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Solitude Lake Romance – Available Now

My novel Solitude Lake (written under my pen name – Adele Darcy – is available on Amazon and for special order through your local bookstore!

Set in Montana’s Glacier Country, Solitude Lake follows the journey of Susan Dixon. After the tragic death of her husband, Susan uncovers he left her with a legacy of betrayal. Forced to move to her family cabin on the shores of Solitude Lake, Susan works to rebuild her life, but struggles to heal from her broken heart.

Taking a summer job at the nearby Solitude Lake Lodge, Susan reconnects with her high school sweetheart, Jake Arnett.

Can Susan trust a second chance at love?

This novel was inspired by my time in living in Montana and the gorgeous scenery of the craggy snowcapped mountains, hidden creeks and tranquil clear mountain lakes.

Solitude Lake is a story about healing from grief, finding faith and being open to second chances.

On sale now – on Kindle and special order (local book stores) 979-8218004699 (ISBN)

All profits (through July 1st) will be given to Yellowstone Flood relief. You can donate directly here as well.

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Novel release: Adele’s new book Solitude Lake is on Amazon

I’m excited to announce that my cozy romance is now available for purchase on Amazon!

Solitude Lake is set in the shadow of Montana’s Glacier Country.

Following the tragic death of her husband, Susan Dixon struggles with the realization that the love they shared was crippled by his legacy of secrets and betrayal.  Hoping to rebuild her life, Susan moves back to her hometown of Hidden Creek Montana.  Settling into her family’s cabin on the peaceful shores of Solitude Lake, Susan searches for healing in the rugged scenery.

Taking a summer job at the neighboring Solitude Lake Lodge, Susan rekindles a romance with her old flame, Jake Arnett. As the couple fall in love under the Montana skies, a past of heartache and missed opportunities haunts them.  Susan needs to heal from her husband’s betrayal, while Jake is afraid of repeating past mistakes. Can these star-crossed lovers let go of regrets and fall into a happily ever after?  

The novel is inspired by my time living in Montana. I fell in love with the state’s countless backcountry lakes, canyons and majestic waterfalls. One a weekend trip my mom and I discovered The Holland Lake Lodge, which is located south of Glacier National Park.

As I toured the rustic lodge, an idea was born…

Solitude Lake takes the reader on a journey as Susan deals with anger, hurt and reconciliation in the aftermath of her husband’s death. She finds healing in the scenery of Montana’s jagged peaks.

The setting of Hidden Creek is modeled from charming real-life Montana communities like Condon, Seeley Lake and Bigfork.

Published by Firehole Press, ‘Solitude Lake; is NOW available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I’m grateful to my editor Leah (of Reedsy) and fans who encouraged me to follow this dream!

10% of all profits will be split between Save the Children (Ukraine Relief) and The National Park Foundation.

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May Flowers

This month I am enjoying playing with color. I haven’t had time for large art projects but have carved out time for painting several times per week – focusing on flowers.

Flowers are sometime I struggle with – they are mch more detailed than you’d realize and demand both energy and precision.

I enjoyed partaking in The Art Sherpa’s Acrylic April – she offers free tutorials on YouTube. The Acrylic April Challenge included daily painting videos with a floral theme. I highly recommend doing this program (Even if it’s not April).

This got me inspired to play with my own floral paintings as well.

Each of these was done on flat canvas paper.

Help support my art by purchasing orignal prints and paintings on my Etsy page.

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National Park Week! Yellowstone

This week we are celebrating our National Parks and I wanted to share a few of my favorite photographs and paintings of America’s National Parks.

Today I’m showcasing Yellowstone!

I was blessed to live and work in Yellowstone area for years and it still owns a piece of my heart.

You can learn more about Yellowstone on the NPS park website and also follow my travel blog: adelelassiter.com as we do a virtual tour of the park’s unique natural beauty.

Yellowstone Falls
Harlequin Lake
My version of Tower Fall

Art available on Etsy

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April in Art

April is one of my favorite times of the year. North Carolina bursts to life with gorgeous flowers and relaxing sunny weather.

I’ve added some new art to my Etsy page and wanted to share a few of the pieces I’ve worked on in the past week!

Old Well at UNC-CH

Please support my art journey by purchasing my work on Etsy – I keep my prices at cost (just covering supplies) because I want to spread hope through art.

Want to keep posted on my art journey:

Follow on Instagram: adelelassiter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticAdele

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Art Talk: Brushes and Paints

Whether you are a seasoned artist or getting into painting for the first time – making sure you have the best supplies to empower your art is important.

I’ve been actively painting with acrylics for about five years – and painting regularly (3 times a week) since the pandemic hit. I wanted to share lessons I’ve learned along the way.

It is important to recognize that art is a journey and while you can master certain techniques – artists are always learning and growing. We can develop unique styles and master regimens, but the best artists are always open to growth. Masters like Monet, Van Gogh and beyond – learned from making mistakes and developing their craft.

The most unique artists I’ve studied (including modern masters and YouTube experts) studied other artists and practiced techniques from past ‘masters’ to learn technique and open their vision from paint to palette.

The point – don’t be afraid to try different styles of art and take a tutorial on how ‘Van Gogh’ painted – creativity is part orignality and part collaboration. You can learn a lot through online tutorials or putting your own spin on historical paintings (just reference the original artist when you are done). Ginger Cook (YouTube Acrylic Teacher ) has a great series of how to paint the masters on her channel.

Also don’t be afraid to test out different styles of art. I personally love to paint landscapes, but recently I’ve tackled abstracts. Within my landscape portfolio I try different views on the same landscape – from impressionism to abstract to expressionism. Sometimes I fail and it’s okay – it is only paint! You can paint over a canvas if you mess up! I always learn more from mistakes than successes in painting. Work with the process.

  • I work fulltime in software sales – but art is my passion. I try to block out time to paint daily – but let’s face it – life happens. So what I recommend is blocking off your calendar for daily ‘art’ time – even if it is watch a tutorial or combing through an art book.
  • Notice your surroundings – how light touches trees at different times of the day…how shadows and light play together in regular daily settings. Observing light and values in day to day life will help you become a better artist
  • Invest in materials

The biggest advice I can give from my experience in art is it is worth investing in quality supplies – especially if you are a beginner. While the buy one = get ten free sales at Michael’s on student paint seems tempting – in the end you will waste time and money by ‘saving’ cost upfront on student paints.

Why? I used to buy fifty paintbrushes for $10 on sale -but they were impossible to paint with. I had to use tons of extra paint to get it to stick to the canvas – not to mention tons of paint hairs would wind up on the canvas stuck in the paint.

Cheap canvas? They can be redeemed with gesso but a cheap and ineffective canvas can be like sandpaper on your brushes…unable to keep paint on the canvas and leaving blotchy spots.

  • Gesso can help with this to provide better binding – but if possible invest in quality affordable canvas.

Paints – while there are some decent student grade paints -most are watered down and have less pigment so you end up using a tube of paint just to finish a painting. The mixing quality isn’t as good.

I’ve tried lots of different paints, brushes and supplies over my art journey and continue to test new products. The standbys I always invest in are listed below – they provide the best value for the investment and help me to provide the best art to my clients and continue to improve as a painter.

Acrylic Paints:

I recommend investing in your primary colors first and then adding on specific specialized colors that are harder to mix (magenta, dioxinade purple, etc…)

Invest in a color wheel and mixing guide so you can make more colors from less tubes of paint.

  • Golden: I love Golden Paints – their heavy body paint is thick and easy to blend and spread. Golden is my go to for specific colors like ‘Light Phthalo Blue.’ I love this color because it provides an ideal sky blue or is a good blending blue. I spend $20.00 a month on this color – but it is worth it!
  • Liquitex: Liquitex Basics is an awesome quality starter paint that I continue to use 90% of the time. Liquitex also has professional series from soft body and heavy body paints. The heavy body is great for thicker landscape/strokes and the softbody is good when you want a more flowing stroke (from my use anyway 🙂 Liquitex also has great glazing and acrylic additives.
  • Soho – Jerry’s Artarama brand – I use it for primary colors – quality affordable paint
  • Windsor and Newton – I love their Naples Yellow and Mixing White
  • Lukas – I like their blues and yellows – good price and quality paint
  • Sennelier – this is a favorite of paintings – Van Gogh and Monet used Sennelier paints for oils. Their Abstract paint is great for mixed media!

Brushes:

I spend a lot on brushes and have also saved a ton of money and time by doing so. A quality brush is essential to painting – from beginners to professionals.

I recommend Silver Brushes – they are my absolute favorite – especially Ruby Satin.

However, I also supplement with Soho (Jerry’s Artarama), Princeton and Raphael

I order from Jerry’s or The Brush Guys

Canvas:

  • I like Creative Mark for affordable quality canvas
  • Jerry’s and Blick both carry lots of quality options with great sale prices.

I’d love to get you feedback on what products you love

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Flowers for Ukraine

Sunflowers Rising –

The night is darkest before the dawn

And yet the sun rises to the fight

The light of hope doesn’t extinguish in the dark

The light of resilience is a peace that sustains its spark

Hope does not fade it ignites an uncharted faith

Freedom to dance amid the sunflowers without fear

Today we cry but the seeds of hope – the sunflowers in the field will sow the sunlight

Prayer for Ukraine

Please consider donating to Save the Children, CRS or UNICEF

All profits from my Etsy Page will go to the above charities through the end of March!

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Fresh Art- March Collection

This spring I am continuing my ‘Painting the National Parks’ collection as well as adding in fun floral prints and abstracts. Fresh art is being added to Etsy weekly.

Please support a working artis by purchasing through Etsy or via direct message.

My goal is create beautiful, fun and relaxing art that is affordable and accessible to art lovers.

Montana Sunset – available on Etsy
Hayden Valley Yellowstone on Etsy
Rocky Mountain National Park on Etsy
Flowers in Bloom on Etsy
Flowers in Bloom on Etsy
Painting through the National Parks, Uncategorized

Painting the National Parks: Shenandoah

Check out the story behind this impression of Shenandoah National Park on my sister blog Adele Lassiter – American Nomad

I love mountains, and The Blue Ridge Mountains have a piece of my heart. I am always drawn to the vast rolling jagged hills of the Blue Ridge. One of the most stunning tracts of Appalachia is in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.

Located only 75 miles from DC, this oasis of pastoral beauty is flanked by the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Piedmont to the east. This land is steeped in history and is a place that time seems to have forgotten. Here to can hike 500 miles of trails and enjoy scenic vistas on the Skyline Drive.

I knew I wanted to paint an image inspired from my time in Shenandoah, but struggled with which image to select. I decided to paint a scene from the Stony Man trail – where the rocks appear like a shipwreck against the mountains – windswept and undaunted.

Shenandoah is known for is vast valleys, mountain passes, but the rocks again the lush landscape are my favorite scenese.

I wanted this to be a fluid painting. When you look at a Blue Ridge vista it is so sweeping details run together into a montage of color and light.

I focused on values and making the focal point of this painting the rock.

To learn more about Shenandoah National Park click here

To support my art (so I can keep painting – buying art supplies) – consider purchasing an original painting on my Etsy page.

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Painting the National Parks: California Vistas

Prior to COVID-19, my mom and I were planning an action-packed 10 day trip to Yosemite and Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks. June 2020…it was our dream trip and unfortunately with the pandemic we had to cancel. Losing out on the trip is not a huge loss, given the burden COVID has caused. One thing that helped me during the pandemic has been painting and connecting with other painters virtually during lockdowns and social distancing.

Even if COVID has upset past and present travel plans, ART has a healing power and we are blessed to have the ability to watch live videos of scenic nature (YouTube has hours of scenic videos of our National Parks – enabling the homebound to enjoy the scenery from afar).

I still have my stack of Yosemite guidebooks on my shelf and hope to make the trip in 2023. The reservations are so crazy now to get in the park – we are looking to visit South Dakota this year.

While I am valleys and mountains apart from Yosemite and California’s National Parks, I can imagine myself in the wilderness, in the shadows of Sequoias and vast mountain valleys and vistas.

I’m still painting my way through California’s parks, but wanted to share my progress so far….

All art is available on Etsy

Yosemite National Park:

The tunnel view vista of the Yosemite Valley is one of the most iconic images in America. Photographers and painters from Ansel Adams to Albert Bierstadt have tried to translate the natural beauty of Yosemite into art. God’s artistry in nature is unrivaled and yet scenes from Yosemite dare us to dream and art can help us to connect with nature and creation.

Painting my version of the Yosemite Valley took four hours. The natural scenery is so sweeping you need time to scale the elements. The perspective in painting the Tunnel View is difficult.

My goal in this impression was not extreme detail, but to ensure I matched the values of the scene from from reference photo. I sought to add hints of browns and lighter tones in the rock to represent the lighter values in the reference photo.

Overall I’m satisfied with the painting and will have it on my Etsy page soon.

Yosemite, like Yellowstone (Grand Canyon of Yellowstone) is a place I will continue to paint time and again. Each day and each season offers new inspiration. I hope you enjoy this painting.

Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Albert Bierstadt (American, Solingen 1830–1902 New York), Oil on canvas, American
Albert Bierstadt painting at The MET

King’s Canyon National Park:

King’s Canyon is known as a mini-Yosemite – it is vast and beautiful with jagged peaks and the gorge of a chiseled canyon. In searching for a reference photo, I noticed the clear blue water of King’s Canyon’s back country lakes. I wanted this to be a reflection of the park.

I focused on building layers of light grey and browns for the peaks – with a dusting of snow (Titanium White and Iridescent White + Phlatho Light Blue). The lake was an emerald clear green so I used lighter blues and greens to create this scene.

To learn more about the park click here

Channel Islands:

I have always dreamed of visiting Channel Islands National Park – which is a ferry ride off the coast of Southern California.

I took my inspiration from this image of Cathedral Cove

Crystal clear water, kelp forests, sea caves, sea birds, and sea lions all may be seen from the Cathedral Cove overlook on East Anacapa.

My painting is meant to be an impression and not at detailed as the reference photo -but I wanted to work on the values of the island stone and deep impenetrable blue of the ocean.

To learn more about the park – click here

Art for sale on Etsy – by purchasing Fresh Art by Adele – you support an artist to purchase additional supplies and run her blog 🙂 Thank you