East Aurora, the home of the Roycroft Movement

East Aurora, the home of the Roycroft Movement

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A Magical Stay at The Roycroft Inn The Roycroft Inn, the Roycroft Campus, and indeed the Roycroft way of life and its story began in 1897 with Elbert Hubbard, a legendary man of vision who founded the American Arts and Crafts Movement in East Aurora NY. For more than 20 years, the Roycroft Campus was a center of entrepreneurship, creativity and learning. It was a hub of activity with over five hundred working artisans and craftsmen and drew visitors from faraway places. [caption id="attachment_2832" align="aligncenter" width="543"] Roycroft Campus Copper Shop[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2833" align="aligncenter" width="543"] Original buildings of the Roycroft Campus[/caption] In 1905 The Roycroft Inn was opened to accommodate visitors and artisans looking to experience this emerging community and style. The Inn became a center of activity for this community.…
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Commissioned Tudor House Portrait in Michigan

Commissioned Tudor House Portrait in Michigan

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Pen and Watercolor Painting in Grand Rapids Here is one of the paintings I dropped off to the owners of the home who commissioned me to the do the painting.  This is definitely one of the nicest Tudor homes I have painted.  The vibrant colors of summer really set off the grey brown tones of the stone and brick. [caption id="attachment_2817" align="aligncenter" width="764"] Grand Rapids Tudor Commissioned House Portrait[/caption] So how would one describe a Tudor home?   I think they are a fascinating architectural style. They are easily spotted by steeply pitched roofs and exterior timber frame walls.  Tudor revival homes often resemble a medieval castle, yet have the old world charm of an English country cottage. Originating in England, the style gained popularity in America in the 1920s and 30s…
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House Portrait in the Snow

House Portrait in the Snow

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Grand Rapids Tudor Home Portrait Sometimes homeowners or potential clients balk at the notion of me doing a portrait of their home in the winter and want to wait till spring or summer.  I often disabuse them of this  idea.  The snow has beautiful soft reflections  and the filtered lighting makes the home and its setting look quite magical. I especially love winter sunsets as they look like muted watercolor paintings with their translucent colors and purple shadows.  This portrait of an elegant  Tudor home  on Floral Ave, Grand Rapids Michigan, is a great example of this. Built in 1928, the interior color and design of the home is just as lovely as the outside, with soft muted tones  and strong  design lines. [caption id="attachment_2812" align="aligncenter" width="637"] Grand Rapids Tudor…
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48 Hours Later. . .

48 Hours Later. . .

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On our way to Michigan Driving through the snow and experiencing a slight contrast in temperature. Just a mere 80 degree drop!  We are on our way to Michigan to spend the New Year with Bruce’s family, deliver some commissioned house portrait paintings and finish some others. It’s Sunday with little traffic on the road. Here’s some photos of the winter wonderland countryside on the way. [caption id="attachment_2802" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Driving in the snow[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2804" align="aligncenter" width="282"] Ohio countryside[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2803" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Almost there...[/caption] We were definitely glad to arrive to Bruce's parents warm inviting Lansing home later that evening! Leisa
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Victorian Cottage House Portrait in Auckland

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Back home in Auckland - My Old House Portrait Stomping Ground! Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and it is also my birth place and is where I started my art career. I had my first art studio in Auckland and did my first portraits of historic buildings.  It's a wonderful harbour city but with the glamour and convenience of a bustling modern city .  I am featuring this restored Victorian cottage in this post as it is a classic historic home in Auckland. This one is in the historic suburb of Parnell. [caption id="attachment_2750" align="aligncenter" width="578"] House Portrait of Historic Victorian Cottage in Parnell, Auckland NZ[/caption] Leisa  
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Outdoor fun in New Zealand

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Crayfishing in Gisborne Just off Wainui Beach where we are staying in Gisborne,  lead by my newphew Troy, the boys went down and collected a Crayfish feast which we then ate for lunch an hour later. Yum!  Where else but in New Zealand! [caption id="attachment_2737" align="aligncenter" width="592"] The boys with their Crayfish catch! Left to right: Kurt, Bruce, Troy and Paul[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2738" align="aligncenter" width="503"] Bruce being Bruce![/caption]     [caption id="attachment_2745" align="aligncenter" width="592"] Crayfish Feasting[/caption] Ciao for now! Leisa    
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Family Reunion in New Zealand

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Mum's 80th Birthday Celebration! Now that's worth celebrating!  We all gathered in Gisborne for this very special occasion. [caption id="attachment_2727" align="aligncenter" width="533"] Welcoming Haka from "The Boys"[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2728" align="aligncenter" width="592"] Melva opening her presents[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2729" align="aligncenter" width="592"] Group Family Photo[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2731" align="aligncenter" width="592"] Mum and her four girls - Left to Right: Melva, Michelle, Leisa, Monique and Simone[/caption] Until next time, Leisa  
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House Portraits in New Zealand

House Portraits in New Zealand

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New House Portraits in Gisborne, New Zealand We are now in Gisborne where a number of my family members live, including my Mum. We are staying with my sister and her husband Paul at Wainui Beach.  Gisborne is a lovely laid back city on the east coast of the North Island. In fact it's the first city in the world to see the dawn every day. Here are a couple of my new Gisborne house portraits. That's it for now. Leisa  
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New Zealand Landscape Painting Inspirations

New Zealand Landscape Painting Inspirations

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Trail Bike Riding in Rotorua Forest Have now arrived in Middle-earth -- New Zealand that is -- for a painting tour and to see family. We got right into the true spirit of New Zealand and went trail bike riding the next morning. The air is SO fresh, the water SO clear. It's nice to be home and it always inspires me to get out my paintbrush and canvas and create new landscape paintings! Here we all are below, from left to right, Simone (sister),  Bruce (husband), Kurt (nephew), me, Monique (sister) and Dave (brother-in-law).  What fun!!! This area in Rotorua is called the Whakarewarewa Forest. I have done a number of paintings of the forest but there is no end to its beauty.   It has one of the oldest mountain bike networks in…
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Log Cabin House Portrait  Boulder, Colorado

Log Cabin House Portrait Boulder, Colorado

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Colorado Log Cabin in the Snow I have always loved log cabins and after spending time in Colorado a few years ago, I realized that they fit perfectly with the harsh winters and alpine setting of this state. The ever-present mountains remind me of my New Zealand homeland and I saw the most beautiful sunsets while there. I found that log cabins in Colorado can range from a modest cottage to very large and elaborately crafted log homes such as the examples below. [caption id="attachment_28159" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Modest log cabin[/caption] [caption id="attachment_28161" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Elegant log home in the mountains[/caption] The origin of the log cabin dates back to around 1638, where the first log cabins were built in the city of Wilmington, Delaware. Most were constructed by settlers from either…
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