Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Love

Here is a little painting that I donated to be part of the Silent Auction for NVNA and Hospice, here in Norwell, Mass.

The 15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament will Benefit NVNA and Hospice.  The event will be held at Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston, MA.  Following the Golf Tournament, there will be a dinner with Live and Silent Auction.

To order tickets or for more information, please contact Linda Brown at 781-610-1463  or email her at

Thank you for taking a peek!


"Summer Love"
7 x 5 Oil on Ampersand Board

And see more incredible impressionist paintings at impressionist paintings

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Marketing you work can be fun and enticing to get people to notice you.  There are so many avenues via the internet, and I must say, some of them work.  

I recently submitted two of my favorite paintings to a cover competition for Art & Beyond, a magazine that is published monthly via the internet.  And although, my two paintings, which have been shown all over the world and have received prizes did not win the cover, they did give me a full page in this month’s magazine.

If you have a moment, please check it out.  My work is on Page 23, and I must say they did  a great job with the color and the presentation.

You never know what will happen when you try something new.  And, getting noticed and appreciated for your artwork -- well, as we all know, it feels great!

Please let me know what you think.

Thank you,


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Painting With Love

“When you are in awe of someone else's greatness, you are really seeing your own greatness.”  Debbie Ford

The greatest gifts that we have are the ones that we give from our heart and soul.  

I painted this special painting as a surprise present for a woman’s special birthday.  Her husband loves and cherishes her so very much and wanted to give her a present filled with love.   I was delighted to be in the surprise and changed the Golden Retriever to a Golden Doodle -- which up until this time, I did not even know these dogs existed.  Now it seems that I see them everywhere!

He was so excited that he decided to give her the gift when he received the painting, instead of at her party which would be two days later.   She came home to a beautiful painting hanging in her dining room and I immediately received a phone call telling me of their delight!  And, she saw herself and her dog in the painting, and that was my intention while doing this painting.

And to me, that is what painting is all about -- bringing joy and love to the people who collect my art!

"A Summer Walk" 24 x 24
Oil on Parisian Linen

Monday, April 22, 2013


The innocence of childhood and kittens brings me so much Joy!  Our world could use more Joy every day!

I remember this day very well -- we borrowed the kittens and little Fifi told me that she didn't want to hold them -- and guess what -- she couldn't let them go!

Watch a child play .... they are in the moment .... without a care in the world .... a place where we all should be.  In the moment, experiencing Joy!

What a concept ... try it today and let me know how you are doing!


"Two Little Kittens"
12 x 12 Oil on Canvas

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Friday, April 12, 2013


I was reminded yesterday of a beautiful little painting that I did several years ago.  The simplicity of the painting and the flow of the strokes showed the joy that I put into the painting.

I sat at my computer and enjoyed my own painting -- once again!  As I looked at it I wondered how I ever painted such a little beauty so simply and yet filled with so much emotion and power.  My first thought was WOW!  How did I do that?  Why don’t I paint like that every day?????

Then I thought of how many times I have struggled with my work -- agonizing over my strokes -- re-working it, adding doubt and truly not enjoying the process.  And, so, there it was -- a simple beauty staring at me.

And there it is -- it’s simple --just paint from your heart, knowing that the love and joy of God is in every stroke!

Have fun painting today and every day, and please let me know how you are doing.

12 x 9
Oil on Board

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Walk In The Woods

Now that Spring has sprung!!  It’s time to take a walk in the woods.  It will nourish your soul and revive you for the creativity that is coming your way.

My sister and I took a walk in the woods on Sunday -- it is a preserve that leads into the North River here in Marshfield.  It was a joyful and peaceful walk and I was smiling as we walked in nature.  It has been a very long time since I had an opportunity to walk with my sister, and our conversations were “all over the place”.  

When we got to the river, we sat and enjoyed yet another view of God’s beauty.

I sometimes forget to get out of the studio and out of my own way and just “BE” in nature with God.

How special that is!  
Nature At Its Best

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Great Read


What an awesome reminder
Of why we are here.

The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked.

'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor..

After a long pause, the door opened.

A small woman in her 90's stood before me..
She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it,
Like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years.
All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.

In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said.

I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb..

She kept thanking me for my kindness.

'It's nothing', I told her..
'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.

'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked,
'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.

'I'm in no hurry.
I'm on my way to a hospice'.

I looked in the rear-view mirror.

Her eyes were glistening.
'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..
'The doctor says I don't have very long.
'I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city.

She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived
When they were newlyweds.

She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once
Been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner

And would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing..

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,

'I'm tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home,
With a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up..

They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?'
She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.

She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.
'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.

Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.

I drove aimlessly lost in thought.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,
Or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once,

Then driven away?

On a quick review,

I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully
Wrapped in what others may consider a small one.



You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people.
But, you might help make the world a little kinder
and more compassionate by sending it on and
reminding us that often it is the random acts of
kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, my friend...

Wishing you Joy every day!

30 x 30, Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Making My Heart Smile

One of the greatest compliments to an artist is the purchase of their work.  I just finished a beautiful painting for a woman in Oklahoma.  And to my greatest delight, here is what she emailed me upon receiving it.

“Your painting of Magical Splendor arrived and I am in awe!  It's absolutely beautiful.  I just stand back and admire it.  Thank you so much for taking the time to paint Magical Splendor for me.  No words could better describe what your painting means to me.  What a blessing you are to others through your art!

I hope some day we have the opportunity to meet.  I am sure I will be asking you to do another painting for me in the future.  God's blessings to you!!!

With sincere gratitude,"


This truly made my heart smile!

"Magical Splendor"
8 x 10, Oil on Board

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Fun

The joys of childhood can be fun to recreate at any time, and especially on Easter.  We had a great time doing an Easter egg hunt in our yard.  It was a beautiful day and I had to convince a room full of adults to wear an Easter Bonnet and join us in the hunt!  Our bonnets were all of my vintage prairie hats and other hats that were hanging around the house.  (Photo below!)

We laughed and laughed at the silliness of it all -- and guess what -- everyone had fun!  Going around the yard looking for plastic eggs that I had everywhere was silly, and as I watched everyone feeling that child within themselves, I smiled and smiled.  Yes, the child in us still lives there just waiting to come out and play.

And it is that child within us that creates from our souls.  Yes, having FUN is the way to live life -- why not?  God wants us to be happy, to create, to have fun and feel the love that we share.  

Easter is that special time to eat Peeps, chocolate and celebrate the newness or life. 

I wish us all days filled with laughter and candy and love.  Have fun creating from your inner child today.

And, please let me know how you are doing.And I imagine a world where we are all equal in everything we do! 

Let me know how you are doing!

The Easter Egg Hunters

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Equality for Everyone

 Can you imagine a world where everyone, everywhere is equal -- No judgements, No prejudice, No Laws keeping anyone from being who they truly are?

Let’s imagine that world, and create it.

Years ago, Russian artists had to hide their “real” art under their beds and in closets to protect these precious paintings because they were not “allowed” to paint anything but religious paintings!

The Impressionists broke out of the “mold” of puritan art and even through all of the criticism and doubt, they opened the the door to paint outside and to paint what they saw, not what they were told to do.  They made History by following their hearts.

Today, paint from your heart and take a chance -- no limits -- just be “YOU”!!!!

And I imagine a world where we are all equal in everything we do! 

Let me know how you are doing!

And I wish us all PEACE!

36 x 23 Oil on Ampersand Board

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stretching Ourselves

 After my total hip replacement last February, I literally had to start over with little baby moves and stretches to let my muscles and ligaments start working again.  It was a long and slow process as I began to learn  to walk again with my new hip.  Almost like teaching a baby to walk!  With help from a physical therapist, a nurse, and my sister, I began the process of healing.

A year later, I am fine, and yet I am still doing small movements to stretch those muscles that had atrophied.  Now that I am back at the gym, I can feel my strength returning.

And yesterday, as we were snowed in, my sister was showing me some intense yin yoga stretches that you hold for two minutes.  As you hold a pose, you can feel the “Ahhh” as your muscles begin to stretch.   While I was holding a long and great pose, I thought of how I have to keep stretching myself as an artist to keep myself loose and to keep growing.  Sometimes, it is a painful process to grow and stretch yourself, and as you do, you can feel that “Ahhh” as you learn new methods and figure out how to get that paint on the canvas the way you want!

And, sometimes, beginning again, is a good thing!

Here is a quote from Ray Chambers, a philanthropist who is creating programs to make our world a better place.

“Live in the moment
It's better to be loving than to be right
Be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional
Be grateful for at least one thing every day
Help others every chance you get.”

And let me know how you are doing!

"Bliss" 7 x 5 
Oil on Ampersand Board


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finding Love

How often do we self-sabotage ourselves, pick on ourselves or find fault where there is none?  Our negative self-talk follows us around and around and around and it takes away from our true selves -- Pure Love!

I found myself walking out of Stop & Shop the other day,  doing just that -- first, I lamented to myself that:  I was alone, then I found issues with my neck, then something else, and when I got to the fact that I even have “brown spots” (what am I a dog?),  I literally burst out laughing and laughed all the way to the car!  It was a revelation of how often I “pick on” myself instead of saying loving and nurturing words.

An excerpt from the book “A Return To Love” by Marianne Williamson that was also used in the speech by Nelson Mandela quotes:  

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone!
And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other 
people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”    

Well, why not Me?  We can choose every day -- be happy or be sad -- it’s a choice!  Let’s face it -- happy is certainly a lot more FUN!

So, let’s correlate that to our art or whatever creative endeavors we aspire to do -- look for the good -- look for what you love (I am talking to myself here) and there it will be -- right in front of you -- start with that and the joy will also be there.I live for the day when I only say  nice things to myself !

I say a truthful compliment to one stranger every day, and the smiles that I receive bring so much joy to me.  Try it -- there is always something special about everyone.  And in Art, there is always a compliment to be had!

It’s easy to find Joy and Love in everything you do -- choose it!  

And let me know how you are doing!

Here is one of my paintings that I painted in pure Joy!

"At The Lake", 12 x 9, Oil on Ampersand Board


Friday, March 15, 2013


Did you know that there is a satellite radio station named Elvis -- that just plays songs by Elvis?  Isn’t that amazing!!!  Elvis touched so many people during his life, and he is still touching our hearts with his music.  And long after his death, he is still revered and remembered in our world.  I love listening to his sweet voice and his songs of love.

He is the most impersonated person on this planet -- there are even contests about him.  And, you can get married by Elvis in Las Vegas!

Here’s a question -- do you want to be famous now or when you are gone?  

Some of our greatest artists did not become famous until after they left this earth!  Legacies of the life of Vincent have touched our lives and we see the “genius” in his work.  Other artists who struggled with poverty are still alive in this world as we discovered their creative genius after their passing.  Amedeo Modigiliani -- watch the movie with Andy Garcia -- was so poor and his paintings now grace the walls of so many museums.  Paul Cezanne opened the doors for artists such as Picasso and so many others by stretching himself in his art.  He was laughed at for his paintings, and yet when we see them now, we see the beauty in nature that he saw and then painted.

We all have genius inside ourselves -- each in our own way -- today I celebrate the creative genius in all of us!

Paint from your Heart!  

All of the self-help books say the same thing -- love what you do and you will be rich!  Isn’t it better to be happy now!

Okay, here it is -- I want to give my art to the world so that when I am gone, I have spread joy and happiness through my art.  So many of my collectors write to me and tell me that I have brought them joy -- that truly makes me feel so wonderful.

Here’s to feeling wonderful and blessed today and every day.  And I am changing my name to Elvis!!!!!

Please let me know how you are doing!  

This is a little painting that I did several years ago, entitled, "Loving thoughts" !

                                                "Loving Thoughts"  12 x 12  Oil on Canvas


You can see my work in giclees and prints and cards at:  http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/diane-leonard.html

Monday, March 11, 2013

Defending Your Art

I found myself defending my art last week.  I have been working on two paintings for a long time now, and after wipe outs, sanding them down, wiping out again, sanding them down again -- whew and then starting over and over again -- thinking -- I got it NOW!  I can do this -- I can paint these with ease!  NOT!

These are commissioned paintings and I want them Right!  I want my collectors to love them -- but do I love them?

My sister and her husband keep asking me when they are going to be done.  They have given me deadlines -- and of course, that doesn’t work either.  Then they asked what is the matter -- and I found myself giving reasons why they are not done.

And so it is -- they are not done because I have too much pressure on me to paint to please someone else, and not myself.  And, consequently, I wasn’t feeling confident and I wasn’t having FUN!

There is no time in Art -- creating is a passionate pursuit and the joy of a painting comes from painting from your heart!

A dancer practices a new dance until they FEEL the movements -- a singer sings a new song until they FEEL the music and even a golfer must be “In the Moment” to truly play the game.

And so with Art -- you have to be in the painting and feeling it -- not thinking about each stroke!  Then you will please yourself.

Paint from your Heart!

I think I will try a new Brush today and see what happens!

"Little Sunflowers"
12 x 9 Oil on Board
This little painting just happened -- and I love it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Making Your Dreams Come True

Debbie Ford -- Allow Your Dreams To Come True

Debbie Ford, a brilliant and loving author, speaker, coach, radio personality, gave so much to our world.  As her sister, Arielle Ford wrote:

“Debbie innovated groundbreaking work around the human shadow and grew into her role as a teacher, sharing her insightful shadow work through her many books, lectures, workshops, coaching programs, TV and radio shows, and even a movie -- helping hundreds of thousands around the world transform their pain into "their best life." Debbie helped so many people go beyond their limited perspective of themselves and reconnect to the love, joy, and peace of their true selves”

We are all our own teachers as well learning from one another -- we are here to share our gifts in whatever direction they take us.  

Our world will miss this incredible woman, and her work certainly made a difference in my life and her wisdom will live on and on!

Thank you, Debbie Ford, for your life here on earth.  Here's to the "Joy" that Debbie Ford brought to our world!

Let’s all allow our dreams to come true -- today and everyday.  

"Joy"  30 x 30 Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Painting in New England

It’s always a great idea to look at paintings that you have done in the past and rediscover their beauty!  It’s a celebration of you as an artist!

Looking at paintings with a new eye gives you a new opportunity to see how you painted and look at your own techniques -- it is a lesson in itself.  And, as always, look at your art and all art with loving eyes -- it will make you smile!

Make this day the Best Day of Your Life!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Lollapalooza Weekend

The Blizzard of 2013

This storm was the first major storm for me since I was in New England in 1978!  And although this storm was a little  scary for me, we were blessed!  While most of Marshfield and Situate were without power, we had the needed essentials --  power, heat,  great food, and a fireplace to make it a true “snowed-in” experience.

The wind was blowing so hard and the snow was blowing sideways, and yet as I looked out the window, I only saw white magic!  The next day was truly a photographer’s dream, with the blue sky and the white, untouched snow.  I was in heaven, and I smiled as I walked for hours, taking pictures, and feeling that I was home -- again.

Here are a few of the many photos that I took on Saturday -- the day after the storm.

I am finding my way back to ME.  And I am thrilled to be back to blogging!

Make this day the Best Day of Your Life!

This is a painting!!!!