Thursday, April 17, 2014

Radford City Ghost Story near The Blue RIdge Parkway and Blue RIdge Discovery Center May Happening!

My Artwork


Clouds Over The Blue Ridge Parkway   Original 5"x7" Oil Painting      $75.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at  KENDALL KESSLER ART

Clouds over The Blue Ridge is one of my favorite Small Gem paintings.  These paintings are only 5"x7" .  They light up any home or office!


nearmemorialcopyrightNear Memorial Bridge    Original 30"x40" Oil Painting     $2425.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

Near Memorial Bridge is a house I see every time I cross the bridge.  It is the only house that can be seen all year long.  The others are covered up by summer vegetation.  I love the way the light hits this home!

I am having a great time researching Ghost stories in The New River Valley!  Who doesn't like a ghost story?

Radford City Virginia Ghost Story

St. Albans in Radford Virginia was originally a boy's school. It stands over the New River and was converted into a sanatorium. The site is now used by Radford University but many buildings are empty.

The Seven Hills Paranormal Society has investigated the site and reported "shadow people" or un-seen presences.  They also reported a mysterious ball of light hovering near the floor and then disappeared.

One investigator felt like she had been shoved in the chest and footsteps have been heard throughout the hospital.  Also, voices have been heard.  One said, "God, I want to die", and another said, "Tasha, we need to hide."

I found this information in an article entitled "Haunted Places in  New River Valley Vieginia" from the online publication Ehow.

fairlawnridgecopyrightFairlawn Ridge   Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

Life with The Bird and Word Man - Clyde Kessler

The 40th Annual Mount Rogers Rally is coming up!  Don't miss out on this great event that is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Discovery Center.  My husband is on the Board of Directors.

The 2014 Rally will be May 9 & 10.

Friday Night Speaker -  Nancy Lee Adamson PhD, Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. An Introduction to Native Bees and Other “Beneficial” Arthropods of the Mid-Atlanticlearn about common native bees we can support by protecting and planting pollinator habitat. The program will highlight nesting habits of some of the 500 species of native bees in Virginia, as well as other pollinators, predators, and parasitoids that benefit from pollinator habitat.
Friday night entertainmentRoald and Ellie Kirby will be bringing in the evening with some traditional old time tunes.
DOOR PRIZE!David Richert has offered a free afternoon consultation on forest management as the friday night door prize

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Christiansburg Ghost Story near The Blue RIdge Parkway and I use Signs now...

My Artwork

house11copyrightHouse on Route 11  Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

Route 11 is the road I take to Christiansburg, VA.  I loved this house and decided to make a painting of it.  It was sold in Roanoke at Studios on The Square.

Christiansburg Virginia Ghost Story  

This is a Ghost Story that has been around for more than a century. Mary Snead, Caroline Martin, and Virginia Wardlaw were educators that ran the Old Montgomery Female Academy.

The old building is gone. It is now The Old Christiansburg Middle School and currently houses Blacksburg Middle School students.

The women were notorious for killing off relatives for insurance money.  They were never convicted of a crime until they left and moved to New Jersey in 1909. When they went to New Jersey they had a $20,00 insurance policy on Ocie Snead. 

The three women would pay for the suspicious drowning of Ocie.

Caroline was convicted and died later in a state mental institution.

Mary Snead pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Virginia Wardlaw starved herself to death before a judge could make a ruling. Her body is in an un-marked grave in Christiansburg.

 Some people say the Snead Sisters, or The Sisters in Black still live in the halls of this local school.

I found this ghost story on the online articles collections

thecrossingcopyrightThe Crossing  Original 25"x 30"    Acrylic painting    $1830.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at        KENDALL KESSLER ART

This is a painting I did from a photograph of a man and his daughter crossing The New River from Bisset Park.  I changed the way they looked to protect their privacy.  I just thought this would make a nice genre painting.

Life with The Word and Bird Man

I have always been careful to the point of being uptight about schedules and my husband is the same way.  We are both usually early to any kind of meeting.  It is much easier to be early than on time.  He has some choice words about people that are late.  

He has a descriptive word for someone that is five minutes late, another one for ten, and a very colorful one for someone that is twenty minutes late.

I never thought I would forget an appointment until about a year ago when I thought about the appointment in the morning and then forgot about it in the afternoon!  I was mortified so now I actually post a sign that hangs down from the door frame to my kitchen so I won't forget.

Age really does change a person.  This morning I had to be reminded by my husband to put the sign up!  Yikes! What next?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Blacksburg Ghost Story near The Blue RIdge Parkway and Recent Radford City Bird Sightings

My Artwork


ghoststorecopyrightGhost Store   Original 12"x 9" Mixed Media Drawing    $221.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

Ghost Store is an abandoned building in a beautiful environment.  I am a big fan of the movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes" and this drawing reminds me of those stores of long ago.  I love to look at buildings from the past.  There is an eerie ghostly quality about them that draws the viewer in.

I am especially pleased with the stunning light effect in this drawing. The light seems to be spotlighting the old building. This drawing was done with colored pencils and pastels.

Blacksburg Lyric Theater Ghost Story

Originally constructed in 1929 and opened on April 17, 1930, the Lyric Theatre is a blend of Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, designed by Roanoke architect Louis Phillipe Smithey. Most notable on the Lyric’s fa├žade are the traditional Comedy and Tragedy masks.
1994-From 1989 to 1994, although closed as a film house, the Lyric continued to have a life as a large classroom rented to Virginia Tech and as the Democratic Party Headquarters each fall.

1994-1995 -In 1994, a group of citizens lead by the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg banded together to create the Lyric Council, which was determined to reopen the Lyric and return it to its former glory. In February 1996, the Lyric was reopened for the first time in eight years. The theater was operated as a partially renovated space for two years while money was being raised for the full-scale renovations.

The theater is one of the few theaters left with an upper balcony and workers have reported hearing things and the feeling of someone brushing behind them as they walked by.  There is a tale of a worker dying there years ago.

I got the ghost story  information from The Ghost Hunter Store online. The information about the Lyric Theater is from The Lyric Theater website.

dockpandapascopyrightDock, Pandapas Pond Giles County           Original 30"x40" Oil Painting   $2425.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at     KENDALL KESSLER ART

pathpandapascopyrightPath Near Pandapas Pond Giles County     Original Oil Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

Life with The Bird and Word Man - Clyde Kessler

This time of the year my naturalist husband pays close attention to bird sitings and told me yesterday that the following birds have returned for the nesting season in Radford Virginia.  He is always out there keeping tabs on what's up in our area and in various sites on The Blue Ridge Parkway and other local sites. 

He is still in the process of uploading over 2000 files of sightings to e-Bird at Cornell University.

Saturdays Nature Walk at Wildwood Park was a great success!  A good crowd came out for this pilot program and my husband and Nancy Kent are looking forward to more of these fun and instructive hikes in the future!
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Cliff Swallow, there were several Cliff Swallows repairing last year’s nests on Memorial Bridge.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Our Blacksburg Ghost Story near The Blue Ridge Parkway and A Gorilla...

My Artwork
housebburgcopyright  House in Blacksburg        Original Oil Painting has been sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

Since I have been blogging about New River Valley Ghost stories lately I thought this painting would be a good one to put up.  I had no intentions of painting a ghost house but the dissolution of form in the warm and cool colors, in a way, gives the impression of an other-worldly place.

Our Short Blacksburg Ghost Story

I am a very level-headed person and extremely skeptical of anything that is considered to be supernatural.  I took a silly Big Bang test a while back to see which character I am like on the show, and, of course, it was Sheldon.  My husband says I remind him of Spock from Star Trek.

Anyway, having said all that, I must say I have had three strange experiences in my life that I cannot explain.

Here is one of them.

Years ago my husband and I needed to get a larger apartment at the complex we lived at in Blacksburg, VA.  The manager said F-67 was open and we grabbed it.  They were having a hard time renting it and we couldn't see why.  They were all alike.

Shortly after we moved in we were resting on our bed when we heard, very clearly, a voice that seemed to be coming from the closet.  The word was Rachel in a strange voice.  It happened a few more times and we just ignored it.  

We never heard it again.

The only logical explanation would be that someone that could throw their voice like a ventriloquist was outside and playing a trick on us.  We will never know!

hucklyberrylinetrailcopyrightRain Pond, Huckleberry Line Trail in Blacksburg     Original Painting has been sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

This pond no longer exists.  It was at the Blacksburg Airport when my husband and I were first married.  We would walk out to it every Sunday afternoon.  That is such a pleasant memory.

rockgardencopyrightRock Garden   Original 32"x40" Professionally Framed Oil Painting    $2720.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas available at   KENDALL KESSLER ART

This painting was inspired by the beautiful flower gardens at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA

Life with The Word and Bird Man - Clyde Kessler

I try very hard to avoid problems on the internet.  I know that people can copy a site and make it look like an official request for a phishing attempt.  I know that people will try to get money from me by claiming they want to buy a painting and I need to pay their private shipping company out of the excess money on the check they send me.  Of course, the check is phoney and I am out the shipping money.

I have never fallen for that one and never will.

I do download some sites that are designed to help me improve my art sales.  They look perfectly okay to me.

My husband is much more cautious than I am and he says I would download a gorilla and let it walk around the house!   I would not!  We already have enough monkeys around here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ghost Story from The New River Valley near The Blue Ridge Parkway and Spring Nature Walk Tomorrow!

My Artwork
branchesnrbig (1)Branches Over The New River from Bisset Park    Original Oil Pastel has been sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at       KENDALL KESSLER ART

New River Valley Ghost Stories

I have always loved ghost stories.  On one vacation I read a selection of ghost stories by Edith Wharton that I especially liked.

The New River Valley has it's ghost stories and since I have painted so many scenes of the New River and The Blue Ridge Parkway I thought it would be fun to include some of this region's hair raising tales.

The Holiday Inn sits on land that used to be a plantation known as Jacob's Lantern.  There is a night club called "Attitudes" in the hotel. A manager has reported that he has been asked to turn down the music when there was no one playing music. 

He has also heard voices and laughter in the club when no one was around.

I found this ghost story in the online publication Shadowlands Haunted Places - Index Virginia.

eveningriverscenecopyrightEvening River Scene     Original 30"x40"  Oil Painting       $2425.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at     KENDALL KESSLER ART

Life with The Bird and Word Man - Clyde Kessler

Be sure to come with your children for The Spring Discovery Walk this Saturday with my Bird Man, Clyde Kessler, and photographer Nancy Kent!  They are going to share their knowledge of flowers and insects in  beautiful Wildwood Park in Radford City and Nancy will help visitors learn how to take great pictures!

My husband has dedicated his life to the preservation of his beautiful mountain home.  He has led many nature walks in Radford, Ferrum, and The Blue Ridge Parkway, to name a few.  I can honestly say he is the most knowledgeable person I have ever known.  When he was a child he read the Encyclopedia and I don't think he has forgotten any of it.

I always ask him first before I look something up.  It is very hard to stump him and unlike the comedic Expert Panel on the great Red Green show, he really does know what he is talking about.

On that hilarious Canadian show they have a panel of expert men that is dedicated to the three words men can't say which are-- I don't know.    Clyde will say I don't know but I hardly ever hear those words because he does know.

The Bird and Word Man        Clyde Kessler
Come out for a great time!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ghost Story on The New River near The Blue Ridge Parkway and It is not a Crater on Mars...

New River Scene    Original Painting has been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at      Kendall Kessler Art

My Artwork

I have a lot of paintings on the beautiful New River as seen from Bisset Park and Riverview Park.   New River Scene is one of my more energetic works.  I was especially pleased with the movement in this painting and the fleeting look of the mountains through the tree limbs.

dedmonreflectionscopyrightNew River Reflections Near The Dedmon Center        
 21"x27"acrylic on paper Painting  $1164.00

Prints on Paper or Canvas Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

Another beautiful section of The New River in Radford Virginia is close to the Dedmon Center at Radford University where I taught for twenty years in the Art Department.   This painting has a beautiful glow and serene atmosphere.  I love the way the reflections have been gently broken up by the ripples.

Ghost Stories about The New River

The Devil's Stairs is a site along N.C. 88, just east of the community of Warrensville. The spot got its name when the Norfolk & Western Railway (now Norfolk Southern) extended the rail line from Abingdon, Va., into Ashe County, N.C., around 1914.

A section of rock at that bend in the river was dynamited, and the resulting formation resembled a set of giant steps ascending the side of the mountain.

The stairs may have been designated as the devil's because at least one construction worker is said to have been killed in the dynamite blast.

There are a number of versions of this North Carolina devil  but here is what Dennis Lewis, who put this story on New River Notes, thought was the best!

The Devil and The Preacher

It concerns a preacher who was driving home after a church service on a rainy, cold night. As the car neared the Devil's Stairs, the minister "saw a hitchhiker in a dark black raincoat that covered his head and face."

The preacher stopped to offer the stranger a lift, primarily out of compassion due to the raw weather that evening.

"The hitchhiker did not say a word as he sat in the back seat," according to the account. The reverend "looked in the rear-view mirror several times, but never saw the hitchhiker's face. So he turned around and looked into the man's eyes, which were as red as fire and as big as a fist."

The startled minister pulled over to the side of the road to let the rider out, but when he got out and opened the back door he found no one inside the car.

Life with The Word and Bird Man - Clyde Kessler

When my son was little I read a lot of Sesame Street books to him.  His favorite was How to be a Grouch by Oscar the Grouch.  The one I remember the best was Grover's Bad Awful Day.  We all have those at times.  It is one of those days that Murphy of Murphy's Law just stalks you.

Yesterday was one of those days for me.  One irritating thing after another.

My bread machine for some reason has a hard time making a good loaf out of whole wheat flour.  I don't mind when it doesn't come out right because it is more dense and the flavor is usually better but yesterday's loaf was  horrible.

My husband said take a picture of it and tell your readers it is not a crater on Mars.    It sure looks like one!

breadcraterAerial View of Yesterday's Loaf of Bread or  My Bad, Awful, Day

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More on Bisset Park near The Blue Ridge Parkway and How The New River used to be...

My Artwork

origbissetcopyrightBisset Park Original    Original Pastel Painting not Available for Sale

Prints on Paper or Canvas available at      KENDALL KESSLER ART

I especially like the many New River scenes I have done.  My favorite ones were done from different parts of Bisset Park in Radford, VA.  When the weather is nice there are a lot of motor boats, canoes, and rafts gliding along the river.

Bisset Park Original is not available, because as luck would have it, it drowned in a gallery in North Carolina years ago.   There was a tremendous amount of rain that year and the gallery flooded.  The water rose over a foot and this pastel drawing was low enough for the lower half to be immersed in water!   

The gallery was insured and I was compensated for the painting but it no longer exists.

Afterwards, I decided to do an oil painting of the same spot.  I wanted to get a very different look reflecting a different time of day and season.  One of my favorite artists, Claude Monet, often did the same scene at different times of days and seasons and each one is a unique, beautiful creation.  

I love the way colors change throughout the day as the light shifts.

bissetcopyrightBisset Park    30" x 40" Original Oil Painting        $2425.00

Prints Available on Paper or Canvas available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

New River History

I love history and thought it would be nice to put in a little information on how different the river was years ago.
The river used to have many batteaux carrying cargo downstream as far as Bateau Mountain before the coming of the railroad.  Bateau Mountain ,which is near Grandview, is now called Batoff.

The batteaux were propelled along the shallow rivers by crews pushing long poles along the side of the boats and steering with long sweeping rudders at each end.

The boats carried lumber, agricultural produce, and mercantile products.

A lot of the workers were African-American crews and captains.  Because of the unique skills and abilities the job required, batteau crews could find an equality in their work that was not easily available for African Americans seeking employment in American society at the time.  For most of the workers it was a vagabond life on the river.

I found this information on batteaux in the online publication New River Gorge

Life with The Bird and Word Man - Clyde Kessler

Again, be sure to join Clyde and Nancy Kent this Saturday in Wildwood Park for a great nature walk.  Photographer Nancy Kent will teach young and old on how to get good photographs of flowers in insects!

The Mount Rogers Naturalist Rally is coming up.  The Rally is Friday May 9    5:00 - 9:30pm at The Konnarock Community Center!  Check out the Blue Ridge Discovery Center for more information!