The final 41-50 State stories!

Posted by Emilie Taylor on

Painting the final 10!

41. Texas: Big Bend National Park

🙌🏼 For those of you who don’t know, Texas was my biggest fear in this project! It’s the biggest state on the standard US map (even though Alaska really is bigger) so knowing it was going to big the biggest, I was having a hard time setting my mind to it! I came across Big Bend National Park with the mountains and all the colors and knew it was perfect! Just took me a long time to actually try to paint it! 😂

I've been to Texas once when I was 17, it was actually the first time I saw the ocean too!


42. Virginia: McAfee Knob

“Oh Virginia I want to show you, I’ll be fine as long as I’m with you heaven knows” -The Hunts 🎶

I was a little lost coming to this state because I saw a lot of beautiful pictures. So I asked help from a friend that lives there now. He gave me some ideas, and McAfee Knob was the winner!

I’d love to see this place, I can imagine a light breeze blowing in summer smells as you take it all in hanging your feet of the cliff.


43. Nevada: Valley of Fire State Park

 I knew I wanted a little desert feel to my Nevada painting. So when I found Valley of Fire state park it was perfect! The red/orange rocks and little bit of dry desert growth! I’m not sure there are actually Joshua trees in the state park, but they do grown in Nevada and I couldn’t resist adding a few to the scene.


44. Arkansas: Little Hawksbill Crag in the Ozark National Forest.

Getting down in these last 10, I have States I’ve been saving, and states I just hadn’t thought too much about yet because they're a little more off my radar. Arkansas happened to be one of the later. But that said once I started doing my research I found all kinds of beauty it was hard to chose from. I ended up picking Little Hawksbill Crag in the Ozark National Forest. Not to be confused with the big brother. But I liked Little Hawksbill better because of its beautiful overview of the Buffalo National River! 💙

45. Ohio: Hocking Hill State Park

I Found Hocking hill state park looking for a different waterfall I heard about. But once I saw this beautiful old bridge it added to the scene so much I had to pick it!I loved adding the sun flares coming into the woods in this one! 

I know people have been here or are from Ohio at art shows when they recognize this place right away! 

46. Missouri: Marble Creek in Mark Twain National Forest

The final 4! I was originally looking for something with the Missouri River, but it runs through states like Colorado so that’s where all the pictures were! 😂

So I painted Marble Creek in Mark Twain National Forest, the rocks in picture are big! I saw some with people for size and was surprised. I think this is more of a River then a creek!


47. Alaska: Mount McKinley in Denali National Park

💙 I’ve always wanted to see Alaska, but researching it for painting... Now I want to see it even more!!! So many incredible sights that it was so hard to choose from! In the end, I picked Mount McKinney in Denali National Park. Since it is the tallest Mountain in the US it seemed fitting.

I thought long and hard about a painting with glaciers on a lake but the National Park won me over.


48. Mississippi: St Catherine Creek and Wild Life Refuge

Of course it made sense to paint the mighty Mississippi for MS. But I was struggling to find pictures in the state. When I found St Catherine creek and wild life Refuge and found out it’s on the Mississippi so it was perfect! I believe these are River backwaters into the swamps here! And these tree looked to me like the cypress tress form my LA bayou scene!


49. Idaho: Fall Creek Falls State Park.

I’ve never been here and I honestly didn’t know a lot about the state. I was kinda avoiding it because of the shape. Once I started my research I fell in love! So many beautiful places that it became hard to choose a landscape! I did eventually decide on Fall Creek Falls. This stunning scene is now totally on my bucket list!

Close Second was the Sawtooth Mountains. But here by this park there are thousands of falls that come down and out of the hills after a good rain and I just thought it was so amazing!


50. Hawaii: Tunnel Beach

The 50th United State felt fitting to paint 50th! Hawaii is somewhere I would love to see! I love the idea of my two favorites, mountains and the ocean all so close together! When I’ve looked into traveling Hawaii in the past, the island Kauai is the one that stood out to me. So when I came time to paint Hawaii, Kauai was the first place I looked and found Tunnel Beach 💙

Picking the scene I tired to find something that would be a bit of everything, the mountains, ocean, and palm trees


Here it is! 3 and a half months and it’s finally done! When I started this project I had no idea how long it would take but I had no deadline until the idea of finishing for my first craft show this weekend April 27-28 crept into my mind... at one point I almost resolved to it not being done, but God willing I had the time and inspiration to get it done!
I think there is a part of me that still can’t believe it’s finished! I printed it on on 11x14 the night I finished! But once I finally got to hold the big map (24x36) in my hands I could really finally soak up the journey it took to get there. 😭 I couldn’t be happier and I’m glad to share it with other adventure loving souls.

My hope is that it reminds you to see the beauty in each state. To remember adventures you’ve had in different states, and for that to bring you joy!

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