Monday, December 27, 2010


5" X 7" colored pen & ink

I almost forgot this Christmas present I drew for Riley, my fur-nephew. He's a "white" golden retriever, although it's a bit hard to tell in this pose.

Here' Riley's brother, Logan, a Bernese Mountain Dog, reading the book I sent him for Christmas:

And Riley, looking a bit cleaner and oh-so studious, reading "Pierrot, Dog of Belgium," too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Commissions

Anna Luzia
5" X 7" pen & ink

8" X 10" pen & ink

5" X 7" pen & ink with color

Drake & Ruger
8" X 10" colored pen & ink

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Extra Calendars!

4" X 10"

This year's cast of characters.

Sample Page

Every year I pick the best of PenPets and make calendars – always a “Dog Days” calendar, sometimes a “Cats” calendar, too. I send them to the pin-ups’ people as well as to family and friends. It’s a combined Christmas/New Years card/present. This year I printed 50 too many calendars, I spent more on the color cover, and I paid a king’s ransom in postage. It’s made me reconsider this Christmas tradition. I don’t think I can afford to continue mailing out calendars. Maybe I’ll make a special card next year and leave it at that.

Meanwhile, I have 50 extra “Dog Days 2011.” Let me know if you want one ($10 + $1 for S&H) or if you have any good ideas about what to do with the extras. I have them for sale in two local stores.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Early Christmas

I received not one, but two T-shirts and a bag in the mail today. They're from the American Water Spaniel 2010 National Specialty & Hunt Test held in New London, Wisconsin, last summer. The club celebrated its 25th anniversary with my portrait of an American Water Spaniel. I'm thrilled to have the T-shirts, and look who's commandeered the bag. Kinsey thinks it will be perfect for her Christmas trip to Massachusetts. Not that she's much of a bird dog, but she does terrorize the squirrels who raid our bird feeders. 

Thanks Mary!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Promotion

This just out in the November 11th  East Hampton Star:

A Man and His Dogs

Bill Henderson of Springs, the Pushcart Prize editor, not only has a new “Best of the Small Presses” set to come out shortly, but in addition his autobiography has been accepted for publication by David R. Godine, the small, highly regarded publishing house in Boston. (Mr. Godine notably published the late Andre Dubus’s early books.)

“All My Dogs: A Life” chronicles, well, a life with dogs — 13 of them. It will feature line drawings by Leslie Moore, an artist who lives in Maine, where Mr. Henderson has a house. The publication date is April 5, Mr. Henderson’s 70th birthday.

As Bill says, "We roll!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Poodle Power

Holly & Dan
Standard Poodles
10" X 8" pen & ink

Holly, a red standard poodle, gave me a perfect opportunity to try out more colored inks. Dan is actually tinted apricot, but I didn't have such a subtle hue. Both dogs had just returned from the groomers, thus the colorful scarves. 

Here's what Holly and Dan's people have to say about them: 
Dan and Holly are half brother and sister (different fathers) and you can really tell! Dan is big = 75 lb and confident and funny. Holly is a clinging barnacle and more timid. Both are avid hunters (the squirrels in the yard, which is 3 acres, come in 2 varieties - the quick and the dead). Holly is keenly aware of birds too - she would have been an excellent bird dog - very sight oriented. Dan smells everything and walks take forever with him if he goes on a leash.

They play well together and are absolute love-bugs. They love other people as well. They will crawl into bed very stealthily during the night and it is not unusual to wake up wondering why you can't move your legs or get the covers adjusted - only to find them nuzzling you.
Here's the photograph I used as a reference for the drawing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

American Water Spaniel

I love to see how folks display my art work. Here's the portrait I drew for the American Water Spaniel Club Inc.'s Annual Specialty Show. I think it's beautifully framed, perfectly hung between two Chinese porcelain pheasants, and well lighted, too. A perfect setting for a bird dog! Isn't he pretty!

Here's a comment from the proud owner of the drawing:

"I won this beautiful picture at the AWSC INC. National Specialty and Hunt Test Weekend Saturday night auction. I managed to have the winning bid. Hooray!! I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Such a fabulous job on the dog! I am glad Leslie likes the way he is displayed. I have had nothing but wonderful comments on this lovely portrait."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cockers in Color

Snook & Smudge
8" X 10" pen and ink

 Sunny, Snook, and Smudge are field-bred English cocker spaniels, all hunting dogs, all in competition, and all titled. Sunny, the grande dame, mother to Snook and Smudge, has three American Kennel Club hunting titles and was recently awarded Field Champion, a top honor in the hunting dog world. Snook and Smudge also have earned titles, but they have a ways to go before they catch up with their mommy. 

I used three different colored inks on this trio--chocolate brown (or "liver" in spaniel speak), sienna (or "tan" in spaniel speak), and black. I'm thrilled with the way it turned out. Unfortunately, my laser printer doesn't print color pictures, so I had to make the greeting cards and bookmarks in black and white. Not bad.   

 Here are the two photos I used for the drawing. They were great photos of fabulous subjects. I loved doing this drawing.

I'm excited about drawing in color, so I'm off to find a good source of colored inks and hope that my next commission will be multi-colored.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Illustrating a Book!

Lulu, Bill’s favorite

I spent much of this past summer illustrating a wonderful book called All My Dogs: A Life. It’s a memoir by Bill Henderson, the founder of Pushcart Press, editor and publisher of the annual Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, now in its 34th year, author of four previous memoirs: His Son (Norton, 1981), Her Father (Faber and Faber, 1995), Tower: Faith, Vertigo and Amateur Construction (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), and Simple Gifts (Free Press, 2006), recipient of the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle, a friend, and a neighbor.

Here’s Bill’s tower on Christy Hill in  Sedgwick.
He’s also built an octagonal writing studio and
a stone cathedral, the subject of his next memoir.

In All My Dogs, Bill writes “Many of my dogs taught me well. . . . Most of all they created home for me. From Philadelphia’s suburbs to the Maine seaside, home was where the dog was. In the years when I was dogless, I had no true home. In the golden dog days, I found family again.”

The book is due out next spring with David R. Godine, Publisher, one of the last remaining independent publishers in America, whom Bill brought by our house along with his son, Addison, last summer for an impromptu dinner of pasta with fresh tomato sauce from our garden. David writes in his 40th anniversary catalogue, “If you believe, as I do, that your work is the footsteps you leave in the sands of time, then every book you publish should contain the proof of that devotion and promise.” The Godine catalogue, which is a work of art itself, is full of beautifully designed books written and illustrated by illustrious authors, artists, and photographers. Bill Henderson will be right at home in their midst. I’m awestruck to be included.

I drew 13 dogs for the book. Of those 13 dogs, Bill only had one clear photograph of his favorite, Lulu. He had grainy shots of four other dogs—Trixie, Duke, Opie, and Max—which were helpful in getting a sense of their shapes and colors, but not clear enough for drawing purposes. He had two shots of Sophie, his yellow Lab, as a grown up, but he wanted a drawing of her as a puppy. He had no photos whatsoever of five of the dogs—Earl, Snopes, the Mayor of Bridgehampton, Ellen, and Rocky Raccoon. Rocky was not even a recognizable breed and, it turned out, almost defied description. I had to draw him three times before I got him right. Fortunately, I was able to take my own reference photos of Bill’s two remaining dogs—Franny and Sedgwick. But, for the most part, I had to start from scratch and cobble together composite portraits of many of the dogs in Bill’s life. It was a challenge, but Bill cheered me on in his exuberant, steadfast, and unconditional way. The book has a breed or mixed breed to please almost everyone—a spitz, a spaniel, a setter, two hounds, four retrievers, a terrier, a collie, and a Portie without papers.

Much as I’d love to show you my illustrations, I’m going to save them for when the book comes out. Here are a couple more photos of my subjects. I’ll keep you posted on publication dates, parties, etc.!


St. Francis of Assisi (AKA Franny)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Award-losing Woodcut

One of my goals in life is to win the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA)  poster contest for its annual Common Ground Country Fair. The winning artwork not only adorns the fair poster, which is widely displayed throughout New England, but also decorates t-shirts, canvas bags, aprons, etc, and brings the artist $1,000 as well. Achieving this goal may take time. Over the years, I’ve submitted five pieces of art—one pen-and-ink drawing and four woodcuts—to the contest. All to no avail! Here’s a brief history of my saga.

For the 2006 poster contest, I submitted a pen-&-ink drawing, “Twitching Birch Logs.” I thought it was a shoe-in. The price of heating oil was sky high and the thought of cutting and then twitching ones own heating supply home with a team of hard-working horses was not only practical, but oh so romantic!

Twitching Birch Logs
8" X 10" pen and ink

No go! The MOFGA judges discourage artists from using crosshatching as shading: “Very, very fine pen lines, spaced closely together in a crosshatching technique, are not cleanly reproducible on cloth,” they say. Not a good omen for this crosshatcher. I also didn’t know that 2006 was the 30th Anniversary of the Common Ground Country Fair. Here’s the winning poster:

I licked my wounds for two years, and then, after taking a woodcut workshop in the spring of 2008, I submitted two woodcuts for the 2009 poster contest. Again, I thought “Stimulus Package” had it all—both animal and vegetable as well of a foreshadowing of the financial crises to come. I threw in “Kate, a border collie” because each entrant is allowed to submit two pieces of art.

Stimulus Package
12" X 13" woodcut

Kate, a border collie
12" X 6" woodcut

No go again! A quick scan of the posters from past years tells you that they really prefer artwork in living color, not black and white. Here’s the 2009 poster:

I sulked the next year, until I got a call from MOFGA saying that they were dissatisfied with that year’s entries and asking me to resubmit “Kate, a border collie,” which had been, they told me, one of the top five finalists the year before. Aha! So, fueled with artistic enthusiasm, I not only resubmitted “Kate,” but sent “Arnold Schwarzenegger” along as well. Arnold’s person, Deborah Evans of Bagaduce Farm in Brooksville, even promised her friends at MOFGA that, if Arnold’s woodcut won the contest, she’d bring him to the fair for all three days to flex his muscles and press his fleshy snout to flesh.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
10" X 14" woodcut

No go yet again! My friend Holly Meade, a fabulous woodcut artist from the next door town of Sedgwick, won the contest with her rampant rooster. I was happy for her.

This year, undaunted, I carved a multi-block, five-color woodcut—"Kate Strides Again"—and submitted it with high expectations.

Kate Strides Again
10" X 13" woodcut

My rejection letter arrived in the mail yesterday. It’s the same letter I've received three times before. Only the prize winner’s name changes each year. The MOFGA folks have chosen a still life of fresh vegetables and canning jars by Dacia Klinkerch of Raymond, Maine, for the 2011 fair poster. They haven’t posted the winning artwork on their website yet, but I can’t help but feel that the dog lovers at the fair—and how many of those there must be!—will be disappointed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mystery Dog Unveiled

American Water Spaniel
9" X 12" pen-and-ink

The American Water Spaniel Club has finally unveiled the portrait I drew for their 25th Anniversary Specialty Show this month. Check it out on the home page of their website. My image will adorn T-shirts (short and long-sleeved) and sweatshirts, on sale now. I've ordered mine and will model it for you as soon as it arrives. The original drawing will be auctioned off at the Specialty Show. It was a fun project and I hope the T-shirts and the auction bring in lots of money for the club.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catching Up

You may think I’ve been goofing off all summer, swinging from a hammock between two shady trees, sipping iced tea, and reading Scandinavian mysteries. Not So! The Brooksville Farmers’ Market is up and running and I’ve had perfect attendance for the last nine weeks. One Tuesday morning I had a whole crew of assistants:

Peter (my nephew), Bella (my niece), and Bella’s best friend, Lucy

Note the new blue tent, the new PenPets banner, the new clear plastic card rack, the new "Welcome to Brooksville" T-shirts, and the new driftwood bookmark rack. It took eight markets to pay for all my expenditures, but it's all gravy now!

I’ve also mounted three exhibits of my work. In June I had a solo show, “Woodcut Critters,” at Mainescape, a Blue Hill garden center that also sells pet products, and now sells a full line of my PenPets greeting cards—like hotcakes, they say! At the end of June I showed seven woodcuts and pen-and-ink drawings at a group show, “Chosen Places,” at the Deer Isle Artists’ Association. Currently I have another solo show of 25 woodcuts and drawings at the Brooksville Free Public Library. Here are some shots from the opening.

Judy Madson (past President of the Library Board of Trustees) & Leslie

Leslie & Heather Tooker (current Co-President of the Library Board)

Leslie & Margie Van Dusen, Patron Saint of PenPets!

Speaking of the Brooksville Free Public Library, our Board of Trustees held its Annual Summer Book Sale on July 10th (I was in charge this year) and we made a whopping $1,700 selling used books from 9:00 AM until noon. Not bad!

I’ve also done two new PenPets commissions this summer:

Minnu & Dakota
8" X 10" pen-and-ink

Jassie (short for Jasmine)
8" X 10" pen-and-ink

And that’s not all! I carved a multi-color woodblock and I’m now illustrating a book, but more about these adventures later.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chosen Places

Three for Three
5" X 7" pen and ink

Private Mooring
5" X 7" pen and ink
Seagulls in Stonington
5" X 7" pen and ink 

I'm preparing for a group show at the Deer Isle Artists' Association at the end of this month. The theme is "Chosen Places." Here are three new drawings I've done for the exhibit. I love the way seabirds choose man-made places for their own purposes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bagaduce Lunch

My artwork has made the front page of The Brooksville Breeze again! The Bagaduce Lunch--a seafood take-out restaurant--is something of a local legend, made even more famous by winning the James Beard "American Classic" award in 2008. It's been run by the same family for over 60 years. They rebuilt the building this year. Thus, the "Grand Opening." If you're ever in town, be sure to drop by for one of their famous lobster rolls or a basket of fried clams.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Some folks say that people and their pets grow to look alike. I could aid this metamorphosis by wearing my hair in pigtails to look like Kinsey's fabulous ears. Like this! I could also apply eyeliner darkly and practice my crooked smile.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Woodcut Critters & Bookmarks

Busy, busy, busy! I have an exhibit of seven woodcut critters up at Mainescape in Blue Hill. It's a fabulous garden center that also sells pet products. This winter they built a state-of-the-art greenhouse and now have a lovely corridor between the old and the new building that they will use as an art gallery. My woodcuts are their first show! I carved this woodchuck especially for the gardeners.

Then the Brooksville Farmers' Market started back up yesterday. Check out the beautiful driftwood bookmark rack Tom made for me! It was greatly admired by my fellow vendors. The crafters set up inside our Community Center because it rained yesterday. The farmers were all outside because veggies like the rain! I'll have lots more new stuff to show you soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cat, Pup, & Boot

I haven't been totally twiddling my thumbs, just totally impatient with my slow-speed, dial-up connection to the internet. Here are two new woodcuts, my first in the year 2010. Yikes!

Cat's Paw
7X9 woodcut

What Boot?
9X7 woodcut

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where Have I Been?


Smith Family Reunion

Our Maine Garden