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   Sold

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.