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The above painting is my picket fence in my backyard. This is last year’s roses. This year’s roses are blooming right now. Sadly, due to the hard and extremely cold winter, there aren’t as many. However, they are beautiful as ever.

This was painted on masa paper.  I enjoy working on landscapes that have a man made object in them. I guess I like the contrast.


  1. Oh my God! This is absolutely beautiful. Really good sense of light, Leslie!

    • Thank you, Jay. That means a lot. Now, if I could only do this every time!

  2. love the blue, green purple, orange and pink shadows on the fences~~~

    • You are right, Summer. I had to keep going at those shadows, little by little. They truly have all those colors in them. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. Leslie, this is stunning. Not only because it’s a fabulous scene, but because when I enlarge the painting and see your strokes, etc, it is a marvelous mystery how the summation is so incredible. Well…probably not to you!

    • Oh yes it is! It is a mystery each and every time I pick up a brush and paint. I think we change, the more we paint. We see more and we learn ways to make certain things look a certain way, but the entire painting? Always a mystery to me. They never come out just exactly as I envisioned them. They teach me something and ask to be what they are. I like that about painting. Thank you, Amy!

  4. I agree with Souldipper… STUNNING! Beautiful highlights and warmth coming through the colors.

  5. What a lovely picture! I love roses. My grandmother used to have an arbor covered with climbing roses. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you, Leslie…

    • Thank you, Carol Ann. My Grandmother had them, also. 🙂 They take some care. I do o’kay, but mine are nowhere near as beautiful as hers were.

  6. I really like this one, I like especially how you rendered the white fence, I found shadows on white to be particularly tricky and you did an amazing job blending the white fence with the rest of the painting.
    i also like the effect you get when painting vegetation with masa paper, it work really well.
    Great painting!

    • I “am” playing around with white because the masa and the rice papers I have been working with allow for that. How freeing that is! I think what helps with working with the white is that the masa paper is toned so it has the midtones already on it. I can to lighter with white and darker from the midtones with other colors. That is a lot easier for me than toning whites with an already white surface. Way more fun, anyway. I am having more success with landscapes on this masa paper. Perhaps because of the already textured background. Thank you, Sandrine!

  7. Wow, you have really taken this masa paper on a journey.
    This is brilliant, technically and visually

    • 🙂 I’m becoming a bit of a masa paper addict I think, Richard. Thank you so much for your comment. That fence was a killer to draw out on bumpy paper.

  8. Masa paintings on a full-swing! I love this still-life. The shadows on the fence complements the flowers and the foilage. Looks like a great spring day.

    • I just told Richard that I think I am becoming kind of a masa paper addict, Raji. I really like starting with the paper and crinkling, soaking, toning and glueing it to a surface (preparing my support). I usually make up four pieces of it and allow them to dry. Then I always have a selection of papers to choose from when I want to paint something. As I speak, I have two pieces already made up just waiting for a subject that lends itself to them. Preparing them gives me a break from the actual act of rendering something. Now if I only made my own paper! Ha! Thank you for your comment, Raji. These are my climbing roses in spring.

  9. It is absolutely spectacular! I can only imagine how the day looked!
    The play of light is just too perfect Leslie!

    • Hot!!!! The day was hot. 🙂 Thank you for that about light, Padmaja!

  10. Stunning Leslie! Such light, such crispness. You are a master at details; what a patient one you must be ! 🙂
    (Darn, I was at the art store yesterday, and forgot to get some Masa paper.. You make me want to try it !)

    • Do you ever order art supplies, Isabelle? Dick Blick and Cheap Joes, both, sell it. I don’t know aout being a master and the detail of drawing the fence, at first was the tedious part of this one. I LOVED painting it! I want to continue my explorations with rice paper collage and watercolor as soon as we are on the other side of daughter’s wedding. I like that process also. Thank you!

  11. Wow! I can’t get over how well you applied all the shadows from the branches; you have hundreds of them it there. Excellent work, Leslie!!!

    • I think the branch shadows you are referring to are the crinkles from the crumpled masa that I do while toning the paper. Isn’t that cool? This paper offers up so much one can do with it. But yes, in this those crinkles served well to emulate branches. Thank you, Debbie!

  12. Leslie, this is really beautiful work!

  13. I love this masa paper and I’ve never even used it! I did read the reply from the last post though, and I have bookmarked the tutorial post for future reference! I love all your subject matter. The compositions are great. This one is a good one to remind us of beautiful weather. Thanks again for always reading and commenting on my new blog. I’m making a links page and you better bet you’ll be on it.

  14. Take some time to google some images of masa paper and watercolor, Ronny. (It is Ronny, isn’t it?) Just so you can get a feel for what others have done with it, also. I think you could make this surface your own very quickly! Oh, I won’t stop following you. 🙂 This relocating enhances all you are doing with your work in art. No thanks needed. I hope some of my fellow bloggers begin visiting you as well!

    Thank you for your comment this post!

  15. Beautiful, Leslie! Just beautiful! I can go on and use many important art-world words, but really what matters is that I enjoyed this painting as viewer. Faced with such sunny serenity I didn’t want to be an artist analyzing it, but a viewer enjoying it. Sigh… how pleasant!

  16. What a lovely idyllic view of home. You make me want to start painting again – if only I could find the time.

    • Thank you, Lynn. If I can inspire anyone to pick up a brush and paint, I feel good, indeed. 🙂

  17. Ooooo, this is lovely! The shadows you’ve achieved on the fence are remarkable.

    • Thank you, Bree! Had to put something up that reflected the sun and heat we are getting! 🙂 Hope you are staying cool.

  18. Love all the details of the petals and picket fence here Leslie…

    • Thank you, Brian. Petals were lots of dabs of paint. 🙂 I am fascinated how dabs of paint arranged in certain ways actually represent something.

  19. wow ! wow ! really nice! I like this kind of fence, unfortunately ,in my country there are walls instead of fences!

    • I chose this fence for my backyard because I wanted to be able to see through the slats to the commons area behind. I have three dogs, so a fence was something I needed. If they were not with me, my backyard would not be fenced at all. I think walls are common in the warmer climates in our country, also. Thank you for the “wows”, Zeinab!!

  20. oh wow. leslie this is just beautiful. the shadows on the fence is exquisite and i love that you have a white picket fence-it is so quintessentially American to me! i completely agree with you about having a man made object-my landscapes looks like a big blob without a brick wall or wrought iron gate to give some focus!

    • I chuckle at your comment about the “BIG BLOB”. 🙂 I am working on one of those right now and struggling. Thank you, Nicola!

  21. O, it does my worldly eyes good to come back here! These are last year’s roses?? Ahem…I must be doing something very wrong in the garden of good and evil as my roses this year don’t look as good as your year old ones!

    What a talent you are! I’m going to enjoy going back and feasting on some of these tutorials! Blessed spirit, you are, Leslie.

    • Hi Pat!
      Thank you for this. I keep going to your Waving or Drowning blog hoping for a reappearance. I enjoyed your blogging. Hope all is well with your endeavors.
      These are last year’s roses because this year’s roses were terribly affected by our horridly cold winter. They are pretty but there are only about one third of the climbing branches surviving. It’ll come back, though. Thanks, again!

  22. Wow. I admired it for long time in bigger format. So beautiful. That is real art! The style of the fence was very stylish. I do love it. And roses, oh I am sighing, so red and so beautiful.

    • Thank you, Sartenada. it was fun to try to get that fence looking somewhat believable. 🙂

  23. Leslie, this is delightful and so peaceful and cheery. I too like the juxtapostion of the manmade fence with the nature-made garden. Perfectly beautiful and adds to the joy of this beautiful morning.


    • I notice, in your poetry, contrast plays a huge part in many of them. What I can’t do with words, I try to say in pictures. Thank you, as always, Jamie!

  24. Oh Leslie, my fence is tall and brown and the neighbours have grown a horrible damaging ivy on their side, which keeps inveigling it’s way through to my side. I wish to formally request a swap, for that beautiful white painted heavenly looking fence, complete with said Roses. 😀 NO? ah well, I can only dream, and stare at your lovely Watercolour. Dreaming Pen. xx

    • I have neighbors with a brown fence……. I actually have wanted a white picket fence since I was very little. I loved the story books with a picture of a cottage and a white picket fence. ….or a western where the cowboy went to visit his lady fair or the cute little old lady who made him apple pie and their little clapboard houses had a front porch and all around the yard was a white picket fence. Oh yes! …and when the cowboy opened the gate on the picket fence, it always squeaked. 🙂 Thank you, Pen!

  25. another stunningly gorgeous painting. You are a masa paper expert now! The red of the roses is striking against the white fence.

    • Thank you for titling me expert, Carol. Makes me feel good. BUT! I’m struggling with this next one. Maybe I can use a trick or two or it is just going through an ugly stage. Thank you on the reds comment.

  26. hey, you are getting some pretty cool texture with this type of paper, Leslie. Is this like rice paper? There’s a show at NWS going on right now where someone has a piece like this in it (well, it’s actually cherry blossoms and a boat, but same technique). Yours is right up there with it! Well done!

    • It is considered an oriental paper. It is more opaque than many I am using for my rice paper collage paintings, though. Thank you for the comment about my painting even being close to something entered in NWS show, Frank. I am enjoying this paper and know I will explore with it for a long time to come. I think it is about the texture, too. All those crinkly lines just make it more fun to work with. I am so glad you are sharing your knowledge, talent and techniques with students in a workshopsetting. You rock!

  27. I have given your WordPress address link to my artist sister in hopes that she will come by and see your beautiful creations. I know she will appreciate them as I have. I was trying to tell her about the type of paper you sometimes use–the masa rice paper. I love your white picket fence with the roses, Leslie–just beautiful.

    • Hi Bodhirose,
      That is wonderful that you gave my link to your sister. Does she blog or have a website I might visit so I can return the favor? If she would like to try masa paper, I have a step-by-step here: Hope that helps.
      Thank you for this! 🙂

      • No, she doesn’t blog but I may encourage her to start so she can showcase some of her work too. I think she’s very talented. I’ll also share that link with her so she can know what I’m talking about. Thanks, Leslie–and you’re welcome. 🙂

  28. This must go down as one of my favourites Leslie. Every detail is well observed and executed, I’m very envious 🙂 The draughtsmanship in the drawing alone is wonderful. Your colours are always beautiful, but those shadows in the fence are something else. Have you painted this scene previously, or have you often looked and thought about painting it? Fantastic but then I am a fan!

    • Thank you for saying something about the drawing of this, keith. That was the hardest part, for sure! The bottom of the fence went o’kay but you can imagine what I went through doing those curves of pickets at the top. When I decided to do this piece I didn’t think about that. Then the pickets had to get smaller and smaller as they receeded. Yes. I spent more time on the drawing with this one. The shadows were actually kind of fun. Some of them were painted and some of them were created by the tone of the masa paper and me painting some values of titanium white in carefully. I love that about using a pre-toned piece of paper. I get to play with white.
      Yes. I have painted this before and posted it. You can maybe see my growth. It is here:
      Thank you, Keith!

      • Somehow I just knew you would be taken by the subject and produce more than one painting. We walk past the same view everyday yet see something new. When I walk the children home from school, the light through the trees on the village green seems to change each evening. The shadows of the leaves on the green are never the same. I have a painting in my head. Lovely link too!

      • You mention seeing something new everrytime we look at the same thing again. That is one of the first things my beginning drawing and watercolor students mention; how they see much more once they begin drawing and painting. It’s a “rush”and we don’t have to spend a dime for it. 🙂 Thank you!

  29. GORGEOUS!! I love what the masa paper lends to the beautiful texture and shadows on the fence!!! WOW!

    • Thank you, Beth. You are so right! That masa allows for great shadow play…… This was fun, once I completed the drawingof the fence. 🙂

  30. Ooooh, that is so lovely! I love those white fence, and with the red roses they looks pretty.

  31. leslie – this is gorgeous! it feels alive! I love how the roses trail so beautifully along the fence. very nice!

  32. Love the effect of the red roses against the masterfully painted white fence! Good one Leslie!

  33. WOW….Really beautiful Les, you have been busy while I was away! I love the texture this technique created on the fence…and, as always, your use of color, light and space….fabulous piece

    • Oh yes, and not just with the art. Thank you for this, Tracey! 🙂

  34. I am absolutely blown away by this. It is sooo beautiful…the effect of the masa paper is really wonderful and I sure love those roses on the fence. Gorgeous!!!

    • Thank you, Amber. The killer was drawing the fence, for sure. I have a blast painting on this paper I tone, though. 🙂

  35. This is another high point in your journey hey Leslie – I like this so much

    • This was one painting that came off as so much fun after the drawing! 🙂 Thank you for liking it. The colors splashed on much the way Charles Reid might have done….and quickly. The time I spent on the fence pushed me into that “enough already” just “get her done”. 🙂

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