Art from the heart of Mary Jo Leisure, feeling and experiencing the inspiration that surrounds her life, she shares her joy of painting, what inspires her to create and challanges you to see the beauty around you, reflecting the inspiration in your artwork.

Diary of a Painter

Diary of a Painter with Mary Jo

Painting is an expression of one's feelings. It can take you to another place at another time. Art comes from your heart, mind and soul. I hope you will enjoy reading My Diary of a Painter. I write periodically so I hope you will visit often. My desire is for you to feel and experience the inspiration that is all around you.

Please notice the dates as you read my renderings. You may notice that some of the dates may be from another time or year and I wanted to use them regardless of the date because I thought they each had something to say about our emotions and feelings, what we see and how we react, particularly as creative people. These segments will be kept in My Diary Archives in case you would like to return to them for reference when I move on to new thoughts.

A Beautiful Morning in August

A symphony of birds in the background,
a soft cool breeze touching my face
the sound of cars and a train in the distance
morning glories, crepe myrtle and zinnias
all smiling at me.
A good morning text from my son and
I am on my second cup of coffee,
thinking about the day and
yurning to paint,
a list waiting on me today,
but I have to drink in the morning beauty first,
and thank God for all this is around me
as they are gifts from Him.
Little things in life
are really the big things in life
and I am so grateful.
I am storing up all the beautiful sights,
the colors, the shapes, the sounds,
for my memories tomorrow.

Mary Jo Leisure August 20, 2015

Coffee, Cinnamon Toast and Paints

The sound of rain on the roof
but it is not rain.
The ice is melting off the tree branches.
Little scary last night.
Cars bumping each other, cars flipping over.
Not much control on the icy road.
It s time to be snuggled inside,
where it is warm.
Squirrels moving cautiously this morning
on the ice rink.
Everything is glistening in the sunshine.
I think it might be a good day for painting.
Really, every day is a good day for painting.
Coffee, cinnamon toast and paints.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 21, 2015

Winter Season is Moving In

The snow has covered our ground twice already.
I love to set in my window
and paint watching the snow fall.
The squirles and the birds
are all over the yard playing.
In fact sometimes they set on the branches
and watch me.
If the window wasn't there I could touch them,
they are so close.
Everything is so beautiful,
even on a cold winter day.
I paint, I write, I feel, I experience
and above all I remember.
Tomorrow the snow may all be melted.
It will also be a new day
with new experiences, new paintings
and new inspiration.
I pray I will always be inspired
to paint the beauty around me.
I am so grateful for the years I have had enjoying the painting
and being able to share my love with others.
Harold was always my greatest admirer.
He inspired me, he teased me,
he encouraged me to grow and
share my love with others.
I can still feel him standing behind me
and hear his words sharing
his thoughts and his love for what I was doing.
It is pretty quiet here...
just me, the beauty outside my window,
the sound of soft music in the background,
and my mind recalling the things we shared together.
I am thankful for memories
but I am also thankful for the joy and
opportunities that await me tomorrow.
I feel sure it will include
my paint brush.

Mary Jo Leisure December 2014


So very beautiful tonight.
A cold winter's night,
the stars are so bright.
It is like the heaven's declaring
God's beauty to the world.
Makes me hungry to do
a landscape.
It has been a while now, you know.
The last was the beautiful
field of yellow.
Tomorrow I will be
searching and choosing.
Just a small little one
is all I ask.
My time is so scheduled,
but tomorrow will be the day
for a little landscape
just to make my day.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 2l, 2014

The Sky is Blue

Everythere and everything
is white
The Sky is Blue.
A beautiful day
after the storm
of 2014.
Looking out the window
the snow blowing
off the roofs and around the trees
The Sky is Blue.
My desire is being out in it
capturing a snow scene to paint.
Instead I am looking out the window.
I'm inspired by the day,
and seeing
The Sky is Blue.
Everything is covered by a blanket of white,
soft, smooth and thick
so very beautiful and...
The Sky is Blue.
I am filling my soul today
and tomorrow I will paint
The Sky is Blue

Mary Jo Leisure, February 5, 2014

Can't Believe

I mean the Twelve Months of Roses
that is.
It seemed like every month
I needed to be in the next month,
with a new idea,
new inspiration,
new colors,
new size,
new title.
Where did it all come from?
It kept me looking at everything
and feeling something about what I saw.
Remember how important it is to see,
really see and not just look.
Life is also like that,
don't take it for granted.
It is a gift, a gift from God.
Looking forward to 2014
with open eyes and an open heart.
Thanking God,
for each new day.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 3, 2014

I Fell Asleep

I fell asleep
after a wonderful afternoon
with my granddaughter, JJ.
When I awoke, I walked to the back deck
and looked out the window
and saw
The Beauty of the Night.
The full moon was peeking at me
from behind the trees.
God is so good.
He knows what I need.
Where ever I look,
I can find His gifts.
It has been a beautiful day,
worshiping together with my family,
lunch and sharing time with one another.
They will never know
how much that time means to me.
And then,
the afternoon with JJ.
We had the camera
and off we went to gather persimmons,
for a thanksgiving arrangement.
We not only got persimmons
but also
the wild purple berries like I always gathered at Cedar Crest,
hedge apples,
beautiful weeds,
and more persimmons.
JJ is an artist in her own rights.
With camera focused,
and a mind full of descriptive words
she shares what she sees
color relationship,
and describes it with
her writings and photography.
Our afternoon ended with
a flat tire in the country,
and friends coming to our rescue,
with memories to last a lifetime.
And now...
The Beauty of the Night
to top it off.
I remind myself...
Don't forget to encourage and be thankful.

Mary Jo Leisure, November 17, 2013

It Still Feels Like A Dream

I hadn't planned to get up early,
drive to the KC Airport
fly to Columbus, Ohio.
Aileen told me there was a ticket waiting for me.
Believe it or not, I was going to Hoot.
This was not on my agenda this year,
even though I love being there.
For many years I had a booth, taught classes,
and shared treasured times with many friends.
Now Aileen and I will be sharing a couple of days
visiting and seeing many old friends.
Oh, how familiar it all looks,
and I remember that long long walk
from the lobby to the beautiful show.
There, just inside the door,
surrounded by her beautiful, sought after, painted treasures,
Nancy Bateman, who else.
With every step, different styles, new beauty, and heirlooms,
Brenda Stewart, who else.
I could go on and on and on.
So many wonderful friends and beautiful paintings.
At the end of the first aisle no other than,
The National Museum of Decorative Painting
and Andy Jones
Home of our history is in our Museum
in Atlanta, Georgia.
The past, the present and those yet to come.
A beautiful story told in paintings.
Then came evening
and the honor of a lifetime.
Quite a surprise
and tears running down my cheeks,
I was proclaimed
"A Living Treasure"
presented two dozen red roses,
and a framed proclamation.
This was presented by
The National Museum of Decorativ e Painting.
Speachless, I now know why
I was beckoned to come to
"Hoot 2013"

Mary Jo Leisure, August 2013

Good Morning

God is so good
Just look around you,
feel the cool breeze,
70 degrees at 10:30am
The grass is green and my crape myrtle is out standing.
Bruin and I are saying
good morning
to the birds, to the flowers, to our hearts.
My brushes are waiting,
but first I need to fill my soul, my mind, my heart,
with inspiration.
A new day is here again
and the sounds of the day surround me.
The birds are singing,
the leaves swaying gracefully,
all kinds of little noises.
I don't even know what they all are,
or even where they are.
Just there.
Then there are the cars, the trucks,
a horn, the train, a serine in the distance,
children on bicycles, an airplane, sounds far away,
people moving,going many places,
happy, hurting, crying, laughing.
My day is waiting,
waiting to be captured by my brushes.
Hopefull it will bring joy
to someone.

Mary Jo Leisure, August 14, 2013

A Beautiful Thursday

A beautiful Thursday,
spent with my daughter, and granddaughter.
Memorable, fun, and inspirational.
Four new painting surfaces,
each unique,
and one of a kind,
exactly my kind.
I am getting ready for an exhibit
in the spring,
many, many miles away.
Today we met people who left us with a smile
and our mouths open.
What fun, what memories,
I hope JJ will remember this day forever.
Union Star and Union Station,
The summer of 2013.
We ate among antiques,
we walked through shops we had never been in,
we strolled through beautiful garden flowers,
we had a treat at Starbucks.
Inspiration came from all directions.
My jaws ached from laughter,
my heart beat with excitement,
my design juices were going wild..
God's beautiful sky surrounded us
and left us reminiscing the day.
A beautiful Thursday,
to remember forever.

Mary Jo Leisure, June 6, 2013

Journey Through a Painting

Please go to my page "Keeping In Touch" to follow this

Mary Jo Leisure March 27, 2013

I Am Doing Something Different

Yes, I am getting ready to do something different.
Yes, this is a blank surface,
and I am going to let you follow me as
I design and paint it
all the way through.
My progress will be posted as I go along
with explanations of my feelings,
and what I am doing.
I hope you will follow me through this journey.
In the end
I am planning to auction this piece off
and all the proceeds
will go to my Granddaughter, Amber, and Richard her husband.
They are looking to adopt
a precious child into their family.
Young couples generally are not equiped
with the enormous financial obligations
that it costs to adopt.
This painting is being done with love
by a little ones new mema.

(I will auction this piece off with all the proceeds to go to my granddaughter Amber and her husband Richard toward adopting a precious child to love and share their life with. This surface is 10 1/2 x 37". It is metal and I have begun by painting the background black. I am hoping you will follow me in this project and hopefully share in the bidding. I will be posting pictures as I go. See you with the beginning soon. You can also follow my progress on my Timeline on Facebook).

Mary Jo Leisure, March 20, 2013

Good Morning Snow

Oh My!
My paint brushes are waiting.
It's beautiful...It's beautiful!
Everything is dripping white.
It is a Dr. Zhivago day.
My Wisteria vines have taken on a new beauty.
This is a painter's delight,
mine anyway.
Oh how I wish I could go into the country
and bask in the beauty of the
fields, rolling hills, ponds, creeks, fence lines,
trees, rocks, country roads that take you into a wonderland.
But, I can see it in my mind's eye,
and still it is beautiful looking out my window.
My paint brushes are waiting.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 26, 2013

Beautiful Snowfall of 2013

They told us it was coming,
but they did not say how beautiful it would be.
I am always hoping.
It is coming down in heavy spurts,
sticking on everything it touches;
every branch, every cedar bough, every weed.
Every bush looks like a white plush fluffy blanket.
The street light is shinning
on a million snow flakes.
God's handiwork.
They are calling this Thunder Snow,
quite new to me.
But, I have heard the thunder and seen the lightning
and watched the buckets of snow fall from the sky.
I am remembering the many snowfalls
through the years.
As a child I loved sledding on the country hillsides
in Northwestern Missouri,
as a teen the beauty of sledding
on a moon lit night
on the rolling hills of a golf course in Maryland.
Then the joy of watching my grandchildren,
sledding on the beautiful white hillsides of Cedar Crest.
Such beauty takes my breath away
and brings back so many memories.
Maybe that is why I love white so much.
I am heading to bed
and will watch the snow fall from my window
until I fall asleep,
wondering what tomorrow will bring.
Thank you Lord,
for the beauty that surrounds us.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 25, 2013

Sharing a Day of Inspiration

The day begins early
with unknown expectations.
It is very cold,
but the sun is shinning.
First picking up Lynnae and then Ashley.
The day is open to what we see and share together.
The first stop was a winner,
the Mission Road Antique Mall,
and it went on and on and on.
It was hours before we went out
the same door we came in.
Ashley's eye was on decorating her new home,
the one she shares with Danny, my grandson,
married for only 6 weeks.
Lynnae's eye was on creating something special and unique
out of something old.
What a great vision she does have.
And my eye was on anything that could be used in designing
with my love and passion of painting.
That could be anything
starting with the line, shape, color, or texture,
that could be tied into creating a painting
using my heart and my minds eye.
Always looking beyond what I see.
The day was proving to be exciting for each one of us.
I will never see a certain shade of blue again
with out seeing and feeling the sparkle in Ashley's eyes
everytime she saw something this color.
Lynnae was catching so many ideas from all directions.
And my arms were full of items for new painting
yet to come.
We all left this place with many items and new ideas
that inspired us to create something to hold on to
and look back on this day we sharwed together.
I wonder what Ashley will do with those empty blue frames,
and if she and Danny will return for that blue dresser
that had so much character.
Lynnae's garden is going to have a special touch
with all those beads,
and those precious tiny, old worn baby shoes, and you
will probably see an item or two that
I brought home that will show up on this website.
Today's inspirations will become treasures tomorrow.

Mary Jo Leisure, January 31, 2013

Foggy Night 1952-2013

It is very foggy tonight,
with a quiet beauty all of its own.
I tried to capture this feeling with the camera
but to no avail.
It reminds me of November in the year 1952
when Harold and I arrived in London
the beginning of our two years stay.
It was one of their worst fogs in history.
Thousands of people died and we were
so young and so far away from home.
The picture and the feeling is
in bedded in my mind
and that was 60 years ago.
We walked down the street, hand in hand,
hearing the echo of footstps coming towards us.
The sound past us and we saw no one.
We could hear the sound faintly after
they past and then,
quiet...very quiet... a feeling unlike any other.
Tonight I walked out in my yard,
in Kansas, many miles from London,
and could vaguely see the streewt light
through the trees,
only a few feet away.
Quiet...very quiet...with soaring memories.
The beauty of this night is in my heart.
Oh to capture it with my paint brush.
That wuuld be wonderful.
Maybe in the morning I will try.

Mary Jo Leisure, January 10, 2013

Chasing the Sun

Driving home down the highway
late in the afternoon,
the deep Rust of the trees
was striking...
more than striking...
The colors were rich and strong
and when the sun hit them
they lit up.
Once in awhile I passed a yellow one
beaming with exciting contrast.
As the sun began to set
it was huge
and bright red.
The trees between me and the sun
became silhouettes.
Mile after mile,
it was beautiful.
The shapes changed,
the colors and intensities changed.
My ride home became a blessing.
I was totally encompassed in all of its beauty.
Thank you God
for eyes to see and
a heart to feel

Mary Jo Leisure, November 7, 2012

Good Morning Sunshine

Oh what a beautiful fall day.
Everything is bright.
The Golden sunshine
captures the trees with a brillance
that only God allows us to see.
I am in awe of this beautiful day.
The graceful movement of the leaves
in the breeze.
Leaves of several colors,
falling on the vibrant green grass.
I will gather a basket full
and set them beside me
to study as I paint.
To touch, to feel, to see, to capture.
My mums are also loving this weather,
from buds to a mound of blooms.
From a speck of color,
to an explosion of brillance,
Red, Yellow, Orange,
Rust, Burgandy, Pink, Lavendar and White
and everything in between.
What a beautiful palette it makes.
Can you see it?
I hope so.
Today I plan to take it all in.
To see it...
to feel it...
to express it...
and to share it.
Good Morning Sunshine.

Mary Jo Leisure, October 17, 2012

September Sunflowers At Sunrise

Oh what a beautaiful morning.
I was outside Powell Gardens with friends.
It was like an explosion.
The sun popped through
and the sunflowers,
my favorite sunflowers,
Kansas September Sunflowers,
were like gold
against the dark green foliage
and the beautiful blue sky.
I am so thankful by being
relates to color and beautiful shapes
forming such beautiful contrast.
In fact I am in awe.
It fills mysoul.
Nothing greater for an artist than
to feel the beauty, and then capature it
with your heart and your paintb rush.
Open our eyes, look, and then see.
You will be blessed.
I will never forget the beautaiful
September Sunflowers aat Sunrise.

Mary Jo Leisure, September 8, 2012

After The Rain

Blessings everywhere
after the rain.
Birds singing
and playing in the puddles,
after the rain.
The grass is green again
after the rain.
I am excited for the beautiful September Snflowers
that I didn't think I would see this year...and
they are thick now
after the rain.
The wet grass glistens
after tje rain.
I am praying for a beauatiful fall now
after the rain.

Mary Jo Leisure, September 13, 2012

Capturing the Story

Capturing the story
with my paint brush.

Mary Jo Leisure, August 2012

It's Brown, It's Really Brown, It's Crunchy Brown

It's mid August.
As I look across the yard to my garden,
It's brown, it's really brown, it's crunchy brown.
Walkiung across to water my flowers,
who are begging for a drink...
I look at them,
I touch them,
I water them.
They struggle from so much
heat and dry weather.
The crunch is like late fall,
and it is August.
I look at the lines,
the shapes,
the dry dull colors,
and they are still beautiful,
in their own way.
I give thanks to the Lord
for the ability to open my eyes and see
beauty of all kinds around me.
I love to capture the story
with my brush.
It's all with love,
painted from the heart.

Mary Jo Leisure, August 18, 2012

Today is a New Day

I wrote this before a seminar this summer
in Indiana.
My heart was full of excitement
as I was preparing to teach.

I woke up this morning
thinking of my students.
It is grey outside
but the studio is bright and exciting.
Seeing old fiend's
and meeting new,
full of laughter,
hugs and greetings,
beautiful work surrounding us
on all walls,
maybe even a deer
peeking in the window.
The stage is set,
the paint is on the palette,
the brushes are in reach,
the eye is studying the lines,
the heart is beating fast,
ready to capture the day,
touching a petal
with bold, rich accents or
fading it into the background.
Today is a new day.
Reach out and touch.

Mary Jo Leisure, June 4, 2012

Dancing Through The Wisteria

Wisteria...My Wisteria
It is so beautiful.
The arbor is dripping
in beautiful color,
graceful shapes,
movement in the breeze,
movement in the tangled vines.
Line has a way of grabing my attention.
My eye continues following them.
Then come the bees and the butterflies.
It's time for their banquet.
They are dancing through the flowers.
Shapes, colors, lines, movement.
Everything I love in a painting.
Even as the petals start to fall
the ground becomes a beautiful
light purple carpet
covered with the raining petals.
I am enjoying every moment
dancing through the Wisteria.

Mary Jo Leisure, March 3l, 2012

The Joy of That Hour

Today was a beautiful
winter day,
sunny, chilly and slow,
as I painted by the windows in my little garden room,
Painting daffodils
thinking of spring.
As night began to fall
Bruin and I headed to my cozy chair
in the living room.
Something drew me back
to my little garden room.
The full moon was beautiful
coming through the windows,
how I love the beauty of the sky,
and the fire in my little fireplace was drawing me in.
My brushes were laying by my painting.
I began to paint by the moonlight
in from of the warm little fireplace,
with Bruin laying at my feet.
There was something about
the joy of that hour,
surrounded by God's beauty and comfort,
on a cold winter night.
The moon, the fire and the painting.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 6, 2012

With My Brush in My Hand/ Decorative Floral

A new Decorative Painting
to go with a landscape.
Both, my joy and my love.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 4, 2012

With My Brush in My Hand

Excitement comes when I pick up the brush
and fill my palette with paint.
Sometimes I don't even know
what I am going to do.
I run my hands over the surface and
the movement seems to get
me involved and inspired.
Horizonal, vertical, dimensional,
I love it all,
but the surface makes the difference.
My feelings dictate the colors.
Only the past couple of years
have I found myself going
from florals to landscapes and back to florals
and loving both.
Decorative painting has filled my life
for 50 years.
Landscapes have given me a new challenge.
I never dreamed I could reach out in this direction.
Decorative Painting however
will always be my joy and my love.
They are totally two different processes,
even though they both help each other.
Today I feel blessed to enjoy both,
landscapes and decorative painting.
I am reaching for my brushes
as long as I am able.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 4, 2012

Fall is Trying to Hang On

The colors are constantly changing,
trying to hold their brightness.
It has been a beautiful season in Eastern Kansas.
Many areas now are showing shades of Brown,
from brown sugar to
cool brown grays.
Even that is beautiful.
Warm and cool temperatures.
Darks and lights.
Values and intensities.
They bring it all together with a beautiful balance.
I am holding on too,
because the colors will continue to fade,
and the textures will become brittle.
Driving to the city this morning
I saw the landscape is changing.
You can now see through the thick woods
to the fields beyond.
Last week you could not see the fields.
The leaves are falling fast and
some hedge apples will not let go.
The bright yellow green leaves on the bittersweet is gone.
The tall grass on the fence line
is dry, light tan, and brittle.
Then there are surprises just around the corner.
Vibrant color.
I will keep kanging on,
till the last hedge apple has fallen.

Mary Jo Leisure, November 5, 2011

My Heart is Full

The moon is full.
Tonight it is peekig
through the clouds and the trees. It is beautiful,
a little chilly but that is good
My heart is so full of creative excitement.
I seem to want to capture everything
with my brush ,
and there isn't enough time
"Moment of the Rose",
my new book,
published in Japan and written in both
Japanese and English,
soon to be on my website.
Roses again ready to share.
My heart is so full of the joy
of painting,
of teaching,
of designing,
of sharing.
I see the line of designing in everything..
the way Bruin lays,
the rocks in my garden,
the clouds rolling by,
the beautiful cedar tree across the street,
the Wisteria vine climbing on my arbor.
And then, there are the
sunsets and the sunrises,
the sunflowers blowing in the breeze.
I don't have to look very far.
My heart is so full.
Thank you God for such joy.

Mary Jo Leisure, October 12, 2011

Mr. White Rooster

Beautiful, cocky, proud
and the list could go on.
He stands in the little dirty puddle
where the water drips from the air conditioner,
to cool his feet,
and sometmes to get a drink.
It is 105 degrees.
He crows first thing in the morning...
and all day long.
There is no doubt where he belongs.
Sometime he strutts by
like he is leading the parade
I call him
Mr. White Rooster
He is certainly not afraid.
He doesn't know it
but my brush will
capture him in all his glory
when I get home.
Mr. White Rooster

Mary Jo Leisure, August 7, 2011 (Texas)

Reaching High

It's like the pines are reaching to the heavens.
Tall and straight
swaying in the breeze
singing very softly.
Then, without a warning
the creshendo is loud and strong.
The wonderful breeze touches you all over.
Like the hand of God
reminding you of
His power,
His strength,
His greatness.
There is something lonely
about that sound.
It is beautiful and peaceful
and time stands still.
There is a message
if you hear it.
Thank you God
for filling my heart with
the love of your creation,
the beauty of your colors,
the shapes, the moement,
the touch of the breeze,
the power of the moment.

Mary Jo Leisure, August 7, 2011 (Texas)


The wind is blowing
through the tall pines.
Birds are singing,
an airplane is crossing the sky.
The rooster is crowing
as he proudly prances up and down.
The wind chime is playing a melody.
The breeze supplies the movement.
The wind comes and goes as it directs the symphony.
A pinecone drops to the ground.
The breeze feels so good on my face.
It is climbing to over 100 degrees today.
Texas is very hot and dry.
Every sound is crying out for rain.
The animals are all looking fo a spot to keep cool.
The creek bed is dry.
It is surrounded by beautiful pines.
There is a bench setting on the bank
and the walking bridge
invites you to the other side
where the trails lead in all directions.
How inspiring.
My mind is going wild.
Even in this severe drout it is beautiful in its sadness.
I have no lack of photos
to help me decide what I will capture with my brush
when I get back to Kansas.
I'm dreaming,
listening to the sounds among the pines.
Close your eyes...
listen closely.

Mary Jo Leiure, August 5, 2011 (Texas)

It's Hot, Really Hot

It is extremely hot
It was yesterday, today, and will be tomorrow.
I am very thankful
for a very warm breeze this morning.
It helped as I was giving my flowers a drink.
My flowers are having a hard time standing up.
They are fading fast
in color and strength.
They love the water
and it takes so much.
When I am watering,
my yard is full of birds.
They follow me like the Pied Piper,
flying, playing and flapping their wings in the water spray.
The squirels play hide and seek in the trees
shaking their fuzzy grey tails.
Water sustains life to all living things.
Back in the cool of my house
my paints are out,
ready to paint a garden of flowers
and bring them to life.
Thank you God
for the birds and the squirels,
the flowers in my garden,
and the flowers under my paint brush.

Mary Jo Leisure, August 2, 2011

Passing By

All summer long I can find
color along the road way.
A yellow carpet of wild flowers line the highway..
thick bright and beautiful.
It doesn't matter what they are,
they fill my heart.
The trumpet vines fill the trees
and the fense posts
with their beautiful bright orange trumpet flowers.
The Crown Vetch cover the rocks
and drip a soft lavender
along the roadway.
The blue cornflowers are thick this year,
framed by thousands of Queen Ann's Lace.
Little pink butter cups hover together
in the ditches.
Wild purple flocks stand tall
to show their beauty.
Ther are many shades of green
and rocks of all shapes, sizes and colors
How beautiful
and we just pass them by.

Mary Jo Leisure, July 14, 2011

Days of Summer

Beautiful mornings on the deck
with a soft breeze and a cup of coffee,
planning my day.
Hot hot hot afternoons.
Painting inside and looking out.
Evenings, watering and more watering,
watching the birds and squirels
play in the water.
They ran from the camera, teasing me.
My garden was full of excitement
as they splashed across the water.
They played and they sang.
They seemed to be waiting for me,
and they inspired me.
Some days I just want to be lazy,
read a book, design a painting, write a note.
Where is my pencil....I need to sketch.
That fills my heart.
Evenings bring a warm breeze
and a beautiful full moon.
I enjoy setting on my porch swing
reviewing my day
looking at the full moon,
thinking of my children,
grandchildren and great grandchildren...
"how beautiful".
Thank you God for day's of summer.

Thank you God for days of Summer.

Mary Jo Leisure, July 12, 2011

A Drive in the Country

A beautiful day.
Just east of Pleasanton, in rural Linn County,
the sun is shinning.
There is blue sky above
saying your eyes,
it's time for a drive in the country.
A time to think and pray
in the middle of God's beautiful landscape.
I give thanks to God for the
joy of seeing
shapes, movements
all wrapped up together.
Spring awakens the countryside.
It feels good to drive by
and bask in all the beauty.
The redbuds, the creeks, the green hillsides
the cows by the ponds,
the flowers blooming in the little cemeteries,
the barns that have been standing many years,
the houses of yesterday
the windmills, and the plowed fields.
Don't miss the wonderful things around you.
Be filled today.
Be inspired.

Mary Jo Leisure, April 13,, 2011

That's A Good Thing

It's raining,
but that is a good thing.
A little bit of warm weather
and some rain
and things change outside.
The grass will be turning green,
the trees and bushes
will pop out
with beautiful green leaves and blossoms,
almost overnight.
I set here by the window
watching it rain,
dreaming about tomorrow.
The flowers, flats to be planted,
beautiful colors,
birds singing and a warm breeze.
I have been a dreamer
my whole life,
seeing with my minds eye,
planning and designing,
what I will paint tomorrow.
The sun is coming out.
A train is passing through.
The sounds, the smells, the sights.
Spring is coming
That's A Good Thing.

Mary Jo Leisure, April 7, 2011

Daffodils Today

I am so excited...
I have been waiting and waiting
My first blooms of spring.
Yellow Daffodils/
Yesterday nothing...Today 2 dozen...Tomorrow a painting.
It is even warm today.
I feel inspired and empowered in awe of God's beauty.
I hope you enjoy your day today.

Mary Jo Leisure, March 21, 2011

Minus 2 Degrees, My Canvas Is Ready

It is minus 2 degrees, the sky is blue
and we are under a deep white blanket.
Beautiful cold day.
I would like to go out and take pictures
but not sure I can walk or even stand up.
Maybe later today.
My canvas is ready.
The paint is on my palette.
I have printed pictures I took
a couple of days ago of the strip pit on Tiger Road.
I sat on the road in awe of it's beauty.
I want to share it with you.
Painting landscapes, skyscapes, and snowscapes
has been a new adventure this year.
I have loved it.
Thank you Dave for encouraging me
and seeing that I got to a Windberg Seminar.
Decorative Painting is still my love.
The lines, the shapes, the softness
is so beautiful.
But oh me, I am loving this too.
So much to learn, so much to see.
There is still
beautiful lines, beautiful shapes,
beautiful textures and softness.
Painting whatever it is, is what you see, and what you feel.
Look closely, feel deeply, touch lovingly.
I have always told my students...
"If you can see it you can paint it.
Enjoy the day.

Mary Jo Leisure, Feb. 10, 2011

It's Cold, It's Beautiful, It's White

This past week we have had a blizzard,
the blizzard of 2011,
with 15 inches of snow.
Beautiful and cold.
A couple of days later
2 more inches of snow.
Beautiful and cold.
Last night 9 more inches of snow.
Untouched beauty
I am so inspired by the beauty around me.
My mind is overflowing.
Peaceful, quiet, awesome
God is smiling.
The cedar is draped with clinging thick snow.
Beautiful white pillows set on the lawn chairs.
Everything is white.
Every direction you look is a new picture.
One day I am painting roses
White roses.
The next day I am painting a snow scene.
There will never be enough time,
to see, to feel and to capture with my paint brush.
I stand in awe.
It's cold, it's beautiful, it's white.

Mary Jo Leisure, Wednesday Feb. 8, 2011

Two Degrees and White

It is a beautiful day .
It is a very cold day.
Today everything outside is covered with a beautiful White carpet.
White is beautiful.
I love painting White on White.
The challenge...the excitememt,
White flowers on a White background.
Maybe today a beautiful White snow landscape
with White roses and violets on the side.
My bedroom is White...shades of white,
great for reading, lingering and creating..
I am going to cozy down
with pencil and paper,
start the doodling,
creating lines and lines of movement.
The excitement will flow from my mind's eye to my pencil.
My mind is remembering
all the beautiful shades of White.
The many soft discrete colors and shadows involved
to make White more beautiful.
It is time to dream, stretch and grow.

Mary Jo Leisure, January 12, 2010

Continue Your Journey

I woke up this morning
to a beautiful sunny morning,
and the sound of bird's singing.
You would think spring was
just around the corner,
only it is January 5, 2010.
My memory reminds me
how exciting it can be waiting for spring;
birds, sunshine and then color.
The memory of color explodes in my mind,
beautiful mauves, solft pinks, accents of deep violets
and a splash of orange,
and of course all shades of green.
Colors become more beautiful
when they share their many values and temperatures
with each other.
I love the feeling of capturing the moment
in my minds eye,
and with my paint brush.
Look...look at everything,
fill your soul with what you see.
Study the shapes, the colors, the movement.
Remember your journey.
Look for the values and the temperatures,
always reaching for more.
Continue your journey.

Mary Jo Leisure, January 5, 2010

A New Day

Arkansas...Anticipating 21 degrees...Cold
The sun came up.
The trees came alive.
The beautiful blue sky peaks through the trees.
Quiet, peaceful, only the crunch of the leaves under my feet.
Brisk, chilly and beautiful,
A new day.
Oranes and Gold,
Yellows, Greens, Burgundy,
Deep rich Reds,
All shades of Brown
and many shades of Green accents along the way.
A painter's dream,
in awe of the colors of fall.
The light walking through the trees,
captures my soul.
God's precious gifts of beauty,
surrounding me.
The tall trees stretching to the
vibrant blue sky.
Thank you God for this moment
and for my paint brush to help me remember

Mary Jo Leisure, November 5, 2010

Today's Beauty

A rainy Wednesday morning.
My flowers are getting drentched.
I am hoping they will perk up again
after days of rain is over.
The rose I picked yesterday is smiling.
I hope I can capture her beauty with the brush.
Her blushing pink beauty reminds me
of the thousands of roses I've painted through the years,
the joy I have had teaching otherswhat I love so much,
the smiles, the excitement, the frustration
the WOWS.
Forty five years ago Nadine Farquhar
caught my attention with her beautiful roses..
Her brush was all over the palette,
picking up everything under the rainbow.
Today I find myself all over the palette.
I love the softness, the boldness, the gracefulness,
the looseness, the movement.
To touch the painting with gentleness
and with love, is true joy.
I set here and paint with loving memories.

Mary Jo Leisure, May 19, 2010

White Roses with Lots of Color

What does that mean...
White roses with lots of color.
Look closely.
I love it...
color tucked in the cracks,
on the edges, underneath petals,
tight in the bud,
soft tints,accents,
to make me feel good.
I love imagination, discovery, feeling,
and the real thing.
My painting begins with
my feelings, my memories, and my minds eye.
It develops as I go.
The masses taper and the flow moves gracefully.
When there is not enough color, I add more.
When there is not enough dark, I add more.
When there is not enough light , I add more.
No rules, just feelings.
Well, maybe some rules...I use them...I make them...I break them.
Only to create my feelings and make my painting comfortable.
It is important to know what makes things
look the way you want them to.
I always want to know more abnout the painting,
how to get where I want to go,
color, composition, design,
experimenting, testing, executing,
searching, searching, searching.
Look for the color in white.
Look at everything you see.
The answer is in what you see.

Mary Jo Leisure, March 24, 2010

Where Is The Moon?

There is a full moon out there somewhere.
the clouds rolled in and I lost the moon.
As I kept looking
the clouds broke up.
There was the moon, moving in and out
of the broken clouds.
It was beautiful, just beautiful.
The sky holds so much beauty
day and night.
dramatic colors and contrasts
as the full moon lights up the puffy clouds.
my mind tried to capture all that beauty.
I was filled with memories of all the beautiful sky's
from the top of our Cedar Crest Hill.
The pameramic beauty
of a lightening storm,
the colorful sunrises and sunsets,
the rainbow at the end of the storm.
as I watch the full moon
I remember.
My heart is full
and my mind's eye is working overtime.
If only my paint brush could capture it all.

Mary Jo Leisure, February 28, 2010

Winter, White, Cold and Beautiful

It's winter.
It came again, snow that is,
cold and white.
This time it came
cold, white, beautiful, and peaceful.
Gradually the ground was
covered with a white carpet.
More than that,
the trees were full and beautiful.
The roofs were the color of the sky.
Everyting outside was touched with this
beautiful white soft texture.
It snowed about 30 hours.
At one point all most a whiteout.
It leaves you in awe, surrounded by God's beauty.
It makes me want to paint something white.
To paint white on white,
is a challenge and one I like.
There are so many shades of white.
Shadows and reflections
showing off shapes and dimensions.
My dear dear friend, Aileen,
would say,
" We are painting one of those white flowers again
that's not white".
I would smile and add another color
and the bright white highlight
would show off.
What do you see and what do you feel,
when you look at white?
Maybe we need to look more closely
to see the many subtle colors in white.
It's winter,
It's white,
It's cold,
It's beautiful,
and my brushes are ready.

Mary Jo Leisurer, January 30, 2010

Sky No. 2

I became so excited that they (the paintings) came fast.
Nos. 3,4,5,6,
and they continue.

(This is sky No. 2)

Mary Jo Leisure, January 22, 2010

Capturing The Sky

After missing some magnificent skies,
I keep my camera close by.
As the sun is coming up
as the sun is going down,
Its' beauty changes rapidly.
There are many pictures during a
sunrise and sunset.
The colors, the shapes of the clouds,
the intensities, the softness,
the shadows, and the reflections.
I seem to always be saying
This past year my collection
of photographs of the heavens grew extensively.
I had talked long enough
about painting these beautiful gifts of God.
My paints and brushes were waiting
for this moment.
I love capturing the sky with my paints.
My eyes are drawn to the heavens
to see what God has given us this day.
Every morning is a new sky, a new gift,
a new painting.

(This is sky No. 1)

Mary Jo Leisure, January 22, 2010

The Sun, The Snow and the Shadows

What a beautiful bright day it is.
The sun, the snow and the shadows.
It is so cold it probably won't melt,
not for awhile anyway.
The sky is a beautiful clear blue.
It is so still,
barely a breeze.
Outside is a winter garden.
The shadows are so bold.
When it is so still
the shadows are sharp and clean.
Depending on where the sun is
makes a difference where the shadows are.
They can change pretty fast.
Life is trying to get back to normal
after the blizzard of 2009.
I will keep watching all day,
inside and outside,
storing up what I see in my mind,
saving it for a painting some other day.
Who knows what it will be.
My mind is on overload.
The sun, the snow and the shadows are so beautiful.

Mary Jo Leisure, December 28, 2009

Today, I Remember

Today is a day of remembering,
remembering many things.
First it is the anniversary
of losing my husband of 57 years.
My children's Dad,
my grandchildren and great grandchildren's Papa
His most known and precious name is Papa.
We all know where he is...home in heaven,
free of pain, tears
and joyously singing praises
to our Heavenly Father.
sadness and joy bound together.
Sadness is for our void and loneliness.
Joy is his wholeness and happiness.
He was my encourager
and many times my inspiration.
Remembering we are encouraged and inspired
by what is around us.
That is, only if we see it.
I remember...
calling him in 1993 from St. Louis.
I needed him
to come and take me home,
to shield me from the pain and the hurt.
He came...he took me home.
He was my protector.
I remember...
the joys we shared at Cedar Crest,
with students from all over the world.
He loved them, visited with them
and encouraged them,
lovingly telling them
their apples looked like tomatoes,
taking them to feed the fish
and on hayrides,
on picnics in the pecan grove,
popping them popcorn, carrying their bags,
making them comfortable.
I remember...
How very much he loved family,
especially the children,
never complaining about babysetting
or changing diapers.
He loved being with them
going fishing, and golfing with them.
Teaching them
the importance of God and family.
I remember...
He traveled all week
and on week-ends he cut wood for my students,
we all went to church together on Sunday.
I remember...
The months and the years
we traveled often to the doctors and hospital.
We spent much time in the car,
visiting and times setting quietly together.
But we also enjoyed the opportunity for a lunch date
and taking the long way home.
Those times were special.
I remember...
Many Christmases together,
getting up early,
always Harold reading the account of Jesus birth
from the Bible,
playing the new games,
just enjoying the day together
as a family.
The tears and smiles come easy for each of us.
The memories are treasures.
I will paint tomorrow
knowing Harold would be encouraging me.

Thank you dear friends for remembering with me.

Mary Jo Leisure, December 22, 2009

Have I Soaked Up Enough?

Today was a beautiful fall day.
The sky was a clean beautiful blue with soft white clouds.
The sound of the wind brought back many memories.
It was blowing so strong.
Leaves were falling like rain.
The grass was still a beautiful green.
Color everywhere was exceptional.
I drove to the country to take pictures.
Every direction I looked
was another picture,
or two or three.
The rains are supposed to come in
the next couple of days.
The wind and the rain will gradually
take away the beautiful color.
Have I soaked up enough
to last for a full year?
I want to paint everthing I saw today.
I wonder if I could.
I really don't paint landscapes
I want to.
Maybe it's time to strike out.
The feeling...the desire is there.
Just give it a try.
I never plan to give up my flowers
I need to stretch.
As I walked through my garden today
I saw,
mums, deep violet and yellow mums,
and even some petunias.
Zinnias, geraniums, cosmos,
periwinkle, ageratums,
sweet potato vines,
blue salvia,
they all have a different look in the fall,
but still beautiful,
reminding us that winter is just around the corner.
Have I soaked up enough
to last another year?

Mary Jo Leisure, October 20, 2009

Petal by Petal

Petal by petal,
as yellow as the sun.
Driving for miles I found myself watching them sway
in their beautiful way.
I was anxious to find a brush and capture them that way.
September in Kansas they are top of the line.
They fill my heart with memories
of days long gone by.
As they return in years to come
they will still be
petal by petal
as yellow as the sun.

Mary Jo Leisure, September 28, 2009

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Mary Jo Leisure
103 E. 6th St.
Pleasanton, KS 66075
Phone: (913) 352-6706

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Mary Jo Leisure, Decorative Artist, Pleasanton, Kansas