Skip navigation

The above painting was inspired by a photo I took last July as the Queen Anne’s Lace began blooming where I painted plein air this summer.  This is a view from standing in the shadows of the large pines to the north of the property and looking over the fence to the north west.  The texture in the foreground shadowed area was created by painting and splattering with frisket in several layers as I painted in the darks.  I am enjoying this project of painting Indiana and am noticing the beauty of my State through new eyes. There is so much to share at one small location. Oh! The queen Anne’s lace was dotted in and splattered using gesso.


  1. Achoo! Sniffle sniffle, sneeze sneeze, the allergies from the painting is affecting my sinuses. Indiana is a beautiful state, with a variety of terrain and wildlife and you are capturing it beautifully. Love the white blooms and textures.

    • Aaah yes, allergies. I seldom think about that because I am lucky enough to not have that problem. Thank-you so much for the thumbs-up on my capturing some of the beauty of our shared state. I have been reading quite a bit on creating textures in watercolor. I felt mine were lacking in that department and have seen so many beautiful watercolors done by other artists who manage to make their paintings “sing” with texture. Thanks, Ryan!

  2. The contrast of wire fencing and the delicate pattern of the queen are an example of your ability to create most anything with paint.

    I always enjoy your splatter technique.

    • Oh my! Thank-you, Nancy. I did not even think of the contrast of wire and flower! 🙂 This is but one example of why I like this blogging and sharing. Everyone’s visions help me to “see”! I can still remember the first time I splattered. Ha! I was afraid I’d really botch it. Splatter just seems to help wake something up.

  3. Just visiting from Amber’s link.. You’ve got some pretty amazing watercolours here… Love your style, and it’s so making me want to give watercolour a go…

    • I am glad you dropped in! Your photography is awesome! …and an added feature of drawings to add to that. Oh, someday you must try watercolor! Thank-you!

  4. This is beautiful Lelslie – and the effect looks very delicate! I looked up this plant and it is also known as ‘noxious weed’ (I think its lovely!)

    Also known as;-
    “Wild carrot was introduced and naturalised in North America, where it is often known as “Queen Anne’s lace”. It is so called because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, coloured by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.”

    The painting is gorgeous and the vista clean and fresh! The ‘splatterings’ are inspirational! Another great piece of work 🙂

    • Wow! Thank-you, Lynda, for looking up all of that info on this flower! Love that story about Queen Anne making lace! Thank-you, also for wonderful comments to how I painted this. 🙂

  5. Okay Leslie, so I’m looking at your recent painting and considering early retirement. All four areas of the scene are rendered with such skill and application I’m a little speechless. What I will say, is I love the Queen Anne’s Lace in the foreground, with those ochre and green shadows below.
    The way you’ve mastered the art of leaves on a tree is stunning. Flawless use of colour in the meadow and the distant trees and sky are a joy. I love the way you’ve give so much attention to detail on something so distant in the painting. It’s inspired me yet again and I believe I learn something new with every painting you post!

    • You were part of the inspiration for my choosing this particular reference. I wondered if I could do a vast amount of field justice in paint as you do, due to your treeless vistas. Most everywhere in Indiana there are treelines as backdrops somewhere in the distance, here. I have traveled in areas of our country where there are no treelines, however and it makes the sky look so much bigger than life as I know it here in Indiana. The leaves on the large bush to the left were individually painted with quick strokes of a round brush, trying to emulate their shape and crinkled appearance. I would work a branch at a time and feed june bug (greenish blue), hookers green and burnt sienna together allowing them to run freely together while the paint was still wet. The treeline in the distance was painted wet next to wet using lighter washes of the same colors used for my darks in the foreground. Thank-you for your continued comments on my work, Keith! 🙂

  6. My first encounters with Queen Anne’s Lace were in the vacant lots on the south side of Chicago. As a child I thought they were the most wonderful flowers! Yours seem to be enjoying a much more natural and peaceful environment, Leslie.

    • You know what? I think I was living in Kenilworth north of Chicago when I first noticed Queen Anne’s Lace! My Mother and Grandmother would always point it out when it began blooming. I was 5 and 6 years old then. I still think they are most wonderful and unique! Thank-you, Eva!

      • Ha! Now this is an interesting personal connection, Leslie! Go figure! So glad you shared this piece of personal information. Love it!

      • 🙂 I told you of my connections to Chicago, before. You posted some wonderful photos from Chicago last year.

      • The city at large is one thing–but to these specific flowers–ha, that’s another level of personal notice/appeal/interest. Grins.

  7. This is so beautiful! All the detail and texture in the foreground and the queen anne’s lace paired with the softness of the background. Such a picturesque scene. Capturing where you live artistically definitely helps instill a love for home I think 🙂

    • Thank-you, Amber. I really think you are right about that home thing. I am beginning to look at my state quite differently. I visit artist’s blogs from all over and see places I’ve never experienced and think, “How cool!”. I certainly did not think I lived in as beautiful an area as everyone else. It is all in the seeing, isn’t it? A change in how we look at those things around us. More lessons to be had in this project than just painting. 🙂

  8. Hi Leslie! How wonderful this watercolour looks! It’s really a fantastic job you’ve done with the colours, I love the leaves of the tree in the foreground in the left, all the greens blues and brown/red. Wonderful work!! hugs.

    • Hi Martin! Thank-you for this wonderful comment. I will be over to see if you have posted more for me to ponder!

  9. Leslie, I love this painting. It is pure rural Indiana. The old fence running through the bottom of the painting is very effective (and nostalgic for me since I climbed over so many of them growing up on our farm). I also really like the light section at the top of the field that is mirrored in the clouds immediately above the trees. Beautiful!

    • Thank-you, Linda! Especially for noticing that pathway of light across the field and I can thank Don Andrews for that! He drove the point home pretty well. I have only tried a farm fence once before. Had to give it a go. I remember climbing over these, also. If they were a wee bit loose, they dumped me on the other side. Ha! Fun memory! Thanks. 🙂

  10. You have brought out the beauty of your state, it is always a nice feeling to do that and coming to the work itself, it is amazing as usual.. I didnt know about Queen Anne’s lace and thanks for enlightening me!

  11. Amazing. I love this painting and how you managed to make the Queen Anne’s Lace so prominent in the foreground.

    Why did you use gesso rather than white paint?

    I also love how you are painting Indiana. It looks like a very beautiful state!

    • Ha! I love your question! I used the gesso because I tried leaving the white of the paper and then white guoache and the Queen Anne’s Lace was not prominent enough. I was not willing to give up and ran for my bottle of gesso. 🙂 You caught me in my “never give up” antics, Carol! Thank-you for your continued comments and visits.

  12. Leslie,
    Once again, an amazing painting! While I think you did a fabulous job on the Queen Ann’s lace, what really jumped out to me is your ability to make me really feel like I’m standing right at the fence looking over it. I think the tree / leaves on the left add a lot not only to the framing of the picture, but to punctuating the overall depth of the painting… But… the part of this painting I like the most is the fence itself. The color, the bends in the wire, where the wire connects with the three loops, the white highlights along the edges and the way it just blends into the foliage. Simply amazing!



    • Thank-you so much,Stephen. You just described what I saw in the scene. I wondered if I could get that bush to hold the viewer’s eye in and the fence was a challenge because I wanted it to appear as though the viewer was standing right there. Thank-you!

  13. Though I was born in West Lafayette, Indiana, and we visited my grandfather’s farm every year, I did not discover the beauty of the state until I had children and we ventured into southern Indiana. Some day I would like to return to paint the beauty we discovered there. You have reminded me of the joy of re-discovering the land of my birth. Thanks!

    • Thank-you so much, Chris. I live in the north and so it contrasts with Brown County’s beauty and points furthur south which appear so much more thickly wooded and generous in foliage. I was born and partly raised in Michigan amidst hills and lakes, so locating, here, has not amazed me until I was offered the opportunity to paint on my friends’ property complete with pond. It has opened my eyes to this northern section of the state so much!

  14. Another great painting as always

    • Hi Souldose!
      Thank-you for visiting and commenting! I wish for your well-being. You are always so positive in the face of incredible odds. Humbling to read your poetry and posts that I can read without signing in. You are a lesson for us all. I’m hoping for you, better days!

  15. Queen Anne’s Lace is ridiculously difficult to paint! You have done an amazing job simplifying and preserving details to just right proportion. And I love the depth of the field very much! A beautiful view and a beautiful painting!

  16. The detail in this is fantastic

  17. Hi Leslie – you are working consistently and you are growing. I think all this plein air is so good for you (o:
    I love this painting – there is a softness in the distance that brings out the action in the hedgerow.
    Thank you for all the inspiration.

    • I didn’t see that, Stephen! I like your take on that. There is a sense of quiet in the distance contrasted by all the activity in the foreground, suggesting almost that what we see from a distance is elusive and not the whole story. How cool. Thank-you for that special vision you have! 🙂

      • You seem to have used a wet-in-wet approach to the distant trees that pulls them all together and disappears them to the background – I love this – it really is a lovely calm. Whenever I see your outdoor pictures I wonder if you have bears around there (just to change tack)
        I hope you are getting in a good weekend of painting.

      • Thanks, Stephen. I like return visits! I have never seen a bear in Indiana. I googled it and I guess there have been rare sitings through the years.

  18. This is so beautiful, Leslie! It’s hard to imagine it, but you are getting better! All the plein air painting is adding a depth to your art that is incredible. I say “hard to imagine” because it seems like the phrase “getting better” is more often used for people who aren’t already awesome. Does that make sense? The textures you create make me want to just study the paintings for a long time! Thanks so much for being so generous with your art!

    By the way, I have spent some time in Indiana. (I was a traveling baby photographer, when I was 18…. the kind that set up in stores for a few days.)I got stranded in La Porte during a snow storm over Thanksgiving once. I had a diner Thanksgiving dinner and it’s a fun, vivid memory.

    • Thank-you, so much, for this comment, Beth. Somehow, we all continue to grow, don’t you think? If I ever thought I could not improve, I think I would become bored and quit. One thing I have noticed is that I feel so much more free when I know I can allow myself the option of other mediums to bring my vision forward. I also think that my time spent painting outdoors this late summer/early fall taught me things that I could not see in a photograph. I hope I retain and add to those special new visions.
      OH!!! You got caught in lake effect snow!!! I used to live in North Liberty just south of there and we were snowed in many a winter day…..It is a warm cozy feeling to be trapped inside for a day watching Mother Nature paint a new scene! 🙂 Thank-you for this snippet of memory!

  19. Leslie, is there a chance that you can also include how long it takes to create your master pieces..?? I can stare for this forever, beautiful, but I feel like cheating because it takes me less than a minute to comment.. to what might have taken you A LOT OF minutes.. !!

    • Hi Heart. Sure, just ask and I will tell. 🙂 This painting took about 12 hours of painting time over a few days as I had to build it up in stages to allow the various layers to dry. Thank-you for this comment. I love to hear that someone can spend time in my paintings. That makes them memorable, which is all I can ask.

      • 12 hours?! Amazing.. And that doesn’t even include exploring for ideas, taking pictures or checking for models, and then trying to get into the mood!! 😉 Interesting info!

      • That is correct. It doesn’t count all of that. I spend approximately 4 hours an evening, painting. If I have to put one aside to dry, I always have another one going in various stages to pick up and start painting on.

  20. This is sooooo beautiful 🙂

  21. I’m still loving this!

  22. Oh, could I just be you for one day!! One measeley day is all I ask. I LOVE Queen Anne’s Lace. Have a whole gallery of photos here:

    BUT, all wish they were paintings like this. Seriously, you caught them doing their “I am alive” thing…they move, they seem to be talking to one another. This is so lovely.

    • Oh Pat, thank-you! I was just over to see your beautiful photography of Queen Anne’s Lace during every daylight hour and season. What gorgeous work!!! I wish my Mother was still here so I could send her a link to them. These were her favorite wildflower and she always pointed them out when they began blooming. I especially like that winter one with the bare ribs showing. You have just given me a new vision when I go to my painting sanctuary this winter to snap photos for winter paintings. Thank-you for that!!!!….and I mean that. Thank-you, also, for picking up on that idea of movement in my painting. I was searching for that with the splatter.

  23. I really like the texture in this painting. And the difference between the detail of the front and back. Great work.

    Queen’s Anne’s Lace was my aunt’s favorite flower, so they always make me smile.

    • Thank-you, so much, Littlelynx. I am trying to learn a little more about the techniques I can use to add texture.
      Queen Anne’s lace was my Mother’s and Grandmother’s favorite wildflowers, also. It is amazing the soft spots we develop from our relatives for certain things in nature.

  24. Lovely painting Leslie. So delicate too. We have another name for Queen Anne’s Lace. In the UK I think it’s called ‘Cow Parsley’, but where I grew up it was locally called Devil’s something (can’t remember what, for the life of me) or Pee ‘e Beds (as in pee the bed!). I know it was one of those two. Lol.

    • Thank-you, Heather! How interesting that this wild flower has attracted so much attention to having so many names. Echostains said in her comment, above, that it is also called “noxious weed”. Thank-you for your input!

  25. Oh beautiful! I thought, at first glance, that I was looking at a photo – then had a closer look. Lovely painting, Leslie!

    • Thank-you, Val! Does this wildflower grow in your rural areas, also?

        • Val Erde
        • Posted November 13, 2010 at 7:36 pm
        • Permalink

        Apparently it does, but here it’s usually called ‘Wild Carrot’! Here’s a link to a page that might be of interest (feel free to delete the link if you want):

        That reminds me, somewhere I’ve a photo I took of a very golden hoverfly on a carrot seedhead. I must try and find it.

      • Wow! thank-you for this link for this post, Val!

  26. Queen Anne’s Lace is one of my favourite “weeds” in our area. I oogle it and wonder how it ever ended up being so “common”?? It’s to be adored, but not bothered. We don’t pick it because it’s smart. Once in water in the house, it protests by letting out a horrid odour.

    When I saw your painting, I knew it was done with splattered gesso. You are such a talented woman.

    • Thank-you, Amy. You must be right about the odor because Lynda, from Echostains said that in the UK it is often referred to as “Noxious Weed”. I’ll bet that odor you speak of is how it got that nickname. 🙂 Yep. Had to use gesso. White gouache did not show up and it is difficult for me to give up on anything.

  27. A very fresh and airy-feeling piece Leslie! I like watching the insects that gather around this flower in my neck of the woods.

    • Thank-you, Al. I am going to have to pay more attention to this insect thing next summer. Lynda, above said that little red flower in the center of these produces a chemical that attracts insects. I need to paint more wildflowers so I can learn more about them. I’m loving these comments!

  28. First impression, it was like looking through a small windows and looking at the flowers and the meadow, it’s so wonderful. The feeling is just so nice and relax. I like the colors and the atmosphere too. I can look at this the whole day. Thanks for sharing Leslie.

    • I really like your vision of this making you feel as though you were looking out a small window onto a meadow. Thank-you for that. I can see it now that you mention it.

  29. The delicacy here, is its beauty. Very calming, it makes one’s mind wonder..

  30. Hi Leslie!
    This painting is so beautiful – well done!
    How are you?

  31. This is so pretty & fresh seeming. Just what I need to see after 3 weeks of rain! AND you’ve painted one of my favourite flowers, which I notice that someone else has mentioned as being called cow parsley in the U.K. I can almost smell it – I just love the scent of it(which, according to my mother is beause I was conceived in a field of it!!)

    • Thank-you, Sonya. I love your story. This painting is now called “Sonya’s Meadow”. Judging by the response this post has received, this lovely wildflower has not gone unnoticed over the years.

  32. dear leslie,

    this watercolor painting is just sublime. i feel at peace and i cannot exactly know where the true inner joy comes from. this painting have lightened up my day. you have that gift that only a true artist can express wonderful emotions through painting.

    i hope to see more plein air paintings of yours.

    • Thank-you so very much, Marvin. For some reason, these flowers seem to draw people in, judging from the above comments about them. I have to admit that this painting just happened. I will be getting out again in the spring. Until then, reference photos keep me content.

  33. The leaves, Queen Anne’s Lace and barbed wire are so familiar to me-I’ve seen them on the edge of some rural properties and dismissed them until you made me recognize their loveliness.

    • Thank-you, Anne! I really tried to concentrate on the shapes of things in this one. I knew I could not get that webbed texture of the flower, but hoped to get the feel of the scene. Thank-you, also, for your visit and taking time to comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: