From February-March 2019 I lived in the heart of the iconic New River Gorge National River in southern West Virginia as the 2019 Artist-in-Residence at Lafayette Flats. While I was in the national park, I created an illustrated map of the region and lots of other work inspired by my hikes.
Because I was in the Gorge in early spring (when the trees were still barren), I really enjoyed focusing on finding and depicting different textures instead of the typical flora and fauna that I gravitate toward. I especially liked all the different colors and patterns of mosses, lichen, and Nuttall sandstone rock textures that I came across (see below).
Sometimes I think it’s fun to test my observation and paint blending skills by trying to make my sketchbook disappear against a background. I tried that out with this lichen pattern on a rock that I liked.