River Wanderings

A few floats on the river inspired a pair of paintings. These are small watercolors that capture the peaceful feeling of being on the water in the heat of summer.

July on South Fork, Shenandoah River, watercolor by Kelli Hertzler
July on South Fork, Shenandoah River
14″ x 16″ framed watercolor.

July on South Fork, Shenandoah River was awarded a prize in the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society 36th Annual Members’ Show at VMRC’s Park Gables Gallery. The show will be up through November 4, 2022 . The judge, Susan Rosen, had this to say about the piece: “Really good design leads the viewer way down this creek and then back around again to see the rocky detail in the foreground. Good use of the medium and value contrast. I can feel what it would be like to wade in this cold creek!” Her comment is so appropriate because when I took the reference photos for this painting, I was standing in the water enjoying its coolness on a hot day. Then I just sat right down in the flowing water.

My husband likes to fish the river so I got some nice photos of him to work from. This is a beautiful spot on the river (actually the same area as the painting above) – the kind of place I could revisit over and over again and find a new painting each time. The river drops a bit but the fall line is at an angle to the route of the river so it make several interesting spill areas and lots of little islands. Water level fluctuations dramatically change the scenery. This is a Promising Location because fish often feed at the bottom of a rapid.

Promising Location, watercolor by Kelli Hertzler
Promising Location
12″ x 20″ framed watercolor.

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