Last fall, not far from here, I discovered a large hayfield with a gorgeous view of the Massanutten that I wanted to paint. The property had a locked gate and a sign on a nearby tree indicating the land was under historic preservation. What began as a series of phone calls to obtain permission from the owner to go in and photograph the field, ended a couple of weeks ago with the delivery of three commissioned landscape paintings to the offices of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation in New Market, Virginia.
I made contact with Chase Milner, Manager of Stewardship for the Foundation, who expressed delight that I wanted to paint the field. After several conversations and a meeting with both Chase and Denman Zirkle, the Foundation’s Executive Director, I was commissioned to complete three landscapes, not of the field which is part of the Cedar Creek battlefield, but of the area within the Civil War battlefield at Cross Keys in Rockingham County, Virginia.
I made several trips down to Cross Keys in late winter to photograph the sites and get an idea of how they looked when the battles were fought in June of 1862. I knew I wanted to paint the landscapes with the green vegetation of early summer and so a lot of my effort was purely imaginative. The work was hard but pleasant.
I feel honored to have been asked to do these paintings and I hope whoever receives them will be very pleased.
Old Wagon Road at Artillery Ridge
Trimble’s Fence Line-Widow Pence Farm
I have been working hard on three paintings commissioned by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and so have not been creating my own personal art (Sigh!). However, I continue to enjoy photographing the views around my home in Oranda and would like to share with you my muse-inspired images. All of the photographs were shot using either a Canon PowerShot or a Panasonic Lumix.
Above, Remembering the Shire
Below, Buttercup Carpet
Etched at Dawn
I invite you to visit my blog often. Your comments are welcome.
I am very pleased to announce I have been commissioned by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation to create several landscape paintings depicting locations in Rockingham County, Virginia, where Union and Rebel forces fought decisive battles of the Civil War during June of 1862. The Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic were General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s last battles in his famous 1862 Valley Campaign.
The paintings will not be images of war but will show these landscapes as they are seen today. Many of the locations are pristine and, except for the addition of a few manmade elements, look the same as they did to the people who lived here before the battles took place.
The Shenandoah Valley was the scene of great conflict during the Civil War. There are many who consider it hallowed ground. I am honored my art will be part of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s ongoing efforts to protect and preserve the legacy of these historic sites.
above painting, Through the Orchard