This past weekend, I traveled to my home state of West Virginia. I haven't visited the town of my birth for at least 5 years, and I had forgotten how breathtaking the scenery is. Now, don't get me wrong. I know intellectually that the mountains of West Virginia are stunning. What I had forgotten is that driving on the highway between Lewisburg and Beckley can literally take my breath away when I look at the sheer magnificence of the landscape.
I was going home for my class reunion to see friends I hadn't seen in years. Many of these friends hold a special place in my heart, and I was fortunate enough to stay in the home of one of them. I am grateful for all of my friends, and this one is particularly special for many reasons. We have been friends since we were 3 years old. THAT is a meaningful friendship! She was kind enough to take me to one of my favorite places— Grandview Park. While there, I was struck by the astonishing beauty of the place, and I realized with the utmost clarity why I became a landscape painter. Growing up with this gorgeous place about fifteen minutes from my home inculcated a love of the landscape in ways that are hard to deny. Judge for yourself. What could be more beautiful?