In the summer of 2017, my family and I had the pleasure of taking a trip to the Asheville, NC, area for the first time. Shame on me for not doing this in the first 25 years I lived in NC! Truth be told, anyone who knows me believes the reason I never visited is because I would not want to leave. I can't deny this as truth.
We stayed about 30 minutes north of Asheville at the Wolf Laurel resort. Wanting to explore a section of the Appalachian Trail ("AT") and step into Tennessee (a priority for everyone, kids included), we contemplated making the 6.5 mile hike from Sam's Gap to Big Bald. In the interest of time, we opted to utilize the private access with close proximity to the summit of Big Bald. While slightly less authentic, the experience was still magical! We only spent a few hours exploring a very small segment of the AT, but the experience is one that I'll never forget. I understand and respect why individuals choose to devote so much time to this special path.
The views atop Big Bald are spectacular and found a place in my heart with multiple unencumbered sights. It was amazing to take in 360 degree angles, looking deep into the mountains of NC and TN. I decided to capture this moment in my painting "Big Bald Afternoon" and had the privilege of its acceptance into the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts RESOLUTIONS 2018 show.
Even more than that, I was thrilled to learn that my piece sold; however, the real reward was the phone call I received from the collector! I was honored by her words. She and her husband purchased it for their son who hiked the duration of the AT - a task that I hold with equal intrigue and marvel. That connection is priceless and, at its core, is exactly what I enjoy about being an artist. Those moments of serendipity mean so much to me and I am beyond thrilled when what I capture makes someone else experience a similar feeling!
So, thank you to the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts for hosting the show, accepting my piece, and facilitating the sale. Much beyond that, thank you to the special collectors who were gracious in their support and made the extra effort to call me to communicate the reasons for their purchase! I am deeply humbled.
Collectively, this entire process provides the inspiration, motivation, and drive that are so critical to an artist. Thank you to the entire community that understands and supports what can be a relatively solitary profession! It matters.