About the Artwork
Hues of autumn and twilight color the sky, as the mighty screech owl emerges from a hidden nook. This fantastic scene was inspired by an overnight hiking trip at the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area with my wife and children in 2015. The haunting crystal moon was brilliant and filled the night sky with pale blue luminescence. Our heads were weary from our travels when we arrived upon our quarters. I unloaded the last of our gear from the vehicle when suddenly a screech owl’s shattering cry startled me from the tree line. I turned to look and behold, a piercing gaze caught me cold and we locked eyes for what seemed like eternity. The owl scanned my soul intently and seemed to examine every aspect of being. I began to squirm under its scrutiny and stepped hard on a twig. Snap! The sound alarmed my feathered friend and in a flash of lightning, the fierce screech owl took to the night. That was the last I saw of it. The next morning we ate breakfast ravenously in preparation for our hike through the beautiful landscape at Seneca Rocks. My encounter with the owl the night before stuck with me throughout the day and later in the evening as we rested, I sketched the initial roughs that would eventually become this painting. Thanks for looking. Enjoy!
The Grist Mill at Glade Creek – Babcock State Park, West Virginia
Brian C. Zickafoose © 2014
36″ x 24″ Oil on Canvas
Completion Date: November 22, 2014 – 11:22 am
In this painting, I explore the Flemish Realism oil technique of the Dutch Masters, as taught to me by the late local artist, David E. Weaver – to whose memory this is dedicated.
David Weaver was a friend of mine over the years. He was a generous and openly kind person. Whenever I would visit him at the Midland Trail Gallery, he was always giving me art prints and different things. I never left his studio empty handed. His mentorship and teaching was a huge inspiration for my art and life path. Without him this painting would not have been possible.
The painting depicts the Grist Mill at Babcock State Park at the peak of autumn’s glory on October 10, 2014 at around 4:00pm in the afternoon. Also featured in the image are several West Virginia state icons, including two cardinals (state bird), a sugar maple branch (state tree) and a honey bee (state insect), as well as native species of wildflowers.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
I’m a true son of the hills. I was born and bred in Danese, WV, just a few miles up the road from the park. Whenever my family would get together growing up, it would always be at Babcock, so some of my fondest childhood memories center around that park. When I moved away from the area as an adult and would come home to visit, Babcock always seemed to greet me with a warm and loving embrace, as if to say, ‘You are home, my son’.
Pursuing my artistic dreams has taken me around the globe, hobnobbing in Amsterdam, living for a spell in Hollywood, California and most recently having spent a decade in Roanoke, Virginia. In 2012 I relocated my family back to the area and a year later launched the first oil painting in this series, Ancient River in Autumn – New River Gorge, WV, the predecessor of the Grist Mill at Glade Creek painting.
It was an inevitable expression of my creativity to paint this series. These great icons of West Virginia are ingrained in my memory and have become a part of who I am. Painting the Grist Mill is as much of an expression of myself as it is an interpretation of the iconography my home state. The Grist Mill is a sacred destination for many folks, including myself. This land was regarded as sacred grounds by the Indians ages before Europeans settled it and a millennia before the Grist Mill was built. So, continuing a tradition of spirituality in this area through my art is not only my heritage, it is my duty.
This video is proudly brought to you by:
Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
Marathon Bicycle Co.
Priority Ambulance Service
Secret Sandwich Society
Produced by: The Green Touch Group, LLC
Oil Painting by: Brian C. Zickafoose
Music: “Banjo Funk” by Brown House Media
Music Licensed through: AudioJungle.net
Video extras: Xia Yasmine Zickafoose and Zenna Yvonne Zickafoose
Filmed entirely with GoPro Hero cameras and mounts.[/read]