24" x 24" x 3" Mixed media painting on deep wood panel with collage
Camp Alice was a historic logging camp and tourist railroad depot. Between the 1920’s and 1940’s tourists drove to Camp Alice and then hiked the strenuous one-quarter to the summit of Mount Mitchell.
It’s a shady trail of spruce-fir trees many of which appear to have snow on them even in the summer because of the lichen. It is also rocky with twists and turns, especially near the top. This is a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea trail.
23" x 17" x 3", Mixed media collage painting on deep wood panel
I'm not sure why but I've always been drawn to water. Perhaps it's having grown up in the humidity of the South, or perhaps we are all drawn to it by our own watery composition.
Pamlico Sound, part of an interconnected series of lagoon estuaries, is also a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina. Most of its waters are shallow, but they support a variety of fish and wildlife.
24" x 48" x 3", Mixed media on deep wood panel
It’s a flat mountain valley just off the Blue Ridge Parkway surrounded by mountains like Black Balsam Knob, Tennent Mountain, and Sam Knob. The day we hiked the goldenrod was already evident as were the wild blueberries and many people left carrying overflowing hats, pails, and milk jugs.
The boardwalks keep the trail elevated in areas that tend to flood though you are at 5,000 feet elevation. The Park Service history says the name may have come from a windstorm fell that downed hundreds of trees or extensive logging in the early 1900’s. Either way the stumps eventually resembled moss-covered graves. Later fires devastated the entire valley, apparently heating the soil enough to sterilize it so that plants had difficulty growing. Now some trees, shrubs, and grasslands are slowly thriving. It is a ghostly landscape, but an enriching one as well.
16" x 16"x 3," mixed media painting on deep wood panel with collage
Everything changes so goes the quotes and the songs. When the change is slow, we have time to adjust. When the change is dramatic, it is much harder. This painting was inspired by the rock formations on the trails of Stone Mountain, North Carolina, along sections of the Mountains-to-Sea trail.
While the Blue Ridge Mountains were formed by faulting and up-thrusting more than 500 million years ago, these rock formations show the geological process known as exfoliation jointing, a process of compressive stresses that strips the rock from below.
Sometimes it’s comforting, sometimes scary how human life parallels nature.
18" x 15" x 3", mixed media on deep wood panel with attached panel
Water makes melodious sounds whether strong and beating or silent as a whisper.
16" x 20" x 3", mixed media on deep wood panel
Hiking in early fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a perfect transition from summer to winter. The leaves are just beginning to turn and have a touch of color, and I found quite by accident that if you are observant, there are also colorful mushrooms.
While I named this painting “Purple Deceiver,” it probably isn’t, but rather a more common variety. But the wisp of purple that attracted me with the surrounding vegetation made me smile on my last short hike of the day. Sometimes looking down is a good thing. We don't miss the small, important things along the path.
36" x 36" x 3", mixed media on deep wood panel
My view of the natural world is both out of focus and a bit detailed and geometric—an emotional and visual approach at the same time.
35.5" x 15" x 3", mixed media on wood panel with niche
As a child, the marshes were not my favorite area of the South Carolina coast. While I couldn’t wait to get to the beach, I would hold my nose as we crossed the bridges that linked the islands and coast. It wasn’t just the smell of the pluff mud, but also the creatures—the ones I could see above the water and certainly those living under or near the water, like snakes, turtles, and frogs. It has taken decades and quite a bit of mosquito spray to appreciate the truly essential life in the wetlands. The object in the niche present the more literal water imagery.
35.5" x 15" x 3", mixed media on deep wood panel with niche
Standing on the pier I can see houses in the distance, cord grass, stumps peaking out of the water, and a Crane and Ibis nearby, one circling and the other making disgruntled noises. As a child, I had no interest in the marsh. It only seemed a smelly, bug-infested place. Now I find it is much like human memories, teeming with fascinating life, but changing daily with the tide.
20" x 30" x 3", mixed media on wood panel with niche and found object
On the first day I can never wait to get to the water's edge. It pulls me like a full moon. But by the second or third day, I notice the palmetto and pine at the edge of the campground, the small yellow flowers on the path leading to the water, and the vacant beach chair—just waiting.