Early one year, my family began discussing taking a vacation. Finances did not provide for a get-away every year, however this was one of those times. The Eastern part the of U.S. was fairly uncharted territory to us, and the children were all old enough to be somewhat independent. We decided on Nashville, and the Appalachian-Blue Ridge Mountains to tour Civil War battlefields. Spring, early Summer was the perfect time of the year with cool temperatures, new vegetation, trees blooming with numerous fruit blossoms, all the wild animals that seem to be unafraid or tourists, and my delight, beautiful wildflowers. Color was everywhere and the fragrance brought the honey bees to the nectar. As we walked the many trails through the forests, I noticed the numerous variety of trees. There were Poplar, Red Oak, Hemlock, Sugar Maple, Pine, White Oak, Yellow Birch and others.

I have since learned that the Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee-North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and form part of the Blue Ridge, named for the bluish appearance of the mountains from a distance. I captured this in my 24" x 36" (60.96 x 91.44 cm) "Sunrise Over the Smokys" oil painting on canvas. It was my first use of the pallet knife.

I was particularly fascinated by the split-rail fences and the original log cabins that covered the countryside. I have painted many canvas from these memories, but this is the last original in my collection. None of the others were scanned with the high-resolution Giclée, so prints are not available. I hope to soon be able to paint more of this beautiful section of the nation.