Looking Glass Rock from Pounding Mills Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

“Before the Storm”

“Before the Storm”, Open Acrylic on Canvas, 12″ x 24″

I was at the Black Mountains overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, milepost 342.2.  My intention was to paint a sunset, so I set up around 5pm and started blocking in the shapes using darker than normal midtones anticipating sundown.  When plein air painting, I paint for three hours and stop.  Two hours in with storm clouds building it was obvious that a colorful sunset was not in the cards.  Oh well . . .

“From the Shade”

“Standing Tall”


“Standing Tall”, 12″ x 16″ Open Acrylic on Canvas

I was parked at the Buck Spring Gap overlook on the the Blue Ridge Parkway on Mount Pisgah.  The rains came and went, the clouds billowed and subsided, sheltered by the rear door I painted anyway.  It was a great day.  


Black Balsam Looking West



The elevation at this site is close to 6000 ft.  The grasses and underbrush which were brightly colored just two weeks ago have died back.  The temperature was in the forties while painting even though the sky was clear and the sun was out.  The wind made it feel much colder.  At 6000 ft., winter comes early.  Every day is an adventure.

Morning Fog


At first I grumbled to myself because there was so much fog that I couldn’t paint the vista I wanted to paint.  After waiting for over an hour and continuing to grumble because of what I couldn’t see, I realized, duh, that what I could see was amazing.  Maybe I learned something.

First of 2016



It was cold, overcast and windy . . . just another great day to paint.

A View from Big Ridge Overlook


If your looking for color, it may be just around the next corner or not.  Depending on the direction that a ridge faces, its elevation, type of trees, rain fall and etc., the color comes and goes.  But, the color gets more intense every day.

Graveyard Fields from Black Balsam


It was a bright day despite the haze that spent the day with me while painting.  I finished as the clouds rolled in, it was a good day.  There are different theories as to why it is called “Graveyard Fields” but the one I like, is that after a fire some hundred years ago, that the burnt tree stumps on the barren meadow looked like grave stones.  It doesn’t look like a graveyard now, now it just looks beautiful.

Looking Glass Rock can be seen in the gap.  It by itself from a different overlook will be a future painting.

The leaves, they are a changing


The leaves are changing in high elevations.  The Mount Pisgah range is 4000 to 5000 ft.  Cool nights and sunny days work together to create the change.  It’s just the beginning, this week I’ll be painting at Graveyard Fields, the colors there are magnificent, so check it out in a few days.