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

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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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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