Thursday, August 26, 2010


"In the Lime Light" 5x7" Oil on panel
"Snuggle Up" 10x8" Oil on panel
"Take a Bow" 5x7" Oil on panel
Thought I'd post a few of my recent small paintings of a very showy little red apple and an admiring company of tangerines . I am adding these paintings to the auction posting on my eBay Store at I am hoping to start adding a few small paintings every week or so.

If you are interested in bidding on one of the Head on Down the Highway paintings, the auction is closing in another day or two.

If you are sick on being on the highway with me and would just like to get out of this vehicle, stretch your legs, and stop all these blogs, hit this link and simply type "Remove me from the List" in the subject line and I'll drop you off at the next corner... after all I kidnapped you and have been holding you hostage long enough.  : ) 

Thursday, August 19, 2010



The Linda Watson Gallery is scheduling a show sometime late fall, but my paintings are NOW available for sale on eBay. If you would like to view and/or place a bid, you can get there by clicking on the following link  The painting are being uploaded over the next couple of days, so if you don't see the painting you are interested in check back in tomorrow.

In conjunction with the fall gallery showing, I will be reading excerpts from my blog. At the suggestion of a number of blog followers, I have decided to publish a limited number of signed books from the writings, photos and paintings on the blog. These will be available for purchase at the time of the reading. I will be sending you an invitation in the near future.

Thanks again for all your interest and support.

Nancy Parsons

Sunday, August 15, 2010

DAY 45 Home Sweet Home

"Beauty may appear anywhere, at just have to be ready for it"
— Kevin Macpherson, Artist

Quicker than I ever imagined possible, our 45 day sabbatical comes to a screeching halt at the end of the highway back in Conroe. From the southern most borders of Texas, to the glaciers of Montana, and with every mile in between, this trip has been a celebration of the beauty found everywhere. I return home now in humble gratitude to our Creator and Father for the richness and abundance of all that surrounds us in this incredible world of wonder, awe, mystery and majesty. The images in my mind and the experiences I have encountered will remain always in my heart to draw upon and paint from in all the years to come.

Thank you to all of you who followed along on this journey. My blog began on a whim as a means to stay in contact with family and friends but quickly took on a life of its own. I had no idea how much fun and pleasure it would be sharing my thoughts, impressions, feelings, photos and paintings. I wonder how many people have been followed along? I know many of you have forwarded the blog link on to friends, and some have even linked this site to other blogs. Dave's computer died several thousand miles back so he has been unable to make any comments but we have both loved hearing from each and everyone of you. Your positive e-mails and comments were the fuel that inspired me on a daily basis to stay true to my mission.

The Linda Watson Gallery here in Conroe, TX has generously offered to do a show of all the painting that I have shown on my blog, prior to posting on ebay. A date has not been set but I will send everyone an invitation to the opening, and will also let you know when the paintings are available on ebay. A number of followers have expressed an interest in certain paintings, if you are interested in any one specific painting, or if you would like a complete list of all the paintings, along with titles, sizes, please send me an e-mail.

My e-mail:
My painting portfolio: View all the Head on Down the Highway Paintings at
My website:

See ya down the highway on our next adventure.

nancy parsons

Saturday, August 14, 2010

DAY 44

We drove for 12 hours yesterday across Colorado's cheery sunflower lined highways, passing miles and miles of ten-story tall metal scarecrows waving long slender Mercedes Benz-looking arms in a chorus line performance. These graceful monsters whirled in perfect time as if to some invisible director's wand, standing erect in mute attention, reaping energy from the wind.

Briefly into the northwest corner of Oklahoma, we pass a train with engines hooked at both ends which appeared to be driving backwards. Sunlight, cutting through all the connecting spaces between each of the heavily laden coal cars, created an entertaining dance of flickering light onto the dark shadowed grasses of the hillside below. This light was so dazzling it could be seen for miles. Then on the side of a rocky mount, outside one of the many little towns we passed by, a small white cross and round stones spelled out the words, "St. Mark's Methodist Church" thus giving new meaning to the words, "Upon this rock I will build my church." Let's face it, you have to find something to keep your mind occupied on these long stretches of highway. : ) 

Late in the day we are warmly greeted by the "Welcome to Texas" sign. The sun had now crept lower in the sky ready to begin its magic work of transformation. Seemingly dried-up and dead grasses along the road and in the fields are suddenly painted into deep rich fertile lands accentuated by the lengthening shadows of evening. I stare transfixed, snapping photos right and left, for a stunning recital of the sea of orange, violet, pink, fiery red, golden yellow, deep purple and blue gray clouds that have lined up in a caravan-style procession of light, marching their way to ultimate destruction at the end of the sky...swallowed up into the mouth of night.

Amarillo Sunset

Friday, August 13, 2010

DAY 43

 Yesterday, heading southwest to Red Lodge, we passed through miles of lush verdant meadows, pastures and fields lined with fresh bales of hay.
Bear Tooth Mountains

Road to Red Lodge
Crossing into Wyoming, just south of Thermopolis, we are swept along through the narrow Wind River Canyon with rushing waters dropping off to the side of the road below. A railroad track clung by its iron claws  to the steep walls of the canyon where an occasional rickety old tunnels looked more like mine shafts. This mystical looking portal through the mountains is all part of an Indian Reservation.
Wind River Canyon

Traveling on further into WY, we are shoved along by ferocious winds howling like a ghostly banshee across the endless stretch of wide open prairie. These desolate lands are so stark it could quite effectively be painted with one simple wide stroke of a brush loaded with barren nameless color, only the welcomed sight of vertical lines of telephone poles offered any break to the endless expanse of land and sky. Dry tumbleweed floating and drifting across the road, only added more mystery and stark beauty to the landscape.

Today we are heading back into Colorado and on into Texas as we continue homeward. See ya down the highway.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DAY 42

"Woodbine Thunder" 5x7" Oil on Canvas Board

Yesterday my sister Barb and I took a drive to a very picturesque location nearby called Woodbine to hike, paint and read for a couple of hours, while all the guys headed off for another day of fly fishing on another river/lake in the area. Woodbine is an enticing 45 minute drive from Absarokee with spectacular views at every turn in the winding road through the Stillwater Valley, which passes by one of the few significant mining sources for platinum and palladium outside South Africa and Russia. A clear sky with no rain in sight, we hiked a short distance up the rocky narrow trail into the lower canyon of the Stillwater River that skirts alongside raging waters of gushing white foam, surging over huge boulders through high jagged walls of the gorge. The hike is simply breathtaking. This is where I painted the little painting above. I could have stayed there all day painting in this remote and enchanted setting.

So as all good things must come to an end, today we say goodbye to Montana and begin the long 1,800 mile drive home into the scorching Texas mid-August heat. What a shock that is going to be after spending the past six weeks snuggling up in sweat shirts to stay warm in the mornings and early evenings. We were hoping to pass through the badlands of S. Dakota on the way home but will have to take another route since an event called "Sturgis" is in full gear. Evidently this is the 70th anniversary of Sturgis, so this little town is hosting 500,000 Harley bikers from all over the country. Every hotel, motel and campground for 100 miles is booked solid...nothing against bikers, mind you, but the word detour is flashing big time in my mind.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DAY 39, 40 & 41

"East Rosebud Rush" 11x14 Oil on Canvas

Houston, the Eagle has landed!!! I have finally made an internet connection and am live again. Sorry for the lapse of three days since my last post, we have been painting, fly fishing, hiking and visiting with my family in Montana's "big sky" country with its miles and miles of rolling green hills, mesas, ranches, farms all under the back drop of the glacier capped Bear Tooth Mountains.

I painted "East Redbud Rush" this afternoon along side the white water rapids at the East Rosebud River. It was a very challenging experience amidst on and off thunder storms that continued all afternoon. I must have looked quite a sight as people kept driving by along side the road were I was painting, pointing and laughing at me huddled over my easel with one hand holding a poncho over myself trying to keep everything dry. The horseflies were biting my legs and I had to keep taking my sweat shirt on and off as temperature were climbing and dropping every 30 minutes. I am amazed that this painting came out as well as it did.

Tomorrow is our last day in Montana before heading the 1800 mile ride on home. Here are a few photos from Absarokee.

Dave fishing on the Rosebud which runs right through the fishing camp

Saturday, August 7, 2010

DAY 37 & 38

"Heading for Home" 7.5x12", Oil on Canvas Board
Sorry for the absence everyone, I hit some technical difficulties and have not been able to post the past few days. Seems WiFi service in this part of the world doesn't like Macs, so today I am driving to the town of Columbus to post. FYI McDonalds has universally compatible WiFi service, plus Senior Coffee for $.39. What a deal!

I painted this little painting at the end of the road where we are staying, here in Absoarkee. I painted late today just as a strong breeze swept away the heat, and the cows began making their way back to their barn... snacking all the way, and the sky was gearing up for  "magic" show time. I took my seat and right on key the fields began growing brighter and richer in the warm stage lights. The mountains, veiled in cool blue violet attire, served as a backdrop for another premier performance. I was the most appreciative of an audience, applauding and sending out rave reviews of praise well into the night.

Catch of the Day  
The River Runs Though It

DAY 36

"The Gathering" 12x12" Oil on Canvas Board
Gardner River

This morning we drove just a few miles back into Yellowstone Park to visit and bathe at the hot springs near the travertine (calcium carbonate) terraces of Mammoth. A mile hike in off the road along the bubbling Gardner River we found the thermal springs. The water pours out of the rocks here at scalding temps directly into the cold river (year round). Visitors of all ages find their way here to soak sore hiking muscles in the soothing waters of this natural hot tub. During the month of December Brown Speckled Trout spawn up stream from this spot and the grasses stay green during the harsh winters in this little oasis. Here's some photos along the river and of the springs.

The battery in the camper died on us so we are heading to Columbus, MT to find a replacement. Poor old camper we have really given her a workout on this trip.  She has been limping along with a broken arm and duck tape patch job on one of the windows but the battery really put her over the edge. See the pathetic crippled photos below.

Wounded Soldier

Once we get a new battery, we will go on to my sister Kitsy and brother-in-law Van's very cool, old fishing camp in Absarokee, MT. They are gone right now to Peru (as in South America) climbing Machu cool is that... but are due back in a couple days so we will set up the camper and wait for them, and for my sister Barb and hubby Arnie's arrivals. I am really looking forward to some more time to visit and spend the early mornings painting with my loved ones for a few days before setting sites on home. Wow...what a trip this has been!!! 

"The Gathering" of little jars was a challenge to paint since there wasn't a direct light source, and reflections were coming in from all sides changing constantly with the movement of the light. Normally I would have used a controlled spot light but what is one to do without electricity?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DAY 35

Today we finally tore ourselves away from the Grand Tetons and move on into Yellowstone. What an incredible drive through such diverse lands including: the wide open Hayden Valley with herds of grazing bison, moose and elk, 20 miles of the twisting Yellowstone River with its 42 degree bottom temps of clear blue waters and white foamy caps racing down mountain sides, the smell of sulphur as we passed by vast arrays of geological formations and thermal features including: geysers, bubbling mudpots, fumarole, and steaming hot springs. What an exciting ride.

This little guy was grazing along the side of the road as we drove by and came right up to our car door.
One of the terraces in the thermal area near Mammoth Springs
Yellowstone... I loved the shadows of the clouds draping over the mountains
Yellowstone River
Yellowstone Lake
Unfortunately, we were unable to get into any of the campgrounds inside Yellowstone for the night, or for that matter, any other type of accommodation, so we had to high roll it into a motel in Gardiner, MT five miles outside of the park. After nearly five weeks of camping what a thrill it is to have a room with carpet, a bed with an honest to goodness mattress instead of a sleeping bag, electricity to read by versus a flashlight, a personal shower that you don't have to pay extra for complete with fresh towels, a toilet that you don't have to go outside and walk to get to in the middle of the night with a flashlight not knowing what wild animal might be lurking behind the next tree. Wow!!! What luxuries. They even have a small pool so I was able to get in some abbreviated laps. However the best part is the major benefit of Wifi in our room. In most all of the campgrounds we have stayed in, you had to drive to find a hot spot in the park and I never could get my computer to send e-mails? Some I was able to send on my BlackBerry but then again, I would have to drive to another location to find just the right spot to pick up a signal and then it would fade in and out, or provide no service at all. Whew, that was a lot of stress!!!

We have officially not seen a newspaper or any TV since we left home on July 1st. I hope the world is still there? I really have enjoyed being lost in space and oblivious to it all.  

Since we were on the road all day traveling I was not able to paint but wanted to share some recent photos. See you on down the road tomorrow.  

Sacred Heart Chapel

Inside the Chapel at Jackson Lake

Creek at Jenny Lake

I walked right up to this antelope to shoot this photo

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DAY 34

"Snake River Serenade" 9x13" Oil on Canvas Board

"The ends of the earth stand in awe at the sight of your wonders. Lands of sunrise and sunset you fill with your joy." —Psalm 65

Geese flying in formation, a family of otters splashing and playing in the marshy reeds on the sandy river bank below, flocks of Great White Pelicans swooping low skimming the water's edge with wings outstretched, ducks, graceful long necked heron, osprey with their dazzling white and black streaked wings soaring overhead then perching in the top of an old dead tree, rumors heard of the sighting of a bald eagle in that same tree earlier in the day, and there is Dave's line rippling on top of sparkling reflections, darting back and forth from the air to the surface of the water, a tiny fly hopping along hoping to be swallowed up into the mouth of an unsuspecting speckled trout. I've got my own brush of a lure reaching out in searching, grasping in my mind to touch those upside down glassy mirrors of pines and oceans of sky, cornering and trapping it all onto my canvas. We are all alone here in this wild outdoor wilderness watching, waiting in humble gratitude and joy for this moment in time ... swept away by the breeze and the drooping sun over the mountain tops... not even a single bite today, yet we feasted. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

DAY 33

"Just a Slice" 6x6" Oil on Canvas Board

"Lord how your wonders are displayed, where e'er I turn my eye..."

Fresh blueberries, thick peppered bacon, spicy sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs with melting cheddar cheese, lightly toasted whole wheat bread spread thick with butter and raspberry preserves, steaming hot coffee sizzling in my mug, surrounded by the light fragrance of other sleepy-eyed early morning campfires arising out of the 35 degree overnight chill to begin another day of basking in the glory and sunlight of all that surrounds me...AAH the joy of this moment!

My painting of this beautiful little melon who gave up its life for us yesterday was challenging to paint without a good light source. We do not have electricity so for still life paintings I have to rely on the diffused soft northern light that filters in through the screen window of the camper. In spite of the short value range available I was pretty happy with the result.

We're off today heading over to the Snake River to paint and fish. See ya tomorow...over and out.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

DAY 32 Holy Bear!

Look very carefully inside the circle and you will see the sighting of a Holy Bear
That's right folks, a holy bear, we spotted this young lady on the hillside right across the street from the Catholic Church on the way to Mass at the Sacred Heart Chapel near Signal Mountain. Turns out she is a Cinnamon Black Bear, brown coat with black ears...we sure thought she was a Grizzly until the park ranger set us straight. Wow, that was quite an exciting discovery! We also saw a coyote meandering across the street right in front of us on her way back from a cool evening drink at a creek by the Lodge. You just never know what you are going to see around the next corner here.

The chapel where we attended Mass yesterday was a in a very quaint, tiny log church nestled up under a thick blanket of stately ancient pines. This must be a mission church judging by the fact that the unisex restroom is an outhouse outback. Here is the view from where you can sit and reflect while waiting your turn. I believe this is Jenny Lake?

It rained this afternoon so we had a very laid back day making some repairs around the camper, a little touch up painting, cleaning and reading. We had planned to move on into Yellowstone in the morning but tonight changed our minds and signed up for another couple of nights here. There is still so much to see and do, we just couldn't bear (no pun intended) to leave. Here is the finished Oxbow Bend painting and a better photo.
"Oxbow Bend" 11x14" Oil on Canvas