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Small, rural towns are some of my favorite places.  They all have their own character.  They have neat churches, and old houses. If they are the county seat, they usually have a great courthouse.  I am always a little sad when I go to a town where the old courthouse has been torn down, and replaced with a boring modern building, that has all of the character of a shoe box. Luckily, my town, Asheboro, kept the old courthouse building, and the architect took cues from it when building the new one.  Here is a painting of them side by side.
At the Courthouse

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I enjoy architecture.  One of my favorite styles in homes is Craftsmen, because it isfun to see all the personal details that were added to the buildings.  I also love big front porches.  We don’t see them a lot any more because we have become indoor people.  I would love to have a house that incorporates the great things from an older home with modern air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, and insulation.

These are some great craftsmen bungalows, on Uwharrie (pronounced you-are-ee) Street, here in Asheboro.

uwharrie Street 2

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It is fun to live in an area where horses are common. Horsey was my daughter’s first animal word.  She said it when we went for walks past the pastures.

Today I painted a line of horses, eating their breakfast.

Morning Lineup

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I live in a very beautiful place. My Grandma once described Indiana as “a painting everywhere you look.” I live in North Carolina, but I think the sentiment fits even better here.

I have a little walk I like to take around my community. I walk down the hill, past an old farmhouse, and turn right. This is my view.  Gorgeous!

I love living in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  It has rolling hills, and mini mountain ranges.  They aren’t anywhere near as big as the Blue Ridge of western North Carolina, but are full of forests, small farms, and wildlife.  It is a soft beauty.

Waking Up

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There is something special about the light for a few hours after sunrise.  It makes everything glow.  Even the most ordinary place can seem magical.  Those that sleep in miss out on the best time of day.

Sunset Avenue is the old business hub of my town. The old train depot is down there, and it used to be home for department stores, before they built the mall. Now there are antique shops, galleries, and restaurants. I love old historic downtowns. They have character, individuality, and history.

I had fun painting a double streetscape.  Of course the whole painting is looking at the north side of sunset, but there is a fun reflection of the west end of downtown Sunset Avenue, toward the railroad crossing, in the van windows.

early morning, sunset avenue

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Some days are best bundled up somewhere nice waiting out the storm.  My favorite rainy day activities are either reading a book (which happens to be one of my favorite sunny day activities also) or watching a storm roll in.

This is a painting of the harbor at Manteo, NC, just as the rain was coming in.
Rest Day

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Bodie Island Lighthouse is just south of Nags Head, about 20 minutes.  It is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  I really like the lighthouse, with the little building, and the Keepers house. It is very quaint.

We arrived early in the morning, and enjoyed the strong sunlight. Of course the island is very flat, so the lighthouse is seen for many miles.  Driving reminded me of the west, Mostly flat, scrub brush, and lots of beige dirt (sand). Of course the west has mountains and the Outer Banks have ocean, but they felt very similar.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

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For my birthday this year we went to the Outer Banks.  I love exploring my new home state, and in the 3.5 years we have lived here, I had never been over there. One thing we did was drive Route 12 down to Okracoke and then take a ferry back to the mainland. We saw lots of dunes, scrub brush, interesting little towns with romantic names, like Rodanthe, but probably the most picturesque place was Okracoke.

Okracoke is one of the most remote places at least in the Eastern US, if not the mainland US. It is located on a small island only reachable by ferry. From the mainland that is a 3 hour ride, and it is a 40 minute ferry ride and 15 minute drive from Hatteras, the closest town on the Outer Banks. Most of the buildings are built on stilts, because the highest elevation on the island is only 5 feet. It floods in hurricanes, or even strong storms.

The town is very picturesque. It surrounds Silver Lake, it’s protected harbor.  There is a British military cemetery here, from World War II.  When British ships were sunk off the Outer Banks, the bodies washed up on Okracoke, and were buried here.

Probably the most famous former resident of Okracoke was Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.  He used the island as a hideout, and was killed here.

Okracoke

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I love neighborhoods. It is fun to see the architecture of homes, and what people choose to do with their landscaping.  There is a calm familiarity of the homes and the trees.

This painting was about the light on the homes, their different shapes, and the way the trees affect the light and shadow.

Neighbors

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