Saturday, December 28, 2013

Perspective from a fish!

I have been very busy this season and haven't posted much lately. Here's a cartoon you may enjoy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beautiful Rhodhiss Lake

Snuggled against the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a crystal blue clear lake with beautiful panoramic views. That lake is Rhodhiss Lake. Located about 1 hour away from Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina, making it  just far enough to keep it peaceful, yet close enough for the urban amenities.

The lake is fairly small with a surface area of 3,060 acres and 90 miles of shoreline. Boating and fishing are the main recreational activities. Rhodhiss Lake is becoming known as a tournament lake by the increasing number of fishing tournaments being held. What makes this a special lake? Probably, the sandy bottom, which makes for some crystal clear water and the beautiful mountain views. The decor map above, is a custom map that I did for a customer who lives on Rhodhiss lake. I paint lake, river, and bay maps, both custom and personalized. See more at my website www.LeoLakes.com

Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big screen!  


Friday, December 6, 2013

Types of Snowmen!

Hey, since it's winter, I had to pull out one of my old, humorous snowmen pictures, "Snowman-Ology." Well, I think it's humorous! Hope you enjoyed. 

Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gifts for the Lake House!

What's the best Lake House gift for Christmas. A beautiful LeoLakes Treasured Decor Map. If you have a Lake House or know someone that does, then a nice, vintage style map of your beloved lake will look spectacular hanging on the wall. Leo Lakes have many sizes and most lakes can be ordered right from the website with only a few days to deliver. We even paint custom lake maps for that small lake.
On our canvas prints, the waterfowl and other areas of the map are hand painted (touched-up). Also, Leo hides a tiny mermaid in the waters of every lake which makes an ideal conversational piece. See other interesting facts about our maps at www.LeoLakes.com
You can add a star to the location of your Lake House to give that personal touch and even add a label such as "The Johnson's House Est. 2006". Here's one of our curtomer comments:

"Leo, the Yough Lake print arrived safely yesterday! It’s beautiful, can’t wait to give it to my husband for his birthday! Found the fish and the Mermaid, great conversation piece! Thanks for all your help, I’ll definitely recommend your website! Thanks again"

If it's a gift for the lake house owner, just wait until you see there face when they open a LeoLakes Treasured Decor Map! See more at www.LeoLakes.com
www.leolakes.com

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Do fish have high Cholesterol?

I don't do lake maps all of the time. I sometimes draw cartoons to drain-off some creativity. Here's a few more, however I do have a question... do fish have high cholestrol? Enjoy!





Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream, or at least put one on the wall!
www.leolakes.com
Frame your favorite lake, river, or bay!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lake House Gift

What's the best lake house gift? A beautiful canvas map of the lake that the lake house is located on, of course. This makes the perfect gift for the  lake house owner, or lake lover. A great Christmas gift, check-out these comments  from our customers.
The map arrived right on time and it was a sensational hit.  Thanks so much, this was exactly what I was looking for and was even better than anticipated. Nate
I just received the map, it looks beautiful! Thank you for helping me put together such a spectacular gift and I will definitely keep you in mind for future gift ideas. Have a wonderful Sunday!

It arrived safely and looks great. Thank you so much for everything! Thanks again!

Arrived safe and sound this afternoon and looks great!  I can't wait to give it to my parents for xmas for their new lake house.  Thank you!

Go to www.Leolakes.com to see if we have your map. We have many popular lake maps such as the Lake Winnipesaukee map, Great Sacandaga Lake map, Lewis Smith Lake map, Pickwick Lake map, Greer's Ferry Lake map, Lake Sidney Lanier map, Lake Sinclair map, Table Rock Lake map, and Lake Wallenpaupack map. Also, we paint custom maps and have personalized maps for that special someone. 



Friday, November 15, 2013

Flying in for a landing!

I add waterfowl to most of my decor maps. Normally, I place three Canadian geese somewhere cruising to the water, low and preparing to land.
My objective is to have them almost seem to float over the terrain. I also add a Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Sea Gulls, Pelicans etc... depending on the location of the body of water.
 


On canvas maps, after printing, I actually (touch-up) hand paint the waterfowl to make them pop and give the map an original painting effect. These details help sets Leo Lakes maps apart from others and give that personal touch. My ultimate goal is to provide a decor map that will become a treasured map. Remember: Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream, or at least put one on the wall!
 
www.leoLakes.com
Click Here to see more decor maps.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lake Charlevoix Vintage style Map

What is the third largest lake in Michigan? Lake Charlevoix, a beautiful clear blue lake located on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan near Charlevoix and Boyne City. The lake is over 17,000 acres and has 56 miles of shoreline, which much of it is lined with some of the most gorgeous, multi-million dollar homes around. Lake Charlevoix is often listed as one of America’s best lake. The lake is ideal for relaxation with great sunsets, sandy beaches, and wonderful restaurants. There are several great towns to explore or you could kayak, canoe, fish or take a sailboat cruise. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway was married on Lake Charlevoix? Interestingly, you may see a small kayak or the largest luxury yacht cruising the blue waters. I can understand why Lake Charlevoix is one of America’s best lakes, the folks living on or near this lake are truly blessed.
www.leolakes.com

Here’s a vintage style map that I just completed of Lake Charlevoix. I added a small loon to waters and hide a tiny mermaid somewhere near the shore. Also, you can add a small star to the location on your Lake House or special area, even add a few words like… Johnson's Lake house, Est. 2001 or be creative with the title. See a better view and learn more about the lake at my website www.LeoLakes.com
Remember: Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!
www.leolakes.com
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What is a houseboat slideout?

Here's a few more of my humorous lake cartoons. I have to let the creativity out sometimes and it comes in the form of lake cartoons. You know, I have 200 or 300 cartoons that I have completed and every once in a while I post a few on this blog. Hope you enjoy!
 
 
 
 Folks really like this cartoon!
 
Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on the big stream!
www.leolakes.com

Saturday, November 9, 2013

On the water.

"I got a away from the big screen and got on a big stream a few days ago." There's nothing like being near the water on a beautiful fall day. Recently, I went on a kayak adventure on the Duck River. What a great day to be on the water with friends! If more folks would do this, then there would be a lot more happiness!

 
While paddling, I heard a loud sound. It actually sounded like my neighbor raking leaves at 6:00 am in the morning, next to my bedroom window. I looked up the steep bank and spotted a very chubby animal. It even looks like my neighbor. It was a woodchuck, also known as a groundhog or land-beaver. Luckily he was only foraging in the leaves and not chucking wood. 
 
Here comes "Fancy Paddle." The reason I call him fancy paddle is because his paddles cost more than my Kayak. No kidding, they're a piece of art. 

Do you feel the warmth? There is nothing like a warm fire on a cool fall day. Notice that large back log. Perfect for radiating the heat, in fact it was so hot I had to rotisserate to keep from getting burned.

The perfect end of a fall adventure, Halloween Stew! My kayak buddy prepared a pot of Halloween stew, dutch oven style. I asked what is Halloween stew and he said that he carved the carrots like little pumpkins. Hmmm....I'm not sure about that. Anyway, why does food taste better near the water after a full day's adventure?


Amazing, check-out those little carved pumpkin carrots!
Hope you enjoyed the post. Remember: ..."Life is short, Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream or at least put one on the wall"
WWW.LEOLAKES.COM

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mr. Wiggles

Occassionally, I doodle about all things water and here's one of my masterpiece. This cartoon is about life vest. You see, my wife purchased an auto inflate life vest for me on our anniverserary date. So... I dreamed up this cartoon. 

 
Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream, or at least put one on the wall!
 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Chautauqua Lake

I have had a few requests to paint a map of Chautauqua Lake. Before I paint a map of a lake, I always do some research on the lake to get a feel of the area.  Here’s what I have discovered. Chautauqua Lake is a beautiful lake. Located in western New York between the city of Jamestown and the village of Maryville, Chautauqua Lake is about 17 miles long and 2 miles wide. It is shaped like a finger lake; however it is not considered a finger lake. Interesting, if it were considered a finger lake, then it would be a thumb because it runs perpendicular to the eastern lakes.

I find it fascinating the meaning of lake names. Chautauqua has several intriguing meanings and the one that I think is most interesting is, Bag Tied in the Middle, which is referring to the narrow area about half way down the lake. The name comes from an Indian Tribe in the area.
There are many recreational activities at the lake such as boating, fishing and tourism. Chautauqua Lake is an excellent muskellunge lake. A major hangout is Chautauqua Institution, which has many shops, restaurants and live entertainment. Also, many boats can be found at Sandy Bottoms and Long Point State Park.
Here’s the finished d├ęcor map of Chautauqua Lake. I don't hide snapping turtles, but I do hide a tiny mermaid/fish in the waters of all my lake map paintings that folks love to search for. I call my maps treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. These maps make great gifts for the lake house owner, lake lover, or fisherman. I have over two hundred on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I can do custom and personalizes lake, river or bay maps, too. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to LeoMaps.com



"Remember, Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Love This Lake!



I Love this lake,
The most amazing scenes appear in its wake,
The sun arises just above the shore,
Giving grace and beauty to this place I adore.
LKO, 2009
 
Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream or at least put one on the wall!

 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Leo Lakes website

Finally, after about three weeks of work the www.LeoLakes.com decor maps website has been moved to a new hosting. That new host is Go Daddy and so far they are great! The new website has been up-dated and many new features have been incorporated. I think the site looks a little more professional. Please check it out, www.LeoLake.com and if you ever need to frame your favorite lake, river or bay, we have your map!
Hopefully, I will have more time to post on this blog instead of working on a website! Remember, Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream or at least put one on the wall!
 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New website in the works!

I've been working hard moving the LeoLakes website to a new hosting site. The new site will have an improved look and better features. It has been a lot of work to move, but I think it will better serve the customers. Stay tuned for the official date when the site is ready. Also, holiday orders (personalized & custom)start picking up by the end of October, so don't wait too late.
Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream or at least put one on your wall!

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An Aventure Map!

Over the Labor Day weekend, I went on a kayak fishing trip to the Duck River. Instead of a long blog report about the activities, sites, fish etc... I decided to try something new, an adventure map!
Click on adventure map to enlarge!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an adventure map with words and pictures is priceless! I'm not discussing much about the trip, but am using this adventure map to convey the information. Most importantly, I'm experimenting with a new idea. Let me know what you think. To see more of my custom maps go to www.LeoLakes.com
 
 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Decor map of Shuswap Lake

Here's a lake that you have probably never have heard of, Shuswap Lake. I Just finished a custom canvas lake map of Shuswap Lake located in British Columbia, Canada. My first international map.
This lake is located near Salmon Arm, B.C. and is a large lake. It's unlikely that I will ever see this lake in person, but from what I have read it's a beautiful lake with many recreational activities, including some great fishing. See more maps at www.leolakes.com

Monday, August 19, 2013

In the Great Smokey Mountains!

I was on a
stream a few weeks ago in the Great Smokey Mountains during a fly fishing trip and I thought I would blog about this trip. What does "Mayfly on the grille with a little hummer mean?" Well, hang around and I'll tell you. When I was 13, my dad purchased a fly rod and a box of flys. I halfway learned to use this fly rod in the waters around Nashville. I really enjoyed fishing with it for perch and bass. I quickly learned that there was an art to fly fishing and fly fishing was something special. Lately, I've been thinking about fly fishing again...So...a few weeks ago, I booked a trip to fly fish in the Great Smokey Mountains.
It's always more fun to have a partner, and here's mine, Pop, my father-in-law. A great fishermen, but like me, not much fly fishing experience. Oh yeah, Pop just turned 86 years old and is in great health. He can maneuver over rocks like a cougar. I hope I'm like Pop when I'm 86. Anyway, we met our guide, Eugene in Cherokee, North Carolina and drove a few miles to Bradley Fork Creek near Smokemont. We arrived, parking near the creek. Eugene is local, born and raised in the mountains. I knew I was going to like this guy when he asked..."Where "youns" from?" A mountain slang that is used all the way up into Pennsylvania. My go to word would have been... where "y'all from". Now if I had been up in New York, I may have been asked where "yous guys" from. Boy am I off track, lets get back to fishing.
Eugene has been fly fishing in these waters all his life and was very knowledgeable. In fact, Eugene has won many events, and set a couple state records in the process.He currently holds the NC State Record for Distance Fly Cast set with a 9′ 5 wt fly rod that sent a fly 114 ft. Dang, I was having trouble casting a fly 20 feet. Anyway, he has competed in numerous US National Fly Fishing Championships, and Regional Qualifiers, and has won numerous regional events. Now, why am I showing you a photo of the grille of a hummer?...Because it's dinner for the trout. Really, the flying bugs on the grille are what trout are eating at this moment, so match the fly to the flying creature and bingo bango, you have the blue plate special for trout. Now this brings up "What is for dinner?...Mayfly on the Grille with a little hummer." Oh yeah, here's my favorite bug joke: What's the last thing that goes through a bugs mind when it hits the grille?...His butt! He He!!!!

Here's Pop with a small trout. I believe catching trout in the relaxing cool waters (59 degrees) of a mountain stream will give you a "possum grin." Can you tell he's grinning like a possum? I think so.

Hey, check out my fish, a small rainbow trout! How do you like my trout net, fly fishing vest, flys etc...cool right? Well, that's not me, its Eugene the fishing guide. I'm the one taking the picture, just behind the camera. Oh yeah, I was fishing a dry fly and a dropper. All our catches were on the wet end, however I did get a few bites on the dry fly.

Eugene is giving Pop a few instructions on how to improve his technique. Both Pop and I were lucky that we stayed out of the trees and didn't lose any flys. Also, no one got a wet butt from stubbing over rocks, either. Check out that can of bear spray on Eugene's waist, just in case a black bear tries to still a trout.

Here it is "my first brown trout." Eugene indicated that he was a wild brown and the way you can tell is by the pattern. The wild trout are born in the stream and have more and deeper brown markings on each side that look like the images of fingers gripping the side of the trout, sort of. Eugene referred to this as the hand of God. I apologize for the crappy pictures, with mountains on each side and dense foliage, too much shade was around and my cell phone was just not up to the task. I brought my Nikon D80, but was afraid that I would drop it in the creek.
All good things must end and so does this trip. We did catch several rainbows and one brown trout, not large but fun. 


Remember: Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!