For more information on commissioning a portrait or purchasing an original work of art, contact Leah at 404-295-6088 or

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Last One/ Herschell

I finished Herschell this morning at 4 am. I'm just a little tired. Anyway, this is my final creation before the new year. I figured out that I have done about 40 paintings/ drawings this year. I've been very busy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This is my last oil portrait before 2009. This beautiful little girl was very fair with the most beautiful blue eyes and impish kind of smile. I thought the red dress may be too much for such a delicate child but I think it works well with her complexion. I will deliver it tomorrow so they will have it for Christmas. I still have 1 more drawing to do before Christmas; it's a charcoal of a Basset Hound named Herschel.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Red & White drawings

These are 2 of the red chalk drawings that I am doing for Christmas. I think these are a great way to have a child portrayed in a unique piece of original art.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This offer is to my friends  who want something extra special for the holidays. It's only for December and it's first come, first served.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend

My family, my sister's family and my cousin's family always go to the mountains just after Thanksgiving dinner and stay through the weekend. My boy's look forward to it every year. The photos above are of my boys and my nephews (the big boys that are actually juniors in college) and my cousin's girls, Ginny and Allie. We were in Brevard, North Carolina this year. It really doesn't matter where we go it is just a special time to be with all of them. When I get a group picture I will post it too. This time, I spent some time drawing while the other girls went shopping. I did a very fast charcoal sketch of Ginny and Allie and a drawing of my son Stokes in red pencil. As always, it was a wonderful trip and we can't wait til next year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is Nora

Presentation to the family of Spc. Ryen King

I took a beautiful drive to Royston, GA yesterday to give the portrait I painted of Spc. Ryen King to his family. I talked to and emailed back and forth with Carmen Jordan, Ryen's mother, but I had never met her. Her husband, Harold Jordan, had sent photographs of Ryen for me to work from. I was a little surprised at first that Carmen wanted me to paint Ryen's portrait with him looking down. I told her that the eyes are the window to the soul and that she might want to select another photo. She really loved the photo of Ryen with his catcher's vest and his long hair. There really is something telling in the photo. As I painted his portrait I began to really feel his presence. I'm so happy that his mother chose the photo that she did. The painting has a special feeling and I love the way it turned out.

After driving past their house twice, I pulled into their driveway where I was greeted by Ryen's step father, Harold. As I took the portrait out of car he had tears in his eyes. I turned the painting around so Carmen couldn't see it as I was walking in the house. Ryen's grandmother, his sister Kaitlin and his baby sister were also in the room. When I turned the painting around they all started to cry. Kaitlin was especially emotional, she had to leave the room. She was very close to her brother and wants to make him proud. She's a star catcher on her fast pitch softball team. I visited with them a while and looked at lots of photos of Ryen. I could tell he was a very special brother and son and is truly missed. I'm from a small town in Georgia and being in their home felt very comfortable. Before I left I got to meet his sister, Lauren, who his a senior and a  cheerleader for Franklin County High School. Meeting families like this makes me feel so honored to paint portraits of Georgia's fallen and hope that the portrait can bring them much comfort in years to come.
The portrait was done as part of Art from the Heart, which I have posted about several times. To see a detailed image of Ryen's portrait, go back in this blog where I posted a good photo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Small Works Exhibition  Sale

DATE: November 14-December 15, 2008
DAILY HOURS: Mon-Fri 9-9pm/Sat 10-9pm/Sun 11-6pm
LOCATION: Limelight Gallery at Binders Art Supply  Frame
3330 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta 30305

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, November 15th 3-6pm

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to add to your collection or give the 
gift of fine art this Holiday Season.
There is something for every budget with works priced between $45 - $1500

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I just found out that I got 2 Honorable Mention Awards last night at the Portrait Society of Atlanta Fall Exhibit opening reception. I wasn't able to attend but I'm very happy with the awards. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Newest, Nicholas R.

This is Nicholas. It was a real challenge to get a good photograph of him. He had such a sweet disposition and was very content playing with his trains. He wasn't at all interested in having his pictures taken. The toy trains in the portrait seemed to be his favorites. We settled on this photo but his body was in an awkward position so I put the body from another photo with this face and used a different background. His mother said it captured him perfectly. I wanted to capture him the way he is now for years to come - and I think I have done so.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Any difference?

I am finished now. I darkened the lower corner areas to draw the eye higher. I also pushed the orchid back a bit. I din't want to eliminate the table legs completely since it is her grandmother's. I also worked on the hands and shadows a bit and softened some lines in her skirt. These are small changes but I think it helps. Now that I look at the photo, I might take back the flower a bit more. I used a glaze so it might just be a reflection that makes it look lighter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two more in Portrait Society of Atlanta Juried Fall Exhibition

Both of these paintings, "Amanda with Violin" and "Syah", have won previous awards. They have just been chosen as finalists in the Portrait Society of Atlanta Juried Fall Exhibition. The juror for the show is Edward Jonas, an internationally known artist and sculptor. I will post more on this later - I'm tired.

Blairsville Plein Air Paintings

Here are the plein air paintings that I did last week in Blairsville. Anita Louise West did a workshop for Atlanta Fine Arts League in the beautiful North Georgia mountains. West is a wonderful landscape painter who lives in Sante Fe with her husband, Albert Handell, another well respected artist. It was a wonderful and beautiful week to spend with a fun group of artists. I paint a lot of portraits and I absolutely love plein air painting. It's so nice to go out with my easel and come home with a painting. These paintings were done at Meeks Park and Vogel State Park and one was painted on a rainy day at a Crane Creek Vineyard.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Almost there

This is a portrait I have been working on for  while. I signed it today but now I see some things I will change. I will post it again when I make the changes so you can see the difference. These are the children of a dear friend of mine, Alexis Vear, a gifted singer/ songwriter. Many things in the portrait signify things that are important to her and her family. Her mother grows beautiful orchids, the piano represents her music, the picture in the background was her grandmother's, as well as the table. I added the box and the shell on the table for composition - the shell represents renewal. BTW, if you would like to know more about Alexis' music visit

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Isabelle" is finalist in National Juried Competition

This portrait of Isabelle was just selected as a finalist in the Art Guild 2008 1st Annual Portrait Juried Competition and Exhibition. The Art Guild is a nonprofit organization providing encouragement, education and a forum for the appreciation of the visual arts. The Guild is located in Manhasset, New York. The exhibition will run October 13 - November 28 with the opening reception October 16 from 6 - 8 pm at the Gallery at Elderfields, Manhasset, NY. The juror for the show is award winning portrait artist and faculty member at the Portrait Society of America's 10th National Conference in 2008, Ying-He Liu.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

3 paintings in AGNWG Online Art Exhibition

These 3 paintings were chosen for an online painting exhibition, Still Life with Fruit, Veronika and Joe's Boys. This is the 1st Annual Online Art Exhibition held by the Artist Guild of Northwest Georgia. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Atlanta Fine Arts League's "Simpy Drawn" reception was a very nice event. The exhibit looks beautiful; it's refreshing to see just drawings for a change. The calibre of all the drawings was very high. The exhibit goes until September 25th, at the Art Station Big Shanty in Kennesaw. In the photo I'm standing with juror John de la Vega next to my drawing "Joe's Boys". -Thanks to Carmen & Joe Kissack for allowing me to borrow it for the exhibit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Check out my updated website

I have added a few new paintings to my website. It has been a while since it was last updated, which is why this blog was created.  My website is or you can just click on me at the top right corner of this page. Make sure you check back here from time to time to find out what's new. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This is Cole

This is a charcoal that I just finished yesterday. Cole's grandmother commissioned me to do this portrait for her daughter in law. Another artist drew her granddaughter and she found me 2 years later. She loved it and said that I really caught his likeness and personality. Hey, what more can I ask for? It's nice to be able to create charcoal portraits while having an oil painting on my easel. Changing mediums keeps portrait painting more interesting.

Monday, September 1, 2008

You Must See This /Art From the Heart Video

I have written several posts about Art From the Heart. Georgia Public Broadcasting ran a feature story about this project. It tells the story from the artists and families point of view. Please follow the link and click on watch to view this touching story. 


My twin sister, Lynne, and I celebrated a BIG birthday in August. Our husbands threw a huge party and lots of our friends came. My husband's band, Uncle Mike, played and had everyone on their feet. Lynne & I wore tops that said "I am not Lynne" and "I am not Leah". Before the party was over, we switched shirts and caught a few people off guard. It was a great celebration! BTW, the black & white picture was set up at the party. We were 25 years old. It's hard to look at.

My Latest Portrait

I'm not sure if I am completely finished with this portrait but I know I am close. This is the 3rd portrait for a family in Washington. I posted the other 2 siblings, Domink and Veronika, in previous posts.  This is Nicholas.

Yuqi Wang Demonstrations

Yuqi Wang, a contemporary master artist, came to Atlanta to hold a workshop for Atlanta fine Arts League. He did two demonstrations during this time. The first was a portrait of the model, Eden, that he did along side of the workshop participants over 4 days. The next demonstration was about 3.5 hours on a 36 x 48 canvas and was open to the public. They are very different but are both beautiful.

"Joe's Boys" in Simply Drawn Exhibit

"Joe's Boys" is accepted in a juried drawings only exhibit hosted by the Atlanta Fine Arts League. The show is at the Art Station Big Shanty and runs September 3rd through 25th. The opening reception is September 6th at 7pm. The juror for this show is John de la Vega.

John de la Vega Workshop

My artist friend, John de la Vega, held a small advanced portrait workshop at my studio. You can see some of John's beautiful work on We had 2 models and 7 students. My home studio was the perfect space for the workshop. - I'm also represented on portrait  (A Stroke of Genius)

Finalists in Portrait Society of Atlanta 2008 Summer Exhibition

Emily and Veronica were both chosen as finalist in the Portrait Society of Atlanta 2008 Summer Exhibition. Ann Manry Kenyon was the juror; She is a highly respected artist and resides in Florida. The show is running through September 20th at the Marietta Museum of Art. The high caliber paintings from across the country make this a beautiful exhibition. You should visit.

Serenbe Plein Air Painting - July

This is a great group of ladies that went to Serenbe, just south of Atlanta for some plein air painting. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this trip. The landscapes were absolutely beautiful and this was a really fun group. If you like to paint en plein aire then I highly recommend this place. We got there around lunch time and we we took a little tour to find our painting spots. We all got a painting that afternoon. A few of us decided to do a little night painting after dinner and a couple glasses of wine. There was a courtyard just outside of the house where we stayed and it had a string of lights and that is what we painted by. Mine turned out very blue because I couldn't see my palette. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw in the light. I did "Crossroads" Friday morning before we left to go back to Atlanta.

Amanda in Atlanta Fine Arts League 2nd Annual National Show

Amanda was chosen to be exhibited in AFAL's 2nd annual National Juried Show 2008. The juror for the show was Yuqi Wang. Mr. Wang is origianally from China and now lives in New York. He is internationally known and is considered to be a modern day master. I was very happy to be a part of this show.
I wrote about Warrior's Walk in an earlier post. At that time I didn't have an image of the presentation at Fort Stewart. I just got this photo from my friend, Patrick Shado, who is the person responsible for my painting Warrior's Walk. This photo shows Major Lynch presenting me with a clock from the Army 3ID.


Pearl and George Lucas with the portrait of their son, Victor Langarica who was killed in June 2007. Victor was Pearl's only child and they were extremely close. Pearl was totally devastated when she learned of Victor's death. She has become much stronger since I have known her. I was overwhelmed when Pearl told me that it felt like I had given her son back when she saw Victor's portrait. Pearl and George will always be very special to me.

Ryen King, 19

This is Ryen King. He was 19 years old when he lost his life in Iraq on April 23, 2007. I painted this portrait for his mother Carmen Jordan. The portrait was completed just before the Art From the Heart Exhibit 2008 at the Art Station Stone Mountain. I still have not met Ryen's parents personally but I feel like I know Carmen and Ryen through her emails to me. Carmen wanted Ryen's portrait to remind her of a very happy time in his life; He was the catcher for Franklin County High School's baseball team. The photo that I was given was very small and didn't have the full left side of Ryen's body or his full hand. It also only showed the top part of his catcher's vest. I "made up" those parts of the portrait - I hope they like it.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Memorial Day Service/Art From the Heart

Governor Perdue held a Memorial Day service At Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta. Atlanta Fine Arts League was asked to exhibit some of the portraits that were created through Art From the Heart. The fallen hero's families were invited to attend; three of the families that I painted for were there. The top photo is Dana Hubbell standing next to the portrait of her husband Darren. He was killed shortly after they married. Dana is now reaching out to other gold star families. The next photo is of Pearl & George Lucas with their pastor and many friends who support them. I had previously met most of their friends at a previous memorial service for Pearl's son, Victor Langarica who died in Blackhawk helicopter crash in 2007.