In the Media

October 2021
By Omayra Acevedo
“It’s difficult for me to write anything that’s not from my heart. When I was asked to write a story on Ms. Leisa Collins and her coffee table book, Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen and Watercolor Journey Across America, I needed to do my research first.

In no time at all, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity. I respect Collins’ appreciation for the things a lot of people tend to ignore or forget about. This alone inspired me to write her story. Allow me to invite you into the heart of passion, creativity, history, and labor of love.

Many architecturally enticing structures are becoming extinct. Lack of funds, time, care, and passion are all playing a part in their demise. With hundreds of historical homes being torn down every week in the United States, Collins felt the intense inspiration to capture the diverse architectural world of America.”

Visit The Mountain Ear online.

December 2021
“A vibrant labor of love, this big book presents artist Leisa Collins’ ink-and- watercolor paintings of old houses across the country. She is passionate about architecture, and preservation, and travel. That combination of interests took her to all 50 states to paint houses, including some in jeopardy due to neglect or development. You’ll find little stone cottages, row houses, Victorian mansions, and organic contemporary homes. Collins painted a few historic houses before and after being saved, along with churches and town halls. She included some informal sketches, adding to the moment- in-time sensibility.

The watercolors—650 of them—spurred text covering style, history, and the vernacular. Collins weaves in stories about geography, politics, and the economy as they affected domestic architecture.”

Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America
September 2021
“Michigan-based architectural artist and author, Leisa Collins has released a Kindle Edition of her coffee table book “Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America,” in celebration of American historic preservation.

Alarmed that hundreds of historic homes and buildings are being torn down in the United States every week, Collins embarked on a decade-long mission to honor the beauty and legacy of American architecture with her paintbrush…”

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…”

Read the full article.



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…”

Read the full article.

Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America
by Jane Roser
July/August/September 2021
“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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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…”

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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.

Read the Full Article.

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…

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10th Historic Preservation Award winners Ray Simon and Mel Pashea of St. Louis, MO

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.

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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.

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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.

Read the full article.

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.

Read the full article.

Portraits of Home

December 2015

Los Angeles Daily News
Think your house is an unlikely subject for a painting? Think Again.

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.

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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.

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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.

Read the full article.

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.

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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…

Read the full article.

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.

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South Pasadena Review

Many Come Out to Support of Big Event

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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.

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Woodbine Twiner

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.

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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.

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Alexandria News

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Jay’s Blog

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.

Read the full article.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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USA Tour Press


Capitol Weekly

Art Tour

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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