Oil study of horse by water for Crossnore Gallery. Painting by Daniel Ambrose

First study for Evening Paint. Oil, 8 x 6 in.

I have a fond memory of walking through the doors of Crossnore Gallery that afternoon, when it was beside the River Dog Cafe just outside Linville, North Carolina. A nice lunch, a new hat, conversations, sunlight glinting off the cars in the parking lot. Possibilities and new opportunities.

Little did I know then, opening that door would lead to a new friendship, and wonderful association with a gallery on an island off the coast of Florida. Little did I know a lot of things would happen back then.

But that’s another story.

Over time, that initial encounter has evolved into a beautiful relationship. And I have met so many fine people at Crossnore dedicated to creating an amazing, nurturing environment to help children.

I’m donating this painting, First Study for Evening Paint, to Crossnore Gallery for an October fundraising event. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will go towards the Crossnore School Stepping Stones Program.

“The Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery supports The Crossnore School’s Stepping Stones Program which transitions students from foster care to successful independent living.”

The small oil painting is an early study for an egg tempera painting, Evening Paint. You can see between the two, how much an idea evolves. A single idea can generate several paintings. The idea or concept is always the vital thing in art.

egg tempera painting of horse by Daniel Ambrose

Evening Paint, egg tempera painting by Daniel Ambrose. Private collection.

The painting was inspired by a bucolic scene late one afternoon on the drive back from Crossnore Gallery to Spruce Pine. I saw a road with a creek and turned down it to explore. Some of my happiest memories are of idly rambling around Appalachian back roads that summer in my big blue Chevy truck. You just never know what gem you will discover around the next curve.

It was late afternoon on that day. Rounding a bend, a small pasture with two horses grazing came into view. A fenced lane ran perpendicular, ending at a white church. A large apple tree anchored the intersection at the corner of the pasture. Mountains rose in the distance.

Further along, the road dead-ended at a cabin nestled under trees beside the creek. A small bridge crossed over to a trail leading up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I did not know this at the time, but found it later as I went back often to paint.

Eventually, I learned that the pasture and horses belonged to dear friends of Crossnore Gallery. I was invited over for dinner a couple of times and Joe, the husband, made buttermilk fried chicken from his mothers family recipe. I spent peaceful times on their porch, overlooking the creek at sunset, watching horses graze in the pasture along the river, thinking how pleasant a place to have a home.

For more information on how you can acquire this painting, contact Heidi Fisher at Crossnore Gallery, 828.733.3144 or hfisher@crossnoreschool.org.

As a bonus, your purchase is tax deductible. You can learn more about Crossnore School and the Stepping Stones Program here.

By purchasing this painting, I hope you enjoy knowing how much you have helped enrich the lives of children at Crossnore.

Feel free to share this with your friends. 🙂

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