Friday, April 29, 2016

A Boat and A Snake....

This water snake munching on a fish near the waters edge, brings back a fond memory of being on the water. When I was a child, my father and I would float down the Duck River fishing from a flat bottom aluminum boat that he purchased from Sears Department Store. As we floated along, he would keep his eye open for a water snake coiled around a low hanging branch above the waters edge. If he spotted one, he would slowly paddle over without me knowing what was about to happen. When we were near, he would carefully raise his paddle and tap the branch. I was always oblivious to what was about to happen, until the snake came crashing down near were I was sitting, in a huge splash. It would scare the crap out of me, but my dad would laugh and laugh and laugh!

This is one of those treasured memories of the beloved river that I grew up on. I decided to paint a map of this river in a vintage style and it turned out so well, I ended up creating Leo Lake Treasured Maps. Paddle over to my website,, no snakes allowed.  Folks are discovering that my vintage style maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 
As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Orders are picking up during the holiday's, so order soon. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

If this fishing lure could talk...

"If this lures could talk!" I have been lucky to have a couple of lures that my grandfather fished with in the 20s & 30s. Now, my grandfather was not much of a fisherman, but did fish on rare occasion. When I was a kid, the family cleaned out his home after he passed. My father and I found these old Heddon lures in his shop. My father said he remembered these when he was a kid and fished with them on the Duck River. Just think these lures were used during the depression, & WWII.
As you can see, they have seen better days. In fact, someone tried to modify the top lure for some reason. I do wonder what's the story behind this bait, where was it purchased, and what fish were caught. I'm sure if this bait could talk, it would be fascinating.
They are made of wood. The shellac has deteriorated with age and the paint is starting to crack and flake off. The quality of the craftsmanship is excellent. The diving spoon is thick and made from high quality metal, no rust after 80-85 years.
I bet my father or his brother modified this lure when they were young and decided a spinner would be better added to the front. Oh well, I am glad to have these old relics.They are not worth much to anyone else but me. I do want to preserve the story and place them in a better container. So, I decided to print and build an old fashion lure box made of paper.
You just can't tell the story of an old lure unless you know it, write it down and keep it for future fishermen.  Remember:  "Old fishermen may pass, but their bait lives on!"

I do custom and personalized lake, river, island or bay vintage style maps. They make a great gift for the lake lover, lake house, or fisherman. If you would like to see if we have your body of water, go to

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Antique Style Lake Maps

Here's a beautiful antique style lake map that I painted of Lake Seminole in Georgia. The map turned out very nice with the golden color. I try to make the maps as much "a piece of art" as they are a map. In fact, my large maps (16x32 and over) are numbered and come with a Certificate of Authenticity, which also includes a letter that details some other neat things about the map, such as the tiny hidden mermaid. Interestingly, I have sold over one thousand maps ranging in size from 10in x 20in  to 4ft x 8ft. Believe it or not, I have kept the purchase information (Who, When, Map, etc..) for all those purchases. So, if my maps ever become a must have item and end up on the "Antique Road Show", I will have the maps parent so to speak. If this dream does come true, I'm sure I won't be around.  

Anyway, I do have one wish and I think that it will come true some day, and that is, to stubble upon one of my maps hanging in a restaurant, business or home. 
I call my maps treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. These decor 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 vintage style maps, too. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to

"Life is short, reduce screen time and increase stream time, get on a big stream."

Monday, April 18, 2016

How LeoLakes was Born!

I went back to see when I started blogging, which was not this site, but a site called OldField Art, It's amazing that my first blog entry was January 7th, 2008, over eight years ago. The subject was about starting a website where folks could purchase my paintings online. The site started out being dedicated to my waterfowl painting. My lake maps were not even conceived, however 5-6 years ago I started painting lake, river and bay maps and LeoLakes was born. It is interesting how things change over time and how flexible one needs to be to discover new success.

First Blog Entry: January 7th,2008
Finally, I have almost completed my web site. I have a few more items to add. The site was not as difficult to build as I thought, however I have had no experience with web building. I did 100% of the work. After about 1 week of playing around with the web program, "Expressions Web", I had the site up and running. Painting has been very limited due to the time spent on the web site. I have other paintings that I have completed and will add to the site. Currently, I am working on a Great Blue Heron fishing in a lake with cattails. The painting is almost 90% finished. Well, got to run.

Check-out my maps at We have many popular lake maps such as the Lake Winnipesaukee, Great Sacandaga Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Pickwick Lake, Greer's Ferry Lake, Lake Sidney Lanier, Lake Sinclair, Table Rock Lake, and Lake Wallenpaupack. Also, we paint custom maps and have personalized maps for that special someone.