Monday, May 31, 2010

Rhododendron at the Peaks

Parkway Series #181  12 x 16   oil   Sold

The series of paintings this week and part of next week are from the Peaks of Otter.  The rhododendron near the lodge were in full bloom.  This path is between the lodge and the dining hall; the late afternoon lighting added a magical effect to the incredible beauty of the moment.

Friday, May 28, 2010

In search of rhododendron

Parkway Series #180   12 x 16   oil   Sold

I am in search of rhododendron on the mountains.  The next few paintings will record my journey north and south to find the soft pinks and vibrant magentas of the wild "rhodos".  I was amazed at this rock with actually  reflected the same colors.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Capturing Beauty

Parkway Series #179   12 x 16   oil   $95.

My attention was pulled away from the trail into this woodland area by the sunlight filtering through the trees onto the warm forest floor.  The highlighted area of grass was flooded with light but individual leaves were sparkling everywhere with shimmering light.  It is really hard to do justice to the beauty of some moments.  My soul wants to capture the essence of this earthly beauty but sometimes it really is beyond our finite minds and talents to do it.  There is an ethereal, supernatural beauty that our soul longs for that we will not really know how to describe or paint until we come face to face with it in Heaven!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Within Shadows

Parkway Series #178  12 x 16   oil    Sold

Painting within shadows is an interesting exercise.  If you squint your eyes you should not see any value change within the shadowed areas.  Creating different colors of the same value is not as easy as you would think.  I believe I was successful in this painting working with similar color values within larger shadowed shapes.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Looking Up

Parkway Series #177  12 x 16   oil     $95.

Wearing bi-focals, I am very careful when it comes to going up and down stairs or when hiking deeply rutted trails.  Because, most of the time, I am so intensely looking at the trails, I am always amazed when I look up! What an incredible lesson is in this thought!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shadow Patterns

Parkway Series #176  12 x 16   oil  sold

Hiking down from Linville Falls, I found myself in the midst of rhododendron shadows.  The patterns on the ground were so interesting that I knew there was a painting before me.  Of course, there are no shadows without light;  I am finding that as this series progresses, it is the "Light" for which  I am continually searching.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Iron Mine Hollow

Parkway Series # 175   12 x 16   oil   Sold

The implied lines of the clouds, mountains and rocks all seem to converge into the center of this painting.  The focal point, however, is pushed to the right side, with the darkest dark and lightest light being in the foreground area of rocks.  After teaching composition for many years, it is great to be able to now compose for myself with either the camera or the paint brush!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Big Picture of Life

Parkway Series #174  12 x 16   oil    Sold

Being up high and looking out over the earth prompts many reactions.  As each viewer observes this painting or the vistas in real life it would be interesting to know first thoughts.  My first thought is of thankfulness to be there (in the big picture), to sense the peace and order of creation; the second is wonderment at all the confusion and busyness of those below (in the details of life) and their lack of opportunity to enjoy the peacefulness and awe of creation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Price Lake II

Parkway Series #173  12 x 16  oil   Sold

The horizontal value patterns attracted my eye in this image of lake and mountains.  Many times I squint my eyes to reduce details and see the big picture before I paint an image.  I like the simplicity of value patterns and symmetry;  the land masses are also large simplified shapes of green with definition at the edges and in the gradations of color within them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Linville Falls IV

Parkway Series # 172   12 x 16  oil     Sold

This is one of my favorite paintings of the series.  The sounds and smells of water and wood, and the warmth of sunlight bring life to the painting.  The blue greens of the water and foliage mirror each other with softness and color; and the whole compostition seems to flow with the hard linear lines and shapes of the rocks.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Parkway Series # 171   12 x 16   oil   Sold 

I was amazed at damage from the winter's ice storms as we drove along the Parkway this Spring.  Some areas looked like a tornado had ripped the trees apart.  This tree was young and minimally damaged;  many of the older, larger trees had been snapped in half like a match stick.  Nature can be devastated but regeneration comes with the Spring.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Price Lake

Parkway Series #170  12 x 16   oil   Sold

Just north of Linville Falls is the Julian Price Memorial Park.  The 4,000+ acres includes a beautiful lake right on the Parkway.  I was excited to get several great shots of water and mountains on a perfect day for lighting and reflections.  Painting this lake was so theraputic;  it was like sitting there for a few hours just taking in the beauty.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Linville Falls III

Parkway Series #169   12 x 16   oil   Sold

Capturing people on the Parkway, whether sitting in the sun, or riding bikes, or fishing is always the perfect image to convey the joy of our world.  Appreciation for our incredible natural environment is one of my goals in this series of paintings.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Linville Falls II

Parkway Series #168  12 x 16  oil   Sold    prints now available

It is quite obvious to me that when I have great photos and great inspiration it is much easier to paint.  I think being excited about the image is more than half the battle.  The paintings I am posting this week were done with the greatest of ease and I believe they are some of the best of the series.  Spring and summer on the Parkway will be the glass of lemonade that I needed to pump up the adrenaline so I am able finish the race well!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Light on the Path

Parkway Series #167   12 x 16   oil   Sold

I love the metaphor of "light on the path".  All of my life, I have felt the Lord leading me in "the way I should go", not that I always heeded His directions.  As my husband and I hiked this trail up to Linville Falls, I was captured by the magical moment of light filtering through the trees and going before us!  This moment was so breaktaking I had to paint it.  Sometimes it is hard to do justice to these moments, but it's fun to try.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mt. Mitchell, N. C.

Parkway Series #166  12 x 16  oil    $85.   Sold    prints now available

We were extremely surprised on our trip to Ashville when we ran into heavy ice on Mt. Mitchell.  My expectations of beautiful flowers at Craggy Gardens and hiking to Crabtree Falls was shattered with ice laden trees, fog, and bitter cold winds.  I guess I forgot that seasons can change with just a few feet of elevation.  Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi;  the next time we try "going South" will be late August!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Linville Falls

Parkway Series # 165  12 x 16  oil   SOLD

The sound of water running over rocks and the warm sunlight and the woodland smells all filled my senses as I hiked along the path up to the falls on this gorgeous day.  The water was so clear you could see the sandy bottom and so the rougher water reflected the sky and the in calmer places the yellow- ochre of the sand gave the water a greenish tint.  The blue-violet of the rocks and the yellow-green of the grass and water fill the painting with complementary colors and the dark warm reds peeking through in the background add even more subtle contrast.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tanbark Tunnel

Parkway Series #164   12 x 16  oil    Sold    prints now available

Virginia has many Parkway bridges even double bridges but I would be interested to know if there are any Parkway tunnels.  The North Carolina tunnels are amazingly beautiful.  This tunnel painting, because of the many shades of green, was painted on a red background for contrast.  The red highlights add to the drama of the light and dark patterns.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tanbark Ridge Overlook

Parkway Series #163  12 x 16   oil   Sold

The North Carolina mountains are much higher than the Virginia mountains.  On our trip to Ashville, I wanted to capture the incredible views and rolling countryside.  The blues and greens and spring time yellows carpeted the landscape to create a tapestry that is so unique to that area;  I believe there a few places in the world that can compare to the beauty of the Blue Ridge.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Intelligent Design

Parkway Series #162  11 x 14   acrylic  Sold      prints now available

The redbud trees along the Parkway this Spring have been fantastic.  The pink-violets and yellow-greens are contrasting colors on the color wheel and they display  beauty in a dramatic way.  Intelligent design is needed for beauty to exist.  Beauty is not by chance;  it is ordered and ordained by the Lord.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wild Apple Trees

Parkway Series #161  11 x 14   acrylic  SOLD

Our trip to Ashville was great!  I was able to get lots of photos of "Spring on the Parkway" but we also encountered "Winter on the Parkway", too!  Mount Mitchell was covered in several inches of ice! and Craggy Gardens was closed along with sections of the Parkway.  I guess we will have to make another trip in the summer.  In the meantime, I will be painting some exciting vistas of the North Carolina mountains and Linville Falls.  The red buds, dogwoods and apple trees were especially eye-catching as we journeyed through the countryside.