By Mary Karr

Time to pull back the drapes and open the windows and welcome the first breath of early springtime.  As I look outside at my garden I can see and feel it begin to awaken from the stillness of the winter – a perpetual astonishment!  Spring is special anywhere but the best place to greet it for me is in my garden.  I can’t wait to gather the first forsythias and daffodils into my studio and begin to paint these first blooms trying to hold their beauty forever.  Spring – a season of new life filled with warm and uplifting anticipation holding endless pleasures.  I think of the poetry of Robert Frost when he so eloquently wrote his poem, “A Prayer in Spring”.

MAM712953 Al Ayn (The Fountain), 1882 (oil on canvas) by Church, Frederic Edwin (1826-1900); 60.8×92 cm; Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, MA, USA; Gift of Herbert W. Plimpton: The Hollis W. Plimpton (Class of 1915) Memorial Collection; 

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today,

And give us not to think so far away,

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here,

All simply in the springing of the year.

The Hudson River School of painters left a wonderful legacy to the American art scene.  It embodied a great reverence for nature in depicting the drama of rich landscapes, still quiet river valleys, huge views of imposing mountains, and forests.  These artists captured the unspoiled beauty of nature in early America.  The featured exhibition at the Renolda House from February 9 to May 13 will be the paintings of one of the most famous of the group and is called, “Frederic Church, A Painter’s Pilgrimage”.  The journey to the Renolda House Museum is always a treat and this is a wonderful time to make the trip to Winston- Salem.

This is an especially interesting exhibit for us as we recently had the privilege of touring the home and studio of Frederic Church on the Hudson River and saw for ourselves the gorgeous and breathtaking scenes he painted of the area.

After a short holiday period the Lake Lure Artists have resumed their activities and meetings.  Our first meeting of the new year was a breakfast gathering held the second Thursday in February at the new Broad River Inn in Chimney Rock. This was an opportunity to discuss our plans for the new spring and summer season and learn what our members have been involved in over the winter.  We welcome new members and look forward to sharing the enthusiasm of our special and delightful group of artists.  Look for new paintings and other works of art in local restaurants, galleries, and at the Mountains Library.