I mentioned earlier that I was thinking about an idea for a new series of paintings.  We traveled to the mountains this summer and I decided that I wanted to paint them again.  I miss living in the beautiful mountains I was raised in and painting them is one way of keeping them close.

     I have decided that I will call myself the "Painter of the Blue Ridge".  I wanted to use "Artist of the Blue Ridge", but someone else is already using it.  So I decided that "painter" fits with my medium.  My husband and I will be traveling up along the Blue Ridge Parkway 2 to 3 times per year, especially during spring and fall.  In springtime the beautiful rhododendron are in bloom everywhere on the mountains and in the fall the trees are ablaze with gorgeous color.  These are the perfect times to do plein air painting!

     Don't get me wrong,  I will continue to paint the coastal beauty of North Florida, my 'Ocean Meditations', and my 'Looking Up' series, but this is a series that reaches back to my childhood and pulls at my heartstrings.  There is an expression that 'you can take the girl out of the mountains, but you can't take the mountains out of the girl'.  In my case that's certainly true!  They are in my blood.

     As a matter of fact, we just returned from a second trip up there where we stayed along the southern end of the parkway south of Asheville, NC.  That happens to be the highest part of the Blue Ridge. It gets up to over 6,000 feet, so needless to say, there are some pretty amazing views, and I was able to paint some of them!  But there are also old homes and cabins that make good subjects for paintings.

     It's interesting to note that if you do plein air painting, people will stop and talk to you, take your photo, and in general break your concentration.  That doesn't bother me, but it does some others I know.  I happen to enjoy talking to people ( I guess that's one reason I teach) so I don't mind the interruption.  I can paint and talk at the same time, LOL!  You will get the occasional art expert who critiques your work, so learn to ignore it, ok?  One fellow stopped while I was painting in a park and said,  "You've captured the light nicely."  Ok, I'll take that comment.. I thanked him. One lady told me to hurry and finish so she could see the painting!  Oh well, as I said..

     This series may or may not be popular but I will enjoy painting them nonetheless.  And I have a feeling that there are people who will enjoy them as much as I do.  Either way, I will be happy painting the mountains I love.

     Below is one of my "study" paintings of the Blue Ridge.  A study is a small painting done quickly to establish colors, light, and the location of your subjects in the painting.  They can be as small at 5 x 5.  This one is 8 x 10.  I will publish it when the studio painting is done.

     While on the trip we stayed at an airbnb location.  Our host had a really sweet little dog, so I also did a painting of him with his orange ball as a gift and presented it when we left.  She loved it!  It is below as well.

study in acrylic
8 x 10
8 x 10
Acrylic on canvas panel
UPDATE:  While I do want to paint the mountains as much as possible,  circumstances have interfered  so that we will not be able to travel as much as we first wanted.  I have also gotten into another area of painting that will be described in a later blog.

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