Studio & Gallery Open Daily

10am to 6pm

375 Depot Street, River Arts District

Asheville, NC

Current Exhibit:

"Moody Skies"
Virginia Pendergrass

at Trackside Studios October 2017

Opening Reception:

Sunday, October 8, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

To control values, Pendergrass undertook monochrome underpaintings in burnt sienna as a base for the color painting. “I had instruction in how to do this early on, but did not understand why anyone would. It seemed a lot of preparation to get to the ‘real’ painting. I finally realized that it is easier to get values right without color, which saves time in correcting later on,” says Pendergrass. In addition to an opportunity to check composition before painting in color, she found that the underpainting cues proper color mixes - she holds a loaded brush of the color mix next to a value in the underpainting to match it.  

“At this point, it is a pleasure to do the underpaintings, and I find them beautiful in themselves,” Pendergrass enthuses. “The underpaintings alone have an atmospheric look- I sometimes hesitate to go on with color.”

Pendergrass has had a lifelong love of color and design but took up painting as a second career. As a child, her art education consisted of many hours perusing her oarents' book, World-Famous Paintings edited by Rockwell Kent.  When she later committed to a career in art, she studied with nationally known painters Scott Christensen, CW Mundy, Greg Kreutz and Kenn Backhaus. Formal art education included courses at Old Lyme Art Academy in CT, as well as Crealde Art School and Seminole Community College, both in Orlando, FL. Her paintings have been selected for many regional and national art competitions, where she has received a number of awards for excellence. For more information on Pendergrass and her art, visit or email her at For further information about the “Moody Skies” exhibit, telephone (828) 577-0264.

Foggy Morning, Virginia Pendergrass, 30x40 inches, oil on canvas

On Display in atrium

through September

Isolation - 10 foot tall steel sculpture by Jon LaLonde

Paintings by several Trackside artists, including (top to bottom): Marcos Martinez, Vince McGahan, Julie Ann Bell

Moody Mountain, Virginia Pendergrass

12x16 inches, oil on canvas

New paintings by Virginia Pendergrass, a series called “Moody Skies”, will be on display at Trackside Studios, 375 Depot St. in Asheville’s River Arts District October 1-31. The public  is cordially invited to a reception Sunday, October 8 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.

Early in her painting career in Florida, color captured Pendergrass’ attention first.  She was influenced by a Betty Edwards book, Color, emphasizing bright, strong colors in painting, and by a workshop with Scott Christiansen, whose paintings feature warm, western landscapes. “When I moved to Brevard, NC 15 years ago, I continued to use the same bright color palette and was guided by spots of bright color in choosing a composition,” recalls Pendergrass. “One rainy day, however, I huddled in a recessed doorway and painted one of my favorite works - a pasture and mountains partly obscured by a stormy sky. This moody, atmospheric painting suddenly opened my eyes to the unique beauty of North Carolina- quite different from Florida or the West- of fog rolling in and out, luminous sunsets, storms approaching, misty distant mountains, and huge banks of fat white clouds.”

The transition to moody, atmospheric landscapes was not easy. “Atmospheric paintings require close values of dark and light and colorful grays; “happy paintings” use strong contrasts of dark and light and bright color to capture the feel of sunny days,” explained Pendergrass.  “I first tried various changes in paints by including one or more muted or unsaturated colors to mix the colorful grays of the atmospheric landscape. I then began to appreciate the need for careful control of values.”