My Secret Life as an Abstract Artist

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I started this blog three years ago because I wanted to paint abstract art that looked good in farmhouse style homes. It took me three years, but I finally painted some paintings for our Waco Airbnb.

abstract art

I am an artist who paints abstract art. Who knew! Previous to this job, I was a full-time artist. I traveled all over the country teaching art and art marketing workshops. I had a website, Instagram, a weekly podcast, blog and sold a lot of art. Three years ago I was watching my favorite show Fixer Upper and it occurred to me that there was hardly any art in the Fixer Upper homes. It was that day that I decided to start a new Instagram called My 100 Year Old Home. My goal was to build a following of about 5000 followers and then paint a collection of abstract art that would fit in farmhouse-style homes.

Ok. So it took me a little longer than I anticipated.

My Instagram @my100yearoldhome grew really fast and I jumped in with two feet. I never expected my new Instagram account My 100 Year Old Home would lead me to the best job in the world. Who knew I would find a way to make a living doing everything I loved to do? It was totally unexpected, and my art took a back seat. For quite a long time.

Until this week.

art in our waco airbnb home

I made a promise to myself that I would paint some abstract paintings for our Waco home. I thought it was about time (three years later) that I painted the abstract art that would look good in a “Fixer Upper” home. Last week I spent a few days on our porch painting two abstract paintings. I have to be honest though, I was nervous because I hadn’t painted AT ALL in over a year. (I just didn’t have time with the crazy hours I was already working). What if I had forgotten how to paint?

Fortunately, I had a blast and I love the two paintings I created for our Waco home.

abstract art in our waco home

So why do I paint abstract paintings? For years I painted seascapes and still life paintings with oils and a palette knife. But I became bored and was tired of painting the same thing and what everyone else was painting. I eventually started painting abstracts and I loved it. And just so you know, painting abstracts is way harder than painting oils.

paintings in our farmhouse

Here are two progress photos of the first painting I created. (It’s the square painting.) I could have left it like this and been very happy. But I wanted to add some lighter colors to soften how it looked in our home.

how to paint abstract art making abstract art

I am sorry I didn’t take any more progress photos. I was way too absorbed in the creation process.

Abstract art in the living room

I painted the second abstract with bolder colors and I love it.

new art in the waco airbnb

art in our waco airbnb

I have an art website if you want to take a look at some of my older abstract art paintings. One of the projects I am most proud of is my Project Runway Collection. A few years ago I painted 30 Paintings in 30 Days. I know. It was crazy.

My inspiration for these thirty paintings was one of my favorite shows, Project Runway. I selected thirty of my most memorable Project Runway designs and used them as the inspiration for a painting. I call them “most memorable” because some of them I didn’t like, but they were so crazy that I had to include them! You can see those thirty “Project Runway” paintings here. How many of these outfits do you remember from the show? 

So what’s next? I have three more canvases and all of my paints stored in Waco. Next time I am in town, I want to paint some more abstract art, in a different color palette, for some of the bedrooms. 

If you go to my art website you can visit if you want to see some of the things I have created. The paintings are for sale and once they are sold it’s likely they won’t be replaced. But who knows! I really enjoyed painting again and I might need to carve out some more time to paint.

So what do you think? 

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  1. Awesome! And btw – You’ve really inspired me to take charge! I’m a graphic designer but looking at retirement and on to a new chapter within the next few years. I painted in high school (45+ years ago!) and was a printmaking major in college but I’ve been terrified of painting again. I just bought some watercolor paints though and am about to take the plunge. Thanking for sharing!

  2. Leslie,
    Glad to see you are finally showing your “other” talent to your Blog and IG followers. I truly miss you sharing your palette knife paintings and your workshops. Lucky for me that I own three of your original paintings which I enjoy in my home every day.
    My sister sent me your recent LA Times article. Great article and inspiring mid life career change. Take care dear friend and wishing you continued blessings in 2020!

  3. Leslie, this is so awesome. I absolutely love your art in a farmhouse setting! You need to do more workshops, I would enjoy learning some of your techniques. Btw, I love reading your blog/instagram accounts. I grew up in north Alhambra and currently live in Thousand Oaks. It’s so great to really know exactly where you are or what your talking about. It’s pretty unusual to have that when reading blogs. Love it and you!
    Thanks for your inspiration. 💗

  4. I really loved the post where you started the painting on your Waco porch & I was not so patiently waiting the results…..
    Both paintings 🖼 are Amazing & fit in so well! Funny thing is I never knew I liked Abstract Art 😆. Now I’m off to check out your other 🎨 paintings. Thank you for sharing
    Cheryl – IG- ZanyMayd

  5. You had me at Project Runway! As an avid original follower of the show, I was so dismayed by the downward turn I felt the show took in more recent seasons, so it was so much fun to see that you’d reached all the way back to the originals (and in my opinion, the best by far). Jay! Uli! Leanne’s petals! And possibly my favorite of all, Laura’s elegant gown from her NYFW show.

  6. leslie glad to see you are painting again! im intermixing alcohol inks with acrylics. really great abstracts. i took your course at your home so long along with you and dreams. my own things advance. i have now sold 18,000 pieces of my art. i think i met you between 2005 and 2012. joyce dodd harcharik

    are you just using acrylics or oil now? need to meet up with you in pasadena. that was a great class you had for us.!!

  7. Omg I SO love seeing your paintings! The Abstracts and the Runway – love them all! Could we see your landscapes too? What a talented creative you are!!

  8. Wow!!! These are absolutely wonderful, Leslie! You really nailed each of these. I’m so inspired by your work. I’m also an artist, work mostly in watercolor but like oil and acrylic. My paintings are very detailed but need to try some abstracts. Thanks for sharing these!
    Linda Culp

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