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.
She has incapsulated her travels and adventures in a coffee table book entitled, Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen and Watercolor Journey Across America, which was released on May 15, 2021 and is just now available in ebook form on Amazon.com. In this vivid ebook, Collins not only exhibits over 600 of her original paintings from all corners of the country, she also weaves stories behind individual house designs — and how geography, industry, politics, economy, available resources, and our melting pot culture shaped the face of architecture throughout the country.
Collins leaves no architectural stone unturned as she honors homes that range from humble sod dugouts to ornate Victorian masterpieces. Not only are all American home styles featured, but her work also spans centuries: from the Acoma Pueblo (built around 1100 AD) to today’s most modern, eco-friendly residences.
“I could not stand by and see these beautiful old homes disappear from the landscape forever,” said Collins. “Once lost, they can never to be replaced. It is my hope that my book raises awareness of the importance of saving these historic treasures, so we may be proud of the legacy we leave behind. In this respect, the book is a collector’s item for anyone who appreciates the beauty and craftsmanship of heritage architecture.”
Hand Painted Homes includes before-and-after images of historic houses saved from demolition. She also pays tributes to the homeowner heroes who restored these structures to their original glory. Pen sketches and on-the-road watercolors add to the mix, as well as drawings of the oldest structure in every state.
An entrepreneur at heart, Collins funded her project by selling the original paintings of these homes to their proud homeowners. In doing so, she created a niche market, and her commissioned house portraits are now in high demand across the country.
“My book gives well deserved recognition to homeowners, so often the unsung heroes of historic preservation. Without their dedication and perseverance, this country would have only a fraction of its historic architectural gems.” said Collins.
The Kindle version of the book is available at: https://amzn.to/398Y1n6
The hardcover version can also be purchased from Amazon (link above) or from the Leisa Collins Art Store: https://bit.ly/2YZ2aZ1
For additional information, go to https://leisacollins.com
Ahead of the Broadway Opening of Lempicka The Longacre Theatre Is Showcasing Art Work By Tamara de Lempicka
The Longacre Theatre (220 W 48th St.), soon-to-be home of the sweeping new musical, Lempicka, is showcasing a curated selection of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka’s most famous works. Eschewing traditional theatrical front-of-house advertising, the Longacre’s façade now boasts prints, creating a museum-quality exhibition right in the heart of Times Square. The musical opens on Broadway on April 14, 2024 at the same venue.
The Longacre’s outdoor exhibition includes works of Self Portrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti) (1929), Young Girl in Green (1927), Nu Adossé I (1925), The Red Tunic (1927), The Blue Scarf (1930), The Green Turban (1930), Portrait of Marjorie Ferry (1932), Portrait of Ira P. (1930), Portrait of Romana de la Salle (1928), and Adam and Eve (1932).
Starring Eden Espinosa and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, Lempicka features book, lyrics, and original concept by Carson Kreitzer, book and music by Matt Gould, and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.
Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.
Young Girl in Green painted by Tamara de Lempicka (1927). Oil on plywood.