Day 288 -The Walker Sisters Cabin

about 2 miles up a mountain and across a stream sits the Walker Sisters Cabin along with several out buildings. The five sisters held a lifetime lease and lived in this two room cabin till their deaths.  Their father built the cabin when Abe Lincoln was still practicing law. 

 The hike up there is lovely with wildflowers on the side of the road but I can’t imagine what it would be like to live so far from civilization. I guess they didn’t go to the store very often! 

 Four of the five Walker Sisters. From a 1946 Saturday Evening Post article

 Painting the picture 

Done in my Stillman and Birn Zeta. Drawn with A Noodler Conrad pen and lexington grey ink in the rainy drizzle. 

I started with a wash of Sky aka cerulean and trees – spring green and viridian. I let that dry and added the trees in the background with indigo and a grey made by adding burnt sienna to the indigo. Different strengths  of these two colors make the trees recede into the woods. 

The cabin was painted with the same colors. Yellow ochre was added on the chimney burnt umber washed over the greys of the cabin. 

The dogwood was painted with white gouache. Next time I think I will use some masking on a sponge to do this. I like the look better. 

 My son crossing the log bridge to the Walker Sisters Cabin 
(Painting the picture continued)

 The grass was added with the same spring green and viridian as the background just not as diluted.  Some negative painting with the darker green was done to make the grass spikes. 

A red salamander that was on the foundation rocks of the cabin. 

  A fern on the path to the cabin. Both of these pictures were taken by setting the end of the iPhone6 down on ground level and clicking away.  


Wild orchis
A trillium 

Day 287 – Mingus Mill 

just before the Oconaluftee Visitors Center in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park .  

This statement is wrong : I thought it still was a working mill but the wheel seems to be missing.  Did some reading on the Mingus Mill on Wikipedia. There was never a waterwheel but it has some kind of small metal turbine wheel that drives the mill stones. It is still a working mill. It underwent a second restoration in 1968. 

 You can buy ground corn meal and a t shirt.  The money all goes to support the park. It is the only park that doesn’t charge admission so it needs additional funding to help with such programs as fighting the woolie aedelgid which is decimating the Eastern Hemlock. Dead hemlocks parade thru the Appalachians killed by this bug and the park service is engaged in a deadly battle with them treating 5000 infested hemlocks this year alone. 


Watercolor in my Stillman and Birn Zeta.  

But back to Mingus Mill, a very interesting old building that sits back in the woods. It was restored in 1937. The steps are old mill wheels. The mill race is still gushing with water. 

You have to cross a small stream to visit the mill. Very picturesque setting. 

  Bishops Cap

There are some lovely wildflowers there. 

Canadian violets with a wild orchis or orchid near the mill. 

The mill painting is painted with the same colors as yesterday’s painting.
Paint the background first. Sky and leaves.  Streak in the background trees with soft greys and Blues after it dries. The foreground tree limbs are darker to make the background recede. 

Thanks for looking.