mind and heart

a blog by Leslie Ann Macfarlane

recent posts

young woman on fire

For this painting I made use of ideas in Gabriele Munter’s painting, Young Woman in Black, like the heavy black eyes and the yellowish complexion. The orange hair against the yellow face was an experiment, and I ended up loving the fiery glow it created, which brought to mind this great song by Alicia Keys.

humans p.7

I’ve started drawing from Brandon Stanton’s book Humans. I loved the grouping of this family, and I was especially drawn to the mother. The inspiration for the angular drawing style came from an old idea sketch of mine that I came across.

a head tilt

Another daily drawing here in charcoal (4B soft).

two roses

This is a drawing of two rosebushes in my garden. The orange rose is called South Africa and the white one is called Winter Sun.

looking to the future

On an impulse last night I grabbed a charcoal pencil (2B) and a pad of paper to work on this drawing. It had been a good while since I’d done any drawing practice, and I’m really glad I followed that impulse. My art practice has done wonders for my ability to listen to myself, butContinue reading “looking to the future”

copy of Woman in Black

This is my copy of Gabriele Munter’s painting, Woman in Black. Something that drew me to this piece was how there seemed to be a softness in the eyes, even though they’re kind of just blobs of black paint. I wanted to learn how Munter could capture something as refined as a soft look inContinue reading “copy of Woman in Black”

geometric play

This piece grew out of an idea to create a geometric design using the same color scheme I used for my Potted Plant piece. I like how the three-dimensional shapes play around with perspective, as though they’re being viewed from different vantage points. I also used a combination of gray and black marks for theContinue reading “geometric play”

small potted plant

This piece was inspired by a small potted plant I keep in my art room. I love the pronounced lean to the left. Many of the livelier elements here weren’t part of my original plan, but developed as I painted. I love it when paintings grow that way. Oil on panel, 5×7 inches.

no room to work

My latest piece was inspired by my own desk at home, which didn’t take long to evolve from a work surface to a storage surface. There’s never enough room.

ceiling fan

I love the colorful funkiness of this piece. Oil on panel, 5×7 inches.

flowers in a blue vase

It was a relief to get back to painting after a brief break for garden work and puppy raising. This piece was inspired by a floral arrangement I put together last fall. (I love the flower section at the craft store.) The colors of the flowers here closely resemble the colors in my original arrangement,Continue reading “flowers in a blue vase”

march 19

Last week I got my Seated Young Woman piece back from the framer, and I love how it turned out. I did a couple more geometric studies, and kept working on a long-pose figure drawing. We have one last 3-hour session with the same model, same pose to refine our drawings next week. I alsoContinue reading “march 19”

march 3

I’ve been doing these color studies for school, mainly to gain familiarity with how different groupings of colors work together and mix together. But I realized a while back that I enjoy the geometric design possibilities, and might like to develop these studies into completed abstract artworks. I made my first experiment with that ideaContinue reading “march 3”

seated young woman

My goal with this piece was to create something of my own, incorporating things I learned from copying this illustration by Luis Slobodkin. The main similarities are in the central figure. I love how Slobodkin mixes grey and black marks here, how his lines sometimes show just enough detail to give the idea of whatContinue reading “seated young woman”

february 7

In recent weeks I’ve been developing ideas for a new composition, working through more drawing and color assignments, and had a painting put on display in a gallery show. I also have a new furry art companion! my new companion First things first. This little lady/demon joined our family just under two weeks ago. ForContinue reading “february 7”


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about me

In the fall of 2018 I started devoting time to drawing and painting, and a while later I set up this blog so I could share my work. In 2021 I began studying art at the JKR Studio Academy in Provo, Utah.

I am also an avid gardener and I sometimes post about what I’m working on in the yard. I hope you find something here that interests you.

You can find me on Pinterest and Instagram.

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abstract art acrylics apricot art artist art school art show canvas charcoal charcoal pencil chives copy cosmos crabapple daily drawing drawing figurative figurative art figure figure drawing floral flowers garden graphite hardboard illustration ink iron chlorosis landscape mountains oil paints oil pastels painting pan pastels paper paperbark maple pastel pencil perennial plum raspberry seeds sketch still life trees watercolor