Friday, February 26, 2010
Finally the snow is beginning to melt. As the sun was setting, I captured the orange grass and the blue shadows under these trees off the Parkway ramp to 460. It was exciting to see the warm earth again. I heard the Farmer's Almanac has predicted much more snow in March so I was out yesterday taking photos of melting snow with the hope of at least a small reprieve from the "frozen tundra" landscapes of the last few months.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This is a view of Roanoke Mountain from Mill Mountain. The small gravel road is a maintenance road behind the zoo and the road in the background is the spur that runs from the Parkway up to the Star. The mountain was so blue on this wintry day. The overcast sky allowed for no shadows and very muted color but the "Blue Ridges" seemed to glow with pride in the fact that they never change.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This is the same scene I painted back in the summer (#11) except that it is painted from a different angle in the winter. A different season or time of day, even though it is the same place, can totally change a painting. It is interesting to make the parallel to our own lives - how we change over time and in the different seasons of our lives.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Parkway Series #117 12 x 16 oil Sold
With the rain and the fog the last few days, I was prompted to repaint an old image (#69) again with a different color scheme. This painting has less pink and more blue; it has less sun and more fog. The actual scene was very quiet and there was no one else around for miles. The painting captures the quiet stillness of winter. However, after I finish this weeks series of muted winter paintings I am going to start painting on red backgrounds again!! I have already gessoed the canvases; stay tuned for some much more lively paintings!
Monday, February 22, 2010
The days are getting longer; the birds are singing and the snow is melting!! Virginia weather has been more like Minnesota weather this year. However, the temps rose into the high 50's on Saturday and I was able to get out in the sun and take photos in a ten mile stretch of the Parkway that opened this weekend. March is only a week away!!
Friday, February 19, 2010
There is beauty in the close-ups of nature, just as much as the panoramic vistas of far away. Sometimes the close-up feels more personal because of the sensory response. Can you smell the pine needles? Can you feel the sappy bark? Does the icy snow make your face tingle? I crawled under this tree to get the photo and it was fun to sit in the crunchy snow and capture the sunlight on the trunk of the tree. After the walk, however, it was good to get home and bake in front of a warm fire!!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sunlight and shadow were the intriguing factors in this image. The color of the sky and its reflection on the snow shadows provide the unity and serenity I felt when coming upon this scene. The diagonal hill and below horizon perspective all made for the perfect painting.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Last month, I painted this Parkway overpass from the other side; it sold the day it was posted. This painting sold before it was posted!! Maybe I should paint it in every season, at different times of day like Monet painted his haystacks!!! Thanks to all my loyal followers; I appreciate your emails and encouragement and support of my daily painting marathon. The rigorous discipline is producing greater skill and determination to succeed at being known as the "Blue Ridge Daily Painter". I am now, not only selling locally, in Virginia, but shipping paintings to Texas, Florida, North Carolina and, very soon, Minnesota.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
On this cold February morning, I'm making plans for Spring. My husband and I are going to drive the Parkway from Roanoke to Ashville in April. I plan to take hundreds of photos along the way. I already have commissions for Mount Mitchell, Crabtree Falls and Tanbark Ridge Tunnel. If anyone else has suggestions of specific sites along the Parkway, please email and let me know.
Monday, February 15, 2010
The typography of the Appalachians is beautiful. The peaks and valleys and the roll of the land forms waves and swells just as the ocean does. Sometimes the white snow allows one to see this better than the greens of summer or oranges of fall.
Friday, February 12, 2010
This is the Parkway overpass between Vinton and 220. The Parkway was open briefly between snows in January. However, having it closed for such a long time is definitely affecting inspiration. I enjoy working from photos but I am finding the experience of physically being on the Parkway is really important to this series of paintings. My motivation and passion are dwindling as the snow days drag on.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This is the creek that runs into the Roanoke River, just north of the Roanoke River overlook. The diagonal composition and complementary colors (blue and orange) caught my eye as we were stopped on the Parkway for construction work on the bridge. My husband is very patient when I jump out of the car and snap pictures of random things. He can never figure out what I am looking for in a photograph. I just know it when I see it!!!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
In painting the landscape, there are always choices between subtleties and dramatic contrast. Winter is a study of subtleties most of the time but I find myself searching for drama in most photographic compositions. In this weeks paintings, I am trying to stay within a narrow neutral palette and concentrate on correct values in order to portray the essence of winter; but I am still fighting my passion for color!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The stretch of Parkway between 460 and 220 is the only part of the Parkway I have been able to get to since Christmas and now that is closed too because of snow. Even with the few weeks it was open, I was able to get hundreds of photos of the Parkway as it winds through the valley and I am amazed at even in that small area how many great painting ideas I have. Many artists struggle with what to paint. I honestly feel that I could paint every day for the rest of my life and never run out of subject matter on the Parkway.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I've had enough snow for a while and I need more color than blue. A bit of orange and purple feels warm and hopeful that new life will begin soon. As the Parkway winds through the valley, this scene caught my attention because of its soft and muted tones.
Friday, February 5, 2010
The designs created by the shadows were so beautiful on the white snow. I was very excited to try this painting because of the abstract patterns and I thought it would be easy. Actually, this painting was very hard. I will probably go back and work on it again after it is dry.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Because the Parkway has been closed for some time, due to snow, snow and more snow, and because I am getting a bit bored with photos from a few months ago, I decided to compose my own Parkway image. I took several photos, added and subtracted from them and came up with this compostition. I really like the blue sky, shadows and snow laden tree. After I finished, however, I realized the snow covered road is a bit more narrow than the Parkway. It was freeing to get away from the photo and play around with the image. I may try this again.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
After a fling with color the last couple of weeks, I am back to blue-gray monotones this week. I anticipate that Spring really will be here soon so I might as well practice this before color breaks out everywhere. These blue paintings are fun for a while but I have found that I cannot stay there for long. If we get another snow storm this weekend, as predicted, I may have to start imagining orange or purple snow!!! Stay tuned to see how brave I can get!!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The composition of the clouds and the snow grabbed my eye as I passed by this farm adjacent to the Parkway near the Bent Mountain exit. The diagonal arc of the clouds is mirrored in the arc of the hill and even the shadowed hill of snow behind the fence mirrors the blue sky above. Just found this symmetry interesting.
Monday, February 1, 2010
As the snow rolled back in this weekend, I did not talk to anyone who was not excited about being homebound for a few days. These black cows were actually walking faster than I have ever seen cows walk, headed for hay and a warm barn. The photo was taken on the southeast side of the parkway just south of 460.