State Series 1-10

Posted by Emilie Taylor on

First 10 State Stories! How this adventure begins.

1. Minnesota: North Shore

It seemed pretty practical to paint my home State Minnesota first. I’ve painted it twice in shape style before, city and landscape scenes in my amateur painting days... So it was really exciting to paint it again now that I’ve worked so hard on my landscapes.

I painted the North Shore for MN because it’s probably my favorite place in all of Minnesota. I’ve spent a lot of time there and in Duluth with my family and friends, watching ships coming in, walking the town and that cold beach! Seeing the lighthouses, Split Rock up the coast as well! 

Honestly, big Superior was the closest thing to the ocean I saw till I was 17. It will always be a place for new adventures in the State I call Home.

This particular scene is more off memories then off any real photos but it’s also similar to a place my best friend and I did a photo shoot.

2. California: McWay Falls/Big Sur

Naturally California was the second state I painted. I have a dear friend that lives there and I’ve taken several trips there. Though I’ve haven’t been to the east coast yet, Cali has me believing I’ll always be a west coast girl at heart. And that’s funny to me, because this state caught me by surprise. The First trip I took I had my preconceived notions of all the tourist iconic Hollywood stuff I don’t really care about. But seeing the Mountains and that beautiful West Coast, it changed my mind completely!

I had a hard time deciding what to paint for California as I’ve seen so many beautiful sights! Yosemite being one of them that has taken a piece of my heart! But with the shape of CA, Mcway falls in Big Sur I place I’ve been to with my family, seemed like a great idea! 

3. Arizona: Horseshoe Bend

Though I haven’t seen this scene yet... This beautiful red rock state holds memories! ❤️

I went on a trip with my family when I was about 12. We saw the Grand Canyon, Window Rock, so many cactus (which was pretty cool for this Minnesotan child!) and spent time with my mom’s dear friend and her family. I’d like to see Arizona again now that I’m older, and this time the Horseshoe bend would be on the list! I didn’t really have a clear reasoning behind painting Arizona 3rd, other then that I was thinking about the Horseshoe bend at the time.

I remember struggling to get this perspective but I’m so happy with the finished product!

4. New York: Letchworth State Park

“Travel light see the world right, you’ll never know if you never go” -“New York City” Owl City

New York! I started planning a trip here last year, there are so many amazing parks to see. I ended going back to Cali instead just due to it being easier, but I’ll make it to see Letchworth State park someday! I chose to paint NY in the fall because that’s the time of year I’d love to visit! 

I loved that there was a train track running through this scene, I think that little train became my favorite part!

5. Montana: Glacier National Park

I knew I wanted some snow capped mountains for Montana, so I decided to paint this scene of Mount Grinnell because it’s apart it Glacier National Park. My family took a trip there many many years ago! We have some good old camcorder footage 😂 I’d love to go back now that I’m older! Painting Montana in the top 5 was important because of the memories made there.

I was super intimated by the clear reflection I wanted to capture, I sort of had to wing it and hope for the best!

6. Oregon: Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock

The state I want see the most! (Actually its close tie with Washington) After my trips to California the west coast has found a home in my heart. And thanks to Instagram, I follow some pretty amazing west coast photographers that capture so many beautiful sites (like Cannon Beach) in Oregon and places in Washington as well! 💙 I’d love to road trip from the Bottom or Cali to the Top of Washington someday.

Painting Cannon beach was so fun to me and it was cool to test my refection skills again. I did struggle with my sunrise here, I try to get my skies all done before the paint has a chance to dry ( Their the loosest and most freeform part of my painting process) but this sky required a couple rewets but I was kinda glad for how moody it turn out

7. Maine: Portland Point Lighthouse

I’ve never been anywhere on the east coast. But with my editing job, I edit for two photographers that live and shoot weddings in Maine. I’m always blow away by the beautiful scenery there! 

I wanted to paint something coastal for Maine, and when I came across Portland Point I knew it was perfect! 🌊

Also shout out to my sister Elizabeth for letting me borrow some of her collection for photos! (Yes the real Crab Claws)

I remember when sketching out this state I had to re-sketch the lighthouse a couple times to get those proportions right!

This painting became one of my favorites in the whole state series!

8. Colorado: Mount Elbert

I’ve been to Colorado a couple times when I was younger. One of the times was when I was 6, I have a vague memory but it’s more of the story I remember. We were driving up Mount Evans in a storm and my siblings and I kept asking to turn around as my mom wanted to see the top, and my dad the one driving said there was nowhere to turn around. Apparently I was fan on the Sound of Music even then and sang “Mom doesn’t care if it’s storming she just wants to climb every mountain!”

I knew I wanted to paint mountains for Colorado because of that story, so picked this scene of Mount Elbert (tallest mountain in Colorado) because even though I haven’t seen this sight, it felt like my memory of the state!

9. Tennessee: Smokey Mountains

I’ve been to Tennessee twice! Once when I was 16 and the other when I was 18, both times to attend a music camp that was a pretty incredible experience for me! Also its the place I met one of my best friends! So though I didn’t get to see much of the state, it holds great memories that I feel even helped shape me as a person. I found a confidence attending Camp Electric that was hidden from me before.

I did struggle a lot with deciding this painting. Trying to get enough scene to fit in this long skinny state. But the blue hint on the smokies in the morning and evening light really sold me!

10. Iowa: Farmlands

I’ve been painting the states in pretty random order, just whatever state I can plan out the scene for! So when I thought about Iowa I knew I wanted it to be farmlands! ☺️ I have a friend that lives here that told me farmland goes so fast. I was questioning if the scene did justice because to most its not as beautiful as a national park may be, but to the farmers that live here is everything and that gave me confidence.

I love old looking barns so it’s a little surprising to me that Iowa and Vermont are the only states I painting them in.

Stay Tuned for States 11-20



Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment