Architectural paintings of homes – Before & After

Architectural paintings of homes – Before & After

House Portraits, News
Some of my most challenging watercolor house portraits . . . I'm making a plug for all artists who like me, make their living from ORIGINAL hand-crafted one of a kind art.  Yes I am talking about the "old-school" way of doing things where only ONE painting was created of a subject, brought about by the skilled hands of artists and crafts-people alike. People today often talk about simply "photo-shopping" things away, or creating "digitally-modified" art.  My view is that while this is the "easy" way to do things, there is too much reliance on this route. Here one good reason why.  Have a look at this stunning Queen Anne home in Alameda CA which I recently completed. It was built in the 1870's and has been in the family…
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House Portrait of a Denver Ranch Home

House Portrait of a Denver Ranch Home

House Portraits, News, Repurposed Homes
Transformation of a Denver home - inside and out! I had pretty well wrapped up my series of portraits of Denver homes but decided to review the collection one more time. There were Victorians, Tudors, lots of Craftsman, Colonial Revivals, Spanish Revivals, Cape Cod, Dutch Renaissance a few tasteful contemporary homes. . . then it stuck me, there was no Ranch style home!  And yet, Denver, like all bigger cities across the USA, has an abundance of this practical, family oriented home.  Ranch homes sometimes get dismissed as common cookie cutter homes you would expect in equally bland suburbs. But this is absolutely not the case if you look a little closer. Ranch homes can not only be stylishly stunning, but very welcoming too. Especially if the right owner comes…
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Unveiling my Denver House Portrait Collection

Unveiling my Denver House Portrait Collection

Coffee Table Book, House Portraits, News
The breathtaking beauty of Colorado From the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a land of vast geographic contrasts that attracts outdoor adventurers, wilderness lovers and winter sports enthusiasts. However, one can also find towering cities, monumental historic landmarks, charming small towns and windswept ghost towns.   I have always loved Colorado. With its soaring mountains and lakes it reminds me of my homeland of New Zealand.  I include a number of Colorado homes in my coffee table book Hand Painted Homes: An Artist's Pen and Watercolor Journey Across America  including this stunning log cabin home in Crested Butte in the Rocky Mountains.  Recently The Mountain Ear newspaper in Nederland, CO, featured a story about my book and my feelings about Colorado. [caption id="attachment_27648" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Log home in…
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Announcing the First of my Industrial Architecture Painting Series

Announcing the First of my Industrial Architecture Painting Series

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
The Rugged Beauty of Industrial Architecture As I travel across the country -- whether through cities or out in the wilderness -- I am becoming increasingly aware of the remnants of America’s industrial architecture and have been inspired by the rugged beauty of their forms.  After all, at the root of this country’s progress over the last two centuries, were the factories built to produce needed goods – from the finest linens to firearms -- for a rapidly growing nation. I have just completed the first three paintings in this series. As you can see, the technique I use is a far cry from the fine detailed pen and watercolors of my signature house portraits, Iconic American Architecture series and more. This first pair of original paintings evolved from various…
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Painting of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: Latest in my Iconic American Series

Painting of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: Latest in my Iconic American Series

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
Monticello, “Little Mountain,” was home to Thomas Jefferson from 1770 to 1826. It was also the architectural masterpiece of the author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. Renowned as one of America’s first and finest architects, Thomas Jefferson created, rebuilt, and revised the house throughout his long life.  The home reflects the personality of Jefferson, a Renaissance man and one of the Founding Fathers. [caption id="attachment_29299" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Painting of Monticello, the latest in my Iconic American Architecture series[/caption] History of Monticello Jefferson began building Monticello in 1769 on the plantation that he inherited from his father.  Located it on top of a hill, the original eight-room main house was still incomplete in the 1780s.  Regardless, the sophistication of Jefferson’s design impressed European visitors. …
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First Paintings of Historic Homes in German Village, Columbus OH

First Paintings of Historic Homes in German Village, Columbus OH

Historic Perservation, House Portraits, News
A trip through Columbus Ohio is never complete for my husband and me until we stop in and visit the charming town of German Village. It a historic neighborhood, situated just south of the city's downtown.  As the name suggests, it was settled by a large number of German immigrants in the early-to-mid-19th century.  At one time these immigrants totaled close to a third of the city's entire population. I am now well into a series of house portraits depicting some of my favorite homes in the area, as part of a series of 50 paintings of homes and historic buildings I have now created within the greater Columbus area. The city of Columbus has a fascinating history, but in this article I am concentrating on the earliest residential area in the…
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Stunning House Portrait Subjects: 12 points that make a home art inspiring!

Stunning House Portrait Subjects: 12 points that make a home art inspiring!

House Portraits, News
How many art inspiring points does your home have? I am lucky enough to receive new commission requests for house portraits every week, however I like to chose my own subjects as well and create collections of portraits that architecturally depict specific geographic areas.  From time to time the owners of these selected homes have asked how I came to choose their house.  I started thinking about this recently. I figured there’d be about a handful of art inspiring elements, but once I got into it I came up with 12!   I have listed these below along with examples some of my favorite portraits from around the country that I feel reflect particularly well one of the 12 individual points. (Click on any of the portraits below to make them larger.) The…
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Painting of Hearst Castle!  The Latest in my Iconic American Architecture Series

Painting of Hearst Castle! The Latest in my Iconic American Architecture Series

New Art, News
In 2019, Time Magazine included Hearst Castle on its list of the world's greatest places to visit, stating, "few places better capture the opulence of early-20th century California than Hearst Castle." I attempted to visit the castle many years ago when my mother was here in the USA for a visit. We drove for hours through heavy rain, only to find out when we got to the entrance gate there was no further tours that day due to the storm. That was disappointing, but least I have now had the chance to capture its magnificence in this painting, the latest in my Iconic American Architecture series. [caption id="attachment_28750" align="aligncenter" width="1440"] Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California[/caption] Often called La Casa Grand (“The Big House”), Hearst Castle is the crowning jewel…
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Unveiling of “Lost American Architecture: In Memoriam” Series

Unveiling of “Lost American Architecture: In Memoriam” Series

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
Lost but not forgotten architecture I am proud to unveil the first four multi-media pieces in my new collection, “Lost American Architecture: In Memoriam.” As the name suggests, they are depictions of stunningly beautiful buildings that came down long before their time. In each case their fate was sealed by a simple act of unprovoked aggression. They each fell to the ground in a cloud of dust, victims of the deadly wrecking ball. Today they are long forgotten memories, like weathered tombstone inscriptions in a graveyard of architectural destruction that spans a century and more. While nothing can bring these elegant art forms back to life, I created these paintings to honor their intricate craftsmanship and pay tribute to the men and women who designed and built them and those…
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New Art!  Biltmore Estate painting

New Art! Biltmore Estate painting

New Art, News
The latest in my Iconic America Architecture series! [caption id="attachment_28470" align="aligncenter" width="2179"] Leisa Collins painting of Biltmore Estate[/caption] The elegant Biltmore Estate is America’s largest home. This French Renaissance castle and grounds by Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains is truly an architectural jewel. The French Chateau-style mansion was built as a grand retreat for George W. Vanderbilt III between 1889 and 1895. The 8,000-acre estate is home to forested trails and beautiful gardens. Visiting the Biltmore is an experience like none other. It includes the most-visited winery in the nation and there is shopping, dining as well as luxury accommodations. The home features 250 rooms, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces! George Vanderbilt brought in the father of American landscape architecture, Fredrick Law Olmsted, to…
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