Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finding Love

I love “love” and I love to paint it!  When you paint a mother with her baby, there is pure love, and the joy in painting this feeling is the greatest gift for everyone.
And, I love the beach -- I love the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves and the feeling of the wet beach sand on my feet - it is a place where I go to find peace and tranquility.  When I get the chance to be with mothers and babies on the beach, I think I grow more wrinkles from smiling.!
12 x 9, Oil on Board

Monday, June 28, 2010


If you haven’t seen the movie, “Invictus”, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood -- the movie is  about Nelson Mandella, run, don’t walk and rent it -- the man is my hero and has been for a long time.  After spending 27 years in a cell no bigger than spreading your arms (they show it in the movie), he was released and was elected as the President of South Africa.  He  forgave his jailers, and he taught the world about compassion and forgiveness and how to lead a country by inspiring others to be the best that they can be.  His inaugural speech says it all  ....... 
He inspired his ruby team to overcome their own prejudices an dissatisfaction and to help lead South Africa back to a  unified country.
In your life and in your art or whatever you do, when you are giving your best and you are pushing yourself beyond your own limits, then, you do fly, you do win, you do paint masterpieces.
Great movie -- great actors and great sound!  I love movies that are real and that make me want more out of my life!
He shared his own words of wisdom that kept him surviving his imprisonment -- and I shall share them with you here "----------- I am the master of my fate -- I am the captain of my soul."
Thank you, Nelson Mandella -- for making me a better person.  
We are all masters -- let’s be the best in everything we do and share those gifts of love.  It is a great universe -- it is ours!
And here is a very special Thank You to all of you who are taking the time to read my blog!  When you take the time to leave me your great compliments and tell me what you see in my work -- you put a smile in my heart and I am every so grateful for the encouragement to be a great painter.  I promise to do the same.
"Summer Sails"
24 x 24 Oil on Board

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Painting for You

I would love you to disappear in the world that I am creating -- if only for a moment -- to feel the joy and love that I am painting.  Then I know that I am truly painting.
"My Daddy's Home"
9 x 12, Oil on Board

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Life is not a “dress rehearsal” -- we hear that all of the time.  And, sometimes a painting is a practice painting -- when you are trying out new ideas, new colors, new techniques, or just plain “growing”!  Musicians practice before they perform on stage.   Watching the video of Michael Jackson’s preparations for his tour is so inspiring -- what an amazing talent!  He worked on every move to make sure that it was done the way he knew it could be done -- with perfection!  His feet simply slide across the stage, his body moves with such ease and grace and he exudes the loves of dance and music -- and then he starts to sing and WOW -- He gave his all to his music and even though we all know that he dealt with his own “issues”, we certainly can all appreciate and admire his talent!
So when you are in the studio painting -- remember that practice is the purse essence of finding the perfection in your art -- I have been painting a long time and there are still days when I wipe out my painting, knowing that I can do it better -- and that is what drives me to be the best artist that I can be!
Each painting brings me to the next one!
"Summer Love"
12 x 9 Oil on Board

Friday, June 18, 2010

Finding Your Passion

Inspiration rules our world!  Subjects for paintings are all around us -- and each of us are drawn to what sparks that desire to paint inside of us.  Some of us are drawn to paint flowers, others find landscapes that stir our creativity, and buildings and cityscapes  have long been a painter’s delight.    I love to paint all of these and more.   My passion is painting people.   I am drawn to paint people -- I started out as a portrait painter and it was a great way to learn to paint people.
I love to paint everything and yet as I look back at most of my paintings --there are people in them!
What is your passion?
"Red Wine"
8 x 6 Oil on Raymar Board
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Mother's Love

There are moments in life -- special moments -- when a moment in time is worth a painting.  The afternoon light and the feeling of love are all it took here.
This is a study for my newest series of paintings of mothers and children.  I am so excited to be doing this new series and I love the colors!
"Afternoon Love"
9 x 12 Oil on Canvas

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Art

I took the word “Old” out of my vocabulary -- it’s gone from my memory and I do not hear that word any more!
WHEW!  Now that it’s gone I feel great!  Who invented that word anyway?  It is so Negative -- and I am only doing Positive.
We are told to study the O__ Masters, and truly we can learn so much from the history of art.  Our future in art is us -- and we can start to discover where our art will take us -- and create Art that soars!
"Summer Fun"
8 x 6 Oil on Raymar Board

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Painting with natural light is the only way to truly get those warm late afternoon colors to glow.  I watch the light as the seasons change and I fix places in my yard to capture that light. 
A mother’s love is a special love -- and painting that love is by far one of the greatest pleasures I have.  Mary Cassatt would use models for her mother and baby series and they were not necessarily related -- for me, I treasure the relationship that only a mother and baby share -- and that is what I am painting!
Love!  It’s a great feeling to paint.
"Love" (study)
8 x 10 Oil on Board

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Painting Magic

A painting starts with an idea, a moment when you meet someone, or finding a treasure in an antique store.  I had the privilege of meeting this beautiful woman and her baby while at a breakfast several months ago.  When I saw her beautiful face, I knew she was the woman I was seeking to model for me.
It took a while to set up the time and day for her to come over with her baby and pose for me.  For weeks I watched the light in my garden and in my back yard to create the atmosphere I am looking for.  I then start sketching some of the ideas that I am looking to paint.  The outfit practically fell into my hands while I was out shopping with a friend of mine -- and of course, I own about fifty hats!
I will be putting this story on my creative pages on my web site -- It is a beautiful story of how these new and beautiful paintings came to be.
Late afternoon light is the time for my hammock -- I put a cream afghan on it this time to give it a new look and as the baby fell asleep -- we timed it that way -- she sat down and the glow of light on her and the baby -- well, it created a magic that I am so excited to paint -- and I am just getting started.  Here is the first study!
"A Mother's Love (study)"
12 x 12 Oil on Canvas

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Techniques

When Jackson Pollock accidentally dripped paint on the floor while he was painting, a whole new form of art was created -- it opened new doors for his painting and for the public who then collected his abstract art.  He was inspired!  And he painted some amazing canvases, and his art grew into his “method” of creating art.  He had shows in New York, magazine articles and fame.  Yet, somehow over the following years, he forgot to stretch himself again and develop new techniques to express himself.
Change is good -- stretching your artistic muscles is a must to keep your art and yourself growing.  When you try new colors, new brushes and new techniques you are opening the door to your “method” of painting and the world awaits your creativity.  And, you never know what magic will happen!
Try something new today -- Discover your genius!
"My Sister"
12 x 12 Oil on Board

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finding Your Voice

Art has been a tremendous part of our universe  -- it has grown from crude drawings inside caves to incredible paintings that grace the walls of so many homes and businesses and museums!  We are surrounded by art of all kinds -- it is seen  on billboards, clothing and even graffiti!
Over the centuries artists have survived and painted -- even when they were told what to paint (mostly religious scenes), they found a way to truly express their thoughts on life and their universe.  I remember reading how many Russian artists used to hide their “real” art under their beds, knowing what would happen if they were found out.
Today, there are no restrictions on what we paint or how we paint -- isn’t that amazing?  The doors to “art” have been opened and it is up to us to “speak” our words of art with freedom.   It is important to find your “voice” in your own art and let that person “out of the box”!
Here’s to art that truly comes from your heart!  What is your art saying?
"Sunday Afternoon"
7 x 5 Oil on Board

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


As the sun sets on the beach, a beautiful warm light appears -- it’s twilight!  I found these antique lanterns over a year ago and I was so excited to be using them on the beach.  They provided a beautiful light to look for seashells while walking along the beach as the sun was setting.  
We also had to use them to walk along the beach later that evening to help get our friend’s boat that was stuck in the sand.  I love vintage -- and the lanterns were of such great use at this beach house, that I left one there.
8 x 10 Oil on BoardDianeLeonard.com