The "Welcome" series is straight from my heart. I love life in the country. The first day we moved from the city to the country we finished moving in and then stepped out onto the back porch that evening and felt totally different - like we were our own people - we weren't following others any more. It took some adjustments for sure, the conveniences of town were missed for the first couple of months. I think we went into town at least once every day, but soon we learned how to manage that part of this new life and we set out to build our dream. Now don't get me wrong, life in the country isn't a dream, it was just our dream. The work load of the demands of animals and land weighs a bit, but it offered me something to do with my boys that we needed and it served us well. We found out, though, that all our friends (who had come by our city home daily) didn't want to make the trip out to our new place in the country and we missed the folks that would often drop by to visit. So much so, did I miss it, that I invited the UPS guy in for coffee on occasion. So with this idealic setting in the Smokey Mountains, I did a "no no" and left the gate open so you would feel the longing of your presence and the invitation for your company. I hope this open gate expresses your hearts desire for others to "enter in". The company of accepting friends and neighbors is the richest of blessings, Hope - I sincerely hope you have this wealth.
I love to paint snow! In no other format does an artist get to paint such vivid contrasts between light and dark or cool and warm. Even in the snow texture itself, I paint vibrating and contrasting colors in the snow. If you look closely, you will see pink and green, peach and blue, yellow and violet - all contrasting colors that cause a visual vibration effect, giving the snow the illusion of depth and icy-ness. Welcome Winter is the final of four in a series depicting this old home place cabin in the four seasons, and is my favorite of the four. The warm glow of the sun in the back ground casts angular streaks of light that draw me in and make me want to go knock on the door. The fireplaces are roaring to fight back the cold, and the neighbors are sure to invite me in, because that is what friendly folks do. The delight of visitors around hot coffee and the breakfast table is much more invigorating than a TV show, and besides, they left the gate open as if to say "Welcome." So feel the draw and be compelled to spend some time with someone different, someone alone, someone with a soul that matters.
~ Mark Keathley