Providence Canyon, Georgia

On our way home from spring break in Florida, we stopped at Providence Canyon State Park, “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon.” David and Zach waited patiently while I painted this gorgeous scene.

This painting was heavily influenced by my visit two weeks ago to the American Watercolor exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was able to see John Singer Sargent’s paintings in person.

It changed me.

I stared at his “Muddy Alligators” painting for what seemed like hours. Up close, it looked like any other painting: just strokes of watercolor on paper.

But step back, and the painting transformed into a symphony of lights, darks, brights against muted values.

I live in Georgia, home of the Okeefenokee Swamp, and I’ve seen plenty of gators in my time. I never saw them the way Sargent did.

But that’s changing. The most important skill for an artist is vision: not just in imagining what your art can be, but in actually “seeing” what’s before you.

I’ll be doing a series of paintings based on my Providence Canyon visit, each in a subtly different style.

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#watercolorpainting #8×10 #landscape #mariapeagler

Winter’s Sunset

The sunset view from my porch every evening. This small 5×7″ study is one in a series I’m doing during winter when bare branches allow me to see more of the glorious colors.

Watercolor requires a lot of advance planning and perfect timing. I tend to be more spontaneous, so doing small studies lets me practice the wet-in-wet layers, progressing to wet-on-dry. My goal is to do enough studies that the process becomes instinct, so I can be spontaneous.

After 12 years of painting, watercolor still challenges me.

#watercolorpainting #landscape #canoelife #danielsmithwatercolors #mariapeagler

Fall Shade

Fall Shade. This is a little piece of heaven at the Big Canoe¬†marina – one of my favorite spots anytime of the year, but it’s especially beautiful in fall. ¬†The colors are gorgeous and fleeting, as soon the leaves will be gone, leaving a brown mountain behind.

I’ve painted this scene three times before, and each has its own style.

Available. #watercolorpainting #landscape #mariapeagler

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Fall’s Fiery Glory

Fall’s Fiery Glory. This is the view from my back porch looking out into the woods. Our trees are vibrant reds, oranges with just a touch a green left. I wanted to capture the patterns of light and shadow on this hillside. We normally have a stream running through the trees, but with the extreme drought it’s disappeared. #watercolorpainting #pleinair #landscape #appalachians #mariapeagler 8×10″on Arches 140lb rough paper. Available.

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