Architectural Artist, Leisa Collins, Combats the Ravages of Time by Painting Portraits of Historic Homes Before These Houses Are Lost Forever
By Suzanna Bowling
September 21, 2021
“Alarmed that hundreds of historic homes and buildings are being torn down in the United States every week, architectural artist Leisa Collins embarked on a decade-long mission to honor the beauty and legacy of American architecture with her paintbrush. She traveled to all fifty states — and the District of Columbia — capturing these invaluable structures on canvas and collecting their stories before they could be lost to the wrecking ball or the ravages of time…”
Grand Rapids artist releases art book on American homes
By Hunter Mull
May 25, 2021
“Leisa Collins, an architectural artist living in Grand Rapids recently released an art book, “Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America,” featuring American homes.
According to her website, Collins was alarmed at the number of beautiful historic homes that are lost to decay or demolition every day in the United States, and so she sent herself on a mission to tell the story of American architecture through her art…”
Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America
by Jane Roser
“Leisa Collins started honing her artistic skills as a teenager by drawing historic buildings around her hometown of Aukland, New Zealand and her love of architecture grew from there. Working with nonprofits for decades allowed Collins the freedom to travel the world, becoming enchanted with the historic buildings she encountered and the stories she had to tell.”
Excerpts from a forthcoming book of architectural paintings
by Will. Ingram
March 11, 2020
“National architectural artist Leisa Collins has completed a series of original paintings of historic San Antonio homes to show the “unique beauty of these older homes and increase awareness of the need to protect and preserve them.”
Her San Antonio series, which is now available for viewing on her blog, covers an eclectic mix of thirty art-inspiring homes from fifteen different architectural styles: San Antonio Craftsman Homes, Spanish, Italianate, Ranch Style, Tudor, Colonial and more.”
Painting South Side Houses
Excerpts from a forthcoming book of architectural paintings
by Sarah Fineman
April 7, 2020
“Those paying special attention in Kenwood and Beverly last summer may have noticed a woman driving around very slowly with the windows down, hopping out every so often to photograph a certain house from all angles before standing in front of it and opening a notebook to draw. The sketcher was Leisa Collins, an architectural artist who has painted homes and historic buildings in every state and recently brought her talents and attention to Chicago.”
Is your home ready for its portrait? Architectural artist wants to honor Portland’s legacy
by Janet Eastman
Jan 15, 2020
“Art can be an idealized version of reality and architectural artist Leisa Collins sees this as her goal.
She creates watercolor and ink portraits of historic homes and she’s able, with skill and the stroke of her brush, to highlight aesthetically pleasing elements, like an intricate brick pattern or bay window, and leave out of the painted scene unsightly power lines, construction rubble and the neighbors’ debris.”
Why Take a Picture of Your House When You Can Paint It Instead?
By Daniel Grant
June 28, 2019
“…an artist’s interpretation of a photograph offers the chance to enhance reality — or create a new one. House portraitists, also known as architectural artists or home painters, are often asked to modify aspects of the house they’re painting or add details that aren’t really there…”
Artist Leisa Collins travels San Antonio painting the historic homes that strike her fancy
March 29, 2019
by Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News
You can’t blame Natalie Smith for being a bit suspicious when she received the out-of-the-blue postcard last year. On one side was a reproduction of a painting of her Alamo Heights home. On the other, a message from a woman she’d never met.
The woman was Leisa Collins, and she was an architectural artist whose paintings capture the diversity of homes across the United States, the note read. Collins had recently been in San Antonio and had painted Smith’s 1932 kit home as part of a series she was working on. If Smith was interested in purchasing the original painting, the note concluded, she could contact Collins directly.
Not your typical Nigerian prince come-on, but Smith was still suspicious — and intrigued.
Meet Leisa Collins of Leisa Collins Art
March 13, 2018
Leisa, Please share your story with us, How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always believed that art is a powerful means of communication and a potent weapon to bring about change. As a teenager, my love to travel and adventure prompted me to abandon formal art training and instead I decided to learn my craft while traveling across my native New Zealand homeland…
Benton Park STL Historic Rehab Project Receives National Historic Preservation Award
October 8, 2017
St. Louis — Leisa Collins, an acclaimed national artist who specializes in paintings of historic homes and buildings, presented two individuals in Benton Park with her latest Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award for their stellar actions to save and fully restore two pre-Civil War cottages that had been abandoned for over a decade.
Awardee, Ray Simon, an architect and noted rehabber in Benton Park, had the vision to rescue the two crumbling relics on Missouri Ave. Together with partner Mel, they transformed the fading structures into what is often described as one of the coolest properties in the neighborhood.
Tarpon Springs preservation project honored
Receives national artist’s award
Jun 20, 2017
By Kathryn Williams, Tampa Bay Newspapers
TARPON SPRINGS – Nationally acclaimed artist Leisa Collins selected Dunedin resident Joseph Kokolakis, president of K.J. Kokolakis Contracting, as the recipient of the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award for his work on saving a Ring Ave. bungalow from ruin.
The event was hosted by marketing and public relations specialist, and friend to Collins, Gracia Bennish.
The craftsman-style home is at 108 N. Ring Ave., though that is not its original location, according to Phyllis Kolianos, vice president of archives at the Tarpon Springs Historical Society and a member of the Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board.
Traveling Artist Leisa Collins Pays Homage to America’s Historic Preservation Buildings, While Taking a Proactive Approach to Promoting Art
Friday, December 20, 2016
By Ashley Jude Collie
Beautiful buildings, many owned by regular folk, and others by “heroic” property-owners, who’ve painstakingly restored often decrepit but historic houses, have been at the center of Leisa Collins’ around-the-world and grand artistic adventure.
Having now created house portraits in 46 states and in 35 different architectural styles — Craftsman bungalows, Victorian, Tudor and other historic homes — Collins’ work reflects an architectural tour of buildings across America.
DC in Design
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
By Jennifer Sergent
One of my good freelancer friends recently moved with her family from Falls Church to Vienna, but they took a piece of their old house with them in the form of a beautiful watercolor sketch, which is now a lovely reminder of all their good times there. Architectural paintings can be so much richer than photography—there’s something about the paint strokes that gives them personality and character.
That’s why I was excited to learn about Leisa Collins, an artist who splits her time between DC and California. She’s painted homes all over the DC area, and is in the process of developing a book of her architectural paintings from all 50 states.
Portraits of Home
Artist Completes La Jolla House Portrait Series
Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Glendale’s architecture provides inspiration for artist
Sunday, November 1 2015
By Arin Mikailian
Artist Leisa Collins is a fan of strolling through Glendale neighborhoods, but she has an even bigger fondness for architecture that will occasionally stop her right in her tracks. When she comes across a visually-striking home, she whips out a drawing pad and starts to sketch.
On Saturday a celebration was held on the new site of a very old Monrovia Carriage Barn. Several years ago, the barn was threatened with destruction when the house with which it was associated was sold. Through the efforts of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group (MOHPG), the carriage barn was saved.
South Pasadena Artist Leisa Collins Debuts San Marino Series
Posted Tuesday, June 16 – 9:19 a.m.
By Stacy Lee
South Pasadena artist Leisa Collins recently completed the first phase of her San Marino series of pen and watercolor house portraits.
She noted San Marino has its own ambiance with no apartment buildings and few commercial establishments.
South Pasadena artist finds unique way to ward off ‘mansionization’
By Zen Vuong, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
SOUTH PASADENA – Amid widespread indignation over “mansionization” sprawl, one local artist has found a unique way to preserve prized architectural homes in the San Gabriel Valley.
Local Artist Paints Monrovia Houses
Local artist Leisa Collins has completed the first phase of a series of pen and watercolor architectural house portraits featuring 26 homes she loves in Monrovia. She is working on a book that will include Monrovia house portraits along with paintings featuring homes and diverse architectural styles across 43 states…
San Marino Historic Preservation Award
Professional Artist Leisa Collins Enjoys Backdrop of South Pas
Thursday, August 14, 2014
By Sarah Stukan
Though it may go relatively unrecognized, the city of South Pasadena is comprised of homes with exclusively individual architecture. Professional artist Leisa Collins is one resident who utilizes this subtle quality to her benefit.
South Pasadena Review
Many Come Out to Support of Big Event
Inside the Belt
Historic Chicago Bungalow Association
We would like to extend our congratulations to Julie Liska, Historic Chicago Bungalow owner and preservationist, who was nominated for the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award.
Official Paper of Woodbine, Iowa
Millard earns award for preservation effort, brings attention to Woodbine
by Jon Burleson
Woodbine’s own Zell Millard was awarded the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award for his efforts to rescue and preserve the Merry Brook Historic School House. The award was presented to Millard at the school by the international artist Leisa Collins herself who is a native of Auckland, New Zealand.
Old Town Patch
July 6, 2011
Creative Art Nexus and the Spring for Alexandria mural project
by Afedziwa Hayford
Creative Art Nexus encourages community participation in public art projects.
Its creation resulted from many youth groups and professional artists who joined together to complete a mural in Alexandria in October 2010.
January 6, 2011
by James Cullum
Today, when Camille Leverett was sworn in as a member of the Alexandria Commission For Women and Leisa Collins as a member of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, their business and community service partnerships officially merged. Leverett owns BeautyFull Boutique, the City’s only consignment shop catering to plus-sized women, and shares space with Collins, an accomplished artist and owner of studio/workshop Creative Art Nexus.
Del Ray Patch On-line News Alexandria Virginia
Mural In The Works
September 13, 2010
by Drew Hansen
A public mural appears to be coming to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center in Del Ray, but not before the project is discussed and public comments are collected.
The Del Ray Mural Youth Project, which is to coincide with next month’s Art on the Avenue festival, proposes a temporary art piece to be painted on the exterior wall of the recreation center’s gymnasium. Local artists Leisa Collins, Corinne Marlowe, Forest Allread and five youth teams will help construct the mural during the festival on Oct. 2.
Alexandria Times On-line Article Virginia
Sketching History into a New Life on St. Asaph
July 22, 2010
After relocating to Old Town Alexandria three months ago, artist Leisa Collins noticed a lack of young people involved in the historic and restoration movement and decided to do something about it.
Last week she held the first of a series of free art workshops, Bringing History Alive Through Art. She helped a team of children to paint their first house portrait of an Old Town
Alexandria Time On-line Article Virginia
Putting Face to Home
June 3, 2010
Artist Leisa Collins was travelling with her husband across the country from the West Coast, searching for a new place to live, when they took a wrong turn and ended up at the foot of Duke Street and Old Towns waterfront.
October 13, 2010
With decades of service to the community, and hundreds of talented individuals under its wings, the arts scene in Alexandria is quite impressive. In this setting, it takes a lot for a newcomer to make a mark. With her own deft touches, newcomer Leisa Collins is doing just that.
New Zealand Press
High Country Herald
South Canterbury’s best-read community newspaper, New Zealand
Artist paints art with a message
Visual artist Leisa Collins stopped in at the Mt Cook-Aoraki village recently as part of a national painting tour in which she is retracing the footsteps of her journey through the South Island 30 years earlier.
High Country Herald
South Canterbury’s best-read community newspaper, New Zealand
Artists rally for girl
By Alexia Johnson
When artists converge on Aoraki Mt Cook this week, Gemma Hart-Hobman will be in their thoughts.
The Gisborne Herald
Gisborne, New Zealand
Showing aroha for marae through art
By Alice Te Puni
A splash of colour and generous strokes of aroha were the finishing touches of a painting crated through a youth programme at Tapuihikitia Marae, Puha, last week.
Rotorua Daily Post
Painting a house portrait
A quick stop over in Rotorua to see family turned into a more lengthy painting spree for New Zealand artist Leisa Collins. “I’ve just toured 11,000 km across America on a painting tour and have been all over New Zealand in the last few weeks, however Rotorua has the most beautiful lake-side homes I’ve ever seen!” said Leisa. “I started selectively putting flyers into the letterboxes of these homes and have got very good response.”
USA Tour Press
Artist and activist Leisa Collins stopped by Sacramento on Sept, 13 as part of a 6,000-mile tour around the U.S. She held painting lessons at the Capitol to protest the cuts to arts education in the latest California budget. She’s shown here with student Sara Benassini of Carmichael and her painting of the Capitol. Photo by Bruce Goodman.
Grand Canyon News
Serving Grand Canyon, Tusayan & Vale
Art with a message visits western Canyon
Leisa Collins makes Grand Canyon part of her national tour
By Patrick Whitehurst
After two decades spent in social activism and traveling the globe, artist Leisa Collins is once again focusing on art. The New Zealand-born artist is traveling across the country as part of her new “Across the USA: Through the Eyes of an Artist” tour. Collins stopped near the western rim of the Grand Canyon in early September after leaving from Los Angeles Sept. 3. Her tour will end at the end of the month in New York.
Mammoth Times Weekly
Artist stops in Mammoth during tour promoting art for change
Capturing the “places, faces and homes of America on camera and on canvas”, Mammoth Lakes was one of the first stops of the Across the USA from the Eyes of an Artist tour.
Mariposa Weekly Gazette
The Official Newspaper of Mariposa Country
Yosemite is a key spot on artist’s tour of America
Capturing the “places, faces and homes of America on camera and on canvas”, Yosemite National Park was one of the highlights of the Across the USA from the Eyes of an Artist tour and the subject of an open air painting session on the shores of Lake Tanyere. The journey marks the re-emergence of visual artist Leisa Collins into the art world after two decades of global travels and social activism.