Sunflower Fields, Blue Ridge

October is a glorious time to live in the Appalachian mountains.  Within minutes of my home is this stunning sunflower farm with over 900,000 flowers, a pumpkin farm, apple orchards and the most beautiful waterfall in the state.

And I’m trying to paint it all.

I’ve been in the sunflower fields minutes after sunrise when the dew is still on the ground.

I’ve hiked to the waterfall with my labradors to scout painting locations.

I participated in the Blue Ridge Paint Out where we were privileged to get a private hayride in the apple orchards and do a painting in one hour.

In this sunflower painting, I painted directly (no drawing) and quickly. I wanted the feeling of a sunflower field without being too literal.

I experimented with some new watercolor sticks from Daniel Smith and found I really like how they work.  I read on Jane Blundell’s watercolor blog that the sticks are actually more economical than the Daniel Smith paints, which are known for their vibrancy.  So I wanted to try them out.

I love them and will definitely be getting more.

Sunflower Fields, 9×12″ #watercolorpainting #mariapeagler

Available, $97

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Hillside Vineyards

montaluce vineyard watercolor

This is the view from the bottom of a hill at Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega. I took the opportunity of a gorgeous fall day and drove to the winery to paint the vineyard.

Georgia has a surprising number of wineries, and many in the northern part of the state.  Montaluce is a sprawling winery with a restaurant, community of homes, and a wedding venue.

I painted this first thing, then did several value studies from the top of the hill looking down into the vineyard.


Then I enjoyed lunch at their restaurant and painted a small study from the veranda.


A lovely day overall.

9×12″ watercolor on Arches 140-lb cold-pressed paper.

Available, $97
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My Latest Watercolor Painting

Apalachicola Marsh, 5×7″ #watercolorpainting I painted this at St. Joe Peninsula State Park in brutal afternoon heat. I found a shady spot and had just started this scene when a huge SUV stopped and a little boy got out, walked over to me and asked “whatcha doing?” I showed him my painting, we chatted a bit, and he returned to his Dad’s SUV. I love how art starts conversations you would never have otherwise.
#landscape #mariapeagler #30paintingsin30days #floridastateparks