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This smile is for all of you who visit, here. 

I have read on other blogs, from time to time, a request for viewers to be helpful in their comments and to critique the work there, honestly. Oh yes, I sense what they are asking for. How can we do that?  How can we take someone’s vision and, … and make it different? 

That caused me to pause and review my blog and page through some of my work. I noticed that I had been blogging for two years, now.  Something I had been strongly encouraged to do and had to be talked into.  I also noticed a steady increase in my ability as an artist.  I noticed that I had tried new techniques and stretched my vision.  That means a lot more than one critique that may have burst my “bubble” and sent me home with my tail between my legs.

I owe that to you who visit and comment and encourage. I am smiling on you. Thank you.


  1. And I am smiling back! Thanks to your support and comments my work gets stronger by the day. On those days that I feel as if life is crushing me and I haven’t the time to post, I think of you and the other artists who look forward to the moments of sharing art online through our blogs.

    • I visit you as I would a mentor. Your free-flowing lines and colorful painting helps me to grow, Chris. Your respect that you have mentioned for Betty? warmed my heart because I know what she had offered you. Thank you for posting and for visiting me.

  2. Big Smiles for you, Leslie! I love all your posts. You have taught me so much since I found your blog. You have proved to be an excellent artist, teacher, encourager, but most of all, a wonderful friend. So right back at ya with the smile!!! 🙂
    BTW: I love the painting and all it stands for! Really, really nice horse painting!

    • Oh you who explores every medium at your fingertips. Don’t discount your own ability to impress and to encourage us to stretch our wings. Your positive comments have spurred me on. It was this painting that caused me to reflect, for two years ago, I could not paint a horse like this and certainly not on hot pressed paper. 🙂 Thank YOU, Debbie, for your constant encouragement!

  3. This may sound strange, but it creeps me out when horses do that. 🙂 However, your rendering of the mane using watercolor blows my mind.

    • This expression is actually called flehmen. Horses are not the only animal that do this. It is a gesture meant to trap the scent of pheromones. It has often been used by trick horse trainers for an expression of smiling. Thank you, Bree! I worked hard on that mane to get it to look rather stringy.

  4. I feel honoured to come and view your watercolours and painting s Leslie, and it certainly lifts my day to see your many different styles and subjects … and I love this one, that gorgeous, full of character face, and such a contagious laugh, made me chuckle in response…Want a sugar cube? 😀 xPenx

    • Yes, exactly! A sugar cube. I had a horse that would do this for a sugar cube or an apple! Thank you for the comment about his facila character. I found the photo for this on the artists’ wet canvas site and immediately thought “COWPONY”! Thank you for your visits and your wonderful poetry, Pen! 🙂

  5. Great painting of the smiling or begging horse.
    And thanks for your smile and thanks for being you!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • What you do, digitally, has opened my understanding of art, Jan. I thank you for that and the positive reinforcement you leave, here, for me. Thank you! …and good weekend to you, too! 🙂

      • Art comes in a million forms!
        You are the true artist here and you have been a mentor to me and others. As I’ve said before, to me you are a star! 🙂 Thank you! Leslie.

      • Thanks, Jan. 🙂

  6. Thanks Leslie for this post.I always enjoy reading your blog because this is interesting to see another artist experimenting and being creative. It is fascinating for me to be able to see a bit of the creative process in someone else as we are all unique.
    As for critique I think most people will write something only when they have a positive or constructive thing to say.It is a brave thing to do to share your work on the web, and I always think that even if you might get the occasional unpleasant comment, at least you took the risk to expose your work.
    Thanks for blogging !

    • You are another of my mentors, Sandrine, always offering up new ideas and sharing the progressions of your work so well. Inspiring is the word that comes to mind. That is a selfless gift and the fact that you visit, here, makes it even more meaningful. Thank you! 🙂

  7. A grateful heart lives in grace, Leslie. That grace shows throughout your work and in your willingness to intimately share your creative world. Your invitation lets me feel a part of the painting. Go figure. And I believe that is what it’s all about – connectivity.

    • P.S. – I didn’t know it was about capturing those pheromones! Fascinating. The mane is stunning. Your work paid off.

      • In response to the PS? Isn’t it just like us to attribute a human expression to something a horse does that is completely independent of what we think? They will do this sometimes when they are in pain, also, or to other strange and strong smells.

    • …and I am glad I found your blog. Reminding me of all that “IS” worthwhile. Connectivity has got to be it and a willingness to encourage rather than discourage. Thankyou, Amy.

  8. Big smile back here too. Simply marvelous–this is why this is my fave blog to visit. I’m always surprised with your sensational creative works!

    • Robert, thankyou! I have admired your loose and free watercolors and thought you had stopped blogging. Thank you for this comment. It means a lot.

  9. Congratulations on two years of blogging Leslie! And also for sharing your expertise, experiences and sheer love of painting with all
    of us 🙂 You are an inpiration to all who reads your blog – long may it continue!

    • Oh Lynda, I owe you the largest thank you for blogging about so many artists, masters as well as fantastic contemporaries. I have learned so much from reading and viewing your posts! They help to keep my mind open and fresh. Thank you! 🙂

  10. Congratulations on two years. The horse is beautiful. I especially love your paintings of trees (although those cat ones were special). I have such trouble with foliage yet. I agree that blogging can help us widen our outlooks and experiment more if we let it. I am going to the masa paper you have shown at some point. I had never seen that before. What kind of glue do you use that you feel will be long lasting enough and non staining in the long term? I worry about that.

    • The stone barn painting? That has great foliage! I wish I could get closer to that. I had not seen the masa before the blogs that I had mentioned on that post. I decided to use acrylic matte fixative (something I learned in a collage book by Nita Leland). I mix about one fourth water with the fixative. I use a brush to apply it. Then I turn it over onto the support surface and put a layer on the front with a brush working it from the center outward to push any airbubbles out from underneath the paper. Don’t push so hard to get rid of the wrinkles in the paper. You want those. They will dry hard. Acrylic matte fixative does not yellow and actually protects what you are glueing. It is acid free. Some of the artists used wallpaper glue. I have not done that so can’t give an opinion on it. Oh. Nothing I have used the matte fixative on has yellowed. It is messy and I have a flat brush I devote specifically to using matte fixative. I rinse it in very warm water each time or it gets hard as rock when it dries. Have fun and thankyou for your comment, Ruth!

  11. Leslie your art just inspires me. You have such talent. This is just wonderful!

  12. Leslie, I smiled as soon as I saw his big toothy grin. Thank YOU for posting as well as visiting our blogs. You always have something insightful to say. What would we do without you?

    • I have been waiting for you to stop by, Carol. 🙂 Look carefully on the front of his face. I “scumbled”! I was so excited that I got that. And some on his jaw, too. I learned that from your work and tried over and over again to get it. I can do it on hotpress paper, now, but still can’t get it on the coldpress. Thankyou for that. You have blogged longer than I have and have been an inspiration! Thankyou!

      • Oh Leslie, You’ve always been able to scumble! You did an amazing job on his face. Now if you can just get him to brush his teeth. 🙂

      • Ha! I thought the same thing! Sometimes their teeth even have a tinge of green on them from grazing. They wer, initially white, but it was a BIT MUCH! 🙂

  13. interesting point~!
    i never knew horses can smile! 🙂

    • They can be trained to do this on command, Summer, but it is a gesture they use to smell pheromones. Thankyou for the visit and the comment Summer! 🙂

  14. You are a special person, Leslie! Blessed be the day I found your blog and met you! Your specialness shines in your every painting, and your blog showcases it with a wonderful abandon. I learn about color from your paintings, the way you use color cannot be described in boring academic teaching, but has to be experienced visually and physically, like color should be experienced. I believe I am becoming a better artist for what I have learned from you.

    As all your figures, this smiling horse is delightfully alive, it made smile as soon as I opened the page.

    • Who found who? I honestly don’t remember. I remember being completely bowled over by your work on portraiture, especially. …and then you said that you were just starting to learn to draw and paint! Most people would give their eye teeth to have started with that kind of skill. Watching your work as time has gone on has been a joy and an inspiration. I think of you when I want to rush or I become impatient. I tell myself, “if Alex can be patient enough to build up layer upon layer then I can wait for this to dry for finishing touches.” Thankyou for this comment about color. Thankyou, Alex, for your visits. 🙂

      • Am I mixing it up? My old age must be showing… Was it you who found me? Whichever the case, I am grateful to know you and be able see you work and share your way of seeing the world.

      • Oh no,no. I just don’t remember. You probably found me! Did some research, Alex and you visited me, first! ..on my figures page and I went to your site an hour later and commented on your red hat watercolor….Such fun! That was 12/18/09.

  15. I am smiling back at you 🙂
    Well, I have felt the same way as you have and for me, to be able to share my work with others has motivated me to keep painting..especially, to be honest, I have a regard for you as I would have for my teacher Leslie, I thank you for that as well!You are such an inspiration, truly!

    • I feel the same about you, Padmaja. You have inspired me in color as well as in thought content. You always have beautiful meaning that accompanies everything you paint. I view you as mentor and teacher, also. Thank you! 🙂

  16. Why thank you Leslie but I think you had the last laugh! You are the ultimate blogger. Generous, helpful, creative, talented and you give that to all of us. Thanks for the fun painting…when you thought of us I’m glad you didn’t think of the other end.

    • You are way too kind, Linda. I sit in wonder everytime I view one of your abstracts! Do you remember that Raggedy Ann painting? WOW! I have that image imbedded in my brain. This last one of the machine was cmplimentary to the machine, me thinks. You have me laughing over your statement about the other end! Never would I think of you all as that, but funny you are! Thank you for bringing a chuckle into my life today. 🙂

      • Hi Leslie, Raggedy Ann has found a happy home with my enchanting great-granddaughters. Can’t tink of a better home!

      • I can’t think of a better home for Raggedy Ann than that! 🙂

  17. A post both wise and beautiful. Thank you, Leslie. And thank you for sharing your gifts with us here. Well done.

    Congratulations on two years of blogging.

    Warmest regards,

    • …and I thank you! I am so glad I have taken the time to visit writers. You have the gift of painting with words. I find that to be a phenomenal talent. Thank you for the light and wisdom you bring into my world by blogging, Jamie.

  18. naaaaah, thank you, Leslie. I’ve been going at my photo blog for about a year and you were one of my first commenting visitors. Since it was a new media for me, it was a much needed early assurance that I was doing something worthwhile. I’ve followed your blog since then and while I don’t know a thing about the area of visual arts you are immersed in, I know an aesthetically pleasing thing when I see it. I always find your process inspiring, the reminder to slow down and pay attention to what/why you are doing something.

    • I don’t exactly remember how I found you. It may have been through just surfing a category we both use in tags. I was bowled over. Youe compositions are phenomenal and I don’t know a thing about photography, other than it is an art medium. You open my eyes, Bbrasseaux. Thank you. 🙂

  19. What a great smile! We are the ones that need to thank you…. for all your inspiration and courage to try new things. I dearly love coming to your blog, my friend!

    • I figured this fit your art category of “art to wiggle your butt at” . 🙂 Anyway, I thought of that when I posted this one, Beth. …and I can tell you that I enjoy visiting your blog, too,…and yes I consider you friend.

  20. Oh Willlllburrrr ( Leslie)! You don’t need us, you have it all. Oh by the way for you young ones “Oh Wilbur” was what the talking horse on the t.v. show, Ed the talking horse, would say during the show. Thanks Leslie for your time, talent, and the willingness to share it!

    • Ha! Thank you, Ryan, for yours, also. Your attention to detail and composition teach me everytime I visit!

  21. Thanks, Leslie for another lesson in painting. I also appreciate you letting me enjoy the art itself. Your students are discovering new ways to look at art and at life. Your own willingness to experiment as well as your encouragement will inspire for a lifetime. Thanks for what you’re doing for them and for me.

    • What a wonderful comment you leave, here, Dan. I just jumpedover to your blog and saw you have begun to share those portraits you spoke of in that lovely poem. They are fascinating. Thank you for this visit and comment!

  22. I know nothing about horses and their behaviors but this is an awesome “smile” you have captured on that horse! I’m in awe of people who have such talent as you.

    Congratulations on your two years in blogging! I enjoyed my visit today. And thank you for such a gracious welcome.

    • Thank you for dropping by, Bodhirose. I am always glad to read more poetry as I feel your artistry with words always inspires visions for my fancy. Thank you for the comment and letting me know you are here! 🙂

  23. I like the personality you painted into the horse. Beautiful! Blessings to you…

  24. More than anyone else, you’ve kept me blogging Leslie. Your continuous encouragement, observation, inspiration and friendship have kept me going. What began as a small experiment, has become an important part of my life. You’e also introduced me to so many other interesting and talented people for which I’m very grateful. Thanks again for everything. Love the smile.

    • Thank you for this, Keith. Your work deserves the readership you have gained by blogging. I was immediately attracted to your style and your land. You have also contributed to keeping me going with your positive comments as well as questions. I call you friend.

  25. LOL! Thank you Leslie for the laugh. I needed that. Love the expression on the horse. I’m glad I found your blog. I really enjoyed reading your blog, learning new techniques and ideas from your paintings. Mostly, your talents and insights are very inspiring. Seeing your work has relighted the artistic fire in me — which I have to admit, was dimmed for a very long time. Thank you! I look forward to reading your blog for years to come. 😀

    • Upon viewing your photography the first time, following your comment on the “Biskit” post, I never doubted you an artist. Your composition and the beauty you capture in your photography leaves me feeling as though I’ve been there. Thank you for this. …and your dogs? I’m trapped by their personality. They must reflect who you are, too! Thank you! 🙂

  26. Your blog is always a joy to visit! This horse sure makes me smile 🙂

    • …and yours is too! You are “super duper” creative! Thank you Amber. 🙂

  27. As someone who use to enjoy teaching children to ride horses, I can attest to this painting being rather true to life. Though, in my case, it was usually a horse ridiculing me. But it’s good to know one can amuse other animals.


    • So, you are a horse person, too! I taught riding and trained for many years. Not so, anymore. I miss it. Love your site and will be back to visit you “Something new”! Thank you for dropping in. Smiles on you!

  28. Giggles, Grins and Guffaws to you! LOL.

  29. Big and sincerely Smiles for you, Leslie! Your creative blog is always a pleasure to visit!


    Marinela x

  30. when giving a great wide grin, maybe we’re just grasping at pheromones too? 😉 so appreciate your expression and the beautiful song of your paintings… happy two years!

  31. Your rendering of that mane is astonishing! 🙂
    Comments can be so helpful, I agree with that. The ones I receive in my blog have helped me immensely. And – thank you for having such a lovely blog and being a great person! Hugs.

    • Thank you, Val. When I think of your blog, I am reminded of the diversity a blog can contain as you share about nature, art, and self by weaving a creative and sometimes humorous storyline. You are gifted. Blog on!

  32. Great painting, love the way the horse mouth opens almost smiling 🙂

    • Thank you, Alonso! I have been thinking about you and your move last year. Hope all is well! 🙂 🙂

  33. Lol, that is one happy horse.
    Wow two years, time flies.
    I still remember the first comment you made about the boat back when i was a militant infant blogger. lol
    Happy blogiversary. lol

    • I have found it a joy to have followed you for the last two years, Richard. What fun to watch you learn and embrace many forms of art in your journey to succeed. Incredible is what it is. Thank you for “all” your comments and for continuing to visit me.

  34. Smiling right back! TY for sharing your many beautiful work. I’ve learned a lot and have a much better appreciation of this art form.

    • …and TY for sharing the positive changes in your life that inspire me to look at myself and the changes I can make in mine, Earthianne!

  35. i love this painting! i’m a total horse person – starting riding when i was seven years old, gave it up when i went to college and miss it still! they have such unique and wonderful personalities and you did a great job of capturing that here!

    • Hi Hilary fellow horse person! 🙂 Thank you for this comment and letting me know you are visiting. I see that you paint, also. Love the “Hope” one and several others your way.

  36. Smiling back from me here. Thanks for all these years of encouragement. You will always be my friend and teacher Leslie. I just love how your horse grin..hehehehe.

    • I was so glad when I saw your recent post and that you had some time to paint again, Francis. Thank you for this comment. I remember when I first began following you. You had my attention from the start.

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  1. By SMILE « MUSING BY MOONLIGHT on 05 Apr 2011 at 3:10 am

    […] on process and her insights on art are soul satisfying. I never regret the time spent visiting her. HERE Leslie talks about the value of blogging. Check out her blog and the lovely, lively flow of color […]

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