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.

Now Showing: More Colors of the Blue Ridge

The Wilson Downtown Gallery in Harrisonburg, Virginia is currently hosting an exhibit of my paintings. This gallery participates in First Fridays and will have an Artist’s Reception on March 6 from 5 – 8 pm.  The show will stay up until the end of March. Located within Harrisonburg Homes just south of the square, the gallery (and realtors who make it possible) welcome viewers during regular business hours as well. See the website or Facebook event for more information on the location.

Title image for 2020 Exhibit by Kelli Hertzler. All rights reserved.
This montage was created by splicing four paintings together. I’ve been painting the same view of Shenandoah National Park as seen from my home in many seasons, weather and lighting situations.

Two new additions to the Colors of the Blue Ridge series are on the walls there, along with fourteen other pieces celebrating the natural landscape in the Shenandoah region.  (I’ve been working on this series for over a year now. Catch up with my previous posts: Colors of the Blue Ridge and Many Moods of the Mountains.) I will have notecards available featuring many of these scenes at the reception, as well as fine art prints of select paintings.

First Light on New Snow, 18
First Light on New Snow
18″ x 12″ framed watercolor.
Available. All rights reserved, Kelli Hertzler.

Last Light. 18" x 12" framed watercolor. Available. All rights reserved, Kelli Hertzler.
Last Light
18″ x 12″ framed watercolor.
Available. All rights reserved, Kelli Hertzler.

One more first for this show: I included three plein aire oil painting studies.  These were painted in 2018 and 2019. Because oil paintings need to cure for 6-12 months before being varnished, this is the first time I have displayed them.

At the February reception, I was thrilled to talk with friends, family and lots of local art lovers. I’d love to see you there on March 6!

Colors of the Blue Ridge

Swan family
12″ x 18″ framed watercolor.

Tonight, I’ll be showing my Colors of the Blue Ridge series for the first time (along with several other pieces) at a gorgeous location, Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg.  My very first art sale happened there more than twenty years ago while showing with a group. What an encouragement that sale was!

This time I show at JWH, I’ll have several dining rooms in which to display my art. Local photographer Erin Harrigan will have the front two rooms of the house. To prepare for the reception, I’ve made giclee prints and notecards to offer in addition to original pieces.

For the past six months, I’ve been working in a series exploring the view I have to the South from my home. More than twenty years of observing these mountains of the Shenandoah National Park and every day brings new sights. Two of my pieces from this series are below.

If you are local to Harrisonburg, you can see these and others at the Joshua Wilton House for the months of July, August and September 2019. I’ll be at a Meet the Artist event this Friday, July 5 from 4-5 pm. Light refreshments are provided and wine is available for $5 per glass. Stop in to say hello before you head into Harrisonburg for First Friday!

Scattered Showers
Scattered Showers
12″ x 18″ framed watercolor.

Thunderhead Over SNP
12″ x 18″ framed watercolor.


Wooded Walks: A New Exhibit

Tonight is First Fridays AND the Christmas Parade in Downtown Harrisonburg. A multitude of businesses along the parade route will offer toasty-warm interiors brimming with local art, snacks and probably people you know. If you join the festivities (I hope you do!), please stop into Hess Financial at 380 East Market Street for an Artists Reception from 5-8 pm where I will be with ten pieces of my own art. It is a couple blocks off of the parade route and there is free parking behind the building.

All pieces on display relate to the outdoors. Seven are watercolor and 3 are colored pencil drawings on toned paper.


The exhibit will stay through the end of the January 2019. After the opening night, you can stop into Hess Financial during business hours to view the show. There is a Facebook event page for the opening.

***I also have three pieces in Rocktown Gallery at Hardesty Higgins House with other members of the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society. That one is right on the parade route!

Juried In

My art can seen in two art shows right now. I’ll give you a preview of my own pieces, but the works hanging beside mine are top notch – I recommend you visit in person to see them all.

I have four pieces in the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society’s Juried Art Show.  This is a large exhibit with nearly ninety pieces made primarily by members of the SVWS – and they brought their A-game! All the work be described as “watermedia” but some stretch what you might think belongs in that category. Acrylic is considered watermedia. One artist paints tissue paper and uses it for collage.  I was honored to receive a second place award yesterday for Mossy Forest III from juror Ashley Sauder Miller. Visit this show at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center’s Park Gables Gallery until November 2, 2018.

Mossy Forest III by Kelli Hertzler. All rights reserved. 12
Mossy Forest III won second place at the SVWS Juried Art Show.

My other pieces hanging at VMRC are:

Bluet’s Corner
20″ x 28″ framed watercolor.

October at Big Meadows by Kelli Hertzler. All rights reserved. 11
October at Big Meadows
11″ x 14″ framed watercolor.

After the Storm
16″ x 20″ framed watercolor.

The Central Virginia Watercolor Guild currently has a juried show with one of my pieces included. This exhibit is at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville through September 30, 2018.

Shenandoah in Gold-web
Shenandoah Gold
20″ x 28″ framed watercolor.


Featured Artist at the JMU Arboretum: Kelli Hertzler

I’m delighted to share that I’m the featured artist at Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in JMU’s Francis Plecker Education Center for the months of March and April 2018. This is a perfect place for eleven of my forest and wild flora paintings. Large windows face the pond and woodland, a multitude of potted plants soak up the sun inside as well. Nine watercolors and two colored pencil drawings are on display in the airy room.

This view from inside the Francis Plecker Education Center incorporates lush potted plants, a view of the pond and woodland and some of my smaller watercolors. Watercolor by Kelli Hertzler.
Can you sense your heart rate going down? This perspective from inside the Francis Plecker Education Center incorporates lush potted plants, a view of the pond and woodland, and some of my smaller watercolors.

KHertzler art on wall at JMU Arboretum.
The Center’s main room makes a cozy exhibit space.

The Center is open Monday through Friday 8-4. It is on the opposite side of the pond from the original entrance. A second entrance and parking lot serves the center, but be aware that to reach it you must either climb a full flight of stairs or ascend a rather long, three-tiered ramp. Not a problem for pushing a stroller or wheelchair but arduous if you have trouble walking. Public bathrooms are available.

There is no reception for this show. If you are able to visit, I would love to hear from you!

December Reception for Solo Art Show

Mossy Forest III. Watercolor by Kelli Hertzler.
Mossy Forest III



I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to show my art in this beautiful gallery space within Harrisonburg Homes realty. December 1, 2017 from 5-8 pm will be the Artist’s Reception for this exhibit. Fifteen or more of my watercolors and colored pencil paintings will be on display. Local landscapes, forest-scapes and micro-landscapes (where I zoom in to a tiny corner of the natural world) are featured in most of these pieces.

My mother, Snuffy Hartman, will join me with a few of her paintings in celebration of the article in Bloom magazine this quarter featuring both of us (see Bloom post). The author, Michelle Henry, might also stop by. In addition, all of this is happening:

  • a flute trio will provide live music
  • light refreshments will be provided by the Harrisonburg Homes team
  • it’s First Friday in Harrisonburg
  • and the Christmas Parade at 7pm goes directly past the front door of the gallery

Stop in and warm up before or after the parade. This is always a fun, festive night!

The show runs from December 1 through January 29. Open 10 – 5, Monday – Friday. Plus First Fridays! 5-8 pm.

83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA
(Now Harrisonburg Homes, formerly Wilson Jewelers)

Mingling crowd in the awesome space at Harrisonburg Homes’ Holiday Open House. Hertzler Reception, December 2015.

New works.

These are a few new watercolors currently hanging at the Rockfish Valley Community Center (until early September). They are all on the smallish side and priced between $90 – 125. Framed size is 14″ x 14″ for all except Sunset on Massanutten, framed at 16″ x 20″.

To purchase, contact me directly or leave a check with Sara or Cathy at RVCC.

Upcoming Show

In August, I’ll be a featured artist at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, VA along with Amy Shawley, another Virginia artist from the flatter part of the state. It’s a huge exhibit space – a gymnasium – so I’ll be bringing almost everything that’s in a frame.

The reception is from 3:30 – 5:00 on Saturday, August 12. But I’ll be hanging the pieces on August 4. You are all invited! FYI, on the same beautiful country road as the center are several wineries, breweries and a distillery. It would make a great road trip (perhaps with a designated driver).



SVWS Galleries

I’ve rejoined the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society. This is such a great group for beginners and professionals alike. I belonged years ago, but having small children in my life made that too difficult! Now, that season has passed and I’m enjoying the group again. One of the perks of being a Signature Member with the group is hanging pieces in its many exhibits around Harrisonburg.

My work is now on display at the Hardesty-Higgins House gift shop in downtown Harrisonburg. For this quarter, I have three pieces hanging there among others by Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society members. Other galleries at which the SVWS is currently displaying include: Taste of Thai restaurant (I have one piece there), Oasis gallery (I had two pieces for last quarter, but nothing this rotation), and a member show at VMRC (I did not enter this time due to other time commitments). I am slowly getting involved again and hope to take advantage of all of these opportunities soon! I’m definitely enjoying the companionship of painters again.

Early Spring, Shenandoah Valley
Early Spring, Shenandoah Valley

Other news: I recently contracted to share a two-person show next year at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, Virginia. More about that as it gets closer!