Monday, January 31, 2011

Emerging from Darkness

Parkway Series #303    12 x 16   oil    Sold

Light is seen best when it emerges from darkness.  Capturing the effects of light involves shadows, cast shadows, highlights, light bounce and reflective light, all of which help to create spatial depth in painting.  I am learning, however, how important the dark areas are.  Without the darkness, light is not perceived with its intense shimmering effects that are soooo captivating......interesting thought that could apply to many areas of life......

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fall Color

Parkway Series #302   12 x 16   oil     Sold

The fall color in 2010 seemed to come and go way too quickly!! It seemed that there were only two or three weeks of splendor before the winter winds ushered the leaves to the ground.  I am taking advantage of the winter doldrums and continuing to paint the beauty of fall.  From the top of Roanoke Mountain, looking south east toward Windy Gap mountain, I was able to get a great image of fall color in the valley.  The sky reflecting in the lake was an incredible azure and the complimentary oranges added the perfect contrast.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mill Mountain Star III

Parkway Series #301   12 x 16   oil    Sold

From Stewarts Knob overlook, there is a view not only of the star but the downtown area of Roanoke.  As far as I know, it is the only place to get a good shot of Roanoke from the Parkway other than the Mill Mountain Star overlook.  I usually do not paint the same scene twice but I have had a few requests to do this one again.  The first painting of this scene was posted on July 2, 2010.  This one is a bit different in the color of the sky and in the foliage but otherwise is very similar.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Milepost 105.8 II

Parkway Series #298   12 x 16   oil    Sold

This is a vertical rendition of the bridge painting I posted yesterday.  A neighbor commissioned this work and several other followers have expressed interest in specific Parkway locations especially as I travel south toward the North Carolina line.  As Spring approaches, I will be on location painting and taking more photographs; and by June, I will be covering the area between milepost 300 and 469 much more extensively.  Let me know your requests!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Milepost 105.8

Parkway Series #297   12 x 16   oil    $125.

My bridge series continues with the 460 overpass at milepost 105.8.  I painted this bridge in the snow last year on March 1 (#121).  A late summer version from the opposite direction becomes a whole new painting. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Back to the Sun II

Parkway Series #296   12 x 16    oil    SOLD

Adding to my repertoire of Parkway bridges, I painted another in south east Roanoke very close to the one posted yesterday.  I love the option of painting a different season each day; last year I challenged myself to paint "the day" each day and by the end of winter I was so tried of blue and gray and snow that I felt I would never paint a winter scene again!  As long as I can get "back to the sun" and feel the warmth of summer every now and then, I can survive winter!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parkway Overpass

Parkway Series # 295   12 x 16    oil    Sold

I have had many requests for more paintings of Parkway bridges and overpasses.  This Parkway overpass (around milepost 118) was painted in the summer (#229) and in the fall (#33).  It is interesting to compare the same image in different seasons.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pointing to Heaven

Parkway Series #294   12 x 16   oil    SOLD

Around milepost 362 in North Carolina, at an elevation of 5200' it seems that ice and snow remain on the mountains most of the winter.  The winds are brutal but the scenery is spectacular!  The evergreen trees are tall and stately. Even with their boughs laden with snow, they still proudly point to the Heavens declaring the glory of God!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Big Picture of Life

Parkway Series #293   12 x 16    oil    Sold

Near Slings Gap (aroung mile post 140) I found a wide shoulder on which to walk a few miles.  The air was warm and very low in humidity but the woodland smells are what I remember first about this walk.  Sometimes memories are so attached to smells!  The decaying leaves and mountain breeze reminded me of hiking through the woods at home in Chesterfield County many years ago.  The feeling of being transported back home, going back 40 years in time, seemed to take hold of me and the big picture of life brought a sense of rest and peace back into my minute by minute, detail oriented mentality.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beauty of Fall

Parkway Series # 292   12 x 16   oil    Sold

In this painting, the tree from yesterday's post is in the background to the right; Mabry's Mill pond is in the foreground.  My desire is that on a bitterly cold, snowy January morning you feel the warm sun and experience the incredible beauty of a perfect Fall day on the Parkway.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Elements of Design

Parkway Series #291   12 x 16   oil    Sold

In the fall I was able to get fabulous photos of the area around Mabry's Mill.  The mill itself has been painted sooooo many times I decided to paint the area around it instead.  This tree is across the road from the pond/mill.  It was late afternoon and the sun was setting behind the tree highlighting the tree and foreground with incredible patterns of light and color.  I love the abstract quality of the elements of design in this image.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

April Ice Storm, Mt. Mitchell

Parkway Series #290   12 x 16   oil     SOLD

Last year in April, my husband and I took a trip to Asheville.  I was totally surprised to find ice instead of flowers on the Parkway!  Portions of the road were closed and we had to make several detours to even complete the trip.  Mt. Mitchell and Craggy Gardens were covered in ice;  it was beautiful but bitterly cold.  This year we are planning another trip but we will definitely wait until June!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blue Ridge Blues

Parkway Series #289     12 x 16   oil    Sold

Between milepost 30 and milepost 40 there is a stretch of roadway that has tremendous views of the valley.  The elevation is about 3,000 feet which is pretty high for Virginia mountains.  Apple Orchard Overlook, at 3,900 feet is the highest point of the parkway in Virginia.  This image looking north west into the Shenandoah Valley captured my attention with the luminous blues of the Blue Ridge.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ethereal Glow

Parkway Series #288   12 x 16   oil    Sold

On my way up Roanoke Mountain one afternoon in the fall, I caught this image of the sunlight cascading through the trees and highlighting individual leaves with an ethereal glow that was breathtaking.  I am really enjoying working from old photos and not pushing myself to paint the daily vistas especially this time of year.  Although I am amazed at the January beauty I found last year in the cold barren "tundra" of the snowy Blue Ridge, I much prefer to paint warmth and light.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Parkway Series # 287   12 x 16   oil   SOLD

This is the big tree below the lodge at the Peaks of Otter under which many have spread a blanket to picnic or just rested on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The diagonal composition of light and dark and the "calling" of this image persuaded me to paint it.  I am amazed at the calling from specific images that I feel in selecting the image to paint.  It is as though the God of Creation calls to me from behind His created image...."Look, but don't just look, really see, see Me, feel the Awe and see My  Beauty that is here!"