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Modern Art’s a Start

Decorative wall art- Iris in Bloom IBuilding a new home is an exciting, trying but mostly long process so when your builder finally hands over the keys, you want to start making this new house your very own home. However, when you start with a blank slate such as a new home, you are probably surrounded by a sleek stainless steel kitchen which you fell in love with when you saw it in a magazine, modern dark wood floorboards which the salesman said everyone is putting in right now, and a home that’s so modern and up to date that you don’t even know how to start softening it into being a home.

Well first of all you can take the modern chromes, browns and beiges and look for a piece of wall art which reflects these colors and styles. However, you will probably find that the modern pieces of wall art you find in these colours and styles are just as stark and unwelcoming as your unfurnished brand new home.

Iris in Bloom I by Mark Everest has the modern browns and beiges you are looking for to suit the style of your new home, yet the subject of the painting is actually a very homely collection of flowers, grasses and leaves. It is also part of a series and while Iris in Bloom II is of the same style and subject, I feel that number one is softer and more flowing, which is the look you are going for when decorating a new home

The subtle blocky style of the painting will also marry up to the modern sleek lines of your new home, but the starkness is softened by the imprecise borders of the individual boxes and the snapshots of what could be individual landscape paintings.

This painting is also a simple and neutral style so that while it fits with the beginnings of your home decorating style, it will also maintain its relevance when you become more confident in your decorating and wall art choices and even if you choose to repaint your home at some stage.

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Encouragement on canvas {Tar Pits}

What a wonderful inspiration is this painting of the Tar Pits in Carpinteria. Once while walking along the bluffs above the tar pits in a very distressed state, I came upon a dear friend who was running along the bluff in the same condition as I. The day was common to Carpinteria; ocean waves back lit by sunlight, the surf pounding the beach 30 feet below, the warmth of a light breeze wafting on the shore. We began to try to encourage each other with words of wisdom, and as my friend and I were on an angle to the ocean, I looked off down the length of the shoreline and noted what I thought looked to be a great many dolphins churning the Pacific. Knowing that dolphins in large numbers often follow whale populations, I wondered if that might be what I was seeing. Calling my companion’s attention to the place in question I asked, “Could that be a whale?” To which he replied, “Well, it certainly looks like a whale footprint.” So as we stood there continuing our conversation, our eyes never left the sea. Of course, I am ever trying to get something really good on my camera to turn into a wall print, so I had it at the ready. We were bemoaning feeling lost and alone when, suddenly, not three hundred feet away, two whales surfaced! Of course I got my camera up trying to capture the experience until the moment was gone. In the interim, my friend was taking in all the event in glorious living color. He witnessed the breaching of one of the creatures while I had my nose stuck in the view finder trying to get the camera to work. I have never seen a whale breach, but did not feel robbed as we had had this wonderful experience which affirmed for us the love of our heavenly creator, given at a time when we both needed that affirmation so much. We fell on each other, hugging tightly, giving thanks for this fine revelation. Thanks to the artist for making that great experience come back to life in this wonderful wall art. His use of color, his realistic portrayal of the ocean, the angle of the beach in this painting, the moon rising while the sun is still awake…all serve to help me to relive the day that I remember as one of the best I have ever experienced.

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Pour Girl wins hearts

This is one of my favorite paintings of children by this artist. The angle  from which the painting is done helps us to appreciate what it must seem like to be a child. Her small size in relation to a potted plant tells us that she is very young, perhaps four or so years old.  How must it feel to see the world from this child’s perspective. Everything must seem so BIG to her as we look at her from the vantage point of the artist as he takes in the awesome responsibility of being a single dad. She has made a big decision to help her father care for his plants.  Her love of nature is seen in her struggle as she grips the porcelain pitcher with both her little hands as she tries to pour the water into the thirsty plant; a big job for one so small. The little droplets of water on the floor tells us it has not been easy. The plant has been placed strategically near the bright window as we see the frame and sunlight reflected in the shiny surface of the hardwood floor. This use of light here is very effective. One can almost feel the warmth of the sun streaming in through the window. Even the hardwood is very well executed as the subtle pattern of the wood comes to the fore with the stroke of the artist’s brush as he takes us into a small corner of his world.  This is a delightful painting. Its simplicity makes it beautiful. It wins our hearts.

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God’s Gift

Once again Mr. Leasure has portrayed his subject in exquisite detail: The water swirling around the rocks on the shore as it bubbles its way to delight and mystify the tiny subject of this painting. The infant captures your heart as you notice her tiny feet in mom’s flip flops, a dress up adventure every little girl has had at one time or another. Her chubby little hand tightly grips the finger of an unseen protector as she delightedly chases a beautifully colored butterfly. The artwork is shown from the perspective of a grownup who has been blessed with this day on the beach with this tow headed little girl, so that her face is a mystery to those of us looking in on their activity. One sees the fine attention to detail in the small child’s hair as it swirls around her head in shiny hues of gold and brown, softly curling about her ears. One gets the feeling that she has not become adept at the art of ambulation…thus the steadying hand of her grown-up companion as she navigates the uneven surface of the rocky beach. This wall art is described by the artist as symbolic, portraying loss, having been inspired by hospice. Yet if one did not know that it was symbolic of loss, one could see in this painting the brightness of a future filled with wonder, of the joy of exploration, of chasing one’s dreams, learning to trust completely another being, and growth….as portrayed by those oversized flip flops. This painting of this precious child would be excellent decor in the room of any little girl. It is truly a captivating work of art.

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Put Your ‘Oars Ashore’ and Relax

Oars may not be the most spectacular piece of a boat, but they are one of the most important because without them there would be no water adventures and no way to get to the next great fishing spot. But the oars are also not much use on their own and like most people, work best when they work with someone they fit well with, and they can see what they’re trying to achieve.

The rainbow of colors depicted by the oars in ‘Oars Ashore’ by Richard Shaffett also shows that the oars knowcolorful oars from painted boats they are not much good on their own, but they are important in the scheme of things, and so why shouldn’t they look fabulous while they’re waiting for their next adventure to come along. The colors of the oars spliced with the simple, single colors of the ocean and the sky also ensure that you know – even if only for now – that the oars are the center of attention in this seascape painting, and their colors are what will draw your eye when the painting is displayed as a piece of wall art in your home.

The artist believes that the oars would rather be at sea, that is why they are pointing out towards the shore, striving to get back into the water where they do their best work. But I think that these oars are enjoying the chance to chill on the beach for a while. I think this colourful display of oars is quite happy resting in their prime beach position, subtly shaded but still enjoying the warmth of a summer day at the beach.

But after all, isn’t that a trick we’ve all tried before – striving to appear as though we would rather be doing what people expect of us, when we are really quite happy taking a break from the pressure of our position.

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Big Sur Reef

This portrayal of the Big Sur reef once again brings one seaside. If you have ever experienced the beauty of sea crashing to land, you will love this rendering. We are allowed a glimpse of shy ocean dwellers in this motion filled work of art. The artist’s fine attention to detail and his use of color is outstanding. Mr. Leasure captures the movement of the sea so well in his paintings; the swirling of the foam on the beautiful turquoise water, the ebb and flow as the tide rushes to land to climb onto the rock only to run away again to muster up another assault. One might think that the pounding surf would dislodge any creatures clinging to the rock face. But there they are…in all their glorious detail; sea stars and anemones, clams and coral alike. These are often seen in Leasures paintings.And why not? He does them so well. This is not a hurried work of art. The reef is teeming with life. Notice the seaweed dancing off to the right of the canvas; a fine attention to detail the like of which runs through all of this artists’ original works. This beautiful painting or wall art print would make a lovely addition to any home whose occupants love the sea and its often invisible creatures. And for those who have never visited the rocky coastline, this fine artwork would add the beauty of the California Coast to the interior design of your home.

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On Cascading Waters

This painting by Paul Leasure, although painted near the
artists’ home in California, reminds me of a day in North
Carolina when we stopped alongside the road and took a
little hike back into the Great Smoky Mountains on the
Blue Ridge Parkway. We came upon a stream much like
this. The water tumbled over glistening rock, gurgling its
way to a spot down the mountain to enchant others in its
descent. The sunlight wove its way through the trees and
fell in spotlights on the rocks in the stream, illuminating
the bottom just the way it is in the painting. There was a
light wind blowing which rustled the colorful fall leaves
on the trees around us, whipping up those which had lost
their grip on the limbs above. One wanted to pitch a tent
right on the spot and allow the brook to sing them to sleep.
Mr. Leasure has captured that feeling for me in his series
“Cascading Water”. His use of color and light convey peace
and tranquility, motion and sound, transporting us back to
the beautiful trip through Maggie Valley….

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The Filtered Light of a Fairy Tale

We have all passed along a road or path like the one which Susanne Leasure has captured in the wall art print ‘Filtered Light in Montana de Oro Giclee’ and we know the feeling of magic and wonder at the beauty of this natural spectacle, and the desire to linger in this wonderful canopy for just a little longer.

Montana de Oro Wall PaintingSuch a common and unique image at the same time, this landscape painting will evoke the emotions and memories of many who view it and when it does, it has achieved its purpose. While the painting is of a real roadway in the California State Park, the feelings and the magic of the image are universal. The image is captured just before a bend in the road, making us believe that while we are in the most beautiful part of the world we could ever imagine, there is something even more special waiting just around the corner.

The clarity of the image in the forefront of the painting and the misty, softer image at the bend in the road lends more possibility to the surprises awaiting you just around the corner of the print.

Such a captivating and engaging landscape painting makes the perfect balancing piece of wall art for a space opposite a picture window or a set of large glass French doors in your home. While you can enjoy the view out of your window and you know you can go out into your garden and enjoy the view you see from inside, the painting gives you the same impression, making you feel like you could just as easily decide to turn around and take a leisurely walk through the California State Park, or even through another world.

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Wildfire, the horse

The artist has portrayed this animal with amazing accuracy. She has, with the stroke of her brush,  left us with the anticipation of hearing the horse neigh. Wildfire, his ears up, stands alert to the presence of an intruder. His nostrils flare in warning. You can almost hear him snort. His finely chiseled chestnut face, emblazoned with white, conveys intelligence. There is wisdom in his eyes. The wind blowing through his mane sends it tossing in the breeze. Each strand is painted with meticulous painstaking detail. The individual hairs in his coat are conveyed with the same carefulness.  His eyes are alert and suspicious.  We are allowed a glimpse of his strength as we observe the muscles straining in his neck. He is so lifelike, one might expect him to bolt at any time, galloping off across HIS meadow, daring the viewer to follow. Yet we want to follow, reluctant to allow this to be the last we see of this magnificent creature.

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Life in Golden Hills

Golden hills of Centtral California wall at painting

‘Golden Hills I’ is not just a landscape painting, because while it shows the stunning hillsides of the Los Padres Range, to me, the hills, slopes and valleys have a special personality, and seem to come to life as you look closer, or more precisely, seem to have stopped whatever they were doing as soon as you gazed upon them and are waiting for you to look away before they can come back to life.

The smooth– and as the artist points out, naked – hills look like they could be huge people, nestled under a blanket, round tummies and heads creating the shapes we accept as a natural formation of hills and valleys. But the hills are just resting and as you watch the shadows creeping across the painting and see the golds being transformed into deep greens and violets, and I get the impression that the hills are just waiting for the sun to pass over them and set before they throw off their blankets and start up their party. They’re waiting for you to go too of course.

The perspective of this landscape painting is also unique as while the viewer knows that, because of their nature, the hills are enormous and imposing natural creations, we feel just as big as we look upon them. While many landscape paintings depicting hills and mountain ranges are painted from within a valley, or looking up at the hills, we see the Golden Hills full on, on their same level and the effect is one of empowerment and peace.

Empowerment at feeling as on top of the world as a mountain range must feel every day, and peace at knowing that being confronted with this normally imposing mountain range, you are right up there with it, you can take it on, or you can join its party, but you have the choice.