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The above painting came from a reference photo that I took one evening (several years ago) about four miles north of where I live.  There is a large Amish community in this area and I was out and about gathering photos of scenes I wanted to paint. The “Holstein” painting I posted, last year, came from this excursion. This was painted on toned masa paper glued to the illustration board. Yay! Only one more, adhered to illustration board, and I am running back to glueing my masa to Arches coldpress. 🙂   What I have learned is that I have to know where I am going with the illustration board. It does not accept the layers and the colors that the Arches does. Think two layers and I am OK, but these paintings do look different.

*Note: Recently, my free time has been eaten up by other matters. Free time is when I paint. For the time being, my time online is limited but I will post when I have something new to share and will visit all of you at that time and look forward to the time I can pick up speed once again!!!!   🙂




  1. What a beautiful warm painting. I love to watch it and learn from it.
    I hope that whatever eats your free time is a good thing.

    • Thank you Hannekekoop! It took me awhile to get the horses to come forward instead of looking like part of those trees. 🙂 You have agood eye. I wanted this to be warm like “Indian Summer”.

  2. A very well planned and executed painting Leslie… I cant take my eyes off it! Hope we dont miss you much…take care.

    • Thankyou, Padmaja. I am trying to figure out a schedule of some sort so I can balance my time better. I enjoy painting and visiting all of you. I truly believe visiting and seeing what all of you are doing has fed my creative spirit these past years, blogging. It will all balance out.

  3. My eyes just light up when I see you’ve updated Leslie, ‘cos I know there’s a treat in store and you never disappoint…. This one is wonderful in it’s subject and (I love the white stockings) and the colours are pure Autumnal. A lovely group at pasture and almost ‘Hazy Grazing’ giving a complete feel of contentment. (passing from your Watercolour subjects to me too ) xPenx
    catch up with you when you’re able to update my friend, being online seems to eat away at any free time, “I’ll just be ten minutes” turns into three hours later!! ‘ 😀

    • Thank you for this comment, Pen! I will be here as much as I can. I did try for those hazy Indian Summer days where the flies are still buzzing and the heat hanging around. Isn’t it interesting that a writer can influence a painter and vice versa? Your creativity makes me stretch. I thank you for that!

  4. Gorgeous painting Leslie! I really like the background sky in this, it has an early evening feel to it. I can understand about your time on line being limited Leslie. I’m having the same trouble myself at the moment, plus I’m way behind with my blog visits too – sorry 😦

    • 🙂 I have to smile! Leave it to your good eye to notice that “peachy keen” sky. The background toning of masa was a creamy color and when I added the permanent rose to the blue of the sky I got that peachy color and went for it. I see that kind of sky a lot when the sun is low in the sky. I’ll speed up again, just don’t know when it will be, right now. I remember you said other things kept popping up for you. Visit when you can. I’ll wait 🙂 Thank you, Lynda!

  5. I really like the way this painting makes me feel when I stare at it….and I have been sitting here staring at it for the last five minutes or more. It’s just beautiful Leslie!

    • Thank you, Debbie. This is definitely a field in Indiana. Many of our country areas look like this. Stay safe from that hurricane!

  6. Oooo!!! I love all the various attitudes of the Belgians, their movement, and the trees suggested by the masa paper technique. Marvelous!

    Thanks Leslie!


    • Hi Nanina!
      I must admit I went in search of the reference photo for this after I viewed your first deer posts. I had forgotten about this day trip and that I had wanted to paint this. Thank you for the comment and the inspiration through your deer paintings!

        • Wayside Artist
        • Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:19 am
        • Permalink


  7. Stunning! absolutely stunning. Love the colors, masa paper and how you handle both. Things for me has taken a turn in a bad way, so I completely understand not having time. I hope all is well for you and your family. Take care and hope to see ya at full force creating your beautiful images and educating post soon.

    • Thank you Ryan! This illustration board has really challenged me on the color work. I am so used to manipulated and playing in large wet-in-wet washes that mingle and granulate that this has taken some figuring out to accomplish. One more on illustration board and that’s it. I’ll use the rest for my collage work. I know I can still keep this up but not the every 5 days like I was doing, at least for now. I’m trying to get my brain wrapped around doing some drawings but that is not as much fun! 🙂 I hope your world turns to a “good way” sooner than later! Sending loads of light your way!

  8. Hey Leslie – you are onto something quite delightful with this technique. It is special.
    Your perseverance is really inspiring.
    How you manage to visit and connect with so many people is quite beyond me.
    Your friendship here is a great well of support and positive regard.
    Thank you for all of this.

    • You are so kind, Stephen. I am truly interested in all that I see others creating and doing. Sometimes I think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Each and every thing I see all of you do or what you share about your creating your art somehow ends up in my classroom. Everyone has a different take and approach so it helps me to inspire my students in many directions. This art blogging is a gift and I am thankful for all the insight all of you have given to me.

      I love this masa paper. I think I can compare it to your love of laying in those juicy washes and quick strokes you’ve learned from reading and observing Charles Reid. Thank you! You have been an inspiration to me….and from Africa. Never in my wildest dreams, before blogging, could I have imagined seeing Africa in the beautiful way you present it.

  9. Fantastic subject and gorgeous execution, Leslie! As always you work your colors to magical levels. The white manes and calves serve as punctuation points of the story.

    • I like that about the punctuation points. This painting surely needed it. The color was a struggle with this one. Thank heavens masa allows for lifting! 🙂 It took forever to get the horses to come forward in this one. It was not until I added permanent rose to my darks that I accomplished that, Alex. Who would have thought rose of all colors? Thank you, Alex!

  10. Beautifully executed Leslie. As always, I’m impressed with your attention to details, creative use of rich, warm colors and shimmering light to bring the painting to life. I find myself transported there and quietly observing the horses grazing and swinging their tails.

    • I could have stood there and watched these horses, forever. A little while after I took this photo, they all headed for a fenceline off to the right and I saw a young man standing there offering them apples over that fence. They all waited their turn. It was one of those last beautiful days before the weather starts turning cold and rainy, here. Thank you, Emily.

  11. What a scene, Leslie. Love these big, gentle giants and you have presented them so beautifully. I think I recognize the one second to the left. 😀 If I lived close to you, I bet we could share some great hiking excursions.

    Life has been full for me, too, Leslie. I trust that less frequency gives people a healthy breather. Who needs to be bombarded daily?

    • You are so funny, the second to the left. A Canadian Belgian? 🙂 We’d hike all over, for sure, with stops to get reference photos or thumbnail drawings, too?

      I’d rather be painting, but sometimes I just can’t do it all……..maybe I’ll even get some more ideas up my sleeve. I have already dealved into a book about an artist who painted black and white watercolors and can hardly wait to try out some of my own…..

      Thank you, Amy.

  12. Leslie,
    I love the assorted colors in this picture!What is really amazing is when you bring all the colors together to make it part of what you are creating! Awesome job!!

    • I have always admired Monet and Van Gogh, Debby. It took me a long time to get brave enough to challenge the mud. Watercolor is tricky when I start laying color next to color and believe me, I struggled with many paintings over the dullness of some of that mud. Thankyou for your comment. I wasn’t so sure about these colors working………

  13. This is a most wondrously painted offering Leslie,
    I do like thse horse paintings of yours and the colours
    in this one are truly delightful, you have a wonderful
    touch when it comes down to fine artistry Leslie 🙂

    Just call whenever you are in the neighbourhood and
    don’t worry, we all need time away to live our lives and
    keep everything running smoothly…

    Have a wickedly excellent rest of week and of course
    a Fangtastic weekend also… Be well now Leslie 🙂

    Androgoth Xx

    • Thank you, Andro. 🙂 “Fangtastic?” Now where did you get that word? Ha! I kind of just wanted to let everyone know I wasn’t quitting blogging, but had to slow down a bit. Everyone has been so nice……….Thank you!

        • Androgoth
        • Posted August 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm
        • Permalink

        Peeps are nice because they like your Artistic style
        and of course we like you too Leslie, always here with
        a lovely Painting or Drawing and with such friendship
        also, now tell me, how could anyone resist those? 🙂

        Have a really great rest of
        day and fangtastic evening now Leslie

        Androgoth XXx

      • Thank you, Andro! 🙂

  14. Oh, wow! I’m in love with this painting! It so gorgeous, the texture, the rich colors and the beautiful horses. Splendid work, Leslie.

    • Thank you, Anne. I even thought about some of your “tree rich” landscapes as I painted this. Truly inspiring you are!

  15. Love this beautiful scene with those magnificent horses, Leslie. I’m so curious about the Amish and their lifestyle. See you around when you have the time!

    • Thankyou, Gayle. Me too about the curious part. Hard working, I think.

  16. This is really amazing. I can’t stop staring at it. THe countryside… the horses… you’ve rendered it all so beautifully. I really like the effect of the masa.

    • Thank you, Amber. Masa is quickly becoming my favorite surface. 🙂

  17. I read somewhere recently a person named you ‘Queen of Masa’. Dear Lesliepaints…this one is pure delight…as always the color is so vivid and I love the subject matter here, the Belgians in Pasture. How fortunate you are to live close to the Amish and find the beauty in their community. Magnificent!!!

  18. BTW: LOL…I didn’t finish, I double that…you are Masa Queen!!! xx

  19. I am back Leslie and catching up on what I am missing! Hope to keep in touch. All your masa paintings came out well.

    • Thank you for letting me lnow and for the visit and the comment, Raji.

  20. Love the vibrancy of colour you’ve achieved in this painting Leslie… It’s amazing… Sure hope you regain some of your free time real soon too.. 🙂

  21. This is gorgeous, Leslie! I love the warm colors and the great horses!!! I hope your time away is spent doing things you love.

  22. Hi Leslie, I think that you are right that these masa paintings on illustration board are different than the ones on the Arches. Nevertheless, this painting has captured me. The white of the horses manes really stand out against the autumn palette.

    • I’m smiling because you had commented on a previous post how horses frightened you. However, these horses behind farm fencing do sort of add to the landscape a bit? Thank you for pointing out the dashes of white because that was my favorite part of this whole scene was how their patches of white stood out in the reference. I’m struggling with the last one on illustration board right now.

  23. This technique is so beautiful and your horses are lovely!

  24. This is a wonderful painting. The edges look crisp and the reds and oranges are brilliant. Very nice work.

    • Thank you, Linda. I love that Halloween Orange American Journey color. I was hoping I wasn’t getting too wild with it.

  25. Lovely autumn painting Leslie. I can see how it would be hard to delineate the golden orange of the belgians from the trees behind, but you did it well.

    It is starting to look like autumn here already with it so dry. I’m not ready for another winter just yet. The last one was too long and hard. I have found all of this August has been difficult to get time for artwork. If it weren’t for having to get something done for the blog, I’ll bet I wouldn’t have done much. Whatever you do end up doing, I hope you end up refreshed.

    • Hi Ruth. I am in agreement about the heat of this summer and the cold and snow of last winter. I have enjoyed the weather we have been having this last couple of weeks, but wish it was July, still, instead of a few weeks til fall. Thank you for this comment.

  26. Oh, my !! Another stunning painting! The colors are so intense and beautiful! And the crinkles work perfectly! You are getting to be a “master masa paper painter” ! (yahoo, quite a mouthful !)

    • Also quite a tongue twister. I wonder is I am just going to settle into masa paper paintings, in the long run, and then something new hits me I want to try. Thank you!

  27. Greetings Leslie! Have been looking at all your lovely work and am amazed at all the beauty you create. Hope ALL is well and that you’re painting with glee.

    • Hi Eva! You are still here! Glad to hear from you and thankyou for this comment!

  28. Hi Leslie!! Beautiful painting – I love it!!
    Hope you are well.
    I also have almost no free time at the moment. We are busy packing, etc…., because we are moving from Strand to Langebaan – that is along the west coast of South Africa. And it is keeping me very busy.
    When in Langebaan I’ll have more time for painting and blogging – I hope.
    All the best to you!!

    • Oh my! A move. Just thinking of packing up my belongings and moving exhausts me. Thank you for this comment and safe and easy journey to your new home.

  29. One thing I noticed is how well the texture and fibers (?) in the masa paper simulate the shadows cast from tree branches. I think you used this to good effect in the moose painting.

    • You have a good eye, Al. I have adapted my work on this paper. I spend an evening just preparing papers so that I have a stack to choose from. I search for reference material that fits the tones and crinkles and lines of the paper I choose to work on. So, more pre-thought goes into these creations than meets the eye, but you have discovered an element of my creative madness! 🙂 That is really why crinkles and tones seem to fit. Thank you for the comment!

  30. I love this, it’s so pretty! And d’you know what it reminds me of? A set of little brown horses that my sister had when I was a child. Porcelain, I think, or certainly some kind of china. (She recently gave me the white ones she had left over.) 🙂

    • I think I know what you are talking about. I have some white ones from my Grandmother. Thank you, Val! 🙂

  31. What a beautiful painting. I love it! REALLY BEAUTIFUL 🙂

  32. I’m always paused and awed by the Amish family near my home here…and this painting rocks the colors Leslie…love it 🙂

    • I like how you put that JRuth, “rocks the colors”! Thank you! 🙂

  33. Another beautiful painting, with such wonderful colours. I love the way the flora compliments the fauna. You have a great gift Leslie. Your draughtsmanship is something to admire.

    • I think I actually was drawn to doing this from having viewed your work with sheep, Keith. Where your landscapes tend to be open vistas with big skies, ours seem to be filled with trees and lots of land. Thank you!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Acrylic Deer | Wayside Artist on 08 Sep 2011 at 4:36 pm

    […] I was working on this, Leslie from: lesliepaints posted a wonderful watercolor of Belgian horses in a pasture. Wow, did I ever smile at the […]

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