Two July Shows in Harrisonburg and Woodstock, VA

Next month, the last two shows that are scheduled for 2018 will be held:  Larkin Arts in Harrisonburg, VA and Muse Vineyards in Woodstock, VA.  Both shows will feature my Barns of Shenandoah series, of which 20% of my proceeds will be donated to the Shenandoah County Historical Society's barn preservation program!  At Larkin Arts, a small selection of 2017 landscapes will also be exhibited. Each show has been carefully curated to exhibit a cohesive selection of my paintings. Attend both for a robust experience of my work. Here is the information on the shows:


"Sally Veach, Barns of Shenandoah & More"

Larkin Arts, Wine-Riner Galleries

July 6-28, 2018

61 Court Square, Harrisonburg, VA  22801

Opening Reception Friday, July 6, 5-8 PM


Start downtown Harrisonburg's First Friday art crawl at Larkin Arts, where my work will be exhibited in both of Larkin Arts' galleries.  Enjoy music and cider by Old Hill.  One gallery will be devoted to Barns of Shenandoah: Returning to Nature series, and one gallery will be devoted to a selection of landscapes from 2017.  Below is an example of a painting from the Barns of Shenandoah: Returning to Nature series, and a 2017 landscape painting in the show:

   Returning to Nature    ,   Acrylic on Canvas, 24" X 24"

Returning to NatureAcrylic on Canvas, 24" X 24"

   Cloud Seven  , Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas, 34" X 40"

Cloud Seven, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas, 34" X 40"


"Sally Veach at Muse Vineyards"

July 6-29, 2018

16 Serendipity Lane, Woodstock, VA  22664

Opening Reception Sunday, July 8, 3-5 PM


Come enjoy original art, Muse Vineyards' award-winning wines, and spectacular scenery! Exhibited at Muse will be paintings from the original Barns of Shenandoah series plus two paintings from the new Barns of Shenandoah: Resurrection series.  Below is an example of paintings from the two series:

   The Gathering Storm  , Oil on Canvas, 36" X 48"

The Gathering Storm, Oil on Canvas, 36" X 48"

    Resurrection 2  , Oil on Canvas, 36" X 36"

Resurrection 2, Oil on Canvas, 36" X 36"

It's been a very busy year, with so many developments and lots of painting!  Since January I've created 26 paintings and sold 17!  I've had five solo shows!  I was able to donate over $1600 to help save Shenandoah County's barns, and am working with the Shenandoah County Historical Society to develop a robust barn preservation program!  I am having conversations with galleries and a museum, too!

There is even more exciting news on the horizon so STAY TUNED!  And above all, please accept my sincere gratitude for supporting me throughout this journey that started back in 2012, with a silly blog about getting back to an artistic life.  Art is central to my core now.  It seems The Art Life (Such As It Is)--now defunct blog--should be changed to simply The Art Life, because I'm living it!  :-)

Looking forward to many more years of ART.  And hope to see you in July!

With Gratitude,


Barns of Shenandoah Project and Preservation Efforts a Success!

 We made the list of the eleven most endangered places in Virginia!

We made the list of the eleven most endangered places in Virginia!

Preservation VA Brochure.jpg

Hello All!

It's time for an update on what is going on with my Barns of Shenandoah project and work with the Shenandoah County Historical Society.  First off, there have been sales from two shows and direct from my studio, which made it possible to present two checks to the Shenandoah County Historical Society's Barn Program for a total of $1,657.10!  So far, eleven paintings have sold, and the amount donated represents 20% of my proceeds.  So a big thank you to all who have supported me and this effort to raise awareness and funds to support the barns of Shenandoah County!

The other excellent news is we got the nomination for one of Virginia's Most Endangered Places from Preservation Virginia, the oldest statewide preservation organization in the country! It was hard to keep this news a secret for a couple weeks. Finally, on Tuesday, May 8, the exciting day came, and representatives from Preservation Virginia traveled here to make one of two on-site announcements of the list of ten nominated places.  We are so grateful to this venerable organization from shining a light on our historic barns!  This event should be a great shove to get the boulder rolling towards eventual fundraising and hopefully real assistance for barn owners.  

It has been gratifying to possibly make a lasting difference in the future, cultural landscape of our valley home.  The Shenandoah Valley is so unique in regards to barn architecture and number of surviving, historic barns.  We estimate there may be over 1000 traditional barns still standing, dating from the late 1700's up to the 1950's.  Many, many barns date to right after the Civil War, making them around 150 years old.  And we are finding more and more log barns in out of the way places, and also covered by siding, than we thought existed.  Chances are good that a log barn will be at least 200 years old, and a handful are considered or documented as from pre-revolutionary war years!

I am asking folks to consider this question:  Is the continued existence of old barns in Shenandoah County is important to you?  The barns of Shenandoah County are a symbol of our cultural heritage:  hard work, independence, and enterprise.  They contribute to the unique, visual identity of our rural landscape, an intangible yet powerful testimony to the families that lived and died while establishing Shenandoah County.  They also speak to "from whence we came", through the unique Swiss and Germanic architecture that exists only here and areas in Pennsylvania where the early settlers first lived. 

We are losing barns constantly; they are slowly returning to nature.  Do we want this to happen?  If not, the problem needs to be addressed.  Please think about contributing to the Shenandoah County Historical Society's Barn Fund. We are looking for small, regular donations, legacy giving, and corporate philanthropy.  If everyone in Shenandoah County gave just $3 per year, that would mean one barn could be completely restored every year! (About $130,000. Of course, many barns would require much less than that to be stabilized for the next 75 years or so.) 

We are also looking for grant opportunities and qualified craftspeople to work on barns. And John Adamson of the Historical Society is currently working on a large scale survey.  His goal is to eventually document ALL of the barns in Shenandoah County.

Above all, please spread the word!  Let's decide what we want to do about our barns.

  • Please visit the Shenandoah County Historical Society's website and click on the barns brochure link (on the right hand side) for more information about the Barn Program. 
  • To make a donation, mail a check to Shenandoah County Historical Society, PO Box 506, Woodstock, VA  22664, and write "Barn Program" in the memo. 
  • To have your barn surveyed, please email John Adamson at or call 540-975-2240.
  • Please view my latest Barns of Shenandoah paintings below and photos from the announcement.

With Gratitude,


Returning to Nature 2 by Sally Veach, Oil on Canvas, 36" X 36"


20% of Proceeds Goes to Support Shenandoah County Barns!

The Shenandoah County Historical Society is a 501c3 Organization.

Donate to the Shenandoah County Historical Society

Resurrection 2 by Sally Veach, Oil on Canvas, 36" X 36"

Spring Rising by Sally Veach, Oil on Canvas, 36" X 36"

 I was asked to bring a painting to the announcement ceremony. This is   Returning to Nature 2.

I was asked to bring a painting to the announcement ceremony. This is Returning to Nature 2.

 Barbara Adamson, left and John Adamson, right, Introduce Justin Sarafin of Preservation Virginia at the VIrginia's Most Endangered Announcement in front of the barn at Woodstock's Fairview Park.  The town of Woodstock is considering converting the barn into an event space.  If you would like to see this happen, contact the  Woodstock Town Office . 

Barbara Adamson, left and John Adamson, right, Introduce Justin Sarafin of Preservation Virginia at the VIrginia's Most Endangered Announcement in front of the barn at Woodstock's Fairview Park.  The town of Woodstock is considering converting the barn into an event space.  If you would like to see this happen, contact the Woodstock Town Office

 Getting ready to present my check!

Getting ready to present my check!

 We had a pretty good crowd.

We had a pretty good crowd.

 John Adamson of the Shenandoah County Historical Society being interviewed by WHSV-TV of Harrisonburg, VA.  This is the barn at Fairview Park in Woodstock.

John Adamson of the Shenandoah County Historical Society being interviewed by WHSV-TV of Harrisonburg, VA.  This is the barn at Fairview Park in Woodstock.


"Barns of Shenandoah" Exhibition Opens Feburary 3!

  Obliteration  by Sally Veach

Obliteration by Sally Veach

Hello all!  

I'm so excited to finally finish up all my barn paintings and prepare them for display at the Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick, MD!  The show runs from February 3-25, 2018, and the opening reception will be Saturday, February 3, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.  I will be giving an artist's talk during the reception when we'll discuss my paintings, their meanings, processes, and inspirations.  There will also be another artist showing work in an adjacent gallery, and visitors will be able to enjoy both openings and artist talks.

We'll also present the Shenandoah County Historical Society's newly-formed Shenandoah County Barn Programand talk about their goals and my vision for establishing a fund to support it. It is my greatest desire for the fund to one day be substantial enough to grant financial assistance to barn owners for maintenance and preservation of these beautiful but obsolete structures. I am trying everything I know how to make that a reality for us, the future residents of Shenandoah County, and those who find solace and rejuvenation by visiting!  While it is uncertain at this beginning stage, how extensive fundraising will be, at the very least any donations received will be used towards the Historical Society's barn preservation program.  So much depends on whether the public gets excited about the prospect of saving barns and wants to help!

To kick off this effort I will donate 20% of proceeds from all Barns of Shenandoah paintings to the Shenandoah County Historical Society's barn program, led by Shenandoah County Historical Society board member, John Adamson.  For questions regarding the program, please contact either me at or John at 

I would love to see you at this celebration of my finished body of work, the kick start to creating awareness of our barns' peril, and the possibility of doing something about it!  Frederick is also a great town with many creative restaurants, shops, and located in a beautiful part of the country. 

Hope to see you there!

With Gratitude,

Sally XOXO

PS. Oh, I also have published a catalog of the Barns paintings.  If you would like to purchase one you can do so here!


Shenandoah County Historic Barns Project

 One of the few remaining pre-civil war barns in Shenandoah County, VA.

One of the few remaining pre-civil war barns in Shenandoah County, VA.

With great excitement, I am announcing an ambitious project to raise awareness of the historic barns in our county, and perhaps raise funds to contribute to their preservation!

During my artistic journey, I have constantly been awed by the beautiful nature of Shenandoah County.  But recently it became evident that there was something man-made to be inspired by:  our historic and charming barns! 

Residents of a rural community often become desensitized to the unique, historical treasure that is right beneath our noses.  I know I was.  But recently, a fleeting interest led to an obsession, and I am now on a path to help save these barns.  I hope you will join me!

Along with friend and photographer, He-Kyung Park Barr, we are working to identify ten Shenandoah County barns of historical importance and visual charm. Then I will produce a large interpretative painting of each one, and He-Kyung hopes to create photographs of the barn's unique characteristics.  The next step is to have a major exhibition somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley.  

Along with this exhibition, I want to create an online campaign to provide funds for the preservation of historic and at-risk barns.  A portion of the sales from my paintings will be contributed to the fund. And we will ask for ongoing donations to perpetually fund the project. If this project is successful, owners of qualifying barns will be able to apply for grants to help preserve them for themselves, their community, and posterity! 

In my conversations with barn owners, I have heard more than once that many are just trying to find a way to keep their barns from falling down. Maintaining an historic barn is a daunting responsibility.  And It is an expensive task.  Most of the time, owners know the historical importance of their barns, but so often it is not practical to keep them maintained, and the decision has to be made whether to tear them down or not.

We hope we can help people NOT tear them down!  If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming involved with this project, please contact me at  

This is just the beginning.  A spark creates an idea, and with added fuel, much can be accomplished!

Sometimes I go too far (or do I?)

The conundrum of discernment

 "Out of control" stage of  Ediburg Gap

"Out of control" stage of Ediburg Gap

With each painting, there are many stages.  It's a necessary consequence of an intuitive painting method. Often I don't like what happens during the process, but I don't know how (or don't want to) paint any other way for now. Having a road map is just too contrived, and where it may produce prettier paintings, mere pretty paintings is not what I want to accomplish!

Above is an "out of control" stage of my painting "Edinburg Gap".  Funny thing is, I really liked it when it happened! Enough to take a picture, crop it, and download it to my computer. But a version of a painting is an endangered species, at very high risk of becoming extinct.  And this version no longer exists.

What I wonder is, did I go too far or should I have had confidence that this wild version of "Edinburg Gap" was the one to savor and present to the world? The aim in my current work is to continually refine and define what I want to say as an artist: My particular expression. 

This is the duty of the artist.

Below are all of the stages that "Edinburg Gap" went through. It began auspiciously, got a little muddled, became clear, went crazy, and then was reined in. The reined in version is beautiful to me, but yes, it's safe. Safe is OK, but what about crazy?


 Stage One: Auspicious

Stage One: Auspicious

 Stage Two:  Muddled

Stage Two:  Muddled

 Stage Three: Out of Control

Stage Three: Out of Control

 Stage Four: Reined In and final version of "Edinburg Gap".

Stage Four: Reined In and final version of "Edinburg Gap".

Nothing Gets You Going Like Art Supplies

Hey all.  It's true. Nothing's gets you going like ordering a plethora of art supplies. It commits you to a new, long term project and solidifies the ideas in your head. This is my problem: I have too many ideas in my head. This is how I operate with all things anyway. The day goes like this:  Great idea, start working on it.  Great idea, start working on it. Great idea, start working on it.
haha.  Well today I ordered 10 large canvases and 5 smaller ones.  As I clicked the order through, out came a commitment.  It is often difficult to focus on a certain series because I have so many inspiring reference photos and visual memories to draw from.  Our recent trip to Daufuski Island really floated my boat (pun intended), with hundreds of soft, warm grey scenes and vivid sunset and sunrise, and colorful water scenes. But for a long time, I have been building an interest in blue and white cloud compositions, and have amassed a huge repertoire of photos from my daily travels in Shenandoah County, VA.  I need to finish what has been started...continue this project till the inspiration is exhausted.  So my plan is to thoroughly explore white clouds on blue surfaces for the time being.
Its becoming apparent that this blog is helping me focus.  Thank you for listening.

Dark Days of Winter are for Deep Progress

I am a thinking being.  When not making art, I spend my time thinking.  As opposed to doing.  Which can be problematic at times. But when one thinks a lot, one tends to want to share their thoughts with others, which is maybe why we have writers. It seems I use this blog as a way to organize my thoughts and also share them.  We all need connection with the outside world. For one who tends to stay "inside" a lot, writing is a way to connect to those who may share some of the same thoughts or at least appreciate them.
Winter is a time for introspection-- for going even further inside my desires for making art, and where my art should go, what I want to do, to say, to express.  Art for me is both an intellectual and emotional/expressive act.  If it were purely expressive or emotional, then it would not matter what it looked like. The entire point would be transference of feelings or energy to a surface. I can visualize what my art would look like, if that were the case. Picture the work of abstract expressionists like Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. Artwork that I love. Maybe I should just let it go, and do art like that.  But I'm too intellectual. I'm living in my brain too much.  So I want more.  I want both.


There is an effect  I want to achieve with color, mainly, which is the effect of light shining on surfaces, and involves the science of color. Problem is, this requires careful mixing of colors according to their relative characteristics of hue, saturation, temperature, and value.  I'm trying to achieve visually tantalizing interactions of color, but at the same time, have the need to express myself kinetically. This involves getting lost in brush strokes, attacks on the canvas, and the effect, getting carried away. The two are difficult to marry.

 Acrylic paints and I left them.

Acrylic paints and I left them.

  "Lady Bug" by Joan Mitchell, 1957  

 "Lady Bug" by Joan Mitchell, 1957

 Acrylic paints and I left them.

Acrylic paints and I left them.

I'll approach a painting with at least a vague idea, but sometimes a more concrete one, such as an inspirational photograph I've taken.  I'll have certain colors that seem good to start with, an idea of what I want to achieve.  But from there it often takes turns to the unknown and unplanned.  This is a good thing. Trick is, ending up in a place acceptable to the taskmaster.  And I am very hard to please.  When the physical, expressive act obliterates the intellectual aim, the painting is ruined. Sometimes it is ruined again and again, after being rescued over and over. 

But  there is a third element that makes the process even more complicated. You--The Audience. An artist needs an audience because art is communication as well as expression.  (Well, when we express we communicate, so there you have it.)  In order to communicate, people need to receive what you create.  So there is an interaction when paintings are exposed to the world. You hope to get feed back...positive, negative, or just "not interested". As a still-emerging artist, I've experimented with different styles and methods of painting.  Here is what has happened: The more representational paintings are more popular.  But I want to do more abstract paintings. So, despite that it's obvious artists need to do what inspires themselves the most, it's a pull that influences me.  At times I spin my wheels, not fully committed to this path or that path, no matter what path I am on.

Time is short-- there's lots to do, lots to accomplish.  Projects are waiting to get started. For the next several months, I'll be diving deeper into what exactly I want to create.  You can expect, no matter what, expressive, colorful paintings inspired by nature.  I plan to explore one path, then explore another.  I hope some of what I create impacts you.  Art is a gift to the world--can I make you feel the joy of the landscape, can I make you feel the love, this spectacle that is our awesome world?  If I did, it was a good gift.

I hope you have a fruitful end of 2016, experience lots of joy with your loved ones, and come out the other side of this dark, introspective season into a spring full of possibilities, light, and love!

Where Do I Go From Here?

It's been a long, (or short, really) year of learning about art.  I am humbled by those who have told me they appreciate what I am doing, and enjoy seeing my paintings posted on-line and in exhibitions.  I'm even more humbled by those who spent valuable dollars to acquire one or more my paintings to keep them company in their homes.  It really feels like an adoption when they are sold.  I am so happy that something I do can give joy and meaning to others.

Early this year, I began this spur of my art journey....completed over 40 paintings and sold over 20.  At a couple points, it seemed like the train was traveling too fast.  Got through several shows and a couple commissions. Then in the beginning of November, my sisters, daughter, and niece went on an epic trip to India. Can't describe the magnitude of this cultural experience. Wow--the definition of life re-set.  Put it on a different scale.
Everything is relative.  Be so happy for what you have.  Remember love and beauty are everywhere--beauty has no limits. Sneak it in there, even in the darkest places.
So from here, where do I go?  It's time to slow down a bit, and enjoy the process of refining my art.  There's a lot more to learn, a lot further to travel.  But we know the journey does not end. Perhaps that's the beauty in it all.
Love to all, in this winter month.  Endings....looking towards beginnings of things yet to come.

Why an Art Sale is More than it Seems

A couple weeks ago, I sold my first large painting, Lily Pond, measuring 40" X 40" framed.  The transaction was amazing.  Thinking about it now gives me goose bumps, just as it did when we placed Lily Pond in the customer's dining room.  I learned at that moment that an art sale is so much more than it seems.
When a work of art sells, it is of course exciting for everyone. We all know the artist needs to sell in order for her practice to survive, and the patron needs the right painting to complement and enrich his or her home.  But the transaction goes far beyond these basic benefits. I learned then just how rich the relationship between artist and patron really is. 
There is so much more to what happens in art when it is created with authenticity, from within, which Lilly Pond was.  I created Lily Pond to express my love for nature and especially my love for a koi pond that sits in our backyard. A few weeks ago, my customer visited my current exhibition "Impressions of Shenandoah & Beyond" at Shenandoah Vineyards.  She recently told me how much she loved Lily Pond, and had decided she really wanted it; only she just needed to make sure it would go with her current décor.  We made arrangements to bring the painting by her home to see.
Walking up to my customer's home, with large painting in arms, I was filled with  a sense of purpose and meaning. This is because I created something that spoke to me, fulfilled my need for expressing the beauty of our world, and was something that flowed out from within me.  I was proud of the painting whether or not it was a good fit for the customer's home. But when we put the painting on her sideboard, we both exclaimed with delight.  I was astounded at how wonderful it looked in her setting. We jumped up and down and even hugged each other. A strange transfer was happening, where the meaning of this creation which started with me was continuing through her. It was incredibly surprising! I did not expect this richness.
What transpired was not an exchange of craft for money. It was a symbiotic relationship of goodness, where an artist's meaningful creation also becomes a meaningful addition to someone else's life.  The inspiration of beauty never tires.  "Love" is the epitome of "meaning".  When a patron supports an artist, he or she validates the artist's raison d' etre, and gives her permission to keep going on her artistic path. I call this a form of love. Beauty and love are all that matters in this world.
This is why an art sale is so much more than what it seems!