The Nars

The Nars, or the Narrows for those of you who don't speak the English dialect peculiar to the Ozark mountains, is the last vestige of a once mighty mountain of limestone high in the Boston Plateau. Below and to the left is the Buffalo National River. As you stand at this location, I guess the river is about 100 feet below you. To the right and about the same distance down would be the Richland valley. Millions of years ago, Richland Creek scoured the mountain away and then slowly moved across the valley to it's current location at least a 1/4 mile away. As Richland Creek meandered away, the Buffalo moved in and took out the other side of the mountain, leaving this narrow strip of rock. The brave adventurous type can cross this strip and climb up the throne on the other side. At it's narrowest, the rock ledge is only a couple of feet wide and while the distance to the ground is not terrifying, a slip would certainly result in a broken leg or worse. The ride down that way would be extremely bumpy to say the least. This is a pretty isolated place and to fall here alone without a GPS transmitter would probably be disastrous, especially if you fell onto the Richland Valley side. I certainly wasn't brave enough to cross!
Oil on Canvas

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John D. Wooldridge

About John D. Wooldridge

John D. Wooldridge Website My Blog Statement  I am driven by the beauty of nature and the place of humans within it. I have a predilection for those themes with which I am most familiar and which were meaningful to me in my childhood. Streams, rivers and bodies of water hold a particular fascination as do small towns and the fading remnants of our civilization, so quickly reclaimed by the land. I prefer to work with limited palettes, seeking to establish a mood in the piece via the interactions of specific color combinations. My palette is constantly changing to suit the needs of each piece. I also like to use direction of brushwork to achieve a rhythmic quality.  I have a wide array of influences. Among them are Jean Francois Millet, Frederic Remington, Edward Seago, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer and most especially the Russian Impressionist Isaac Levitan. Closer to home, I admire the work of fellow Arkansan Bill Garrison and the late Louis Freund. Primary contemporary influences include William Wray and Stapleton Kearns. Although almost entirely self-taught, my working techniques are firmly rooted in the traditions and knowledge that came before. I take what I need from these traditions and improvise from them as needed, hoping to craft something that is both recognizable in its roots but that is also an obvious outgrowth of my own instincts.  Bio  I am a native Arkansan with deep roots in Newton and Searcy Counties. I spent many hours of my formative years drawing and roaming on our 200 acre cattle farm and adjacent neighbors' land in Boone and Marion Counties. I indulged a love of art and a desire to learn to paint as a very young teen by taking my only lessons in Harrison, AR. Aside from these lessons and the odd workshop now and then, I am self taught. After receiving a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, I moved my young family to the suburbs of Washington D.C. to pursue a career with NASA. I have designed, built, and operated systems in orbit around Earth and on the surface of Mars. I currently reside in Maumelle, Arkansas.  Exhibitions  2013: • Arkansas League of Artists Annual Juried Show (3rd Place Animals/Wildlife) September, Cantrell Gallery, Little Rock • Painting Arkansas, Solo Show August, Cantrell Gallery, Little Rock • 65th Annual River Valley Invitational August-September, Fort Smith Regional Art Museum • Arkansas League of Artists Members Show June, Cox Creative Center, Little Rock • Hot Springs Fine Arts Center Spring Regional (Honorable Mention) March, Hot Springs Fine Arts Center, Hot Springs, AR   2012: •Painting Arkansas, Solo Show October, Van Buren Center for Art and Education • Arkansas League of Artists Juried Exhibition October, Butler Center, Little Rock, AR (First Place, Landscape) • Arkansas League of Artists Spring Members Show May, Terry House, Little Rock, AR (Third Place, Landscape)   2011: • Arkansas League of Artists Juried Exhibition September-October, Cantrell Gallery, Little Rock, AR • Diamond National Exhibition (Michaelis Merit Award) September, Hot Springs Fine Arts Center, Hot Springs, AR • Arkansas League of Artists Spring Members Show May, Terry House, Little Rock, AR • Harrison Art League Spring Show (3rd Place, Oil) May, Oak Leaf Gallery, Harrison, AR • Hot Springs Fine Arts Center Spring Regional (Merit Award) April, Hot Springs Fine Arts Center, Hot Springs, AR     2010: • Diamond National Exhibition August, Hot Springs Fine Arts Center, Hot Springs, AR • Harrison Art League Spring Show (Honorable Mention) May, Oak Leaf Gallery, Harrison, AR   2009: • “ColorFest” October 23 and 24, Arkansas Game and Fish Elk Education Center, Ponca, AR • “Starry Night” October, Hot Springs Fine Arts Center, Hot Springs, AR • “Celebration of the Tulip” April, ClayTime Studios, North Little Rock, AR • “Featured Artist” April & May, Arkansas State Treasurer’s Office     Professional Memberships Oil Painters of America Arkansas League of Artists - Signature Member