Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Painting Again....

A few members of the Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters painted today in Green Mountain, NC, at the Fairview Cemetery.  The views from there are all long-range and there are paintings in every direction.  We'll definitely be back!  

Here are some photos from today: 

View from Fairview Cemetery in Green Mountain
View from Fairview Cemetary in Green Mountain

We'd love to have you join us next time we paint.  If you are interested, you'll find our events posted at www.ncpap.org.  

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Toe River Valley Plein Air Painter

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Roan Mountain Paint Out

Up on the top of Roan Mountain is the world's largest natural rhododendron garden.  Eight artists were up there today painting.  The weather was perfect - not too hot - not too cold - no wind to speak of.  Some sun followed by cloudy skies.  The mildest day I've ever spent on the Roan.  

The blossoms are not in full bloom yet - they were just beginning to open at the Cloudland Hotel site.  If you've been thinking about making a trip up that way, it's definitely not too late.

Here are some photos of our day.....  (and.. I've asked for more photos from the artists, so be sure to check back later for more photos)

Arlene Daniel painting at the Cloudland Site, Roan Mountain

Laurel Lovrek, Sandra Gates and Kathleen Turczyn painting at the Cloudland Hotel Site, Roan Mt.

Katherine McCarty, Susan Garriques and Kathleen Turczyn painting at the Cloudland Hotel Site

Painting by Sandra Gates

Painting by Susan Garriques

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Painting After the Floods

Three Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters ventured outside today to paint along the Cane River just west of Burnsville in Yancey County.  There has been significant rainfall the past several days and there was evidence that the river had come up at least 2 feet.  Where we were standing to paint had very obviously been underwater recently.  

But... today the weather was dry and we were painting.  The sky changed from blue with white puffy clouds, to no blue and huge dark clouds within an hour, and then back to blue again.  Typical mountain weather.

Here are some photos from today's adventure....

Cane River, May 9, 2013

Sandra Gates

Scott Boyle

My very green painting.

It was wonderful to be able to get outside and paint today.  With all the rain, everything is suddenly turning green and I've been feeling like I'm breathing green.  My painting certainly conveys those feelings!  

Thanks for reading.  We'd love to have you come join us next time.  You'll find announcements of our paint outs on the events section of ncpap.org. (North Carolina Plein Air Painters).

Paint on!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Painting in Celo

Five painters gathered this afternoon to paint in Celo, NC.  Originally we had planned to paint along the river, but river access was difficult where we were hoping to paint.  Fortunately, we were very near another artist's studio that has nice views.  We spread out and all painted different scenes.  The South Toe River, where we originally planned to paint, is just across the road from the studio.  That meant that painting the river was still an option.  

Last night, wicked storms moved through the mountains, leaving more than an inch of rain in its path.  The river was high and moving fast.  It caught my attention as we drove by, so I chose to paint there.  I've painted moving water before, but not moving as fast as this water was.  About three-quarters of the way through my painting, I was thinking maybe it would have been much more simple to paint something that held still!  

Here is a photo of my painting (I totally forgot to take a photo of it at the scene) and then more photos of our group.  

oil painting by susan garriques

oil painting in progress by Sandra Gates

oil painting in progress by Nancy Wood

Katherine hard at work

oil painting by Kathleen Turczyn

Kathleen at work

Thanks so much for taking time to read our blog and look at our paintings. If you are an artist and would like to paint with us, just send me an email and I'll get you on our list.

Paint first!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunday, April 6th

We've finally had a break in the weather here in the mountains and 4 of the Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters met along side the Cane River to paint yesterday.  It was a perfect afternoon for painting.  

Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters painting along Cane River

Maggie - the ever faithful painting hound
oil painting by Sandra Gates

watercolor (in progress) by Judy Larkins
oil painting in progress by Nancy Wood

oil painting by Susan Garriques

oil painting in progress by Sandra Gates
Thans for stopping by.  Be sure to send Susan and email if you'd like to join us one day for painting!


Friday, March 15, 2013

First Day!!!

Today was the very first day of painting en plein air for the Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters.  We are fair weather painters and since it was supposed to be 50 degrees by noon - with hopes of highs in the 60s - Sandra Gates and I, Susan Garriques, headed out for an afternoon of painting.

Finding a location seems to always be a challenge, which seems odd considering we live in a beautiful location.  Let me tell you, though, the amazing views are nearly always in a place where you have no hope of even getting off the road - let alone room to park and set up to paint.  Our mountain roads are narrow and very very twisted.

Earlier this month, I was hiking with the NC High Peaks Trail Association - actually we were "strolling" - in the new Whit Bottom Sports Complex out on the west side of Burnsville along the Cane River.  It's got good parking and easy river access.  (Pretty soon, I hope it will have rest rooms, because that would make it perfect.)   Remembering the fun stroll we had there, I thought it might be a good place to paint.

We arrived about 12:30 and found a place pretty quickly.  The trail runs right along the river and there is room to set up an easel and still have other people pass by.  Sandra got to painting right away, while I messed about with my viewfinder and several thumbnails.  I'm really trying to practice what I read about.  Take my time.  Make thumbnails.  Meanwhile, the time ticks away and the light changes.....  

Sandra did a beautiful painting and it wasn't until I looked at my downloaded photos that I saw the shadow cast across the canvas.  You'll see it in the photo, I'm sure.  It is so obvious in the photo, I am amazed I didn't see it before taking the photo.  My plan was to post a finished photo of Sandra's painting, but even that has a shadow right down the middle.  Next time I'm in her studio, I'll take a photo and post it.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you'd like to join our group - please send an email to trvpap@gmail.com.  We'll add you to the list.  No charge.  Come paint with us!!!


Friday, February 22, 2013


This is a brand new blog for a brand new group of artists - The Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters - that enjoy painting "plein air".  This means painting outside.  Dealing with the weather, the changing light and the bugs, in addition to other challenges not found in the studio.

In addition to a love of painting en plein air, the artists in this group find inspiration in the beauty of  the Toe River Valley of Western North Carolina.  This includes Yancey and Mitchell counties.  

Membership is free.  And at the moment, this blog will be the center of our communications. 

There are many times when an artist might prefer to paint with another artist, or a group, rather than venturing out into the wilds alone.  It is one of the goals of this blog to provide an easy way to connect and paint together.

If you are interested in joining TRVPAP, please email trvpap@gmail.com.  You'll be added to our list and notified of any upcoming paint outs.

June on Roan Mountain
artist: Susan Garriques