21-30 State Stories

Posted by Emilie Taylor on

Continuing on my State Series Stories to 30

21. Kentucky: Big Fork Scenic River

When I came across Big Fork river and railway I knew it was perfect for my Kentucky scene! 🚂 I’ve been through Kentucky on two different trips. One of the times my family stayed at a campsite in Kentucky with our RV on the way to Tennessee. I mostly remember there was this big bug in the bathroom... we later identified as a harmless Cicada. But I think my older sister and I were pretty freaked out! But it’s a beautiful country land and this scene captured it for me

22. Georgia: Cumberland National Seashore

I was originally looking into painting the Blue Mountains for Georgia, but I came across Cumberland National Seashore and then I couldn’t get Relient K’s “Savannah” out of my head 🎶 so my mind was completely changed!

Cumberland island itself had me in awe, with the salt marshes and hanging moss on the live oaks. It’s also know for it’s wild horses! ❤️ Definitely a place on my bucket list to visit! 

The trees in this one were tricky for me, but I love that way the moss hangs off those live oaks.

23. West Virginia: New River Gorge

New River Gorge is so pretty it was just asking to be painted! I almost painted the Iconic arch bridge as well but this spot held its own without it!
In some pictures the view is so blue and misty! 💙 but I liked this sunset/rise

24. South Carolina: Morris Lighthouse

I’ve kinda been avoiding South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia as I try to decide between mountain and ocean scenes and what for each state. Thankfully I had someone reach out to me on etsy. She’s from PA and her husband is from IL (both states I have done) they now live in SC and they wanted to have all 3. I asked her what kind of scene she thought of for SC, and she gave me the idea on historical Charleston, the beach and palms or magnolias. And while I fell in love with the magnolia plantation there I decided on the ocean. I found the historical Morris lighthouse now completely surrounded by water and I thought it was perfect and so did my client! 

South Carolina Painting

25. Kansas: Sunflower Fields

Half way there! (insert happy dance) 💃🏻
Kansas is a special state to me now that my brother and his wife call it home. When we moved them in, we were told about an endless sunflower field. So that felt perfect for the Sunflower State!
I tired to paint Kansas within the first 10 paintings and had a flop... any watercolor artist may know how hard light colors like yellow are to make pop with dark greens! So I decided to put it off for a bit. Reaching the half way point felt like a good time to try again!

Kansas Painting

26. New Hampshire: Kancamagus Scenic Byway

I always hear about the fall colors on the upper east coast, so for New Hampshire I was thinking about Autumn when I saw Kancamagus scenic byway I thought it was so incredible! Definitely a place I’d have to pull off and photograph! So I looked no further and set to painting this beautiful place!

The fall colors were the hardest part of this painting, with watercolor you can’t go back to your lightest colors after you’ve gone dark, so it was all about finding the balance.

New Hampshire Painting

27. South Dakota: Badlands

South Dakota a neighbor state that I’ve been to and through a few times. Seeing the bad lands here was is probably my favorite SD memory. Such a uniquely different landscape from MN rocks/cliffs!

It was hard to know how to capture all their colors! 

 South Dakota Art

28. Vermont: Mount Mansfield

I know Vermont is also a state known for fall colors, But putting together my map it’s between NY and NH, both I already picked fall scenes for. I wanted to do the best thing for the full map. So I took to researching and came across this old barn by Mount Mansfield. It felt perfect to make it a late spring scene!

This one was interesting getting the perspective right. The close up florals and the woods fading up the tall mountain.

 Vermont Painting

29. New Mexico: ShipRock

I can’t remember exactly how I came across Ship Rock during my state research I don’t think I was even looking in New Mexico... But once I did, I knew I was going to paint it!

Once it was taking shape it was starting to remind me of Asgard (nerd moment for fellow Marvel fans) so I think I’ll have a hard time not referring to it as that now 😂

I really loved how this one came together, the road doing the work of tell how far and vast this scene is.

New Mexico Painting

State 30! Michigan: Black River Harbor

I remember feeling pretty emotional before I painted this state. I got 29 on my map and just felt really accomplished! This had been such a project but it all made me love painting more then ever ❤️

So it’s fitting that Michigan has sentimental value and great memories. I’d only ever been to the U.P. But I love it! My brother and I made quite a few U.P. Friends one year at a youth camp in WI. Our band traveled out there for many shows making more friends each time. I shot my very first wedding alone there as well! This scene is from Black River Harbor, a place I visited with my family during that wedding weekend!
We raced the setting sun at the waterfall trail heads trying to get to as many as we could. When we finally arrived at Black River Harbor, where the river meets Superior it was dusk and the stars were just coming out 💙

This was the first state I had the idea of making into a night scene. It just told more time then the others to work up the courage to paint!

Michigan Painting

30 down over half way there!


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