Friday, January 29, 2010
No Parkway series would be complete without the Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain. The evergreen hollies in front and pines in the back help to frame the Star in summer and winter for tourists who come from all over the world to view the Star City City of the South.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The maintenance road behind the Mill Mountain Zoo provided a perfect place to hike last Saturday as temperatures rose into the 50's. The wet winter has left its stamp on the rocks and trees with an abundance of lichens and moss. The blue-greens contrast nicely with the red-oranges of the leaves. I'm continually surprised at how much color I am finding in winter landscapes.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Reflections are so fascinating; they mirror surrounding areas, occasionally with more vivid colors than the actual image. Monet painted reflections as his subject matter sometimes leaving out the real image, itself. This is the lake at the Peaks of Otter at the bottom of Sharp Top looking back across the lake toward the lodge.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Why is the sound of water so relaxing? Does it drown out the noise of the world? Is the monotone a sleep inducing lullaby? I am not sure, but one thing I know; I could have watched the show and listened to the music for hours.
Monday, January 25, 2010
In the cold rain, I found a few red ferns refusing to fall to the ground. I applaud their tenacity. Holding tightly to the source of Life, to convictions, to family and friends when everything around is letting go ushers in new growth and strength of character that the icy winds of time cannot destroy.
Friday, January 22, 2010
This large rock and tree mark the entrance to the overlook at Bull Run Knob between Cahas Mountain and Poor Mountain. The afternoon light cast great shadows on the rock but the surface of rocks, itself ,is fabulous to paint. I love the reflective nature of rocks and their undulating surfaces. I had so much fun with this painting I am going to look for more rocks to paint!!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"The Heavens declare the Glory of God." (Psalms 19:1) "God's glory is the evidence of all that God is in His perfection and it gives visibility to God." (Artice Ledbetter) What powerful statements! Maybe I should consider painting the sky every day for a year!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
At this time of year my body craves sunlight. I catch every opportunity I can to get outside; you never know when the next foot of snow will fall! This couple found a great spot at the Peaks of Otter lake to relax and soak up enough Vitamin D to last a few more weeks!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The setting sun was taking its last look over the shadowed hill behind these grasses. The feathered grass caught the last rays of sun light which lit them up like fireworks in the night. Trying to paint the high key contrast effectively was a challenge.
Monday, January 18, 2010
The Parkway is finally open again after much snow and many days of freezing temps. I look forward to getting new photos soon. This is Rakes Mill Pond near the Bent Mountain exit. The reflection in the water caught my eye and the feeling of serenity touched my heart. When my eye and my heart both start jumping, I know it is something I have to paint.
Friday, January 15, 2010
As the warm sun begins to thaw the frozen ground, a mist rises from the crusty ice that shrouds everything in shades of purple and blue. Through my zoom lens the scene looks even more ethereal. This farm sits off the Parkway south of 460. I have painted it in summer, fall and winter, yet the seasons change it so much it is hardly recognizable as the same place.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The warm sunlight on cold mountains brings the hope of new life and new beginnings in this landscape of January beauty. As afraid as I was of trying to capture the essense of winter beauty, I am coming to love the muted tones and monochromatic colors of these ancient ridges "now trundled in gray and brown humus, green moss, crusty snow, and whitish knobs of hoarfrost, their stiff oak leaves rattling in the wind overhead". (Liza Field)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
"For what sake do winter mountains, creeks and wild creatures exist? For a reason beyond human reason, beyond known words, yet which calls to us more than ever, to understand." These were Liza Field's words in summation of her column on "January Beauty" in Saturday's Roanoke Times newspaper. I would like to add an "Amen" and agree with her assessment of our utilitarian, functional, profit and time-driven world. Very few realize the human need for Beauty. Not only do we need the incredible beauty of nature, we need to stand in awe of the One who created it and realize the Presence of Beauty "restores our soul". Ps. 23
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
In spite of the deep freeze we are all experiencing, this is a reminder that Virginia weather can change on a dime. We usually do have warm days in January and February when it is possible to get outside in the sun. This image was photographed in Novemeber near the Explore Park Spur. I admire those who can bike the steep hills of the Parkway.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Mabry's Mill is closed for the winter. However, my husband and I were there on the last day they were open, back in November. It was rainy and cold and the grist mill (which has been painted at least a million times by local artists) was not particularly photographic that day. As we waited to eat at the restaurant, we were entertained by a wonderful quartet of musicians. Virginia's music and Virginia's mountains are inseparable, so I determined in November that this was definitely an image I needed to include in my series.
Friday, January 8, 2010
I am looking forward to Spring on the Parkway!!! Look at the bud on this rhododendron! Even in freezing temps, this one must be looking forward to Spring too. After the snows melt and the days get longer we should have a fabulous Spring. I am excited about studying the wildflowers and learning a lot about the order in which everthing blooms. Guess I need to start reading now!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
It is very hard to get photos of the valley in snow because there is even more snow at higher elevations. This is a shot from Parkway Wesleyan looking back at the ridge on which the Parkway runs. I have actually painted the valley from the overlook on the mountains in the distance so it was interesting to get a view from the other side.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
With wind chill factors in the zero range, I am relying on photos from several weeks ago. I love hiking but not in this weather!! If anyone has photos of their favorite places on the Parkway, please email them to me. At least the snow will stay around for a long, long time. Before the winter is over, I may take a week's "vacation" from winter and paint summer again, just for fun and relief from the "blues" of winter!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
If lines dominate a painting, I would rather have diagonal or vertical lines than horizontal. Vertical lines have a more majestic feel. They point to the heavenlies; they have a reverence about them; they form a path for more eye movement. Shape, however, is necessary for contrast. The dark shape of the background trees to the right and the smaller shapes of leaves keep the eye from traveling off the top of the painting and force attention back to the diagonal shadows on the ground. The diagonal shadows were actually the element that attracted my attention in the first place.
Monday, January 4, 2010
A problem with winter landscapes is too many lines. Trees without leaves are nothing but lines in varying widths. Even the leaves that remain sometimes appear as random dots instead of interesting shapes. I like this painting because of the more successful shapes and fewer lines.