Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow Day

Parkway Series # 79   11 x 14  oil   Sold

If the fall painting of Buck Mountain Road was entitled  "Back to School" (Parkway Series #55), this winter scene should be called "Snow Day".  It is interesting to paint the same scene in different seasons.  This is the Parkway overpass that bridges Buck Mountain Road near Faith Christian School traveling in the opposite direction from the "Back to School" painting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Close to Home

Parkway Series #78   11 x 14   oil    $85.

There is a barbed wire fence along the Parkway south of 460 that I seem to return to often.  I've painted it summer, fall and winter, although not from exactly the same vantage point.  In this rendition, I was drawn to the zig zag of diagonals as the eye moves around the image. With the cold snowy weather, I'm staying close to home but in the Spring I will be really anxious to start traveling further out.  For all my N. C. followers, I am planning to explore in that direction as soon as the weather permits

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Childhood Memories

Parkway Series #77   11 x 14   oil    $85.

I have a very vivid childhood memory of a winter night about dusk, riding down a road near home and being awe struck by a very blue world.  I believe there is a new book out entitled, "What Childhood Memories Tell  About Your Personality."  I have not read the book but I know that visual perceptions were a major part of my childhood and this image really struck that cord of sensory experience from the past.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mountain Pass Road

Parkway Series #76   11 x 14    oil    Sold 

The first time I ventured out in the 18+ inches of snow last weekend, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  The Parkway was closed but the country roads underneath were just beginning to clear.  The sun was out and the world was white as I drove down Laymantown Road to Mountain Pass.  Coming upon the overpass, I knew the contrast of rough stone with smooth snow would be an interesting painting. Actually, this is one of my favorites. The ochre highlights on the trees and rocks against the blue snow add warmth to a very cold day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Parkway Series #75   11 x 14   oil    $85.

I have been out taking pictures all morning.  The sun is out and the blue shadows on the white snow are fabulous.  If any of you, followers, are near the Parkway over the next few days and take photos please email them to me.  I am always looking for the perfect photo to paint!   This will be the last post this week;  I have food to cook and presents to wrap and a precious grandchild to spoil.  Have a wonderful Christmas and please check the next posting on Monday for more snow paintings!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Clouds

Parkway Series #74   11 x 14   oil    $85.

I've been having great fun getting snow pictures from below the Parkway, however it is frustrating to not be able to actually get on the Parkway.  With 18+ inches of snow along the Blue Ridge who knows how long it will be closed.  I will try to get shots of overpasses from below and rely on photos I already have to sustain me through this time.  However, I did get a photo of the snow clouds rolling in a few days ago.  And the paintings this week and next will be on blue backgrounds so the "cold effect" should definitely be there!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Farewell to Orange

Parkway Series #73   11 x 14    oil    Sold

With a foot of snow in the forecast for tonight and tommorrow, this will be the last painting with bright fall colors until next year!  I loved the bright blue sky and orange hill in the scene but my love of colors will have to wait until the spring.  Winter has officially descended upon the Blue Ridge and I am excited to get lots of practce with painting snow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Warmth

Parkway Series #72    11 x 14   oil     Sold

As of yet, I have not really painted "coldness"; even my snow paintings have been painted on warm orange backgrounds.  This painting portrays the winter trees and cold lake with warmth around it in the yellows, reds and oranges.  Next week my plan is to paint on blue backgrounds.  As the temperature dips into the teens I feel it is time to really paint the essence of winter.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Parkway Series #71    11 x 14   oil    $85.

How many times have you ever been in absolute quiet?  Snow must act as insulation against noise or maybe it's just that the whole world is indoors trying to keep warm.  Whatever the case, I am so aware of the quiet when I'm alone in the snow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Artist's Thoughts

Parkway Series #70    11 x 14   oil    Sold

1.  The more I paint, the more I am convinced I have to learn.
2.  The more beautiful the scene, the more diifficult it is to convey the beauty.
3.  A copy of the original is never as grand as the original.
4. One day I hope to paint the beauty of Heaven with a perfected gift.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soli Deo Gloria

Parkway Series #69    11 x 14   oil   $85.

Johannes Sebastian Bach signed all of his work with  "SDG"  Soli Deo Gloria, For God's Glory alone.  I find this very inspirational.  My goal is that my work would reflect the One who gives me the ability to work.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Lake

Parkway Series #68   11 x 14   oil    $85.

The Peaks of Otter Lake in winter is just as beautiful as in summer.  In this painting, the icy blue water and winter chill are soften by the warm earth and sunny benches inviting the viewer to sit and rest for a while.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

White Trees

Parkway Series #67    11 x 14    oil      $85.

Winter white trees against dark backgrounds always capture my eye.  The composition and contrast in this image really work well.  I found this scene looking back at the Explore Park Spur from the parking lot that leads to fabulous hiking trails.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Back to the Sun

Parkway Series #66   11 x 14   oil     Sold        prints now available 
There are more snow paintings to come, but my body perceives a Vitamin D deficiency coming on if I do not paint sunlight for more than two days. This is heading around the bend south of Vinton just before you cross Yellow Mountain Road.  I could not resist the low sun, and long shadows.  And the color of the mountain was so blue!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Parkway Series #65   11 x 14    oil    Sold

At first I was thinking that monochromatic color was the hurdle but I think the lack of sun and definitive shadows was the biggest stretch for me.  I am so used to painting contrast that harmony is harder to achieve due to the subtle gradations in value.  I wish I could have gotten to the top of those gorgeous mountains on Sunday when the sun was out but the Parkway was closed.  I guess I'll have to keep practicing these low key paintings.  I'm sure the more I paint the more comfortable I will become.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Parkway Series #64   11 x 14     oil    Sold

I quickly headed for the Parkway Saturday morning, drove north from 460 as far as road conditions would allow, then went south toward Vinton until the snow turned to rain.  How exciting and beautiful to see the world white!!!  My fears of blue and gray were quickly overcome!!  Painting snow however, is new and feels so different from the red-orange palette I am used to mixing.  I need more practice with this.  Hopefully more is to come!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Blue Shadows

Parkway Series #63   12 x 16   oil    Sold

I have painted this scene before in a horizontal format using cool colors. (See #56) Changing color temperature gives a whole different feel to this painting.  The complements of orange and blue also differ from the more analogous colors used in the first rendition, adding a bit more energy to this painting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Parkway Series #62   12 x 16    oil    Sold      prints now available

This painting reminds me of something in my childhood.  I think the flatness of the land and the tall trees remind me more of the Piedmont area of Virginia ( I grew up in Chesterfield)  than the mountains.  I really like the colors of light and shadow on the ground.  It is interesting how we are drawn to nostalgic images and colors from our past.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unusual Perspective

Parkway Series #61    12 x 16   oil    $85.

A friend of mine, Beth Simmons, took this photograph and gave me permission to paint it.  I would love to paint it again on a much larger canvas.  Great perspective and great composition! Thanks, Beth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peaks of Otter Bridge II

Parkway Series #60     12 x 16   oil    Sold

I've had several requests for another bridge scene;  this is one of the most remembered scenes at the Peaks.  Even after the trees have shed their leaves, its beauty still remains.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Radial Design

Parkway Series #59    12 x 16    oil   Sold

In choosing this image to paint, I was interested in the perspective of the shadows and the backlighting effect on the tree.  The glow on the water creates a focal point behind the tree.  Even though centering the focal point is not often done, the symmetry of the tree and shadows and the highlighted center work togther in this painting to create somewhat of a radial design.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

View of Cahas Mountain

Parkway Series #58   12 x 16    oil    Sold

I have a large family descending on my house for Thanksgiving, so I will be taking a short break to cook and clean for the holidays.  Enjoy this breathtaking view for a few days and I will post the next painting on Monday.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jasper Tree

Parkway Series #57     12 x 16    oil    $85.

I took a class, taught by Caroline Jasper, several years ago;  she is the one who has inspired all the red backgrounds on which I paint. When I saw this tree, I was reminded of her; it is painted in the Jasper style and very similar to one of her paintings.  I guess we are all made up of influences from those who have gone before us.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Creative Color

Parkway Series #56    12 x 16   oil     Sold

Most of the time I paint local colors; that is, I try to match my paint to the exact color of the image.  With this painting, however, I chose to experiment with cooler colors. The reds and teals work well together.  As winter approaches I will probably be challenged to be more creative with color.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back to School

Parkway Series #55    12 x 16     oil      Sold

Faith Christian School, whose property backs up to the Parkway commissioned this painting of the Parkway Overpass on Buck Mountain Road in Roanoke County.  The fall colors, I'm sure, will remind many of Back to School Days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moment in Time

Parkway Series #54       12 x 16   oil      Sold      prints now available

I will be very Thankful next Thursday for a job that allows me to capture time and beauty.  How delightful to capture a moment in time and record it's beauty forever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shadows and Reflections

Parkway Series #53    12 x 16   oil    Sold

There are many differences between shadows and reflections.  The angle of the sun has a direct relationship to the shadow and not to the reflection.  The angle of the object has an inverse relationship to the reflection and not to the shadow.  Color can be distorted in the reflection depending on the sky color and other surrounding colors; the color of light more so than shadows are distorted from adjacent colors.  I'm sure there are many more differences; artists perceive these differences many times without really being aware of them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beautiful Places

Parkway Series #52     12 x 16    oil     Sold       prints now available

What a fabulous weekend to be out in the sun.  These two had the right idea!  There are not many more beautiful places to soak up the last rays of warm sunlight than the Peaks of Otter lake.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Late Evening

Parkway Series #51   12 x 16   oil    Sold

Coming back down the mountain from Mabry's Mill, the long awaited sun was just coming out from behind clouds and fog that had hung over us all day.  I caught this incredible view just as the sun was setting.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where the Red Ferns Grow

Parkway Series # 50   12 x 16  oil    Sold

On our way to eat dinner at Mabry's Mill this Sunday afternoon, we were caught in the fog along the top of the mountains.  The dull foggy grays were broken by the beautiful red ferns at Bull Run Knob.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blue Sky Reflections

Parkway Series #49     12 x 16     oil,    Sold

With the rain this week,  I am very glad that I took lots of photos last Sunday at the Peaks.  I will continue to paint "around the lake" for the next few weeks.  In this painting, the lodge is across the lake just to the right of the shadowed leaves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lake View

Parkway Series #48    12 x 16    oil    Sold

As we hiked around the Peaks of Otter lake with Sharp Top behind us, my eye was drawn to this view of the lake.  It seemed to be framed by the red leaves and blue sky reflection.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Autumn at the Peaks

Parkway Series # 47    12 x 16   oil      Sold
I've had many requests for Peaks of Otter lake paintings, so for the next couple of weeks I will be posting these.  Walking around the lake, I was next to the road on the upper end with the lodge behind and to the left when I took the photograph for this painting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Never a Problem

Parkway Series #46   12 x 16    oil      Sold

This section of roadway captured my eye because of the steep drop off which allowed such a beautiful view of the mountains.  The contrasting colors of yellow and purple,  blue and orange and the strong diagonal shadows were a plus too!  I never have a problem with subject matter on the Parkway.  Actually up there, there never seems to be a problem with anything!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Peaks of Otter Bridge

Parkway Series # 45    12 x 16   oil    Sold

People in the landscape many times add to the "story" of the image.  Developing a story that draws a personal response from the viewer is just as important as composition and technique.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Parkway Series #44  11 x 14    oil    Sold

On these fall days of low humidity, you can see forever.  The overlooks are so different from the "dog days" of summer.  I love to see people take lounge chairs and binoculars and just sit for hours observing nature. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Peaks of Otter

Parkway Series #43    12 x 16   oil    Sold

Looking out over the Peaks of Otter lake from the lodge, the warm shadows from this beautiful golden tree caught my eye.  The air was chilly but the sun light coming through the tree warmed my soul.  Light is an amazing thing;  I always sense a Presence in Light.  Can you imagine a world without it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Full Color

Parkway Series #42     12 x 16    oil    Sold

Painting nature in its most dramatic is overwhelming.  Autumn justice can only come from the Original Creator.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Parkway Series # 41   12 x 16   oil    $85.

Animals along the parkway are always interesting subjects.  I have tried to get photos of deer and cranes and turkeys but so far the images have not been exactly right for a painting.  Composing this photo with diagonals added some eye movement to a very peaceful scene.  The pasture is south of 220  before ascending Bent Mountain.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Long Shadows

Parkway Series # 40   12 x 16   oil   Sold

Being low in the sky, the late afternoon autumn sun was coming directly through the trees on the right across the road.  I love the highlighted trees and purple shadows. This is a section of Parkway south of 220 driving North as it flattens out in the valley.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Parkway Series #39   12 x 16   oil   Sold

Traveling the Parkway up the mountain, south of 220, this overlook is on the right, a view of Lost Mountain.  I  remember composing with the camera.  The zig zag diagonals move the eye into the painting.  The dullness of color pushes the image back and the intensity of color (reds and purples) pulls the image forward.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Parkway Series #38   11 x 14   oil     SOLD
The perspective in this picture interested me.  Normally paved roads are not that interesting.  There has to be something like shadows or color or perspective that convinces me to paint a road.  Country dirt roads take me back to a time of a simpler life and have a story that appeals to the imagination, but paved roads remind me too much of the fast pace of life and technology to which I have an aversion.  The Parkway slows me down enough to engage it as a subject, but even still I find myself continuing to be drawn to other elements of the Parkway, like trees and overlooks and animals and sunlight and color.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Peak Weekend

Parkway Series # 37  11 x 14 oil   Sold

Driving the Parkway is glorious with the yellow golds and breathtaking red/orange leaves.  Saturday was overcast but still exhillarating.  The fall colors have peaked and the Parkway was packed with people on Saturday and Sunday.  It was bumper to bumper at the Peaks yesterday.  What fun to hike along the lake and smell the woodland scents.  I have some  great photos of the lake and I'm excited to begin work on some water scenes soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blue Skies Ahead

Parkway Series #36   11 x 14   oil    Sold         prints now available

As I traveled the Parkway, south of 220, this cloudy day I was disappointed because of the lack of sun.  Then coming down the mountain toward Roanoke, the sun finally came out.  I was so exicited I took the photograph for this painting out of the front windshield of the car!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Warm Shadows

Parkway Series #35   11 x 14   oil    Sold

Value trumps color.  Even though shadows should be cool, I enjoy switching warm and cool colors just for the creative effect.  The warm shadows on the road fill the painting with warmth.  This is the road leading up from the river at Explore Park.  I am so sorry to see overgrown paths and picnic pavillions with no tables!  My prayer is that someone would see the potential of this beautiful place and save it from profits, greed and lack of love for beauty and nature.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mill Mountain Park

Parkway Series #34   11 x 14   oil     $85.

The sidewalk near the Star on Mill Mountain became a canvas for abstract patterns on this sunny day.  My "road paintings" may be interrupted occassionally for rabbit trails like this one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

S. E. Overpass

Parkway Series #33    11 x 14     oil     Sold         prints now available

This is the overpass between Vinton (Rt 24) and Buck Mountain (Rt 220).  I feel that after completing the last six weeks of paintings, I am beginning to feel the landscapes rolling off my brush quicker and easier and more successful than ever before.  I know all this practice will pay off.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Read Mountain Overlook

Parkway Series #32   11 x 14   oil    Sold
Just south of 460 looking north, this overlook has a great view of Read Mountain and the valley near Bonsack.  It was, however, the red dogwood that caught my eye.  After the frost last night, the single red trees will now blend into a blaze of red and orange that will be hard to distinguish one from the other.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Overpass in Purple

Parkway Series #31  11 x 14   oil   Sold

I appreciate all the encouraging emails and comments about my Parkway Paintings.  Many of the admirers have suggested more roads, overpasses and bridges.  The first of the series of "road" paintings is the 460 overpass between Bonsack and Blue Ridge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October Skies

Parkway Series #30  12 x 16  oil   Sold

The angle of the sun and lack of humidity make October skies the most fabulous of the year.  I'm again, back at the Explore Park Spur for this sunrise.  The actual painting has a bit more color in the sky than this image suggests.