Homes of Washington, D.C. – House Portrait Collection

Homes of Washington, D.C. – House Portrait Collection

House Portraits, News
House Portrait Collection of Georgetown in Washington, D.C.! The District of Columbia is one of the most historic area in all of the United States. The city abounds with Neoclassical buildings and monuments and along with Roman, Egyptian and Greek inspired architecture. Today we'll be taking a walk through the streets of Georgetown, Capital Hill Neighborhood and many other nooks of this historically abundant city. To quote an excerpt from my new book, "Hand Painted Homes": "Behind the monuments and stately institutions of Washington, D.C., there is a wealth of history in the architectural style of every home in and around the city. Having resided just a few miles south of the D.C. area, I enjoyed exploring the historic heritage of the city and building my collection of paintings representing…
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Saving Victorian-Era Carriage Barns and Carriage Houses

Saving Victorian-Era Carriage Barns and Carriage Houses

Historic Perservation, News
The trend to save these delightful relics What is a Carriage Barn? A carriage barn (also called a carriage house) is a building constructed near a larger home to store horse-drawn carriages. They   sometimes housed the coachman or caretaker on the upper floor.  Today there is a growing trend to repurpose these buildings into small second homes, garage apartments or guest houses [caption id="attachment_27940" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Chamberlin Carriage House in Hartford, Connecticut built in 1871[/caption] Carriage House Origins: Carriage houses came about in the era of the horse-drawn carriage in Great Britain.  Owning a horse-drawn carriage in the 1700s was a status symbol for wealthy families and they built carriage houses close to the house along with the necessary gear and operators. Homes that were built in the country…
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Demise of a Victorian Era Masterpiece – the Detroit Old City Hall

Demise of a Victorian Era Masterpiece – the Detroit Old City Hall

Historic Perservation, News
In Memoriam... the first of my Lost American Architecture Series It's hard to fathom that this beautifully crafted Italian Renaissance Revival masterpiece that was built in the Victorian era and took ten years to construct, is now lost forever. Built to last in Amherst sandstone, the Detroit City Hall, in the state of Michigan, was the center of life in Detroit for almost 100 years. In fact I am currently putting the finishing touching on a painting that tells this very story. Paintings of other tragic architectural losses will follow, but this will be the first in my In Memoriam: Lost American Architecture series. The fate of this building that hosted eight presidents (Cleveland, McKinley, Taft, Wilson, Hoover, both Roosevelts and Truman) was sealed in 1961, when it became yet…
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The Alamo: my latest Iconic American Architecture painting!

The Alamo: my latest Iconic American Architecture painting!

New Art, News
To those who gave their lives for freedom . . . I am honored to tell the story of the Battle of the Alamo with my pen and paint brush. My painting depicts the Alamo as it stands today, battle scarred and worn by the elements, with the Texan flag proudly flying. [caption id="attachment_27831" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, as it stands today with the Texas flag proudly flying[/caption] Today the Alamo serves as a symbol of freedom and a shrine to those who gave their lives to the cause. It is also an enduring symbol of Texans resistance to oppression and their struggle for independence, which they won shortly after. The famous saying, “Remember the Alamo!” was often heard in further battles that helped shape the…
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My Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

My Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
The birth home of a truly great American In honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day, I painted this portrait of the Atlanta, Georgia home where the great orator, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and leader of the American civil rights movement was born. I wanted to pay my respect and celebrate his life and legacy the best way I know how — with my paintbrush.   Martin Luther King Jr. (originally named Michael Jr.) was born on the second floor of this clapboard Victorian house on January 15, 1929, and he lived there for the first twelve years of his life. His home was a happy one, and he once said, “I grew up in a family where love was central and where lovely relationships were ever present.” Located on Auburn…
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Latest Iconic American Architecture Painting ….Brooklyn Bridge NYC!

Latest Iconic American Architecture Painting ….Brooklyn Bridge NYC!

New Art, News
New work unveiling! Here's “Brooklyn Bridge, NYC”!  It’s part of my growing Iconic USA collection which includes paintings and multi-media pieces I’ve created celebrating some of my favorite examples of historic American architecture. [caption id="attachment_27805" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Brooklyn Bridge, New York City[/caption]   This new piece is pen & watercolor on paper, 9 x 11.” The original painting is available for sale and I will soon make prints and art gifts available on my website. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable marvels of American engineering and it’s an iconic sight for those in New York City. The bridge (opened in 1883) spans the distance between Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River. The bridge’s suspension towers were built in the Gothic Revival style. They’re 278 feet tall…
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The Destruction of Historic Architecture

The Destruction of Historic Architecture

Historic Perservation, News
 My defining moment. Why did they tear it down? Every building with history has its own story and precious memories. Those of you who have witnessed the sudden disappearance of a home or building very dear to you, will understand the emotional impact and loss I felt that day. It was a defining moment I will always remember. It was the moment when I realized I had to tell the stories of beautiful historic structures through my art …. before it was too late.  The day started out well. I had traveled back home to New Zealand to see family and also take a nostalgic journey, re-tracing my artistic roots in Auckland, the city I grew up in and where I created my very first paintings of architectural subjects. My…
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Destruction of Stunning South Carolina Mansion

Destruction of Stunning South Carolina Mansion

Historic Perservation, News
Road trip from Florida to Michigan Leaving Florida a few days ago, we continued our road trip heading north, through Kentucky and into South Carolina. This state is one of my favorites, with it’s diverse natural landscapes -- from Table Rock Mountain to the Chattanooga River to vast rolling farmland. Its architecture is equally varied due to early colonial influences, with roots to England. The architecture also reflects the impact that the African Slaves and other immigrants, such as the French Calvanist Huguenots, had on the state. History tells us that before the Civil War, the structures in South Carolina were mostly utilitarian and ornamentation was mostly absent. As towns and cities grew after the war the style trends widened and significant changes were seen in the architecture. Sadly, as…
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Traveling through Scenic West Virginia. . .

Traveling through Scenic West Virginia. . .

House Portraits, Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award, News
The most abandoned state in the nation  . . .and the restoration of a 200-year-old stone home. West Virginia is one of the nation’s most scenic states, known for beautiful wooded mountains and dramatic falling rivers. The state is also known for Civil War action and coal mining. It is home to grand resorts, a Cass Gilbert designed capitol and gorgeous mansions built during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. West Virginia was originally part of the Virginia Colony established by England in 1606. In 1607 the first settlement of Jamestown was formed and pioneers arrived to make their home in eastern Virginia. West Virginia, however, remained the frontier for some time and West Virginians retain that resilient pioneer spirit today. Abandoned Buildings of West Virginia But despite its…
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On the road again. . .

On the road again. . .

Historic Perservation, News
How do historic homes become abandoned? When circumstances unexpectedly changed last month, my husband Bruce and I had no choice but to leave our beloved home in the delightful historic East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids MI.  Rather than face the drudgery of finding a new home right away, we put our belongings in storage (once again) and hit the road.  We headed south for warmer weather, only barely escaping the frigid cold of Michigan that was beginning to creep in. On our road trips we always make it our mission to take off-the-main-road excursions from time to time and we are never disappointed.  Driving down Michigan and then into Ohio, besides enjoying the lovely countryside and the beauty of summer turning into fall, I could not help but notice the ever-growing…
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