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This is inspired by a photo taken a year ago spring on a small manmade lake where my sister lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I was struck by the contrast of the flowering tree in the foreground against all that spring greenery. We were sitting in a little paddle boat meandering along the shoreline of this little lake at the time I took the photo.  I chose a toned piece of masa paper for this painting. I was surprised it came out so well as the base tones of the paper were yellows and oranges.

ART CHALLENGE:   For those of you who might be interested in stretching your creativity, Linda has offered up an end of spring challenge here:

She encourages artists, photographers and writers to participate!  Just create something to the theme: “the leaping greenly spirits of trees”  inspired by a line from an e. e. cummings poem here. Then, on the morning of the 20th, comment on her post that day calling for links and leave a comment on her post with your link to your post.  It was quite fun when we did this last year and shared all our different styles and ideas.    Thank you, Linda, for a great challenge!



  1. I love the colors here. The combination of the mauves and greens is lovely. It could go right up on my walls as those are the colors of my house!

    • Such lovely colors in your home, Ruth! I was looking at this today and thinking those would be beautiful and somewhat calming colors for a living space. I guess it would be like bringing a part of the outdoors, in. Thankyou!

  2. I actually love that its more of a portrait style rather than a landscape. The reflection is also great. I love everything you do Leslie. Honestly, love.

    • …and the tree is looking at itself in the mirror? Cool perception, Ronny! Thank you! You have made my day!

  3. the colors and the reflection are sooo amazing 😀 and ‘spring’ is written aaaaaall over this painting, great job!!!
    i know it was a photo that inspired you, but still, it’s nice to see that people appreciate the beautiful nature that surrounds us..

    yay! 🙂

    • I had hoped to capture a bit of that spring feel when things are lime green with bursts of color here and there, Gregor. I do appreciate nature for sure. Thank you! 🙂 Have a great week!

  4. Truly a beautiful pic. I love the colors and their reflection in the water. Blessings to you, Leslie…

    • Thank you, Carol Ann. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off the reflections all over the place and have it look glassy. I just kept smoothing areas of it with water. The masa paper helped with that. Thank you and blessings to you in return! 🙂

  5. the lake was as sharp as a mirror

    • Thank you Summer. How did you know that was my biggest challenge? You have a sixth sense.

  6. Each new landscape is better than the last, Leslie! And the Masa paper seems to come alive under your brush! Wonderful result!

    • Thank you. Thank you! You are so kind to say that. I think the art supply stores are going to be very happy I found masa paper. 🙂 I’m hooked! After daughter’s wedding I will be returning to learning more about the rice paper collage and watercolor, also. I rather like the idea of creating my own supports, Alex.

  7. The colorful flowers pop out against the lovely green back ground and the texture of the paper is a delight to observe in the reflections. A painting full of life Leslie!

  8. A peaceful scene with colours to soothe. So do I love everything you do, Leslie. Looking at the work your sister does, she could not have lucked out much more in having a sister with your sensitivity and talent.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Amy. Peaceful is the correct word for that morning my sister, Grandaughter and I paddled around her small lake. I would not mind being there and kicking back with a good book and nature all around as my reading room! I know you feel the same. 🙂

  9. Love the reflection in the water, the quality is rendered by the paper texture and your ability to use color so beautifully. Well done, beautiful!

    • Thank you so much for this, Nancy! Love the texture this paper offers. I’m hooked. 🙂

  10. This is just lovely–it has a batik look to me. Perhaps the colored paper you used lent this appearance to it. I really like it. I’m enjoying my visits very much.

    • The batik look is something the masa paper does. It is often compared to thatlook. So yes, you are correct. I could not achieve this look without thwe crumpled masa. Thank you so much, Bodhirose!

  11. I like its contrast and spring colors.

    • I had hoped that these colors would capture the feel of spring. Thank you, Zeinab! Loved your magnolia!

  12. Wow awesome!
    Love the vibrant colors 🙂

  13. Very pretty (and you captured the tranquility of the place)! These are all my fave colors. 🙂

    • Thank you, Earthianne. I think these might become some of my favorite colors, too. …….and all because of a painting. Nature can teach us a lot about color. Thank you, too, for mentioning tranquil. I was shooting for that with this one.

  14. Once again you outdid yourself. This is so beautiful. It reminds me a bit of Seurat. This may be one of my new favorites!

    • I think the Seurat suggestion comes in because of my typical dot dot dot for the tree. I don’t know what it is but most of the time, that is how I picture trees unless they are way far away. 🙂 Thank you, Carol. I am hoping this one cured me some of my fear of painting reflections on water.

  15. love the colours and reflective quality of this one, Leslie. somewhere to sit , dream and ponder , and maybe sleep awhile. .. I feel relaxed just drinking in the scene….xPenx

    • I surely would not mind if this was the view from my front or back door, Pen. I’m with you on it being a good place to dream. Thank you for this!

  16. It is just like you said. I love this painting. The flowering tree anchored it.

    • Thank you, Raji. I love when that happens. Somehow that other tall tree trunk and its’ reflection balance that tree, somehow. I didn’t notice that until your comment. See? I need my blogger friends, bigtime!

  17. Leslie, this made me gasp, when I opened it. The masa paper makes the reflections dance in this painting! Beautiful!!!

    • I am hoping that I learned something about reflections while painting this piece. I admire artists who can pull of reflections in store windows, water and PUDDLES. Thank you so much for this comment.

  18. Beautiful scene! Love the way you are able to capture the cheerful bright colors and yet at the same time the tranquil mood. Very well done Leslie… 🙂

    • I really didn’t think of that; how the reds and pinks were cheerful and bright and usually promote energy and get us moving. Thank you for that observation. I’m going to have to think about what passed on the tranguility so strongly. Maybe the stillness of the water? Cool observaton, Emily. Thank you for that. I will remember that the next time I have to use reds in a tranquil scene.

  19. You’re on another roll.
    The detail in this is fantastic

    • I was kind of worried that I would not be able to pull of the reflections of tree and dead wood in the water and it read like water. Thank you, Richard.

  20. You’ve done many great paintings Leslie but this is one of my favorites so far! Love the composition, the colours and THAT blossom on the trees! I can see this one in the LesliePaints Greeting Cards collection or even notelets! Just exuberant and joyful!!!!

    • This would make a pretty cool card.Thank you for the idea, Lynda. It is fun to change my format dimensions around a bit, too, from time to time. You made my day saying this is one of your favorites, so far. Thank you.

  21. The reflection on the water is my favorite part – absolutely gorgeous!

  22. What can I say that I haven’t said before. It’s stunning as always, but the style and grace that it captures, is something I just can’t seem to do and you make it look so easy. Sigh… in jealousy

    • Ahem! Your paintings are awesome and I could say the same to you. I sometimes think we must see our own work differently than others do and are more critical of our own. Your art rocks, Ryan. Thank you for this comment.

  23. The purple flowering tree reminds me of the redbud trees that bloom here in the Spring. You have created another appealing image!

    • Thank you, Al. I don’t know what kind of tree it was because I am not as good as you at tree or bird identification. It was a little more lavender looking in real life, but I think I’ll call this a redbud. 🙂 Thank you!

  24. It is a firework of colors! I watched it in bigger form, and then I left the space between myself and the screen and admired it. I do not know how difficult it is to paint reflections, but You managed them very well. I love this.

    • Thank you for taking the time to do that, Sartenada. Most people don’t give themselves the pleasure of watching painted imagery come together like that. I appreciate your time taken to do that as well as your comment.

  25. Hello, Leslie! I love what you paint. Very light colors you chose here; your work is totally inspirational!

    • Thank you so much! Inspirational would be something I would like to pass on with my work.

      • sure! But first of all, the artist should possess such quality for then to convey it visually. I believe that’s the uniqueness of an artist – the ability of transporting inspiration, in the result, creating a huge network where all details ‘talk’ and communicate with the language of their own. good job with all your paintings!

      • Thank you. What you have said here is beautiful. It is my hope that I continue to do this.

  26. Love the way you’ve created the reflections Leslie… and the colours are wonderfully eyecatching… 🙂

    • This is rather a different color combination for me. I had fun trying to emulate the colors in that tree. 🙂 Thank you, Brian!

  27. Hi Leslie. This is lovely and the colors are just beautiful. I like how the tree is sort of done with pointalism. I think that’s what you call it. In any case, it’s special!

    • You are correct about the pointillism. It is kind of how I must see trees when I take them in because I can’t seem to keep from painting them that way. Thank you Kathleen!

  28. Very pretty painting, Leslie. 🙂

  29. Gorgeous work, Leslie! Your artwork just gets better and better with each piece you create. I love the colors in this one, Leslie!

    • These are not colors I normally use are they? 🙂 This one seemed to almost paint itself and it went much quicker than most, Debbie. I wonder if it was because I was having fun with some new colors?

  30. your mastery of color just continues to blow me away leslie… i love the contrast of the shore greenery and flowering with the wonderful dream-like quality of the reflection… such food for the soul here…

  31. Sweet right down to the reflection on the water. I like how the colors are subtle but lively. I like your style, comfortably warm. Rx

    • I don’t know how that subtlety happened using the pinks and reds, but maybe it was the still water and peacefulness of the scene having power over color? Thank you, Raven! 🙂

  32. awww I missed the challenge 😦 This is lovely Leslie. I especially like the way you rendered the water with it’s reflections!

    • Well, darn it! I know you would have done fantastic with leaping trees! 🙂 That water part of the painting actually caused me to sweat a little because I did not know if I could render still water on textured paper. I know, now, that it is possible. Thank you Amber!

  33. I like the reflections too. I also love your description of you in the little paddle boat. That’s my idea of a perfect afternoon. Beautiful as always.

    • The paddle boat was kind of fun. Something on it was somewhat damaged so we kept having to compensate for it wanting to circle one direction. We did OK. Some of the time we had to turn it the opposite direction from the way we wanted to go to get to our destination. We would start laughing. Thank you for your comment, Keith.

  34. A beautiful burst of color against the green backdrop!! And the reflection adds to the beauty. The painting grabs you – it is very striking and a lovely work of art. Again I must say that you are good, Leslie!! I love your work.

    • Thank you, Jan. I was taken by that contrast in color, especially in a woodlaand area where I am not accustomed to such a HUGE burst of flowering.

  35. Really pretty. I like what happened with the reflection using masa paper.

    • Thanks, Kim. I am glad we took that ride in your paddleboat that day. Otherwise, I would not have seen this scene to snap a photo of! So, Thank you twice!

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