House Portraits, News
Craftsman style, Victorians, Tudors and Dutch Colonial Home Portraits of East Grand Rapids. I come to Michigan often, being that my husband of 30 years hails from Lansing Michigan. The lakes and rivers and lush green countryside remind me of my homeland of New Zealand. One of our favorite Michigan cities is Grand Rapids. It has a fascinating history, starting with its Native American roots and fur trading past. Not to mention how it grew to be one of the greatest furniture making cities, and still retains that status today.  Heritage Hill is the oldest part of the city and is the largest urban historic district in the country. I love the Victorian grandeur of this area and am currently in the process of selecting my favorite homes in order…
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San Antonio House Portrait Collection

San Antonio House Portrait Collection

House Portraits, News
Watercolor Paintings in San Antonio I ventured into San Antonio for the first time last year while touring Texas and was pleasantly surprised at the sheer diversity and impressive array of house portrait styles. I guess I was expecting to see many more Spanish style homes but I found that the Greater San Antonio area has it all! In studying up more, I learned that architecture in San Antonio comes from a wide variety of sources. While it is true that many of the city's homes reflect Texas' Spanish and Mexican roots; with some influence from French builders, rapid growth in the city since the mid twentieth century has led to a fairly wide variety of interesting contemporary architectural buildings as well.  San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the U.S. and the 2nd…
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New work!  Architectural Collage Art

New work! Architectural Collage Art

House Portraits, New Art
My new series featuring Victorian paintings, English Tudor art and Craftsman style art. Over the years I have created hundreds of portraits of homes and historic buildings, so you can imagine that I have lots of favorites and in many different architectural styles, But three styles really stand out. They are each very distinctive and have stood the test of time.  They are the Victorian style, Tudor style and Craftsman style. I decided to select some all time favorites within these styles and share their beauty but in a different way. I mixed these architectural art forms with other very different art forms, namely some of my favorite fabric patterns and items that I have collected over time. Many can be found in my home.  Some are from overseas travels,…
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New Video – Take an architecture tour of all 50 States!

New Video – Take an architecture tour of all 50 States!

News
Moving onto the next step -- my coffee table book! At the end of 2018 I achieved my dream of creating portraits of homes and historic buildings in every state across the USA.  It took some years to do it, not to mention an estimated 20,000 miles of travel. In the process I created around 2500 portraits in 35 architectural styles.  In addition to homes, I have painted city halls, churches, old school houses, family barns, lake homes and holiday cabins. Now I am onto my next target for 2019 . . . the compilation and publishing of my coffee table book! In the mean time I have distilled those years into a short zippy video that takes you on a whistle-stop  architectural tour across the USA and shows a…
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My favorite house portrait homes of 2018!

My favorite house portrait homes of 2018!

House Portraits, News
Thanks to all you awesome home owners and my wonderful house portrait clients! It's hard to believe that 2018 is now coming to a close. It's been a great year. Full of creativity and new adventures. I have to say, it's a wonderful thing to make one's living doing what you are passionate about, but I couldn't do it without you and your support of original art. So thank you very much for that. I have selected some of my favorite homes, all in different categories.  Actually it's pretty well impossible to narrow it down to such a few as there is always somewhat of a love affair with every single house portrait I create!  I hope you enjoy my selection and that it gives you a sense of the…
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Coffee Table Book – 50 States Now Done!

Coffee Table Book – 50 States Now Done!

Coffee Table Book, News
Moving onto the next step... Over the years I’ve travelled an estimated 20,000 miles and created around 2,500 portraits of homes and historic buildings. These range from homes in 35 different architectural styles, as well as city halls, churches, old school houses, family barns, lake homes and holiday cabins. I have always been fascinated with the changes in architectural styles as I travel across the country, especially when it comes to where people live, because to me, architecture is about people, family and community. The reasons for those changes are as varied as local weather conditions, cultural diversity and available building resources such as local stone, clay, brick and timber. Examples are stucco Spanish Revivals in California, stunning log cabins in Colorado, adobe dwellings in Arizona and one can find…
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Historic Preservation Event and my first NZ recipient!

Historic Preservation Event and my first NZ recipient!

Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
Historic Preservation Hero - James Blackburne! In additional to spending valuable time with my family, I decided to celebrate my recent visit to New Zealand with the presentation of my Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award to an extremely deserving individual. While national in scope, James Blackburne just happens to be based in the city of Gisborne where my family lives. James is an architect whose passion is to see members of the community engaged in architectural preservation on all levels. A Gisborne native, he is the President of Historic Places Aotearoa Inc. and is the Chairman of Historic Places Tairawhiti Inc. and Tairawhiti Heritage Trust.  He is a strong advocate for the protection and restoration of heritage buildings and has taken a leading role in a number of stellar preservation…
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