- Published: February 16, 2017
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Smoky Mountains because they are so inspiring. So much beauty comes together in one spot, and then you throw in the human element. Whether I am driving through historic Cades Cove or the Roaring Fork Loop drive above Gatlinburg, my mind floods with the haunting memories of years gone by. Being in a place like that, my imagination soars, my nostalgic heart aches for what appears to be the Walton’s type of good ole days, and my artist mind wants to go and create. One thing I’ve noticed, though, during the twenty times I’ve gone to Gatlinburg, is that I have never found a spot that gets it all in one view. Love the Smokies is my attempt at putting the high up view of the distant mountains in the same scene with the up close and refreshing streams that flow down in their valleys. One of the wonderful things about being an artist is getting to create something that you wish you could see and then making it believable and hopefully inspiring for others. When the fires raged through the mountains around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge this past fall, my heart broke for the people who suffered loss and the beauty which was destroyed. I felt compelled to paint “Love the Smokies” the way I have always seen it for the kind people who love and live around the mountains. Your hearts of kindness are an inspiration for us all!
18×24 SN (95) $550 or $750 with frame
18×24 AP (15) $995 or $1195 with frame
25.5×34 SN (25) $830 or $1150 with frame
I wasn’t much interested in the art of learning when I was 15 and we studied American History. I remembered a few dates and names, but it didn’t really mean anything to me. When you get older and have more skin in the game, however, you start to care about politics a bit more. We want the party that will do what we think will cause the country to grow, or give us some free stuff, or make us feel safe – whatever our issue is – to win. So the fall of an election year starts to feel pretty important. I wanted to create a painting that captured one of those special events in history, and thought, “I wonder what the election of 1912 was like. It was surely one of the most important times in our history. In the following years, the Federal Reserve Act and the Income Tax Act were passed, the IRS was established, and then WWI started all during the term of the president who was elected that year. Surely he was one of the worst!” In looking up “vintage election photos -1912,” I ran across a bull moose party poster. Ding Ding Ding – I remember that from History class…. this could be good. Mr Roosevelt didn’t win the Republican nomination that year (which would have been a chance for a 3rd term) and so he instead started a 3rd party founding the Bull Moose Party. We had a donkey, an elephant, and now a moose! What a grand American animal. Surely he would win. Well, no, he instead split the vote of conservative republicans and handed the election to the Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson. The rest is history! One thing that did change for good in the coming years from this time period, was a womans right to vote. In this painting, I have a couple of women with a poster declaring to the world that it is time to change on this issue. It’s a good thing to change on some issues like this one, but there are things to “conserve” as well. Let me be political just this once and say – Be INFORMED – do due diligence – don’t depend on sound bites! It’s Election Day ! – Mark Keathley
Exclusive Edition Event Piece available for all dealers on November 16th.
Christmas is just about everyone’s favorite time of year. Most folks are busy preparing and enjoying the holiday traditions with the family. The anticipation of getting together with loved ones we haven’t seen for months or years gets the excitement going as well as sharing special food and gifts. Sometimes, we need to break out and do something different, though, like invite an estranged son or daughter, forgive someone who offended you, or see someone else in a new light. Christmas Crossing is about coming on over from the side we have always been on - building a bridge to those who are hurting or who have hurt us. Instead of nursing our own hurt, anger, or jealousy, come on across and give some much needed love and grace. It has to start with someone; it might as well be you and me. --Mark Keathley
18×24 SN (95) $750 Framed or $550 Unframed
18x24 AP (15) $1195 Framed or $995 Unframed