Riverbend Shadows

My fixation with rocks and water continued with this foray to Riverbend Park. With my son next door in a Great Falls camp, I could spend the day painting.

Even though it is of rocks, I find it delicate and sweet. It shows some Poly influence for sure.

I find oils difficult to photograph; I was spoiled by pastels. I'll give this another go on another painting photography day, as it is much prettier, flatter, and more unified than it photographed.

Oil on canvas, 12x6
(Private Collection)


Sounds of Shenandoah

Camping and painting go hand in hand. Camping along the Shenandoah is inspiring.

This was the view from my campsite. And the sounds lulled me to blissful sleep at night.

Oil on cotton canvas, 8x10


Oine Road

I wasn't supposed to be here this day, but I made the best of it.

Facing and painting a sunset while using a canvas, which conveys the light and is very distracting, made me a firm believer in the use of canvas panels and Gessoboard.

Oine Road, a country locale, was actually a hopping strip. I routinely held on to my hat and easel as large chicken trucks thundered by. The drivers were so considerate, slowing down and even using the opposite lane.

One thing I like about this painting is how it transforms at a distance. Step away and the values take over to provide contours and depth. In fact, for a while this painting was called, "Best at at Distance."

(photo being corrected)
Oil on cotton canvas, 11x14


Natural Bridge Morning

As we returned from my son's week of camp, I wanted to take the long way home. We stayed at Natural Bridge, a lovely and gracious facility. We also went to the nearby Natural Bridge Zoo, the best petting zoo we'd ever been to. There are some silly things to see, too, as well as caverns. We did most of them.

The first night there we went to the evening program, a light and music show about Creation, which is included in the regular ticket. I got to scope the lay of the land and returned the next morning to paint the scene. Although I'd been doing oils exclusively for a few weeks, I decided to do a pastel: less gear to haul and less time to complete. My 10yo son brought his harmonica along, so we charmed the crowds for a couple hours.

Pastel on Wallis


Tanner's Ridge at Big Meadow

My son attending camp several hours away in the mountains had the added drudgery of having to drive there and back twice. However, with my love of plein air painting, I turned it into several productive trips.

I painted a hand full of scenes as I came north on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Roanoke. Yet I knew that I wanted to paint the rich yellows of a meadow and drove through onto Skyline Drive to Big Meadow. I fell in love.

This is Tanner's Ridge on the back side of Big Meadow. It delighted me to see sky all the way down to the ground. A very windy day, I made generous use of bunji cords so I wouldn't play Mary Poppins. This is a 12x16 oil, a large size for me. It was completed in the field.

A cyclist came by and visited, calling it, "pretty." A while later, a boy in HS stopped and also called it, "pretty." I find that very charming, especially considering that they were my only company for the day on this brisk ridge.

Tanner's Ridge at Big Meadow
Oil on canvas