Smokey Hollow

This year’s birthday present is one of the most special gifts I’ve ever been given. Matt, my family and his parents all went in together to buy me a painting.

Smokey Hollow

The painting is of a waterfall in the town where I grew up.

I hiked the trails around this waterfall and waded in this creek so many times. The waterfall doesn’t really have a name, but the whole gorge around it is called Smokey Hollow (which is also the name of the painting). I’ve heard a couple of explanations for the name Smokey Hollow. One is the mist from the waterfall made the hollow “smokey.” The second is literal smoke which came from all of the mills that used to be throughout the valley. In fact, the creek that runs over this waterfall is called Grindstone Creek.

Wherever the name came from, this is a beautiful spot that’s very special to me, and to have it memorialized in a painting was something that I couldn’t resist.

This was painted by a local artist named Brian Darcy. He paints nature and farms and the countryside. I could buy pretty much every one of his paintings.

This particular painting, I’ve wanted since I was in high school. It means so much that my family came together to give this to me.

Since we painted the living room and set up the bookcases on the opposite side of the room, we had a perfect wall for it.

Smokey Hollow by Brian Darcy

Matt made all of the arrangements to buy the painting, but what made this extra special was that we actually got to meet Brian. We saw some of his works in progress and learned about his painting process and heard some of the story behind the Smokey Hollow painting.

He even gave us copies of a little study he did from the painting. Down in the bottom right corner on the shore of the creek, there’s a little cluster of pink wildflowers. Flitting around the flowers is a Swallowtail butterfly. Well, Brian took that scene and did a separate small little painting.

Summer fields by Brian Darcy

My family has known for a long time that I wanted this painting. Last year, my Mom went down to Smokey Hollow and took a picture for me. She had it printed and framed and gave it to me for my last birthday.

Smokey Hollow photo

I still need to find the perfect place to hang this one. Since Smokey Hollow is such a special spot for me, I think I’m allowed to have two pictures of it.

Anyone else have a story of finally getting something you’ve waited a long time have? Do you have any mementos of where you grew up? Even though this was a gift, this is Matt’s and my first time spending any significant amount of money on art. I have to say I’m feeling pretty grown up about it. Have you invested in art?

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12 thoughts on “Smokey Hollow

  1. Yeah, that looks like a photograph!

    Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

    My Dad is an artist, and he had a painting at the Art Gallery of Hamilton when I was little. I have always loved that painting. It is called The Rain House and hangs in my parents’ family room. So, as a wedding gift, he painted a slightly different version of it, and called it The Rain House 2. It is proudly displayed in my living room, even though the marriage didn’t last, this painting will always be special to me! All the art in my house is either my Dad’s work, or my photography, or my Mom’s photography. Or my kids’ art work.

  2. Wow, Julia, that’s gorgeous!! What a beautiful place, and what a lovely, thoughtful gift.
    I’ve bought a couple of prints and such, and have original art from my mother and my ex husband. Art is a beautiful, meaningful thing to spend money on. You really have something special and lasting to show for it.
    Not sure when your birthday was, but happy day! πŸ™‚

  3. I love that painting too. It is very significant to my family as well. There are people I have met who used to drive through Smokey Hollow and did not realize the falls were there. However, every weekend now, the parking lot is full to over-flowing. What a great natural gift it is.

    Enjoy,

    Auntie Anne

  4. I am very pleased to start your art collection as a couple. As a painter passionate about where and what I paint, you complete my circle with your appreciation and kind words! I paint what I love and throughout the seasons this area is a never-ending source of material for me . Take care Brian Darcy

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