Saturday, December 28, 2013

Look Marge!

I haven't posted much recently because I have been so busy. Here's a quick cartoon that you may enjoy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A lake with beautiful panoramic views!

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

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

Friday, December 6, 2013


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!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wader Shorts

Hmm.... Wader Shorts?
Another one of my fishing cartoons. Not sure about wader shorts?

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best Lake House Gift!

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
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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Do fish have high Cholesterol?

Here's a few more of my cartoons, 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!
 Frame your favorite lake, river, or bay!

Friday, November 15, 2013

This goose is headed in...

This goose is headed in for a landing! I took this photo of a goose that I painted on one of my maps. I add waterfowl to most of my decor maps pointed in the direction of the water. 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 other waterfowl like Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Sea Gulls, Pelicans etc... depending on the location of the body of water. My worst fear is placing a bird in a location that it doesn't belong, but I do research to help ensure this doesn't happen. 

On canvas maps, after printing, I actually (touch-up) hand paint the waterfowl on to the canvas to make them pop and give the map an original painting feel. These details help sets Leo Lake 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!
Click Here to see more decor maps.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beautiful Lake Charlevoix

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.

Here’s a vintage style map that I just completed of Lake Charlevoix. I added a small loon to the 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    

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

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Floated, Pumpkin Stew, Bruised Banana...What is fall fishing!

About two weeks ago, my buddy's and I floated the Duck River. You may ask, what is floated? Well around here the technical definition float down the river, in a boat while fishing from one destination to another, float. The crew included Buttermilk (Jeff Loudermilk) and Duck Master (Tim Oldfield). Duck Master knows this river like bananas know yellow. The weather was a typical fall day with the wind blowing lightly and about 60 degrees. Lucky for us, the leaves were just starting to fall from the trees, which was good because we didn't have to worry about leaves getting tangled in our lines. We actually paddled up stream and floated back down.
Here we have Buttermilk giving Duck Master, in his banana boat, a shove off to start the adventure. The water was amazingly clear for this river. Our plan was to fish for about four hours and catch a few bass or anything that would bite and paddle back to camp for a hot bowl of Buttermilk's Pumpkin Stew. More about Pumpkin Stew later! 

Right off the bat, Duck Master catches a small largemouth bass on a silver artificial minnow crank bait. Notice that smile, even catching small fish makes people gitty.   
Duck Master relaxing in his kayak. What a great day to be on the water with friends! As I always say..."Life is short, Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream." If more folks would do this, then there would be a lot more happiness!  
While paddling over to a nice spot to cast, 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. 

Fishing was a little slow, but we did manage to catch a few more small bass. Here comes "Fancy Paddle" also known as Buttermilk. The reason I call him fancy paddle is because his paddles cost more than my Kayak. No kidding, they're a piece of art.   

Well, there is always an adventure on the Duck River and Duck Master found it. While paddling up fairly swift water he turned sideways and the banana boat leaned into the water and capsized. Not only did Duck Master get wet, he has a bruised banana (boat). We did find his fishing pole, bait box, etc... I'm sure glad it wasn't 30 degrees!

Do you feel the warmth? After the Duck Master incident we hurried back to base camp. Checkout our fire! There is nothing like a warm fire on a cool fall day, especially if someone is wet. 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. Stay tuned because we are fixing to eat. I know, you may ask what is fixing? Fixing, a southern term which means "ready to do something."

The perfect end of a fishing trip, Halloween Stew. Before we left, Buttermilk had prepared a pot of Halloween stew, dutch oven style. I asked Buttermilk 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.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Have a Happy Halloween!

It Was a Wild Halloween Party at the Old Field Studio. The characters from my other blogs stopped by for some fun. Boy, did things get out of hand. The folks from the "River of Oz", "The Worm Hole" and "Bait Dynasty" are a wild bunch. You may be able to figure out who's who from below.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mr. Wiggles

Here's a few more of my silly cartoons.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Water Safety

It's not a winter coat, blazer, tweed jacket, nor leisure suit. It's not bright orange and doesn't feel like two pillows tied to your chest. You don't sweat like a pig in warm weather while wearing it and you can actually move around comfortably. What is it? It's a new Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket that my wonderful wife purchased for me on our anniversary. Oh yeah, it's our twenty-something...
It's made by Onyx and she purchased it at Sports Academy for $79.99. I was able to use it last weekend on a kayak fishing trip.
Interestingly, the left side opens via Velcro to reveal the value, auto water sensor, Co2 air cylinder and manual inflate handle. You must change the air cylinder every 3 years.
I have standards that are important to me in life jacket design. One, they work and save my life, two the comfort level while wearing them.

Now, I have not water tested the vest, so I am taking a leap of faith that it will perform when I fall in the water, but it is U.S. Coast Guard Approval and a lot of folks are using them. So, I think it will work, but I wonder at what point does it inflate, before or after your head goes under? I will let you know about this at a later date.

I have tested the comfort level during a 4 hour kayak trip and I must say that it was the most comfortable vest that I have ever used. In fact, I actually forgot that I had the vest on. Now that is a comfortable vest! If you are around the water a lot, then you may want to purchase an auto inflatable vest, too. Ladies, it would make a great gift for the man that loves the water!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Warm and Cozy???

My fishing buddy, Buttermilk camped out on the Duck River Friday night. Saturday morning at home, I checked my phone and had a text message from Buttermilk. Here's what he said.... "I found this cat down here. I put him in my tent to keep warm. He's kind of ornery though." Here's the picture Buttermilk sent.
Hummmm...Looks like Buttermilk needs to get his eyes checked? Anyway, I traveled down to the Duck and had a great fall fishing trip with Buttermilk and the "Duck Master." Who's the Duck Master? Find out in the next trip report which will follow soon.
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

New Host for LeoLakes Website!

Finally, after about three weeks of work the 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,  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 coming soon!

I haven't posted much on this blog lately because 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

Map your adventure?

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

Monday, September 2, 2013

Do River Otters Attack People?

Here's what flashed through my mind this weekend. "I suddenly thought about what would happen if this 20-30 lb. river otter attacked me in my kayak?" It all started last Saturday. I spent the day kayak fishing away from the big screen and on a big stream named the Duck River. Duck River is located in middle Tennessee and is the most biologically diverse river in North American. This river contains more fish varieties per mile than any other river in North America. The Duck is home to over 150 species of fish, 55 mussels, 22 species of snails and many aquatic animals. Anyway, I was lucky to capture a photo of this critter from my kayak.
 It's a North American River Otter. This is only my second sighting of a river otter, the other was on the Harpeth River, also located in Tennessee.

 These animals are very agile. In fact, I watched the otter twist and turn like a corkscrew while chasing minnows in and out of the reeds. The minnows were fast, but the otter was faster, often coming up with its catch. 

This otter was oblivious to my presence. Here I am, in a big blue kayak, slowly moving toward the otter, while taking photos. He was total focused on fishing. This made me believe that he was a fairly young otter.  
 Finally, I moved within 35 feet of the otter and he still didn't detect me. He would come up for air and I would snap a picture. 

I decided that I was too close and began to slowly move away because I don't like to disturb wildlife too much. I slowly paddled in reverse with one hand while holding the camera with the other, I was hoping that the otter would do something interesting.  

While backing up, the paddle lightly banged against the kayak. Bang, this got the otters attention and he looked up straight in my direction. For a few seconds we both stared at each other and then, he showed me his teeth. You know, it's funny what goes through your mind when a wild animal shows you his teeth. I suddenly thought about what would happen if a 20-30 lb.  river otter attacked, but quickly discounted the idea because I have never heard of otters attacking folks, right? Anyway, check out those teeth; they look like they could do some real damage. Can you believe how white they are? It appears that they've been whiten by the local dentist. Dang, they're bright! Then...
...the otter raised up aggressively and let out a big snort. I wondered if  this otter was on the edge of attack.  All of a sudden he quickly disappeared under the water heading in my direction. Oh crap, camera down and paddle up. After some time had passed, he apparently had moved on. Boy, did I feel relieved, but otters don't attack people, right? After the trip, I arrived home and the first thing I did was research otter attacks. To my surprise, I found that otters do attack people. Often times when they have small one's around, but sometimes for no known reason. The attacks are vicious; however no one has died from an otter attack. Luckily, it doesn't occur often. Now when I see an otter, I have more respect.

Need a unique Gift? Check-out my maps.