West Virginia Girl

Last week I stated that I’m not just a portrait artist. This week I tried my hand at watercolor. I have not painted much with watercolor, my first foray was a wedding map I did for family (picture below).  I’m not that familiar with this medium.  But like most things I don’t know how to do, whether it be cutting hair or fixing my dryer, I resort to YouTube tutorials.  If you ask my girls they’d say I’m a better at watercolors than I am at cutting hair.
This week I’m starting a series of West Virginia paintings. There is no secret I am a West Virginia girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in NC and there will also be a series of NC paintings in the future, but my heart belongs to those WV hills. I ran into a man wearing a WV shirt the other day and I asked him where in WV he was from. He told me he isn’t from WV but vacationed there last summer and fell in love with the state. I told him I was born and raised there and he responded “you lucky duck.” I do feel lucky to have grown up among those rolling hills. There is a beauty and peace to that place I can’t explain.  Part of my state pride comes from it’s beauty, the other comes from it’s people. WV is remote and its terrain can be unforgiving. This is part of why I love that place.  But for early settlers and my ancestors, it wasn’t easy to say the least. Its part of why I think the people of WV have such state pride. We come from a long line of tough and resourceful people. Tough, resourceful and kind. After visiting West Virginia, John F. Kennedy famously said “The sun doesn’t always shine in West Virginia, but the people do.” And that is the honest to God’s truth.
For this weeks post, I did 2 watercolor paintings. I decided to video the painting process. The music in the first video is one of my favorite songs, its titled West Virginia Girl by Mike Morningstar. WV is famous for its rolling hills and beautiful landscapes.  But some of my best memories are during those winter months when the hills are dark and the fog is setting on them, a different kind of beautiful.  This painting reminds me of the line from John Denver’s Country Roads “dark and dusty painted on the sky.”
Dark and Dusty
The second painting is of the New River Gorge Bridge. I wanted to try pen and ink over watercolor with this piece.
New River Gorge Bridge
I wouldn’t update my resume just yet with watercolor artist, but I do have fun with this medium.  I like that it takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to just let the paint go where it wants to go. I feel like Bob Ross a bit, there were a lot of happy little accidents that turned out looking really cool in the end.  Eventually you will be able to purchase these and all my other prints from my FineArtAmerica profile.

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