Grand Rapids artist releases art book on American homes

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“Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America” contains over 650 paintings in its 280 pages. Courtesy Leisa Collins

Leisa Collins, an architectural artist living in Grand Rapids recently released an art book, “Hand Painted Homes: An Artist’s Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America,” featuring American homes.

According to her website, Collins was alarmed at the number of beautiful historic homes that are lost to decay or demolition every day in the United States, and so she sent herself on a mission to tell the story of American architecture through her art,

Her travels took her to all 50 states where she created original paintings of 30 different types of architectural styles.

The book, released May 15, contains over 650 paintings in its 280 pages. The cover of the book is of one of Collins’ favorite Grand Rapids Victorian homes. In addition to the cover, there is a sketch of the oldest building in the state, a watercolor of the Big Red lighthouse at Holland State Park, and many other drawings of buildings from all over the state.

“While I am originally from New Zealand, I have a deep love and respect for American architecture,” Collins said. “I was especially inspired by Michigan’s landscape, history, people and variety of home styles.”

Within the artwork, Collins includes stories behind individual house designs and how geography, industry, politics, economy, available resources and the melting pot culture has shaped the face of architecture in America.

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