My latest travels have taken me to the Smokey Mountains in western North Carolina.  During a recent road trip from Rhode Island to Florida, my husband and I took a detour to the beautiful rural town of Nantahala, North Carolina where we stayed in a cabin in the mountains for two days.

view from the cabin

It was here where I unplugged from the digital world and replaced it with enjoying nature and painting.  I set up my easel on the back porch and painted the same mountain view all day long.  I really understood how the Impressionist painters like Monet and Cezanne painted the same scene again and again.  The light effects change throughout the day and what happens is you begin to see more and more details as time goes on.  I used watercolors because it was an easy way to set up.  I am not really a watercolorist but I gave it a go.  It was a great reminder that nature has an endless supply of subject matter for a painting.  There is never a loss for inspiration.

This was my art studio for the day.  It was a little chilly but nothing that some hot coffee and hand warmers doesn’t fix.

Here are some watercolor studies that I created during my time here.

As I look back to this experience of unplugging from the world for a few days, I realize how valuable that it was.  Not only did I feel a sense of peace and calmness that I haven’t felt in a long time, but it reconnected me to the artists who have come before me.  I was reminded of how they painted and how they saw nature.  They captured the changing light in a way that cannot be created by replicating a photograph.  The experience of being there in the present moment comes through in their paintings.  There is no substitute for the actual experience of Nature.  It’s magnificence will leave you refreshed, reinvigorated, and inspired.

To read more inspiring posts about art and nature, check out Liz’s older blog here.

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