Hot off the Easel:  Vibrant Community Series Old Town Lansing, Michigan

Hot off the Easel: Vibrant Community Series Old Town Lansing, Michigan

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
My brand new technique to show off lively historic communities. These are the first three paintings in this series where I am exploring new techniques and mediums. Old Town Lansing, Michigan, and its artsy historic vibe, inspired me to explore its interesting urban vistas and along the way I discovered some enticing nooks and crannies. Introduction to Old Town Lansing: Lansing, the capital city of Michigan, was incorporated in 1859 and the city was formerly a major center of the automobile industry. The historic homes and neighborhoods around the city tell the story of its rich past. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Town Lansing is located in the northern end of Lansing.  It overlooks the Grand River and a winding walking and biking trail.  The district was established in the mid-19th…
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Celebrating Victorian Era Architecture

Celebrating Victorian Era Architecture

Historic Perservation, House Portraits, News
Happy Birthday Queen Victoria! Today we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was born on May 24, 1819.  She became queen at the tender age of 18 and gave the Victorian era its name. During her six-decade rule she was responsible for the creation of the British Empire, becoming one of Britain’s most famous monarchs. Description of Victorian Architecture Victorian architecture is an over-riding term that describes the many ornate architectural styles that came into being during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901. Likewise, the Victorian era of architecture includes several different styles, including Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, Shingle, Second Empire, Folk Victorian, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne and Italianate style. The Victorian era is marked with decorative details and ornamentation, rejecting the practical simplicity of previous architectural eras.…
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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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