Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas cards past (part 5)

(See Christmas cards past, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)

This year was our first in Emory, Virginia, after having lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for 25 years. The cards reflected our change of location.

The top painting is of the Mountain View United Methodist Church in Smyth County, Virginia. We happened on this church while driving around during the first fall we lived in the area. The church is pretty enough itself, but it is located with one of the most spectacular views that I have ever experienced. In three directions from the high hill on which the church sits, you can see for miles, over valleys and hills. Looking east is a long mountain chain. I tried to imagine the place covered with snow and at sunset.

Lower left is a hidden but dramatic waterfall in Hayter's Gap that, again, we just happened to come across when we were driving around one afternoon. This painting shows only part of the falls, and as with the church, I don't feel like I got anywhere near the full impact of the place in the painting.

The other painting uses a mill that we visited a good bit, but it's in a different setting. I tried something different with this painting -- a night scene with the moon creating a glow and shadows on the snow. I think that worked out, and even my wife had unsolicited good words for this scene.

Each of these paintings exhibits one of the things I often attempt with watercolor and don't always achieve -- contrast. Obtaining good contrast in watercolor requires a bold approach, and I am not always so confident.

I paint multiple copies of these scenes and usually wind up sending our 20 to 30 cards. People seem to like them, and some tell me they have the whole collection, although my wife says they are just being nice.

I'll be posting more shortly.

5 x 7, watercolor on Arches 140 CP

Price: not for sale

About the paintings

I usually do three or four of one scene at a time. They take about an hour to draw and paint.

1 comment:

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