“The Curious Scholar” is in my Dreams!

I started writing the second story in The Ladies of The Orb series. For some time I’ve had the names of the main characters and the outline for the story. It’s so much different when writing it because I’m making it come alive.  The characters, the scenes, the emotions and conversations take on a life of their own.

One of the funniest thing that occurs for me when writing a story is, I dream about it.  While sleeping I expand the story line, I think of ways to make the scenes more real and I work on the emotions that I want to get across to the reader.  As soon as I get up in the morning I’m working out the places to add the new text!

Marla is a young girl that loves to read.  She not only reads the books for her age group but her vocabulary is far advanced so she reads books several levels about her peers.  At first I had dubbed the story “Marla & Marry” just to call it something but when I started writing it in earnest,  the title came to me: The Curious Scholar.

Let me know what you think of the title.






Ladies of the Orb, Digital Art and Green Bees

It’s been a while since I’ve updated by blog.  I’ve had my nose to the grindstone on a few projects: writing, art and living art (gardens).

I’m really happy to say that I’ve had a major publishing company chomping at my tail to get Kya’s Story completed!   Two days ago I finished writing the book – it’s got a prologue, 23 chapters and 30,605 words.  I’ve shared the first few chapters with some friends, here’s one of the responses:

“Thank you for sending those chapters. I found the book very interesting, well-written and it took me along on the adventure and swept me away with its vivid imagery, color and charm. The characters are real and lovable. I think this is going to be a bestseller!” S.S.

I’ve also had many positive responses about my recent Digital Art.  It makes me want to explore planned-out abstracts with acrylic on canvas.  By the way, I have an art show later this summer!

The other projects I work on are living art.  I created a beautiful front yard from nothing at all.  Here’s the beginning pictures…


I started by adding trees – Lysiloma and Paulo Verde; near the house is a bush that gets pretty purple flowers (for the humming birds and butterflies)….

100_0355 100_0356100_0354

Here’s the front yard five years later:

100_6237 100_6238 100_6239 100_6240 100_6241 100_6243 100_6244

As the garden grew in the front yard, I’ve been growing veggies in the back and in doing so have created an eco-system.  First I had aphid problems, then  too many ants arrived to handle it, then some awesome beetles (that look similar to lady bugs but are flat) arrived to take care of the  over-population of ants.  On it went with new bugs and flying creatures arriving to keep the flourishing bug populations under control.  More surprise bugs arrive even up to present time.

As for our friends the bumble bees, I see some, but there aren’t many.

I’ve allowed the cutter bees free reign to gather the greens they need for their nests as they are good pollinators.  I found that they are very polite by taking just what’s needed and don’t destroy the entire garden.

Recently I’ve been seeing green bees!  I thought at first that it was an aberration of honey bees but looked it up.  There really are green bees.  Green bees are ground bees and are also good pollinators.

Are cutter bees and green bees nature’s solution to our declining bumble bee population?




Latest Piece in New Series Needed a Name…Results

I’ve been working on a series of digital art that is mainly focused on buds, blooms and flowers.  Here’s the next piece in the series. The idea is the birth of a flower from a seed – the life that occurs right before the plant grows and creates blooms.

I haven’t been able to work out a name for it so decided to give a sneak peek of the creation and ask for help naming it by email to friends and on Facebook.

I received SOOOO many great suggestions!  It was quite fun and I appreciate the responses.

Here’s the list of suggestions: The Awakening, Life Emerges, Let there be ……, An Explosion, Tumult, Rage, Growth, Need for change, Feel Alive, Fire, Floral Birth, Prosperity, Swirl Fest, Genesis, Fire Storm, Birth of Life, Genesis, The Inner Mounting Flame, Assumption, Heartbeat, Inception, Life Flows, a Ballet of Birth, a Dance of Awakening Life, Seed of Life, Burst of Life, Beginnings, Alchemy, Arriving, Emerge, New Beginning, New Life, Radiance, The Power of Life, wakening, Arising, Stirring, Gathering, Preparing, Bringing, Completing, Beckoned, A Flower’s Fiery Birth

Here’s the name I decided upon: a Dance of Awakening Life – it was suggested by and is dedicated to Patti Nicklaus.



a Dance of Awakening Life – dedicated to Patti Nicklaus

Copyright 2014 ILIA



Marketing & What Happened for Me…

For many years, I have been working towards purposes.  The main one as an artist that I work towards is “To Inspire Others To Create” with an addendum of “and provide ways to make a living with their works of art.”

So, what I’ve done is tested out marketing, services, followed through on hunches and found ways to get the word out continuously.  I’ve used my own sites and myself as the guinea pig in the experiments.  Whatever worked, I added to Help-2-Succeed.com or created services to help other artists.

Using myself & my art along with Help 2 Succeed as the test sites, I recently checked to find out my personal statistics on Google:

Leigh-Ann Lemire can be found on 77,500 web pages
Leigh-Ann Lemire aka ILIA can be found on 4,830 web pages
Created by ILIA google search has me in the top position with 1,780,000 competitors



Recently I’ve been focusing on helping other artists to get the word out.  I’ve been adding some very good articles about Art Marketing and Art Business on the Help 2 Succeed blog.  Then keeping an eye on my statistics to find out what has been working when I saw:


Someone found that site and arrived on my blog!  Thing was, I never heard of the site!  So, I clicked on the link to find out.

The site is “The Official Page of” – The World’s Largest Official Celebrity Page Site.   Someone there found me online and created the website page for me!   I’m an “official celebrity” now.

There are feeds on the page to my different social media and blogs.  I was surprised to find one of my poems “Wind Song” included!

I realized that this takes marketing to a whole new level:  if you get your name out there consistently, you will not only be found but also be recognized and other people will start helping you to achieve your goals.

I’m smiling!







My Perceptions Changed – Evolution of my Art #5

Mid studying the Basics books and lectures, at the end of a book titled Creation of Human Ability, one day I walked outside to find that my perceptions changed.  Life was dazzling with space, dimensions, vivid colors, precision, crispness, light!  Taking a walk was like looking at wonderland.  My viewpoint of life has not only stayed at that level but has increased ever since.

I decided to work on a project that had only been an idea.  I wanted to capture the spiritualality and history of the ancient Native American Indians that had lived in Arizona.

I used images of areas with ancient ruins to express the beauty and wonder of the people that had once lived here.  My style of painting once again changed.  Instead of the landscapes, dreamscapes, trees and butterflies that I had previously painted, I started painting people.

The people paintings were a mix of southwest with fantasy and a new modern style.  I thoroughly enjoyed creating the paintings.

Here’s a few of the ancient Native American Indians with the photographs that inspired the paintings:

Lady in the Cave – inspired by a rock formation that I saw at the Natural Bridge in Tonto National Park.


The Warrior was inspired by the cave at the Cliff Dwellers ruins.

The Warriors Pride – also inspired by the same Cliff Dweller ruins photograph.

The Warriors Pride

Please let me know what you think!

Stay tuned for the newest style…

Thanks for stopping by!


Copyright © 2013 ILIA aka Leigh Ann Lemire.  All Rights Reserved.


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Environmental Awareness Art & Writing – Evolution of my Art #4

I’ve been a vegetarian for 35 years now.  There were a few times that I added in meat to my diet but always went back to a vegetarian life style as I was healthier doing so.

Along with being a vegetarian, I was also interested in gardening – growing food, trees, flowers and herbs – plus had a strong interest in vitamins and natural remedies for health issues.

While studying the Basics books and lectures by L. Ron Hubbard, I started being more interested in real life solutions to the problems that we face on our little planet.  I started being interested in getting communities working together with real life sustainable actions.

In the books and lectures, Ron gives examples and hatting on how to write in order to keep readers interested and turning pages. It was a life long dream of mine to be published so I applied what I learned.

I not only started an Earth Series of graphic art and painting but also added articles, poetry and a book to the series.

Black Eyed Susan in the Alley

This painting is titled “Black Eyed Susan in the Alley.” It’s based on the idea that there is beauty everywhere – including alleyways.  “Black Eyed Susan in the Alley” is a multimedia painting.  The alley wall and the lane both have Arizona Minerals mixed into the paint which creates a natural sparkly effect.  There are many things that aren’t pleasing in an alley such as garbage, stench, graffiti on the walls, peeling paint, decay and so on.  It’s amazing to see amidst the mess, beautiful flowers growing.  There is always beauty that persists even in the worst of places.

I also wrote a book titled Ti Ana and The Giant. Ti Ana and the Giant

It’s a marvelously entertaining book about the Land of Lush, now Mush. A delightful story about a land that used to be full of abundance and creativity but turned into despair and hopelessness.  “That’s just the way it is,” was how most villagers believed the situation to be – except for one: Ti Ana who goes on an adventure to save her land.

I also wrote another book titled The Handiwork Clash

The Handiwork Clash

The Handiwork Clash is a fairy tale about how life has gone from bad to worse in a community resulting in conflict and destruction that was overwhelming the land.  No solution was being sought by the unruly crowd, fighting prevailed until a fairy steps in and urges the villagers to turn the destruction and conflicts into a beautiful place to live in a peaceful community.

You can find the Earth Series articles and poems here.

Thanks for staying tuned!


 Copyright © 2013 ILIA aka Leigh Ann Lemire.  All Rights Reserved.



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The Perfect Painting – Evolution of my Art #3

Later on in my painting career, I studied the Art book by L. Ron Hubbard (at the bottom of this post you can find the link to the book).  One chapter in particular caught my attention.  It’s titled “Art and Communication.”

L. Ron Hubbard writes:

“When a work of painting, music or other form attains two-way communication, it is truly art.”

“The return flow from the person viewing a work would be contribution.  True art always elicits a contribution from those who view or hear or experience it.  By contribution is meant ‘adding to it.'”

“Because the viewer can contribute to the picture, it is art.”

Based upon that chapter of the Art book, I set out to create the perfect painting style where the viewers would contribute to the paintings.  I came up with what my mentor Ralph E. Grimes dubbed “Reverie.”

I named the Reverie art paintings The Dream Series.  It was very fun to see and hear the reactions to the paintings.  The very best response was from a person that saw my art at a show.  He said, “I like your art very much, but did you finish it? I find myself adding to your paintings.”  When I told him that I intended that to happen, he brightened up and said “You did that on purpose? Very clever.”

Another person – an owner of one of the Dream Series paintings – said that he has spent hours looking at the painting and every time he does, he sees something different.

Here’s some of the Dream Series paintings:

still dreamin

Still Dreamin’

a dreamscape

A Dreamscape

the dawn of hope

The Dawn of Hope

Most of the Dream Series paintings have found homes.  I do have a few that are available.  If you are interested in seeing the ones that still need homes, please let me know. 8)





© 2013 All Rights Reserved. Grateful acknowledgement is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce a selection from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.
© 2013 All Rights Reserved.  ILIA
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Evolution of My Painting Style #2

I found acrylic paints and started playing around with the huge variety of paints and textures.  I fell in love with iridescent paints, textures, colors and consistency – acrylic paints can be as thin as ink and range to textures as thick as paste.  There’s so much that can be done!  I definitely experimented!

Here’s some of the earlier paintings I did:

clouds and rainbow in space

Clouds and Rainbow in Space – this is part of a large series of rainbow paintings, all of which found homes.

the ancient ones

The Ancient Ones – inspired by Ancient American Indian ruins.  It was painted from a photograph found in a library book.  Indians seem to pop out of this painting in unexpected places.  This painting has had two owners so far.

snow fairies

Snow Fairies – this painting is partly from a photograph and partly imagination.  If you look closely at the full size version, you can see snow fairies in the branches.  Although this painting has been a favorite of many, it still doesn’t have a home.

During this period of paintings, my inspiration came from photographs, art and music.



Copyright © 2013 Leigh Ann Lemire aka ILIA.  All Rights Reserved.



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Evolution of my Painting Style #1

The more I learn and the more that life experiences inspire me, the more my painting style has evolved.  I thought I would take some time to document the journey.

The reason that I started painting in the first place was because of acknowledgements and encouragements from a dear friend and poet, Ralph E. Grimes.  We started a pen pal relationship in 1986 and also exchanged poetry.  One day I decided to slip in a “doodle” with the letter and that’s when the fun began.

At first I didn’t know that Ralphie was a Master of Arts.  He learned how to teach the old way through validation and encouragement – he became my mentor. Many years later, this is what Ralphie wrote about my artworks:

“It is not merely that her paintings have beauty and power, although they surely do.  It is more that they are filled with new and valid perceptions of reality which cause the viewer to cognite. Her work is bold, imaginative, creative, powerful.  These are much more than pretty pictures skillfully done.  It is clear that she has something new and valuable to contribute to the world.  It is an honor to have followed her career.”  R.E.G. Master of Arts Columbia University

Besides the art and writing worlds, Ralphie introduced me to Classical music, Old-time jazz and gave me a different viewpoint on modern music, too.  I have since painted to music.  My favorite is Mozart Chamber Music and Woodwind pieces.  The music inspires the visuals for the paintings.

This piece is titled “Cosi Fan Tuti” after the piece that inspired it.  It was created in 1987 and it’s the third painting that I ever did.   It’s oil on canvas.






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New Friends – Training and Feeding Time


Wren (Photo credit: gypsy_roadhog)

This morning something very magical occurred in my front garden.  A Mama desert wren was instructing her baby.  It looked like a game of tag.

The baby wren was practicing flying and while doing so was also feeding from the blooms on the Lysiloma and Paulo Verde trees.

I have many hummingbirds that visit my gardens so thought at first that the little baby was a hummingbird because of how little he was and how fast he was fluttering his wings.

But after carefully watching, I realized that it was a teeny desert wren.  His mother was instructing him.

The mother desert wren flew to a branch and as soon as the baby arrived , she flew to the next.

The baby wren worked hard to keep up with his mom but just like little kids everywhere got hungry fast so took breaks to sip nectar.  It was cute to see him beat his wings very hard to hold his position.

It was impressive how much the mother wren cared for her baby.   She  hovered at a slight distance trying her best to not interfere or be over-protective.

The show went on outside my window for several minutes.   With a smile on my face at being so privileged to see such fun and magic I watched as momma bird got her baby to follow rapidly from branch to branch higher and then lower – round and round the trees.

Where’s the camera when you need it? 8)

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